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Members of the Commission on Judicial Selection

Erin Sindberg Porter, Chairwoman and At-Large Attorney
Ms. Sindberg Porter is a partner in the Business and Tort Litigation group at Jones Day in Minneapolis. She represents clients in complex business litigation and in civil and criminal investigations. Ms. Sindberg Porter has extensive experience in multidistrict litigation and coordinated actions, working on matters involving business torts, fraud, contract disputes across the health care, agriculture, manufacturing, and financial services industries. A dedicated volunteer, Ms. Sindberg Porter has worked with the Children's Law Center since 2011 to represent youth in foster care. She also provides pro bono representation to low-income Minnesotans through Volunteer Lawyers Network. Ms. Sindberg Porter has been recognized in Best Lawyers in the field of White-Collar Criminal Defense and in Minnesota Super Lawyers in the category of Top Women Lawyers in Minnesota. She was recently honored as a Minnesota Attorney of the Year for her pro bono work. Ms. Sindberg Porter began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Kevin Ross on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

B.A., Macalester College
J.D., Willian Mitchell College of Law

At-Large Members

Statewide


Katherine S. Barrett Wiik, At-Large Attorney
Ms. Barrett Wiik is an appellate partner and strategic legal counsel to businesses and individuals at Best & Flanagan LLP. Previously, she was a principal at Robins Kaplan LLP, an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law, and a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Katie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Infinity Project and she has served as a volunteer attorney with The Jeremiah Program, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.

B.A. Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
M. A. Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
L.L.M. Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
J.D. Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Sheree Curry, At-Large Non-Attorney
Ms. Curry is a director of communications at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She has 12 years of public relations and marketing communications experience following her career as an award-winning business journalist. She was a staff reporter at Fortune and correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. Most recently, she was the manager of public relations and communications at Travel Leaders Group in Plymouth, MN and was an adjunct instructor of journalism at the University of Minnesota. She also serves on the boards of the Twin Cities chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, and Jewfolk Media.

B.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
M.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL

Mary L. Knoblauch, At-Large Attorney
Ms. Knoblauch is a shareholder at Maslon LLP. Formerly, she was a shareholder at Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A., a business litigation law firm where she has been practicing law since 1987. Previously, she was an associate attorney at the former firm Maun & Simon, PLC and a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Daniel M. Kammeyer, Minnesota Tenth Judicial District, to the Honorable D. D. Wozniak (1922-2005), and to the Honorable Doris Ohlsen Huspeni, Minnesota Court of Appeals. She is a board member and former chair of The Fund for the Legal Aid Society, a member and former chapter president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a member and former Vice President for the Eighth Circuit FederalBar Association.

B.A. College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN
J.D. University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN

Nathan LaCoursiere, At-Large Attorney
Mr. LaCoursiere serves as Senior Lecturer and Pre-Law Advisor for the Legal Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin - Superior. Previously, he handled all forms of civil, constitutional, and appellate litigation as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Duluth and an associate attorney with the Duluth law firm of Hanft Fride, P.A. He is a recipient of Duluth’s 20 Under 40 Award and Minnesota Lawyer’s 2014 Up and Coming Attorney Award for his role in prosecuting and ending the sale of synthetic drugs at the former downtown Duluth head shop known as the Last Place on Earth. Mr. LaCoursiere began his legal career clerking for the Hon. David R. Minge at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

B.A. University of Minnesota-Morris
J.D. University of Minnesota Law School

Patrick Mader, At-Large Non-Attorney
Mr. Mader is a retired classroom teacher from Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Public Schools, where he taught grades 4-6 for 27 years after previously teaching at St. Joseph School in Waconia and West Concord Public Schools. Additionally, he worked for the Better Business Bureau as a program services coordinator and mediator. Mr. Mader grew up and worked on a small family dairy farm and is the author of six books, the two most recent volumes featuring Minnesota athletes who qualified for the Olympics or World Championships.

B.A. St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI

Karin Stone, At-Large Non-Attorney
Ms. Stone is Principal of Stone Strategy Group LLC. Her most recent engagement was chief of staff to the Executive Chair of Värde Partners and the interim head of Resan Partners, the partner office. Prior to returning to Minnesota in 2017, she spent five years leading Institutional Advancement plus accreditation for the Cleveland Institute of Music. The majority of her career has been in financial services – IDS (now Ameriprise), American Express, Ford Credit, National City Bank – in a variety of leadership positions ranging from roles in technology and new ventures to chief marketing officer.

