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Judge Edward Cleary
Retiring Court of Appeals Chief Judge Edward Cleary is pictured during a Jan. 16 investiture ceremony for Court of Appeals judges Susan Segal and Jeffrey Bryan. (File photo: Kevin Featherly)

Bar Buzz: Cleary’s back: Ex-appellate chief takes on senior judge role

Court watchers will see a familiar face reappear on their Zoom screens during Oct. 1 oral arguments at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Former Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary, who retired in April before reaching mandatory retirement age, will be back in black as a senior judge.

His first oral arguments will be heard in the case of Scott Thomas LaClair v. Commissioner of Public Safety. Then he’ll hear arguments in Living Word Christian Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co.

Four non-oral cases on also on his docket that day. For all of them, he’ll join a panel that also includes presiding Judge Jennifer L. Frisch and Judge Matthew E. Johnson.

Shortly before he retired, Cleary said he had applied for senior judge status. But at the time he wasn’t sure if he would pursue that role—or what else he might do. Now, at least for the time being, he has decided.

“As you know, the legal world is very much in flux right now with virtual court hearings and very little in the way of personal interaction occurring,” Cleary said in an Aug. 14 email exchange.

“We are all waiting to see what changes are temporary and what changes will become permanent once a successful vaccine allows the world to move forward,” he added. “In the meantime, I am pleased to rejoin my colleagues on the Court of Appeals on occasion in the coming months, sitting as a Senior Judge.”

After that?

“We’ll see what the future holds,” Cleary said.

Welcome back, judge.

 

About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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