Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice

History of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice

The Minnesota Society of Criminal Justice is one of only two Minnesota criminal defense lawyers specialized bar associations; and is the state's oldest.  It is unique in its organization as a college, meaning that members (Minnesota Defense Attorneys only) are voted in by the then existing membership; and the total of regular members is limited (currently to fifty regular members).  This structure enhances the groups ability to work together to bring the defense of the legal rights of people accused of crimes to a higher level.  Another key feature of the group is its nearly monthly meetings and Continuing Legal Education courses.  These help the members share information on the latest issues in criminal justice in Minnesota.

The group and members of the group have long been associated with cutting edge legal issues advancing the cause of criminal justice in Minnesota.  A recent example is the MSCJ Source Code Coalition (discussed elsewhere on this site).  MSCJ has a long tradition of producing a famous, annual Criminal Justice Seminar focusing on DWI defense, in other states and in recent years sited in Minnesota (see the page on this site about the most recent or upcoming MSCJ Annual DWI Seminar).  It would be fair to say that MSCJ members over the years have been and are some of the best criminal lawyers in Minnesota, and have contributed much to the cause of justice in this state.

The group still has a few of the original founding members, but we can see that the day is coming where that will no longer be the case.  As a result, some of us are making an effort to begin to document the history of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice - here, on this page.  As a beginning, here is a listing of our past Presidents by year.  Our Presidents are elected by the membership for a one year term of service.  (If you are aware of any errors corrections or additions please contact the webmaster at the link below.)

Year                                     President

1987                                      Jerry Strauss

1988                                      Fred Bruno

1989                                      Joe Bluth

1990                                      Rich Koch

1991                                      Peter Wold

1992                                      David Valentini

1993                                      David Ayers

1994                                      John Brink

1995                                      Dean Grau

1996                                      Peter Mayrand

1997                                      Faison Sessoms

1998                                      Jeff Ring

1999                                      Jeff Sheridan

2000                                      Bob Malone

2001                                      Richard Swanson

2002                                      Doug Hazelton

2003                                      Tom Bauer

2004                                      Barry Hogen

2005                                      Michael Samuelson

2006                                      Peter Timmons                    

2007                                      James Leviton

2008                                      Thomas Jakway

2009                                      Roger Gershin

2010                                      James Ventura

2011                                      Thomas C Gallagher

2012                                      Robert M Christensen

2013                                      Rebecca Rhoda Fisher