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Francis J. Connolly, Judge, 2008-

Francis J. Connolly

Francis J. Connolly Portrait

Judge Francis J. Connolly was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals on October 4, 2007 by Governor Tim Pawlenty.








Appointed to the Fourth Judicial District Court on Nov. 9, 1998. Elected in 2000.  Reelected in 2006.

Appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Tim Pawlenty on Jan. 1, 2008.  Elected in 2010 and 2016.  Current term expires Jan. 2023.


J.D., Georgetown University Law School, 1984
Editor, "Law and Policy in International Business"
M.S.F.S., Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1984
B.A., Columbia University, 1980


  • Associate General Counsel for Kraus-Anderson Realty Co., 1994-1998
  • Attorney, Rossini, Nelson & Rossini, 1992-1994
  • Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney, 1987-1992
  • Attorney, Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, 1986-1987
  • Attorney, U. S. Department of Justice Honors Program, 1984-86

Professional Memberships:

  • Minnesota District Judges Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court

Additional Information:

Judicial Activities

Presiding Judge of Civil Division of Fourth Judicial District, 2006-2007

Assistant Presiding Judge of Civil Division of Fourth Judicial District, 2004-2006

Member, Executive Committee of Fourth Judicial District, 2002-2007

Chairman, Judicial Education Subcommittee of Minnesota State Bar Association Professionalism Committee, 2004-present

Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committe on Juvenile Delinquency Rules, 2007-present

Mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2005-present

Drafted Delinquency Bench Book used to train new Juvenile Court Judges, 2002

Critiquing Judge, University of Minnesota Law School Judicial Trial Skills Training Program, 2006

Community Activities

High School Mock Trial Coach, 2007-present

Adjunct Representation Professor, William Mitchell College of Law, 2003-2007

Member, Board of Directors, Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation, 1993-2004

Member, Minneapolis Charter Commission, 1998


Landlord/Tenant Law - Code Violations Under Negligence per se and Common Law Negligence Theories: Gradjelick v. Hance, 29 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1013 (2003).

CLE Presentations

October, 5, 2007, Lawyers Professional Responsiblity Board, Professionalism: Can it be Accomplished?

March 30, 2006, MSBA 27th Annual Family Law Institute, Walk the Line: Ethics and Professionalism in Family Law

December 9, 2005, Annual Conference of Judges, "Order in the Court!" Maintaining Professionalism in the Courtroom

January 31, 2005, Minnesota Administrative Law Judges, Working With Lawyers to Bring Out the Best and Avoid the Worst

March 20, 2003, Minnesota Social Service Association 110th Annual Conference, The Andrea Yates Case: A Lesson in Prevention

March 12, 2003, HCBA Civil Litigation Section, How to Win a Dispositive Motion

June 12, 2002, MILE Civil Trial Practice Institute, How to Try Your Case to a Judge

May 2, 2002, MILE Juvenile Law Seminar, Parties Versus Participants in Child Protection Cases

June 8, 2001, MSBA Construction Law Symposium, A View from the Bench: How to Succeed or Fail in Dispositive Motions on Implied Obligations in Contracts

January 1999, Criminal and Civil Trial Guidelines used at National Judicial College to teach new judges how to run criminal and civil trials

Fourth Judicial District Assignment History

Criminal and Civil 1/2003 - 2007

Juvenile 1/2001 - 12/2002

Civil and Criminal 1/2000 - 12/2000

Criminal 11/1998 - 12/1999