It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our colleague and dear friend, David F. Herr, on Dec. 22, 2021.
One of the most highly regarded appellate lawyers and complex case litigators in Minnesota, David had a profound impact on the state's law, its lawyers, and everyone at Maslon LLP. In his 43 years of practice, he authored more than 15 of the most important treatises on Minnesota and federal law, mentored hundreds of lawyers, and helped draft and amend the rules that guide and govern Minnesota lawyers and judges in every facet of civil practice through his decades of work as a Reporter for multiple Minnesota Supreme Court advisory committees.
In his four decades of dedicated practice at Maslon, David served on the firm's Governance Committee for six years and as its general counsel for over 25 years.
"David made Maslon a better place through the quality of his lawyering, his role in firm management, and his unending support of younger lawyers in the firm," said Mike McCarthy, chair of the firm's Governance Committee. "The accolades he received for his lawyering speak for themselves, but the better measure of his contributions may be the lasting mark he left on those who had the good fortune to work with him."
A native of St. Paul, David graduated in 1978 from William Mitchell College of Law. He so impressed one judge in Hennepin County as a student attorney that the judge called a firm David had applied to and said simply, "Hire David Herr." Three years later, David moved to Maslon and spent the remainder of his career there, regularly arguing cases in the Minnesota appellate courts and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a highly regarded, experienced litigator, he was frequently sought out to provide practical and sophisticated advice on how to resolve difficult, multiparty disputes in trial courts and arbitral forums as well as in the appellate courts. David often invited young attorneys to collaborate on articles, books, and court cases, and he held a number of critical leadership roles to advance the legal profession, serving as president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and president of the Academy of Court Appointed Masters, among others.
David literally "wrote the book" on many aspects of state and federal appellate law and complex litigation: He authored several editions of the Annotated Manual for Complex Litigation Fourth and the Multidistrict Litigation Manual: Practice before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, both published by Thomson West; co-authored the Appellate Rules Annotated, Minnesota Practice Series, the leading treatise on Minnesota appellate law and practice; co-authored the Minnesota Appellate Procedure Summary Guide and the Minnesota Evidence Rules Summary Guide for Minnesota CLE; was the original 1994 author and editor and subsequently continued to edit several editions of the Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Manual for Minnesota CLE; and co-authored the Summary of Eighth Circuit Appellate Procedure for Minnesota CLE.
David also demonstrated an enduring commitment to justice and community service through pro bono and volunteer work. He co-founded and served on the board of the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society; chaired the United Hospital Foundation board; and served on the board of directors of the Innocence Project of Minnesota. In addition, he taught at his alma mater for more than 30 years and was active in its annual fundraising effort.
David was recently named a 2021 "Attorney of the Year" for Outstanding Service to the Profession by Minnesota Lawyer.
In recognition of David's many achievements, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter proclaimed Dec. 3, 2021, David F. Herr Day in the city, and a Lifetime Achievement Celebration was held in David’s honor—shared as follows for those unable to attend: View Video.
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