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Attorneys of the Year: Judge Richard Kyle

outstanding service“He looked like a judge, he acted like a judge, he was tough, and he never lost his temper.”

That’s how U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle recalls his early boss, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Devitt. The judges may be similarly described and both are notably respected in Minnesota.

Kyle later became the state solicitor general and an attorney in private practice, until he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the District Court in 1992. He was confirmed only a few months after his appointment. “I didn’t have anybody that I was aware of that was trying to stop my nomination,” Kyle recalls.

Since 1992, Kyle has been associated with some of the biggest trials in state history, such as those of transplant surgeon Dr. John Najarian (acquitted of violating drug safety rules), financial fraudster Tom Petters (sentenced to 50 years), and defamation plaintiff Jesse Ventura (won at trial, reversed on appeal, settled).

“It’s been a good life,” said the judge, 80.

He doesn’t spend as much time in court as in the past, and he misses it.

“I’ve been very fortunate, I have no complaints. If I did, I wouldn’t tell you.”

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