Senior Judge William H. Leary III
Senior Judge William H. Leary III


Recommended by the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and subsequently appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura on July 8, 2002.  Elected in 2004, 2010, and 2016.  Retired on July 7, 2018; Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2025.


J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, 1979
B.A., University of St. Thomas, 1971


Attorney and shareholder, Geraghty, O’Loughlin & Kenney, P.A., 1980-2002. Area of practice was civil litigation, with emphasis on health-care litigation, professional liability, and work-place discrimination.

Law Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court (Hon. John J. Connelly), 1980

Law Clerk, Ramsey County District Court (Hon. Sidney P. Abramson), 1976-1979

Juvenile Corrections, Hennepin County Home School, 1972-1975

Professional Memberships:

Member, Minnesota District Judges Association
Board of Directors, Minnesota District Judges Association
Committee Member, Civil Jury Instructions Guide, Minnesota District Judges Association

Community Activities:

  • Chair and Board member, HOPE International Adoption and Social Services Agency
  • Chair and Board member, Office of Conciliation, St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese
  • Parish Council member, Lumen Christi Catholic Community

Teaching and Lecturing Experience:

  • Has presented statewide and nationally on issues relating to Mental Health Courts.
  • Adjunct Professor, University of St. Thomas Law School
  • Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law
  • Supervising Judge, University of St. Thomas Law School Mentor and Extern Programs
  • Supervising Judge, University of Minnesota Law School Extern Program
  • Supervising Judge, Hamline University Law School Extern Program
  • Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Lecturer
  • Ramsey County Bar Association Lecturer
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Lecturer

Additional Information:

Has served on Civil, Criminal, Family, and Juvenile Court rotations, including Civil Commitment Court, and was Presiding Judge of the Civil Division and a member of the District Executive Committee from 2014 to 2017. Has presided over several trials involving the indeterminate commitment of Sexually Dangerous Persons. Volunteered as Mental Health Court Judge from 2005 to 2015, during which the Court was designated as a National Learning Site by the National Center for State Courts.

In 2006, appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to preside over all Minnesota cases in In re Guidant Corp. Implantable Defribillators Product Liability Litigation, which involved approximately 750 personal-injury and wrongful-death claims, and numerous third-party claims brought by health insurers from several states.  Litigation was fully resolved in 2010.

In 2008, wrote a paper on the history and application of Minnesota laws regarding Sexually Dangerous Persons, which was disseminated to all state court judges.

In 2010, accepted voluntary assignment to preside over all district litigation in criminal and implied-consent cases involving Intoxilyzer computer source-code litigation.