B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
M.B.A. University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis, MN

Keiko Sugisaka, At-Large Attorney
Ms. Sugisaka is a litigation partner, member of the Governance Committee, and Co-Chair of Tort and Product Liability Practice Group at Maslon LLP. Previously, she was an Assistant Attorney General at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, an Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP, and a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Alan C. Page. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Fourth District Ethics Committee and is a board member of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, director for the MN Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and member of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Minnesota Women Lawyers, and Minnesota Chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization. Ms. Sugisaka is also a volunteer attorney for the FBA Pro Se Project and the Minnesota Federal Court Open Doors Program.

B.A. Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
J.D. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Joshua Tuchscherer, At-Large Attorney
Mr. Tuchscherer is a partner and lawyer at Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd., where the primary focus of his practice is catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and medical negligence litigation on behalf of injured patients and families. Previously, he was a partner at Sieben Polk, P.A. He is on the executive committee of the Minnesota Association for Justice and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and has volunteered with Legal Assistance of Dakota County.

B.A. Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN
J.D. Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, MN

First Judicial District Members

Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, LeSueur, McLeod, Scott, and Sibley Counties


Dan McElroy, First Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. McElroy retired in July 2018 after seven and a half years as president and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, a coalition that includes the Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging, and Resort & Campground Associations. Previously, McElroy was commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Chief of Staff to Governor Tim Pawlenty, and served as Pawlenty’s Commissioner of Finance. Prior to his service in the executive branch, he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, as Mayor of Burnsville, and on the Burnsville City Council. In the private sector, McElroy spent 23 years running travel agencies and consulting companies. He chairs the Board of Experience Burnsville and is a member of the Burnsville Breakfast Rotary Club, the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, and the Citizens League of the Twin Cities.

B.A., University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

David Metzen, First Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Metzen is a motivational speaker and previously served as the director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Additionally, he has served as the Superintendent of South St. Paul Public Schools, as regent and chair of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, and as the Executive Director of the Dodge Nature Center. Metzen was a captain of the University of Minnesota’s hockey team, is in the University of Minnesota Athletic Hall of Fame, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
M.A. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
Ed.D. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN

Bridget Nason, First Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Nason is a shareholder at LeVander, Gillen, & Miller PA, where she represents municipal clients in a variety of civil legal matters and serves as the Firm’s chief municipal prosecutor. A past-president of Minnesota Women Lawyers, Ms. Nason currently serves as the President of the Minnesota Women Lawyers Foundation and serves on the board of directors for the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights Rotary Club and the Dakota County Bar Association. Ms. Nason serves as a volunteer with the Minnesota Urban Debate League and the MSBA's Mock Trial program. Prior to law school, Ms. Nason served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation in Champaign, IL.

B.A. Loyola University-Chicago, Chicago, IL
J.D. University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN

Sarah Wheelock, First Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Wheelock is a special staff legal counsel for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Her work involves conservatorship, guardianship, and child welfare matters. Previously, she was an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline College of Law, an appellate judge for the White Earth Band of Chippewa Court of Appeals, and a prosecutor for the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska among many other legal roles. She is a member of several boards and committees, including the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis, and the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee for the Prior Lake Savage Area School District.

B.A. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
J.D. University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA

Second Judicial District Members

Ramsey County


Adriana Alejandro-Osorio, Second Judicial District Non-Attorney
Dr. Alejandro-Osorio is a Philanthropy Officer for UNICEF USA. In this role, she advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world's most vulnerable children, relentlessly pursuing an equitable world for every child. Previously, she worked as a director of global engagement for Global Impact and a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She also serves on the Minnesota Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change and W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Racial Equity 2030.

B.S. Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Jan Ballman, Second Judicial District Non-Attorney
Jan is a principal at Veritext Legal Solutions, a national court reporting company. She started court reporting in St. Paul, MN in 1981 and spent 20 years behind the stenographic machine. Now in her second decade of managing court reporters and court reporting services, Jan was inducted as a Fellow in the National Association of Professional Reporters in 2017. She Chaired the National Court Reporters Foundation from 2014-2016, is a past President of the MN Freelance Court Reporters Association, and she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Women Lawyers Foundation.

