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Governor Dayton Appoints Jana M. Austad, Anne M. Rasmusson, and Judge Korey Wahwassuck to Fill Ninth Judicial District Vacancies

April 23, 2013
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointments of Jana M. Austad, Anne M. Rasmusson, and Judge Korey Wahwassuck as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District. Judge John R. Hawkinson will be replaced by Judge Wahwassuck, who will be chambered at Grand Rapids in Itasca County. Judge Michael J. Kraker will be replaced by Ms. Rasmusson, who will be chambered at Mahnomen in Mahnomen County. Judge John P. Smith will be replaced by Ms. Austad, who will be chambered at Walker in Cass County. These vacancies were created by the retirements of Judge Hawkinson and Judge Kraker, and the appointment of Judge Smith to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
 
“Ms. Austad, Ms. Rasmusson, and Ms. Wahwassuck have each demonstrated their exemplary commitment to justice and aptitude in the law,” said Governor Dayton. “The people of the Ninth Judicial District will be well-served by these capable and experienced public servants.”
 
Jana Austad: Ms. Austad is the managing attorney in the Brainerd Regional Office of the Minnesota Public Defender, where, in addition to her caseload, she manages the assistant public defenders in Aitkin, Cass, and Crow Wing Counties. Previously, she was an attorney at Kief, Fuller, Baer and Wallner, Ltd., practicing general litigation with a concentration in workers’ compensation, township law, and family law. Ms. Austad received her B.A. from Augsburg College and her J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law.
 
Additionally, Ms. Austad is an active volunteer with the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen and has worked with the League of Women Voters on issues concerning the judiciary. She is also a former board member for the Perry Creek Preschool.
 
Ms. Austad resides in Baxter with her family. [Download photo]
 
Anne Rasmusson: Ms. Rasmusson currently is a partner at Rust, Stock, Rasmusson, & Knutson, P.A., where she practices primarily in family law and litigation matters. Prior to her being named partner, Ms. Rasmusson served as a law clerk and associate attorney at Rust, Stock, Rasmusson, & Knutson, P.A. Ms. Rasmusson received her B.A. from St. Catherine University, her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law, and her M.A. from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota
 
She previously served as the chair of the 14th District Bar Association and the Polk County Developmental Achievement Center. For the past eight years, Ms. Rasmusson has served on the RiverView Healthcare Association Board of Directors, where she is currently serving as chair.
 
Ms. Rasmusson resides in Crookston with her family. [Download photo]
 
Judge Korey Wahwassuck: Judge Wahwassuck is an Associate Judge of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court, where she hears cases and drafts opinions. Previously, she was a tribal attorney for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and, prior to that, she was a solo practitioner in Missouri and Kansas. Judge Wahwassuck received her Bachelors of Journalism from the University of Missouri and her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law.
 
Additionally, Judge Wahwassuck served as an adjunct instructor at the Leech Lake Tribal College and helped found and preside over the Leech Lake-Cass County-Itasca County Welness Courts, the first joint tribal-state jurisdiction courts in the nation.
 
Judge Wahwassuck resides in Solway with her family. [Download photo]
 


Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District consists of Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau.
 
More information on the Commission on Judicial Selection, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found here.