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Justice Hanson Announces Retirement from Minnesota Supreme Court

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Sam Hanson notified Governor Tim Pawlenty of his intent to retire from the Court on January 1, 2008.  Justice Hanson will have served as an Associate Justice on the state’s highest court for five years. Prior to his service on the court he served as a judge on the Court of Appeals for two years.

“My service on the Court has undoubtedly been the highlight of my legal career,” said Justice Hanson in announcing his retirement from the court.  “I have been privileged to participate in the resolution of important cases with six marvelous colleagues, who never fail to enrich the discussion with thoughtful and varied perspectives.“

“I have also deepened my enormous respect for the judges of the district court and the Court of Appeals, whose decisions we review.  And, I have been most fortunate to work on several of the administrative initiatives of the Judicial Branch, including the collaborative programs to enhance child protection, the coordination of and planning for the provision of civil legal services to low income Minnesotans, and the development of the new Judicial Branch governing body, the Judicial Council.”

“I return to private practice with a renewed sense of appreciation for the importance of the rule of law in the progress and well-being of our society.”

Governor Jesse Ventura appointed Justice Hanson to the Court of Appeals in 2000 and to the Supreme Court in 2002. 

“Justice Sam Hanson has made a significant and lasting contribution to the administration of justice and to the people of Minnesota,” said Chief Justice Russell Anderson. “He has provided strong leadership as chair of the advisory board for the Children's Justice Initiative and also as a member of the Judicial Council.  We will miss him on the Supreme Court; we are grateful for his years of dedicated service and for the opportunity we were given to serve with such an outstanding jurist.  We wish him all happiness and success as he now retires from the court.”

Justice Hanson received his B.A. from St. Olaf College, and attained his LL.B. (cum laude) from William Mitchell College of Law.  He was a law clerk for the Honorable Douglas K. Amdahl, then on the Hennepin County District Court, in 1964-65, and for the Honorable Robert S. Sheran on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1965-66. 

Justice Hanson began the practice of law with the firm of Briggs and Morgan in 1966 and continued there for 34 years, serving at various times as the chairman of the litigation department and president of the firm.  Justice Hanson plans to return to private practice with Briggs and Morgan in January 2008.