Minnesota Law

Fall 2022
Raising the Bar


Joaquin Arriola ’53, Guam Political Leader and Supreme Court Justice

Joaquin C. Arriola ’53 passed away May 4 at the age of 96. His storied public service career in Guam included serving as the speaker of its legislature and as an associate justice on its supreme court. 

Arriola served as a senator in the Guam Legislature from 1955 to 1959 and as speaker from 1967 to 1971. In 1974, he ran for governor of Guam. Arriola’s many leadership roles over the years included serving as presi- dent of the Guam Bar Association, chairman of the Territorial Planning Commission, chairman of the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority, and chairman of the Board of Regents of the College of Guam. From 1996-2006, Arriola served asan associate justice of the Supreme Court of Guam. 

Bruce Burton ’68, Law School Dean and Professor

Bruce Burton ’68, a lawyer, law professor, and former Dean of William Mitchell College of Law, passed away June 11 at the age of 83. 

After earning his J.D. in 1968, Burton joined Dorsey & Whitney. He also taught as an adjunct at both the University of Minnesota and William Mitchell before joining Mitchell’s faculty full time in 1973. He served as dean of William Mitchell from 1975-80. 

Burton also taught real estate law for 17 years. He later becamea partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis before returning to teaching, serving as professor of law at South Texas College of Law in Houston for 12 years. 

Mary Davidson ’75, 4th District Judge

Mary Davidson ’75, a former a former judge in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District who once served as chief judge of Family Court, passed away June 21 at the age of 82. 

The granddaughter of a founder of Harley-Davidson motorcyclesand an alum of Stanford University, Davidson served as a referee in Hennepin County Family Court and was appointed to the bench of the 4th Judicial Circuit in 1987. Two years later, she became chief judgeof the Family Court. Davidson later founded Divorce with Dignity, a pioneering program that encouraged divorcing couples to mediate their disputes. 

Bruce Douglas ’70, 10th District Judge

Bruce Douglas ’70, a former judge in Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District, passed away August 13 at the age
of 76. 

A 1967 graduate of Carleton College, Douglas served as in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps after obtaining his law degree from Minnesota Law. He practiced law in Buffalo, Minnesota, before being appointed a judge. 

Dale I. Larson ’65, A Founding Partner of Larson • King

Dale I. Larson ’65, a founding partner of the Twin Cities law firm of Larson • King, died May 10 at the age of 84. 

After graduating from Moorhead High School in 1955, Larson servedthree years as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division. He served as a broadcast reporter for KXJB-TV in Fargo and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis before enrolling in Minnesota Law. 

After graduating from the Law School in 1965, Larson started his legal career at the law firm of Robins, Davis & Lyons. The law firm was renamed Robins, Zelle, Larson & Kaplan in 1980 after Larson was invited to join the firm’s executive committee. Larson left Robins in 1988 to form the Zelle & Larson law firm, where he continued to represent clients involved in large and complex bodily injury, property damage, and business injury matters. In 1999, Larson • King law firm was formed. Larson stayed with the firm until his retirement. 

Roberta Levy ’64, 4th District Judge and Law Professor

Roberta K. Levy ’64, a former judge in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District who served as a law professor at Minnesota Law from 1975-77, died August 30 at the age of 85. 

At Minnesota Law, Levy taught trial practice, evidence, and Minnesota court procedure. She served on the faculty alongside her husband, Professor Emeritus Robert Levy. In 1978, Roberta Levy was appointed to the District Court bench, where she served with distinction for the next quarter of a century. 

Browne Lewis ’88, Law School Dean and Legal Education Leader

North Carolina Central University Law School Dean Browne Lewis ’88 died suddenly on June 2 while attending a professional conference in Colorado with colleagues. 

"The University of Minnesota Law School community and I are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of this highly accomplished alumna," said Garry W. Jenkins, Dean & William S. Pattee Professor of Law. "As dean of North Carolina Central University School of Law, an HBCU law school, she was an enormously influential lawyer-leader; a prolific scholar in the areas of artificial intelligence, reproductive technology, environmental racism; and an innovator in expanding opportunities for underrepresented law students." 

Jenkins also said that Browne was a widely respected leader in legal education and a treasured board colleague with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). “Her insights, perspective, and voice helped strengthen so many institutions and advanced the cause of justice." 

David Sullivan ’66, 6th District Judge

David P. Sullivan ’66, a former judge in Minnesota 6th Judicial District, passed away September 6 at age 80. 

Raised in Cloquet, Minnesota, Sullivan earned both his under- graduate and law degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was a civil litigator for more than 30 years. Sullivan was appointed to Minnesota’s 6th Judicial District Court bench in 1996, where he served until his retirement in 2006. He then spent 14 years as a mediator/ arbitrator.