Saint Paul, MN – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending three candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the current vacancy occurring in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. This vacancy was created upon the appointment of the Honorable Michael L. Kirk to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. This district court judgeship will be chambered at Moorhead in Clay County in the Seventh Judicial District.
Michael D. Fritz-Mr. Fritz serves as the Becker County Attorney where he is responsible for criminal and child protection matters. He previously served as the Assistant Becker County Attorney and was a partner with Hummel, Sinclair, Evans, Hunt, Heisler and Fritz, P.A. where he practiced in estate planning, municipal and employment matters. Mr. Fritz is a member of the Becker County Child Abuse Prevention Council (KARE Council) and is a past president of the Becker County Bar Association.
Johnathan R. Judd-Mr. Judd maintains Judd Law Office, PLLC which represents clients in criminal, family and civil matters. The office also provides public defender services with the State Board of Public Defense and holds a contract with Clay County to represent indigent parents in CHIPS cases. He previously worked as an associate attorney with Aaland Law Office, served as an Assistant Public Defender with the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s Office, and is a member of the Moorhead Civil Service Commission.
Michelle Winkis Lawson-Ms. Lawson serves as the Chief Assistant Clay County Attorney for the Civil Division, and has served as the Interim Clay County Attorney. Prior to this, she worked as a facilitator for the University of Mary and was an associate attorney with the Vogel Law Firm. Ms. Lawson is a member of the Clay County Children’s Justice Initiative and is a former member of the Moorhead Rotary Club.
Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena Counties.
An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.