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Minnesota State Law Library

Oral History Collection

Project Overview

The Minnesota Court of Appeals began its work on November 1, 1983. Its 19 judges now handle most of the appeals from trial courts, making access to the appellate system less burdensome and more accessible than in previous years. Its formation allowed the Supreme Court to spend more time resolving constitutional and public policy cases selected through a discretionary review process. Appeals that go directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court involve tax, workers' compensation, first degree murder, and election decisions. All others go directly to the Court of Appeals.

The interviewee list includes one of the first appointees to the Court of Appeals and several appointees from its first five years. Through the interviews, the project documents the early years of the Court of Appeals, including the work of Chief Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court Douglas K. Amdahl and Peter S. Popovich in its formation. The interviewees represent broad political, gender, and geographical backgrounds that are critical to an in-depth understanding of the formation and early years of the Court.

The objective of this oral history project is to record, compile, preserve, and make accessible the knowledge, experiences, and insights of the interviewees and to add the materials to the Minnesota State Law Library collections.