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Nancy Brasel (’96) and Philip Carruthers (’79) Appointed Fourth District Judges

SEPTEMBER 19, 2011—On September 14, 2011, Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appointments of Nancy E. Brasel (’96) and Philip C. Carruthers (’79) to the bench of Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District Court, which covers Hennepin county.

Brasel has been a Minnesota Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2008, handing economic crimes in the Fraud and Public Corruption Section, and narcotics, firearms, and gang activity in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and Violent Crimes Section. Previously, she was with Greene Espel in 1999-2008, as a partner from 2002, and an associate attorney with Leonard, Street and Deinard in 1997-99.

She has taught civil procedure as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law and has frequently lectured before bar committees and at CLE seminars on commercial and employment litigation. In 2005, she chaired the board of directors of the Domestic Abuse Project.

Brasel earned her B.A. at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, in 1991; her M.A. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1993; and her J.D. at the Law School in 1996. She was awarded the 1996 Minnesota Women Lawyers’ Equal Justice Award for her article, "Taking Back Equal Protection: Virginia Military Institute, Real Women, and Real Choices."

Carruthers has been overseeing civil litigation involving the county and representing several county departments as Director of the Civil Division of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. Earlier, he was Director of the Prosecution Division, responsible for prosecuting all adult felonies and juvenile cases in Ramsey County. He started the Elder Abuse Unit and helped organize the Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution Unit.

In 1986-2001, Carruthers was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, serving as Speaker in 1997-98, and chaired committees on metropolitan affairs, data privacy, and rules and legislative administration. He served on the Metropolitan Council and helped manage regional services for the seven-county metro area in 1983-86 and maintained a private practice in Hennepin County for 21 years.

He has served as president of the North Hennepin Mediation Program, on the board of Project Remand, and with the Brooklyn Peacemaker Center. In 2010 the Ramsey County Bar Association honored him with the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award.

Carruthers received his B.A. in liberal arts and political science from the University of Minnesota in 1975 and his J.D. from the Law School in 1979. He has been an active member and officer of the Board of Advisors for many years and was instrumental in securing funds from the state legislature for the Law School’s clinic program. In recognition of his work for the clinics, the Philip C. Carruthers Public Interest Law Clinic was named for him by then-Dean of the Law School, E. Thomas Sullivan.

Gov. Dayton said his appointment news release, "Both Ms. Brasel and Mr. Carruthers will make outstanding judges. They bring to the bench real-world experience, as well as significant ties to the community. I commend them both for their service to the people of Minnesota."


Nancy Brasel

Nancy Brasel (’96)


Philip Carruthers

Philip Carruthers (’79)