Judge Harves
NJC mourns the loss of former faculty member Judge Duane Harves of Minnesota

The National Judicial College is mourning the loss of former faculty member Judge Duane Harves, who passed away on June 8 at the age of 83. Judge Harves taught Administrative Law: Fair Hearing, Decision Making, Conducting an Administrative Hearing and other courses. He began his teaching career with the NJC in 1980 and taught his last course in 2009.

“Duane Harves was a judge who loved the Judicial College and was a great teacher,” said Judge Jennifer Gee, who taught with Judge Harves and recently retired as an administrative judge for the U.S. Department of Labor.  “He had an amazing ability to relate to the students and the faculty.   He had an incredible sense of humor and was forever sending jokes and funny stories to those who knew him.”

In total, Judge Harves taught more than 80 classes for the NJC. He was the lead faculty for Administrative Law: Fair Hearing for many years.

Faculty and friends of the Administrative Law: Fair Hearing course celebrate Judge Harves’ retirement from the NJC in 2009.

“He taught in a direct, enthusiastic, and down-to-earth manner,” Judge Toni Boone, who often taught with Judge Harves, said. “He kept in touch with many of the judges who attended his classes, offering advice, encouragement, and humor.”

In 1997, the NJC honored Judge Harves with the V. Robert Payant Award for Teaching Excellence, the College’s highest teaching honor.

“Duane Harves was one of the outstanding teachers of his time at NJC,” said former Oregon Supreme Court Justice W. Michael Gillette. “Under the benevolent dictatorship of Judge Arthur Gladstone, Duane led a cadre of passionate advocates of administrative law.  He was forceful, opinionated, and (usually) right.  I loved teaching with him, but remember him even more for the singing sessions we would have in the evening.”

Judge Harves was born in Mankato, Minnesota and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, from Mankato State University in 1963 and his Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College Law in 1967. He began his career as a trial attorney and in 1972 became a hearing officer for the Minnesota Department of Commerce. He then served as the deputy commissioner for the Minnesota Securities Division and the chief administrative law judge for the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. In 1988, he became a trial judge in the first judicial district, a position he held until his retirement in 2004. Judge Harves also taught as an adjunct faculty member at William Mitchell College of Law.

Judge Harves served on the board of governors of the American Bar Association.  In his local community, he served on the boards of the Burnsville Junior Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Junior Chamber of Commerce.

The NJC has created a scholarship in honor of Judge Harves. The scholarship will primarily be dedicated to offset tuition and costs for administrative law judges to attend NJC courses. There is a particular need in this area because administrative law judges and hearing officers are often not eligible to receive scholarships from other NJC sources.  To donate to the fund, please visit www.judges.org/donate/ and write “Judge Harves” in the space provided under Additional Information.

Judge Harves is survived by his wife, Susan; his daughter, Stephanie and her husband Olivier; his son Scott and his wife, Nikki , and grandchildren Haley and Tommy. Judge Harves was preceded in death by his son David in 2022.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service for him on Thursday, June 20th at 2 p.m. at the First Memorial Funeral Chapel at 7110 France Ave. South in Edina, MN, followed by a reception. The full obituary is available here.


Please send remembrances or questions to barbarapeck@judges.org

“Duane was a long time friend and mentor of mine.  He and the ALFH course helped increase not only my administrative law knowledge but my self-confidence, and took my professional life in a different and better direction. Duane was always there for me with guidance in any managerial or general administrative law questions and issues. As Chief Referee (ALJ) my team was able to take our KY UI Appeals program from the next to last in the country ahead of Puerto Rico into the top five in Federal time requirements within three (3) years.”
Janet Snider, retired referee, Kentucky

“What a privilege to have taught with Duane.  The judges in his courses knew they were getting the right stuff—from an outstanding practitioner and entertaining presenter.  We enjoyed talking of Minnesota, books, golf and the Gophers.  A great joy to have known Judge Harves.”
George Zimmerman, NJC faculty

“I have known and admired Duane Harves since he joined the National Judicial College faculty in 1980. Deeply committed to providing advanced educational opportunities for administrative law judges, Duane was a founding member of NJC’s two week long Administrative Law Fair Hearing for ALJ’s and an admired teacher in Decision Making classes. He thought carefully about relationships between judicial decision making for first and third branch judges, and worked to advance public recognition of the important work ALJs do. Funny, tolerant, strong and encouraging, Duane was our friend.”
Elizabeth Francis, NJC faculty

“Duane, as Lead Faculty, was beyond dedicated to the Administrative Law: Fair Hearing course at NJC and making sure the content was as complete and as relevant as it could possibly be.  Duane mentored all the faculty and faculty assistants and was almost like a proud parent to all of us/them.  Duane made himself available to faculty from the time he arrived until the time he left whether it be airport pick up or delivery and to chauffeur to dinners, events, sightseeing, designated driver, etc.  There is no doubt in my mind that his contribution to the college and the course had a significant impact on every participant in the course and every faculty member.  Duane sure had a positive impact on my life both professionally and personally from the first day I was a participant in the course, to being a faculty member, to continue our friendship when we both retired.  He will be greatly missed.  In looking at my two NJC certificates in Administrative Law Adjudication Skills and Dispute Resolution Skills, my 10-year teaching recognition plaque and recognition plaque for two terms service to NJC Faculty Council, I thank Duane first for these accomplishments.  He encouraged me and had faith in me when I didn’t have faith in myself as being part of the faculty and teaching.  I know I am not alone.  There are many others who can attribute their success to Duane because he cared so deeply about the course, the faculty, the assistants and each and every participant that attended the course.”
Anita Fogle, NJC faculty

“Duane mentored to me shortly after I joined the NJC faculty.  He was one of the giants of the Fair Hearing course providing the class with those little tidbits that make a judge an outstanding jurist.  He is missed.”
Anthony Baratta, NJC faculty

“I have been retired from the bench here in Hawaii since 2004.  Duane and I served on the Faculty Council at the National Judicial College and other than all the accolades and remembrances, my fondest memory of him is how he used to tease me when I reviewed the minutes of our meetings.  He called me the Pineapple Nitpicker and, as silly as it sounds, I was flattered by his nickname.  We lost touch but how can you not miss his lousy sense of humor?”
Marie N. Milks, NJC faculty

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