Gov. Tim Pawlenty today named David R. Stras, of counsel in the Faegre & Benson appellate advocacy practice and University of Minnesota associate professor, as the newest associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Stras will fill the seat vacated by Lorie Skjerven Gildea, who will serve as chief justice.
A former U.S. Supreme Court clerk and two-time federal circuit court clerk, Stras brings exceptional knowledge of the judiciary and Supreme Court to his new role.
"David Stras is not only a highly respected legal scholar and author, he is an excellent lawyer," says Andrew Humphrey, chair of the Faegre & Benson Management Committee. "As much as he was an asset to our firm and our clients, we are extremely pleased that David's many legal and intellectual gifts will now benefit all the citizens of Minnesota. We believe he is an impeccable choice for this role."
Stras received his law degree and an MBA from the University of Kansas in 1999.
Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Melvin Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. After a year practicing white-collar criminal and appellate litigation with the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, Stas clerked for the Honorable Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Along with other members of the Faegre & Benson appellate advocacy practice, Stras helped develop and guide legal strategy for complex litigation in the trial courts. He also lent expertise in the areas of appellate practice, environmental law, product liability and employment law.
As a University of Minnesota associate professor of law and political science, Stras teaches and writes in the areas of federal courts and jurisdiction, constitutional law, criminal law, law and politics, and law and economics. He serves as faculty advisor for the Minnesota Law Review and manages and directs the university's Institute for Law and Politics.
Stras is a frequent television and radio commentator on issues relating to the federal judiciary, particularly with respect to the U.S. Supreme Court.