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Randolph W. Peterson, Judge, 1990-2018

Randolph W. Peterson

photograph of Randolph Peterson



Judge Peterson served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals for 28 years, from December 4, 1990 until October 2, 2018.



Randolph William Peterson was born on September 11, 1953, in Minneapolis. He graduated from Forest Lake High School in 1971 and then attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1976. He enrolled at the University of Minnesota Law School and received his law degree in 1979.

After graduating from law school, Judge Peterson was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 1980, representing District 19. He would go on to serve in the Senate for the next 10 years, where he had a particular focus on issues involving education and natural resources. He chaired the senate Education Finance Committee from 1987-1990.

During his time in the Senate, Judge Peterson also worked as an Assistant County Attorney for Anoka County from 1981-1983. Later he worked in private practice in Minneapolis with the firm of Tennessen & Regan until 1987. On December 4, 1990, at the age of 37, Judge Peterson was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals by Governor Rudy Perpich.

Judge Peterson served on the Court of Appeals bench for 28 years before retiring on October 2, 2018. After his appointment, he was re-elected to his seat in 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010, and 2016. During his career on the Court of Appeals bench, he authored over 2,000 opinions. Judge Peterson is married and has two children.

You may read more about the life and work of Randolph W. Peterson in the research resources linked in this guide, which are the sources of this brief biography.


Randolph W. Peterson's signature in the MN Roll of Attorneys

Image Credit: Randolph W. Peterson's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1971-1983, p 209 (October 20, 1979), available online at: