March/April 2005 issue

In Memoriam: Judge Harry H. MacLaughlin

On Wednesday, May 3, 2005, Judge Harry H. MacLaughlin of the District of Minnesota passed away from complications from pneumonia. He was 78 years old.

Harry Hunter MacLaughlin was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota in 1927. From 1945 to 1946 he served as a yoeman in the U.S. Navy. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1949 from the University of Minnesota and his law degree in 1956 from the University of Minnesota Law School.

After graduating from law school he practiced with the firm of Larson, Loevinger, Lindquist, Freeman & Fraser. In 1957 he teamed up with Walter Mondale to establish the firm of MacLaughlin & Mondale. In 1960 it became the firm of MacLaughlin & Harstad. During this time he also served as an instructor at the William Mitchell College of Law. He continued with the practice until 1970 when he was appointed as an associate justice to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In 1977 Judge MacLaughlin was appointed to the federal bench for the District of Minnesota. He served as Chief Judge for the district during 1992. For some of his years on the bench he served as a lecturer at the University of Minnesota Law School. He assumed senior status in October 1992.

In 1983 American Lawyer Magazine named Judge MacLaughlin the Best District Court Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit. His former law partner and former Vice President Walter Mondale remembers him as “one of the most impressive, important jurists in Minnesota history.”

Judge MacLaughlin is survived by his wife, Mary, and sons, David and Doug.


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