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Friday, October 12, 2007

Legal riders

George Harrelson, the chief judge of the 5th Judicial District, has an interesting and relatively usual pastime for a jurist -- he rides a motorcycle. That’s him at the right, pictured beside his 750 Virago.

This little tidbit of information was revealed recently in the judge’s interview with Minnesota Lawyer staff writer Dan Heilman. (The interview will appear in Monday’s issue of the paper.)

Harrelson isn’t the only Minnesota judge who rides; other jurists who occasionally trade their seat on the bench for a seat on a bike include Court of Appeals Judge Gordon Shumaker, Ramsey County District Court Judge Salvador Rosas, Hennepin County District Court Judge John Holahan and retired Hennepin County judges Myron Greenberg and Mary Davidson. There are also a fair number of attorneys around the state who enjoy getting out there on the open road when they can pull themselves away from their law practices.

While it’s not exactly Hells Angels, Minnesota’s legal community even has its own “gang” of motorcyclists -- the Street Legal Motorcycle Club. In addition to lawyers and judges, the club welcomes law students, law school deans and professors, paralegals, court administrators, court reporters, bailiffs, legal secretaries and private investigators of law firms or corporate legal departments.

As a motorcycle enthusiast myself -- I ride a lava red Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider -- I think it’s great that so many attorneys, judges and others in the legal profession are getting out and enjoying the feeling of freedom one gets from riding a bike. It’s a great escape and just a ton of fun!

So for those of you out there who have been under the assumption that lawyers and judges are nothing but a bunch of buttoned-down, boring men and women in business suits, think again …

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