A.A., Northern Technical School of Business, Bloomington, MN

Angela Beranek Brandt, Second Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Brandt is a partner and trial lawyer at Larson King in St. Paul representing large companies in high exposure product liability, employment, and commercial cases. She is a former president of the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Ramsey County Bar Association. Brandt has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. She has been recognized yearly as a Minnesota SuperLawyer and was named a 2017 Minnesota Attorney of the Year.

B.L.S. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
J.D. Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, MN

Maya Sheikh-Salah, Second Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Sheikh-Salah is an attorney in the Minneapolis office of the national law firm Ballard Spahr. She advises clients on employment and business immigration matters, focusing her practice on employment-based immigration, I-9 audits, and corporate immigration compliance. Ms. Sheikh-Salah is a former prosecutor with the Hennepin County Attorney's Office and a former investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the City of St. Paul Department of Human Rights. In 2016, she was recognized for her volunteer legal work by being named a North Star Lawyer by the Minnesota State Bar Association. Additionally, she is a founding member of Somali American Bar Association and serves as Board Vice President of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.

B.S. University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD
J.D. University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD

Third Judicial District Members

Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona Counties


Dr. Adenuga (Nuga) Atewologun, Third Judicial District Non-Attorney
Dr. Nuga is the President of Riverland Community College in Minnesota, with campuses at Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna. Previously, he was vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Prairie State College in Illinois. He also spent nearly ten years teaching physics and engineering at the College of DuPage in Illinois, and later took administrative appointments as associate dean of Natural Sciences and as dean of the division of Natural and Applied Sciences. Dr. Nuga is a pioneer of early college partnerships with high schools and is involved with several organizations including the National Council of Instructional Administrators, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Educators, and the Association for Institutional Research.

B.S. University of Ife in Nigeria
M.S. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Champaign IL
PhD. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Champaign IL

Stephen Baumgart, Third Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Baumgart is a retired Winona County Sheriff’s Deputy. Previously, he was an Air Force Veteran and worked at the Chicago Fire Department for more than ten years. For the last 3 years, he has been working as a Death Investigator with the Medical Examiner’s Office through Mayo Clinic covering Winona County. He has a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a master’s in public safety.

Bob Gilbertson, Third Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Gilbertson is a trial lawyer and Managing Partner at Forsgren Fisher LLP, where he handles litigation and arbitration across the United States in cases involving intellectual property, commercial disputes, insurance, industrial catastrophes, and product liability. He has also represented refugees seeking asylum in the United States. He is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Laura Baker Services Association, a Northfield non-profit that serves people with developmental disabilities.

B.A. Carleton College, Northfield, MN
J.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

William L. Hoversten, Third Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Hoversten is a founding shareholder of Patton, Hoversten and Berg, PA, a general practice law firm with offices in Owatonna, Waseca, Faribault, and Janesville, MN. His current practice focuses on estate and business planning, estate and trust administration, and civil litigation. Previously, Mr. Hoversten has served as chairman of the District Ethics Committee, a member of the MSBA Board of Governors, and president of the local and district bar associations. He has also served in local service clubs and community organizations. Mr. Hoversten has served for more than 30 years as the attorney for Waseca Public Schools and the Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center. He also serves as the Waseca County Examiner of Titles.

B.S. Morningside College, Sioux City, IA
J.D. Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO

Fourth Judicial District Members

Hennepin County


Shawn Judge, Fourth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Ms. Judge is the founder and president of The Speaker’s Edge, providing public speaking, voice and diction, accent reduction, and diversity-inclusion training. She started The Speaker’s Edge in 1999 to give business professionals communication training that went beyond preparing them for an isolated presentation or media interview. Ms. Judge is a certified qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), an assessment tool used to build intercultural competency for individuals and groups within organizations. She is also the founder of artists2artists, a mentorship program designed to support the next generation of Twin Cities-based actors. In 2014, Ms. Judge was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to serve on the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. She is a board member of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and a former board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners-Minnesota chapter. Ms. Judge has also served as a member of the Guthrie Theater’s Community Advisory Committee.

B.F.A. Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY

Melissa Muro LaMere, Fourth Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Muro LaMere is a partner at Maslon, LLP, where she counsels clients on a variety of legal issues, including unfair competition discrimination, torts, and medical device products liability. Previously, she was a law clerk and summer associate at Maslon, LLP, and was a constituent advocate and Latino community outreach coordinator in the Minneapolis office of Senator Amy Klobuchar. Ms. Muro LaMere represents ACLU-MN in litigation violations of the first, fourth, and fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. She is a member of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, Latino Legal Experience, and the Maslon LLP Diversity Committee.

B.A. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
J.D. University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN

Melissa R. Stull, Fourth Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Stull is a founding partner of Soule & Stull, where she focuses her practice on commercial litigation and products liability defense, with significant experience representing manufacturers of agricultural, industrial, and environmental equipment. She has a national civil litigation practice and has tried cases in six states. Ms. Stull is a past Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation Section, serves on the Minnesota Federal Practice Committee, and was named a 2019 Minnesota Lawyer Attorney of the Year.

B.A. Luther College, Decorah, IA
J.D. University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA

Noya Woodrich, Fourth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Ms. Woodrich, MSW, an Alaskan Native, is a member of the Athabascan tribe located in central Alaska. While a Native of Alaska, Noya grew up in Wisconsin and came to Minneapolis/St. Paul for college. As an undergraduate student, Ms. Woodrich interned with the Division of Indian Work in south Minneapolis. She stayed with this 70-year old organization, which serves the Native community, until 2016. More recently, she worked for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Currently, she works at the Minneapolis Health Department. She has over 25 years in non-profit management and leadership. Ms. Woodrich’s passions have been in maternal and child health and the reduction of health and social disparities, specifically in the American Indian community.

B.A. Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
M.A. Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

Fifth Judicial District Members

Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, and Watonwan Counties


Matthew Berger, Fifth Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Berger is a partner with Gislason & Hunter LLP in New Ulm. He practices in the areas of administrative law, agricultural law, banking, civil litigation, and business and commercial law. Prior to joining Gislason & Hunter, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Paul Anderson, the Honorable G. Barry Anderson, and the Honorable Lorie Skjerven Gildea of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

B.A. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
J.D. University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN

James Hepworth, Fifth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Hepworth is the President of Door Solutions, Inc, in Lake Crystal, where he serves as a construction consultant, project manager, installation supervisor, and concept designer specializing in work at large stadiums. Previously, he was the Hangar Door Installation Manager and Fabrication Manager at Door Engineering Company.

B.A. Morningside College, Sioux City, IA

Doran Hunter, Fifth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Hunter is an emeritus professor of political science at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Previously, he served as associate director of government affairs training in the U.S. Civil Service Commission, project director at the Minnesota Justice System Improvement Study, executive director of executive development and leadership training in the U.S. Veterans Administration, and co-chair of the Minnesota Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Hunter has received many grants including a Senior Fulbright Specialist Program grant and was hosted as a visiting professor by the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

B.S. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Lynn Johnson, Fifth Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Johnson is the owner and attorney at the Lynn Johnson Law Office, where she practices in family law, business law, probate and estate planning, and real estate. She has also served as an assistant public defender in the Fifth Judicial District. She is a past president and vice president of the 13th District Bar Association and is a former member of the Murray County Medical Center Boar. Additionally, Ms. Johnson has served as the president of the Chamber of Commerce and as a board member for the Murray County DAC and the Lake Shetek Regional Clinic.

B.S. Southwest State University, Marshall, MN
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN

Sixth Judicial District Members

Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis Counties


James Boyd, Sixth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Boyd is the executive director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, Grand Marais. He is also a retired deputy editorial page editor for the Star Tribune, 1980-2007.

B.S. Oregon College of Education, Monmouth, OR
M.J. University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Nieman Fellow in Journalism, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Army, 1968-1972

Phillip Drobnick, Sixth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Drobnick is a juvenile probation officer with Arrowhead Regional Corrections. Additionally, he is the Director of the Men's Program and Head Olympic Coach of USA Curling, and won a gold medal in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. He is member of the Sixth Judicial District Range Equal Justice Committee. He is the Co-Founder & Vice President of the Golden Bear Foundation. Mr. Drobnick serves as the President of the Curl Mesabi Foundation. He is also a member of the Opioid Abuse Response and Strategies Workgroup and serves on the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission.

