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Published October 15 2010

Appeals court judge promoted to chief

ST. PAUL – A three-year veteran of the Minnesota Appeals Court will be its new leader.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Thursday appointed South Dakota native Matthew Johnson as chief judge. He will replace Edward Toussaint, who has been chief appeals judge 15 of the 27 years the court has existed. The appointment is for a three-year term.

Pawlenty appointed Johnson to the court three years ago.

Johnson, 47, was raised in Sioux Falls, S.D., and worked as a law clerk in Iowa, but most of his adult life has been in Minnesota. He worked for a Minneapolis law firm before joining the Appeals Court.

The 19-judge Appeals Court handles cases appealed from most state courts.