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Senior Judge Cara Lee Neville
Senior Judge Cara Lee Neville


Appointed to Municipal Court in 1983
Appointed to District Court on Jan. 31, 1986
Elected in 1988, 1994, 2000 and 2006
Retired Feb. 14, 2012
Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 8, 2019, to June 30, 2021.


J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, 1975


Assistant Public Defender, Hennepin County, 1978
Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (Felony Division), 1972

Professional Memberships:

  • American Bar Association
    • Board of Governors 2000-03
    • Executive Comm.
    • Chair of Planning
    • Program Comm. of Board of Governors
    • Law and Public Service Comm. of Torts and Insurance Practice Section
  • American Bar Association
    • Standing Comm. on Independence of Judiciary
    • Judges' Advisory Comm. to the Standing Comm. on Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    • Commission on Judicial Selection Standards
    • Comm. on Crime and Violence
    • Special Task Force on Drugs
    • Comm. on Violence By and Against Children
    • Judicial Campaign Finance Comm
    • Past Chair of Criminal Justice Section and Minnesota State Delegate
  • American Judicature Society
    • Board of Directors 2001-present
  • American Bar Foundation
    • Fellow, Douglas Amdahl Inn of Court
    • President, 1996-97
  • National Assn. of Women Judges
    • President 1991-92
  • Minnesota State Bar Assn.
    • Board of Governors 1986-present
    • past member Pro Se Litigation Comm.
  • Past member of the Hennepin County Bar Assn. Governing Council
  • Minnesota District Judges Assn.
    • past Board member, secretary
  • Judicial Election Comm. and delegate to State Trial Judges Conference of the ABA
  • International Academy of Trial Judges
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers Advisory Comm. 2001-present
  • Minnesota State Bar Foundation, past Board of Directors

Additional Information

Assignment History

  • Criminal and Civil, 12/2007-2/2012
  • Juvenile, 1/2006-11/2007
  • Civil Block and Criminal, 1/1996-12/2005
  • Probate/Mental Health Presiding Judge, 1/1993-12/1995
  • Civil Block and Criminal, 2/1986-12/1992
  • Criminal and Civil, 9/1983-1/1986

Teaching and Lecturing

  • National Judicial College
  • Harvard Law School
  • WMCL
  • Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
  • League of Women Voters; American Inns of Court
  • Judicial Education (University of Minnesota)
  • among many others on various topics, including civil, probate, mental health and criminal law.

Honors and Awards

  • Hennepin County Bar Association Professionalism Award, 2006
  • Minnesota State Bar Assn. Presidential Award, 2002
  • National Assn. of Women Judges Excellence in Service Award
  • Listed as one of 100 graduates who have made a difference in 100-year history of William Mitchell College of Law, 2000, among others


  • Numerous published articles and CLE materials, as well as TV and radio shows on various legal issues as well as service on many committees not listed above.