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 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 well-known, 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).  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.  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