Judge Francis J. Connolly

Minnesota Judicial Center
Court of Appeals
(651) 297-7650

Chambers Phone: (651) 297-8769

Judge Francis J. Connolly


Appointed to the Fourth Judicial District Court by Governor Arne Carlson on Nov. 9, 1998. Elected in 2000. Reelected in 2006.

Appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Tim Pawlenty on Jan. 1, 2008.  Elected in 2010, 2016, and 2022.  Current term expires Jan. 2029.


J.D., Georgetown University Law School, 1984
Editor, "Law and Policy in International Business"
M.S.F.S., Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1984
B.A., Columbia University, 1980


  • Associate General Counsel for Kraus-Anderson Realty Co., 1994-1998
  • Attorney, Rossini, Nelson & Rossini, 1992-1994
  • Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney, 1987-1992
  • Attorney, Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, 1986-1987
  • Attorney, U. S. Department of Justice Honors Program, 1984-86

Professional Memberships:

  • Minnesota District Judges Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Member, Governing Council, Minnesota State Bar Association, Appellate Section, 2017-present

Additional Information:

Judicial Activities

Presiding Judge of Civil Division of Fourth Judicial District, 2006-2007

Assistant Presiding Judge of Civil Division of Fourth Judicial District, 2004-2006

Member, Executive Committee of Fourth Judicial District, 2002-2007

Chair, Judicial Education Subcommittee of Minnesota State Bar Association Professionalism Committee, 2004-2010

Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Juvenile Delinquency Rules, 2008-2014

Chair, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure, 2008-2014

Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence, 2015-present

Mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2005-present

Drafted Delinquency Bench Book used to train new Juvenile Court Judges, 2002

Critiquing Judge, University of Minnesota Law School Judicial Trial Skills Training Program, 2006

Community Activities

High School Mock Trial Coach, 2007-present

Minnesota State Bar Association Mock Trial Volunteer of the Year Award, 2016

Adjunct Representation Professor, William Mitchell College of Law, 2003-2007

Member, Board of Directors, Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation, 1993-2004

Member, Minneapolis Charter Commission, 1998


Landlord/Tenant Law - Code Violations Under Negligence per se and Common Law Negligence
Gradjelick v. Hance, 29 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1013 (2003).

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Presentations

November 10, 2020, MN Attorney General’s CLE, Practice Before the Court of Appeals
February 21, 2019, Minnesota State Bar Association CLE, Technology and the Fourth Amendment
March 16, 2018, Minnesota State Bar Association 12th Annual Appellate Practice Institute, My Trial is Going South, What do I do now so I can Turn Things Around on Appeal
February 10, 2016, Minnesota State Bar Association CLE, Alford/Goulette pleas in Minnesota: Their History, Use and Future
March 8, 2013, Minnesota State Bar Association 7th Annual Appellate Practice Institute, How to Deal with Bad Facts and Circumstantial Evidence in your Appeal

October, 5, 2007, Lawyers Professional Responsiblity Board, Professionalism: Can it be Accomplished?

March 30, 2006, MSBA 27th Annual Family Law Institute, Walk the Line: Ethics and Professionalism in Family Law

December 9, 2005, Annual Conference of Judges, "Order in the Court!" Maintaining Professionalism in the Courtroom

January 31, 2005, Minnesota Administrative Law Judges, Working With Lawyers to Bring Out the Best and Avoid the Worst

March 20, 2003, Minnesota Social Service Association 110th Annual Conference, The Andrea
Yates Case: A Lesson in Prevention

March 12, 2003, HCBA Civil Litigation Section, How to Win a Dispositive Motion

June 12, 2002, MILE Civil Trial Practice Institute, How to Try Your Case to a Judge

May 2, 2002, MILE Juvenile Law Seminar, Parties Versus Participants in Child Protection Cases

June 8, 2001, MSBA Construction Law Symposium, A View from the Bench: How to Succeed or
Fail in Dispositive Motions on Implied Obligations in Contracts

January 1999, Criminal and Civil Trial Guidelines used at National Judicial College to teach new judges how to run criminal and civil trials

Fourth Judicial District Assignment History

Criminal and Civil 1/2003 - 2007
Juvenile 1/2001 - 12/2002
Civil and Criminal 1/2000 - 12/2000
Criminal 11/1998 - 12/1999