News Item
Justice Dietzen announces resignation from Minnesota Supreme Court

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016

Justice Dietzen announces resignation from Minnesota Supreme Court

Associate Justice Christopher J. Dietzen notified Governor Mark Dayton yesterday of his intent to resign from the Minnesota Supreme Court effective August 31, 2016. 
Justice Dietzen has served on the state’s appellate courts for more than 11 years. Justice Dietzen joined the Minnesota Court of Appeals in December 2004, following an appointment by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Governor Pawlenty appointed Justice Dietzen to the Minnesota Supreme Court in November 2007, and Justice Dietzen joined the Court in February 2008.
“I thank the citizens of Minnesota for the opportunity to serve on the state’s appellate courts,” said Justice Dietzen. “The work of a justice has been both challenging and rewarding. The challenge of deciding difficult cases has been made easier by serving with exceptional colleagues. The reward is in the opportunity to participate in a collaborative decision process.”
Justice Dietzen offered thanks to his colleagues, past and present, on the Minnesota Supreme Court, along with the staff that supports the work of the Court.
“The strength of the Supreme Court is in the balanced perspective of seven justices who bring different backgrounds and experiences to the process of deciding difficult cases,” said Justice Dietzen. “This collaborative, deliberative process produces decisions that endure the test of time.”
Justice Dietzen currently serves as the chair of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, and is a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the Minnesota Judicial Branch. He is also the Supreme Court’s liaison to the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure.
Justice Dietzen also served as the Court’s liaison to the Civil Justice Reform Task Force and the Expedited Civil Litigation Track Pilot Project, both of which recommended rule amendments and changes in civil case processing to promote the just, speedy, and efficient processing of those cases. Early results in the Expedited Litigation Track Pilot have shown positive improvement in the time to disposition for cases, as well as strong support from the litigants and attorneys involved in the pilot.
Justice Dietzen has played a key role in the success of the Supreme Court’s traveling oral argument program. Through the program, the Minnesota Supreme Court hears oral arguments in real court cases in high school auditoriums and gymnasiums across the state, providing an opportunity for thousands of students to gain a better understanding of their justice system. As the current Court liaison to the program, Justice Dietzen helps plan and oversee each of the Supreme Court’s high school visits.
Prior to his public service, Justice Dietzen was a shareholder with the Larkin, Hoffman, Daly and Lindgren law firm in Bloomington where he was its senior litigator in the Real Estate Litigation Practice Group, and served on the firm’s Board of Directors from 1995 to 2002. Prior to joining the Larkin Hoffman firm in 1978, Dietzen was an attorney and partner with the law firm of Richter, Wimberley and Ericson in Spokane, Washington from 1973 to 1978.  A Washington native, Dietzen earned his juris doctorate degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane in 1973 and his bachelor of business administration from Gonzaga University in 1969.
“It has been an incredible honor to serve alongside Justice Dietzen,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “For more than a decade, Justice Dietzen served our court system admirably, both as a wise and thoughtful jurist, as well as a leader in our efforts to improve the administration of justice in our state. As a respected colleague and a true friend, he will be greatly missed.”
More information about Justice Dietzen, as well as a photo