July/August 2013
Two new Bankruptcy Judges for District of Minnesota: Michael E. Ridgway and Katherine A. Constantine

Michael E. Ridgeway

In May Chief Judge William Jay Riley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit announced the appointment of Michael E. Ridgway as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Minnesota. This appointment fills the vacancy created when Judge Nancy Dreher passed away in November of 2012. He was sworn in on May 20, 2013, and his chambers are in Minneapolis. Judge Ridgway received his undergraduate degree with honors from Yankton College in South Dakota in 1978 and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1981. He began his law career in private practice at the David Humphrey Law Office, and in 1982 moved to Brady, Kabeiseman, Reade, & Johnson, where he became a partner. He worked as a solo practioner at the Ridgway Law Office from 1992 until 1998, while also serving in the elected position as Yankton County (SD) State’s Attorney from 1993 to 1998.

From 1998 to 2006 he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, where he handled civil and criminal cases, including bankruptJuly/ August 2013 3 www.circ8.dcn/library U.S. Courts Library 8th Circuit Newsletter cy, asset forfeiture, and white collar fraud prosecution. From 2006 until the time of his appointment to the federal bench, Judge Ridgway served as Trial Attorney for the Office of the United States Trustee in Minneapolis, specializing in bankruptcy practice abuses and fraud. He also worked in these areas on special detail with the Executive Office for the United States Trustees in Washington, DC, from 2008 until 2011. In 2011 he and his colleagues received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their work on a nationwide initiative to address abusive mortgage servicing practices. Welcome, Judge Ridgway!

Katherine A. Constantine

In late May, Chief Judge William Jay Riley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit also announced the appointment of Katherine A. Constantine as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Minnesota. This appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Dennis O’Brien in June. She was sworn in on July 1 and her chambers are in St. Paul. Judge Constantine received her undergraduate degree with honors from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1977 and her law degree from the Georgetown Law Center in 1980. She served on the law review board of The Tax Lawyer, 1978-1980, and as associate editor in 1980.

She began her legal career in private practice at the firm of Nichols & Kruger from 1980 to 1983, and the firm of Fabyanske, Svoboda & Westra from 1983 to 1985. In 1986 she began at the international firm of Dorsey & Whitney, becoming partner in 1989. She co-chaired the firm’s Finance and Restructuring Department and then chaired the firm’s Minneapolis Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Group. Her specific practice areas included bankruptcy, workout and banking law, and corporate trust services. In addition to her practice, she served on several boards and has been active in mentoring and continuing legal education, lecturing frequently on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights and contributing to Minnesota CLE deskbooks. She has served as a member of the Bankruptcy Practice Committee for the District of Minnesota and has received numerous awards for her legal work, including Minnesota “Super Lawyer” 1997-2013 and Best Lawyers in America, 2011-2013. Welcome, Judge Constantine!