B.A. University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, MN

Fred T. Friedman, Sixth Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Friedman has been an attorney since 1972, a public defender in Minnesota since 1973, and a professor since 1975. He served as the Chief Public Defender of Minnesota’s Sixth District from 1986 to 2014. He is Minnesota’s longest serving chief defender in history. Mr. Friedman also serves as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the School of Medicine. He is the chair of the National Association of Public Defenders (NAPD) strike force committee that upon request advises and assists public defenders who view themselves or their organization in political or legal crisis. Mr. Friedman is a recipient of the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chief Justice Douglass Amdahl Public Attorney Career Achievement Award, and the Duluth Bethel Lifetime Achievement award for Community Service.

B.A. University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN
J.D. University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN

Daniel Lew, Sixth Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Lew is the chief public defender for the Sixth Judicial District, where he oversees a team of 36 lawyers and 12 professional staff who provide public defense in the judicial district. Previously, he was the managing attorney for the Sixth Judicial District Public Defender's Office and an assistant public defender in Duluth and St. Paul. Lew is a past president of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association and a former at-large member of the Commission on Judicial Selection.

B.S. City University of New York at Queens College, Queens, NY
J.D. Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN

Seventh Judicial District Members

Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena Counties


Lisa Borgen, Seventh Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Borgen is the Vice President of Administration at American Crystal Sugar Company where she manages safety, human resources, labor relations, training, public relations, and information technology. Her legal experience includes working as an attorney in Vogel Law Firm, a Seventh Judicial District Court Judge, Clay County Attorney, as well as an attorney at her own firm Borgen Law Office from 1997-1999. Her community involvement includes serving as a member on the Board of Trustees for United Way of Cass-Clay, Board of Trustees for F-M Area Foundation, Board of Directors for Moorhead Schools Legacy Foundation, and many others.

B.A. Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MN
LPN Nursing North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, ND
J.D. University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Ann C. Cofell, Seventh Judicial District Attorney
Ann Cofell is a Deputy Director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and has held that position for more than 30 years. She supervises two offices that cover primarily rural service areas across Central Minnesota, from the borders of South Dakota to Wisconsin. These offices, based in St. Cloud and Willmar, provide civil legal help to low-income people on issues related to basic needs. Special projects provide holistic legal representation to victims of felony-level domestic violence and other crime victims, help meet the needs of people with health issues through Medical/Legal Partnerships, and collaboratively address the needs of immigrants and refugees. Her community involvement has included service on non-profit boards including the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Anna Marie's Alliance.

B.A. College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN
J.D. Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, OH

Sucharita S. Mukherjee, Seventh Judicial District Non-Attorney
Ms. Mukherjee teaches economics and gender studies at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. She has published papers in the areas of gender and economics and specializes in feminist economics and economic development. Her academic work and professional engagement focus on issues of gender justice and equity in general.

Ph.D. University of California-Riverside, Riverside, CA

Eighth Judicial District Members

Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine Counties


Michael Boyle, Eighth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Boyle is the executive director of the Meeker Memorial Hospital Foundation. He has 40 years of experience in the non-profit health care world - thirty years dedicated to senior services and the last ten to the hospital. He also serves on the senior management team at Meeker Memorial Hospital and is a Lifetime Honorary member of Leading Age-Minnesota, which serves the non-profit senior services industry. Boyle has been active in his community and currently serves on the Litchfield City Council, the Meeker Yellow Ribbon Committee, as chairman of the board of directors of Vaccker Place, and Cokato/Dassel Rotary.

B.A. Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

Timothy Lindberg, Eighth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Lindberg is an assistant professor for the University of Minnesota, Morris. He is involved with various professional memberships such as Midwest Political Science Association and the Southern Political Science Association. Mr. Lindberg is president of the Friends of Morris Public Library and a member of the 16th District Bar Association Ethics Committee with the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.

B.A. University of Minnesota – Morris, Morris, MN
M.A. University at Albany, The State University of New York, Albany, NY
Ph.D. University at Albany, The State University of New York, Albany, NY

Mark P. Wood, Eighth Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Wood has been a partner at Wood & Rue, PLLP in Litchfield, MN since 1985. His practice is primarily in real estate, estate planning, and probate. He has been the City Attorney for Litchfield and the Meeker County Examiner of Titles for the last 35 years.

