Minnesota State Law Library
Kevin G. Ross joined the Minnesota Court of Appeals on February 23, 2006, appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Minnesota voters confirmed Judge Ross in the post by statewide election in November 2008 and November 2014. He has authored more than 900 opinions for the court and 44 concurring or dissenting opinions. The George Mason School of Law’s 2011 Green Bag Almanac & Reader selected Judge Ross as an exemplary judicial opinion writer, the first of such honors conferred on a state court jurist.
Judge Ross formed and administers the Quill & Bagel Society, a periodic workshop for judges, law clerks, and staff attorneys committed to honing individual legal-writing skills and maintaining the quality of the court’s opinions. Since 2013 he has served as board member of Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers. Judge Ross also serves as a member on the Multistate Essay Examination Drafting Committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. And he is a founding and ongoing board member of True North Constitutional Policing, which has developed and offers online training at no cost to Minnesota law enforcement officers.
Kevin Ross has been interpreting, applying, practicing, or enforcing the law since 1987. His appointment to the bench ended his partnership at the Minneapolis law firm of Greene Espel. His law practice had focused on the areas of constitutional law, employment litigation and consultation, and general litigation. He was named a “Rising Star” then a “Super Lawyer” in the fields of governmental and employment law, based on statewide surveys of lawyers conducted by The Minnesota Journal of Law & Politics. Ross had joined the firm in 1997 after serving a judicial clerkship in the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, for the Honorable Donald P. Lay in St. Paul. This followed his judicial clerkship in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota, for the Honorable Paul A. Magnuson, Chief Judge. Before practicing law, Ross served as a police officer five years in Iowa City.
Ross received both his Juris Doctorate degree, with High Distinction and other honors, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa. His additional law school commendations and achievements are varied: Dean’s Achievement Award; Donald P. Lay Faculty Recognition Award; Law Foundation Merit Scholarship; Hancher-Finkbine Medallion Nominee; University of Iowa Learning, Loyalty and Leadership Award; Iowa College of Law Best Litigator Award; National Trial Advocacy Competition Team; American Bar Association Regional Trial Finalist; Invitational Van Oosterhout Moot Court Quarter Finalist; multiple American Jurisprudence Academic Excellence highest-grade awards.
Judge Ross is a member of various bench and bar associations and he has served on professional and community boards. He was the judicial representative on the Minnesota Forensic Laboratory Advisory Board throughout its existence, first appointed by Chief Justice Russell Anderson and then reappointed by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. And he served for six years as member and then chairperson of the Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government state board. He also served on the Federal Local Rules Committee and its successor, the Federal Practice Committee, for eight years before his appointment to the Minnesota court.
Judge Ross is a member of Eden Prairie Assembly of God church and facilitates the men’s ministry. He was a founding member of PASIJ (Park Avenue Seeking International Justice), served on the board of directors of Christ Church in Minneapolis, and has organized and participated in various projects with Habitat for Humanity. He has previously served as president of Park Avenue United Methodist Men, coach of youth soccer, baseball, and football, and mentor with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge.
Judge Ross is married and has five adult children. He enjoys chess, dabbles in pottery and poetry, and can be seen periodically cycling Minnesota’s scenic trails or camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
You may learn more about the life and work of Judge Kevin Ross in the research resources linked in this guide, which are the sources of this brief biography.