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Christopher J. Dietzen, Associate Justice, 2008-2016

Christopher Dietzen

Christopher J. Dietzen

Justice Dietzen served on the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court




Christopher J. Dietzen was born in Yakima, Washington on March 8, 1947. He was the oldest of seven children and his father's family owned grocery stores. He attended Gonzaga University where he earned a bachelor's in Business Administration in 1969. He went on to attend Gonzaga University School of Law and completed his degree in 1973.

After law school, he began working for a law firm in Spokane, Washington, Richter, Wimberly & Erickson and was an attorney there until 1978. He then moved to Minnesota and began working for Larkin, Hoffman, Daly, & Lindgren in Bloomington. He worked there until 2004, specializing in complex commercial litigation and eventually became a shareholder. From November 2002-January 2003, he also acted as General Counsel for the Office of Governor-Elect Tim Pawlenty. He then became a member of the Commission on Judicial Selection from 2003-2004. 

He was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2004 at the age of 57. He won election to the seat in 2006. He served on the court for 3 years before being appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2008. He replaced Sam Hanson on the court. He served until August 31, 2016, when he retired. He was approaching 70, the age of mandatory retirement and would have had to run for re-election that November.

He also is a member of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission from 2015 to the present. His current term expires in 2021.

He and his wife Peggy have 4 children, one of whom is an attorney.

Christopher Dietzen's signature

Image credits: Christopher Dietzen's signature from the Oath of Office for his position on the Commission on Judicial Selection,