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Joan Ericksen Lancaster, Associate Justice, 1998-2002

Joan Ericksen Lancaster

Justice Joan Erickson Lancaster

Joan Ericksen was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1998 and served until 2002, when she was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.


Joan Ericksen was born on October 11, 1954, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She grew up near Northfield, Minnesota, where she attended high school, and later, St. Olaf College, graduating magna cum laude in 1977. She attended law school at the University of Minnesota from which she graduated cum laude in 1981. Ericksen also completed a Special Diploma in Social Studies at Oxford University. 

After law school, Ericksen was in private practice for two years before becoming assistant United States attorney for the District of Minnesota, a position she held for ten years (1983-1993). She was then a partner in the Minneapolis law firm of Leonard, Street, and Deinard for two years until she was appointed to Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District in 1995. 

In 1998, Ericksen, known as Joan Ericksen Lancaster at the time, was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, but almost immediately after accepting the position, she was appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Arnie Carlson. During her time on the court she authored sixty-one majority opinions.

In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Justice Ericksen to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, where she remains today in Senior Judge status.

Joan Ericksen Signature

Joan N. Ericksen's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1971-1983, p 246 (October 30, 1981), available online at: