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Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends At-Large Court of Appeals Candidates to Governor Dayton

December 09, 2011

Saint Paul, MN – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending five candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the current vacancies created upon Judge Gordon Shumaker and Judge Edward Toussaint Jr’s retirements from at-large positions on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. 
Judge Jerome Abrams - Judge Abrams is currently a District Court Judge within Minnesota’s First Judicial District and was initially appointed in 2007. Previously, he was CEO of his firm, Abrams & Smith, P.A. Judge Abrams is on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota District Judges Association and serves as an adjunct associate professor of law at the University of Minnesota. He was Chair of the Scott County Criminal Justice Steering Committee. Judge Abrams is a past president and current member of the JFS St. Paul Non-Profit Social Services Agency.

Judge Pamela G. Alexander - Judge Alexander is currently president of the Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice, and previously served as a Municipal and District Court Judge for Hennepin County from 1983 to 2008. She worked as an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney and was a criminal defense attorney with the Legal Rights Center, Inc. Judge Alexander is a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Equal Fairness in the Courts Committee and is a recipient of the 2011 Woman of Courage Award from the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation.

Diane Bratvold - Bratvold is currently a shareholder with Briggs and Morgan P.A. and is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Previously, she was a partner and associate attorney with Rider Bennett, LLP and an attorney with Fetterly & Gordon P.A. Throughout her practice, Bratvold has focused on civil appeals and advice to clients and trial counsel. She is a past president of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association and is a mentor with Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka.

Margaret Chutich - Chutich is currently Assistant Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Previously, she served as Deputy Attorney General of the Law Enforcement Section, Executive Counsel and Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.  Before that, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Minnesota.  Chutich is a former Director and current member of the Advisory Council for the Advocates for Human Rights and is a Director with the YWCA, Minneapolis.

Judge John R. Rodenberg - Judge Rodenberg is currently a District Court Judge within Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District and was appointed in 2000. Prior to this, he was an attorney with Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor and a part-time Assistant Brown County Attorney. He also had an extensive family law practice and was a past member and chairman of the New Ulm Police Commission. Judge Rodenberg is a 2010 recipient of the Rosalie E. Wahl Judicial Award of Excellence from the MSBA Public Law Section.

An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.