Gov. Tim Walz (D) appointed judge Susan Segal as chief judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on April 13. Segal will serve the remainder of Edward J. Cleary’s term as chief of the court, which ends on October 31, 2022. Cleary announced his retirement effective April 30 in the fall of 2019.
Segal becomes the second woman to serve as chief judge in the 36 years since the advent of the court. Walz first appointed her to the appellate court in November 2019 following the retirement of Jill Flaskamp Hallbrooks. Segal previously worked as an attorney at several firms and served as the Minneapolis City Attorney for twelve years.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals, created in 1983, is the intermediate appellate court in Minnesota and was designed to relieve the volume of cases that go to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals’ decisions are the final ruling in about 95 percent of the 2,000 to 2,400 appeals filed every year. Typically, approximately 5 percent of the court’s decisions are accepted by the Minnesota Supreme Court for further review.
The judges on the court are nonpartisan, but party-affiliated governors select the members of the bench. Of the nineteen judges currently serving on the court, 12 were appointed by Democratic governors and seven were appointed by Republican governors.