Dedicated to Legal Excellence, Civility, Professionalism and Ethics
The Warren E. Burger American Inn of Court was organized in 1989 and was chartered by the American 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 Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, alma mater of the Inn's namesake, and has among its members third year students from Mitchell Hamline. The Inn is divided into approximately a dozen pupilage groups, each headed by a Judge or Justice. 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.
We are pleased to recognize the judicial service of several of our current and past members, including:
- Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court;
- Justice Esther Tomljanovich, Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, retired;
- Justice Natalie Hudson, Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court;
- Justice Gordon Morre, Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court;
- Judge David Minge, Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, retired;
- Judge Jill Hallbrooks, Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, retired;
- Judge Diane Bratvold, Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals;
Objectives of the Warren E. Burger Inn of Court
- To establish a society of judges, lawyers, legal educators, law students and others, to promote excellence in legal advocacy in accordance with the Professional Creed of the American Inns of Court;
- To foster greater understanding of and appreciation for the adversary system of dispute resolution in American law, with particular emphasis on ethics, civility, professionalism and legal skills;
- To provide significant educational experiences that will improve and enhance the abilities of lawyers as counselors and advocates and of judges as adjudicators and judicial administrators;
- To promote interaction and collegiality among all legal professionals in order to minimize misapprehensions, misconceptions and failures of communication that obstruct the effective practice of law;
- To facilitate the development of law students, recent law school graduates, and less experienced lawyers as skilled participants in the American court system;
- To preserve and transmit ethical values from one generation of legal professionals to the next; and
- 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.