Fostering Excellence in Professionalism, Ethics, Civility, and Legal Skills

The Warren E. Burger American Inn of Court

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Dedicated to Legal Excellence, Civility, Professionalism and Ethics

The Warren E. Burger American Inn of Court was organized in 1989 and was chartered by theAmerican Inns of Court Foundation on September 20, 1989. The original organizers included Thomas J. Lyons, Esq., Justice John Simonett, and Professor John O. Sonsteng.

The Inn is affiliated with William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, alma mater of the Inn's namesake, and has among its members eight third year students from William Mitchell.  The Inn is divided into eight pupilage groups, each headed by a Judge.  Attorney members come from throughout the Twin Cities area and surrounding communities, and range in professional experience from newly admitted to the Bar to senior members of the legal community.  Members come from a wide range of practice areas, which adds to the vibrancy of the group.

This year we are pleased that one of our members, Justice Lorie Gildea, was named Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Objectives of the Warren E. Burger Inn of Court

  1. To be a membership of judges, lawyers, legal educators, and others as may be consistent with this Charter, to promote excellence in legal advocacy at the trial and appellate court levels.
  2. To foster greater understanding of, and an appreciation for, the adversary system of dispute resolution in American law with particular emphasis on ethics and professional standards of excellence.
  3. To provide significant educational experiences that will improve and enhance the skills of lawyers as counselors and advocates and of judges as adjudicators and judicial administrators.
  4. To promote interaction among members of all categories in order to minimize misapprehensions, misconceptions and failures of communication that obstruct the effective practice of law.
  5. To facilitate the development of law students, and recent law school graduates and less experienced lawyers as skilled participants in the American court system.
  6. To build upon the genius and strengths of the common law and the English Inns of Court and to renew and inspire joy and zest in legal advocacy as a service worthy of constant effort and learning.
  7. To promote collegiality among professionals and to transmit ethical values from one professional generation to another.