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Anne V. Simonett, Chief Judge, 1994-1995

Anne V. Simonett


Anne Simonett was the first woman Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals




Anne Veronica Simonett was born in 1952 in Little Falls, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice John E. Simonett, and the sister of district court Judge Martha M. Simonett. She attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin where she graduated magna cum laude and received a bachelor's degree in music, focusing on piano performance in 1974. She received a masters in music from Yale University in 1977, also in piano performance. She attended Harvard University for law school and graduated in 1981, cum laude.

Simonett became an associate at Faegre & Benson, working in business litigation. She left that job to join her husband in Washington D.C. where she was a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 1982-83 and then worked as an associate at Covington & Burling from 1983-85. From 1986-88 she taught as a visiting and adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law, and in 1988, she returned to practice at Faegre & Benson again, where she became a partner. In 1993, she was appointed to the Fourth District Trial Court as a judge.

She was appointed chief judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on July 1, 1994, by Governor Arne Carlson, replacing Paul H. Anderson.  Anderson was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court to replace John Simonett who was retiring. Anne Simonett retired March 31, 1995, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. She died May 6, 1995.

She was married to Henry (Hank) J. Shea II, and had two children, Henry (H.J.) and Claire.

This biography is based on the resources linked in this guide.




Anne Simonett's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1971-1983, p 243 (October 31, 1981), available online at: