Lyonel Norris (’83) Appointed to Fourth Judicial District Court
AUGUST 10, 2011—On August 8, 2011, Lyonel Norris (’83) was sworn in at a private ceremony for a position on Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District Court, which covers Hennepin County. Gov. Mark Dayton selected Norris, a former assistant federal defender representing low-income defendants charged with federal crimes.
Dayton also appointed Jacqueline Regis and David Piper. The three new district court judges fill vacancies created by the retirement of Judge Patricia L. Belois (’70), Judge Jack S. Nordby, and Senior Judge John J. Sommerville (’72). The new appointees “are accomplished attorneys, and each brings unique professional experiences to the bench,” Dayton said in a news release.
Previously Norris was the director of the Office of Equity in the Minnesota Department of Education and an assistant public defender in the Office of the Minnesota State Public Defender. He clerked for Judge Michael J. Davis (’72) and has taught law and mentored students in legal clinics.
Norris has served on several boards of directors, including Central Minnesota Legal Services, Children’s Law Center, Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, and the American Youth Work Center in Washington, D.C. He has also been a member of the Hospital Review Board at Anoka Metropolitan Regional Treatment Center and a member of the Minneapolis Advisory Council on Disabilities.