B.S. Mankato State College, Mankato, MN
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN

Brianna Zuber Beckwith, Eighth Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Zuber is an attorney at Zuber Law, where she provides legal representation in many areas of law including estate planning/probate, real estate, business, immigration, and family. She spent a year volunteering full-time at the Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture in Chicago, working with refugees and asylees. She currently does pro bono representation through the Volunteer Lawyers Network and Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota. Ms. Zuber is a member and foundation chair for the Glenwood Rotary Club.

B.A. College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN
J.D. University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN

Ninth Judicial District Members

Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau Counties


Susan Beck, Ninth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Ms. Beck is retired Director of Crow Wing County Community Services, where she was responsible for the administration of social services, income maintenance, child support, public health, and veteran’s services programs. Previously, she was a social worker and the social services supervisor for Crow Wing County. Ms. Beck is a current board member of the Pink Ribbon Cupboard and Friends of the Brainerd Public Library. She is on advisory boards for MPR and The Brainerd Dispatch. Ms. Beck is a regular volunteer in her community.

B.A. Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN
M.A. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Candace Prigge, Ninth Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Prigge is an Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney and the Criminal Team Lead. Previously, she worked as an Assistant Attorney General, in the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General's Civil Litigation Division.

B.S.B.A. St. John's College Winfield, KS
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law

Richard Sjoberg, Ninth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Sjoberg is the President and CEO of Sjoberg's Inc., a telecommunications company that has served the northwestern portion of Minnesota since 1962. He is a member of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's Board of Directors, vice president of the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation, and president of the Hartz Foundation. Sjoberg is also the chairman of the Thief River Falls Planning Commission, is a Rotarian, and was recently named as a Cable Television Pioneer.

B.A. Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
M.B.A. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

Tenth Judicial District Members

Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright Counties


Tom Adkins, Tenth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Mr. Adkins is currently the Washington County Community Services Director, where he oversees a broad range of human services, economic support, and workforce services. Some of which include child protection, adult protection, mental health, child support and fraud areas that are touch points with Minnesota Courts. Previously, he was a community corrections director, where he had oversight for adult and juvenile pretrial, and probation and parole services. Mr. Adkins served in the corrections field for more than 40 years. During this time, he worked in the First, Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Judicial Districts. He has led various efforts to provide more effective probation services and to make systemic changes in Minnesota to improve the criminal justice field.

B.A., St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN

Ken Jorgensen, Tenth Judicial District Attorney
Mr. Jorgensen is partner in the Trial Group at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Previously, he was a State District Court Judge in Washington County. He has also served as the director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, and as an adjunct professor teaching professional responsibility at Mitchell Hamline and the University of Minnesota Law Schools. Jorgensen is a frequent speaker on issues of legal ethics and loss prevention.

B.S. Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN

Sharon Van Leer, Tenth Judicial District Non-Attorney
Ms. Van Leer is the Senior Director of Diversity Equity, and Inclusion and Designated School Official International Student Advisor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. In this role, she collaborates with administrator, faculty, and staff to create an environment where students feel safe and comfortable expressing their social and cultural identities. Previously, she worked at Mitchell Hamline as an administrative assistant, an academic and moot court programs coordinator, as well as an assistant director of multicultural affairs. Her community involvement includes serving as the director/clerk for South Washington School Board District 833 to advocate for children and provide a platform to empower residents.

A.A. Century College, White Bear Lake, MN
B.A. Metro State University, St. Paul, MN
M.A. Bethel University, Shoreview, MN

Viet-Hanh Winchell, Tenth Judicial District Attorney
Ms. Winchell is the founding attorney at United Rivers Law Firm PLLC where she provides legal services in the practice areas of child protection, criminal law, municipal law, personal injury, civil litigation, family law, and immigration. Previously, she was a litigation attorney and shareholder at Galowitz Olson, a litigation attorney at Woods & Thompson, an associate attorney at the Gallagher Law Firm, and a judicial law clerk for Judge P. Hunter Anderson in Isanti County in the 10th Judicial District. Additionally, Ms. Winchell is the past president and former board member of the Washington County Bar Association and is a member of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA). Ms. Winchell is currently one of MNAPABA's alternate representatives to the MSBA. Ms. Winchell is a volunteer attorney for the Minnesota Federal Court Open Doors Program, the Immigrant Law Center, and the Tubman Safety Project. Ms. Winchell is on the Advisory Council for the Tubman Safety Project and is also a running sponsor for a non-profit organization, I Run 4.

B.A. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
J.D. Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN

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