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Governor Dayton appoints Margaret Chutich and Judge John R. Rodenberg to fill At-Large seats on Minnesota Court of Appeals

December 27, 2011

Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointments of Margaret Chutich and the Honorable John R. Rodenberg as judges for the two at-large seats on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. They will fill vacancies created by the retirements of Judge Edward Toussaint and Judge Gordon Shumaker, who retired earlier this year. 

“From a group of excellent candidates, Judge Rodenberg and Ms. Chutich stood out; because of their proven commitment to public service and the different perspectives they will each bring to the Court of Appeals,” Governor Mark Dayton said. 

The Minnesota Court of Appeals handles most of the appeals from the final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies and local governments. It is composed of judges who are initially appointed from Minnesota’s eight congressional districts as well as eleven judges who serve in an at-large capacity.

Biographies of each of the newly-appointed judges:

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, Chutich was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Minnesota, and she clerked for Federal Judge Diana E. Murphy, then a United States District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota. She received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1980, and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984.

Additionally, 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 of Minneapolis. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and was involved with the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.   

Ms. Chutich resides with her family in Minneapolis.


Judge John R. Rodenberg:

Judge Rodenberg is currently a District Court Judge within Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District and was appointed in 2000. He is a past Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Judicial Council.  Prior to his appointment on the bench, he was an attorney with Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor with an extensive family law practice, and a part-time Assistant Brown County Attorney. Judge Rodenberg is a 2010 recipient of the Rosalie E. Wahl Judicial Award of Excellence from the MSBA Public Law Section. He received a B.A. from Saint Olaf College in 1978 and a J.D. from Hamline University in 1981.

Additionally, Judge Rodenberg served as a past member and Chair of the New Ulm Police Commission. He is a member and past President and Church Council member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Ulm. Judge Rodenberg is also a volunteer Mock Trial judge and former Mock Trial coach.

Judge Rodenberg resides with his family in New Ulm.


More information on Governor Dayton’s Judicial Selection Committee, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found at http://mn.gov/governor/appointments/judicial-appointments/  


A headshot of Margaret Chutich is attached.

A headshot of Judge John R. Rodenberg is attached.