By Marino Eccher
The Ramsey County judge presiding over sex abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church has been named Trial Judge of the Year by a legal group.
The Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates presented Judge John Van de North with the award Aug. 21. The group cited his promotion of “integrity and civility among all parties in his courtroom” and his good reputation among colleagues.
The group is an association of lawyers and judges that promotes the integrity of civil litigation.
Van de North is hearing lawsuits against the Diocese of Winona and Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Doe 1, a man who claims he was sexually molested by former Rev. Thomas Adamson, sued in May 2013, claiming sexual abuse by Adamson at St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park. His attorney, Jeff Anderson, has used the case to gain disclosure of records by both the diocese and archdiocese on priests with substantiated claims of abuse.
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