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Judicial Appointments News

Panel Recommends Court of Appeals Candidates

3/30/2020 10:00:16 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Earlier this year, Governor Walz asked a merit selection panel consisting of leadership in the Governor’s Office, the Chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection, and the at-large members of that Commission, to solicit applicants, review candidates, and recommend finalists for appointment to the Court of Appeals.

The panel announced today that it is recommending three candidates for consideration to fill the current vacancy on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. This vacancy will occur upon the retirement of Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary. This seat is designated for Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District.

Kellie Charles: Ms. Charles is currently a Senior Attorney in the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office. In her role, Ms. Charles is responsible for managing the Appeals and Special Litigation Team, the Treatment Court Team, and the Felony Probation Revocation Team. Ms. Charles has also represented indigent clients in adult, juvenile, and child protection cases at the trial and appellate levels. She is an adjunct professor of Appellate Advocacy and Advanced Trial Advocacy at Mitchell Hamline College of Law. Her community involvement includes service with Veterans Stand Down and the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society, and she has previously served as the president of AFSCME Local 2938.

Assistant Chief Judge Jennifer Frisch: Judge Frisch currently serves as the Assistant Chief Judge in the Second Judicial District, where she presides over civil and criminal matters. Previously, Judge Frisch served as Senior Associate General Counsel at the University of Minnesota, where she represented the University as trial and appellate counsel in state and federal courts. Her community involvement has included serving as Chair of the Equal Justice Committee for the Second Judicial District and various statewide committees, teaching legal writing and moot court at the University of Minnesota Law School, coaching and judging collegiate and high school mock trial, and teaching English language learner classes at Neighborhood House.

Jon Schmidt: Mr. Schmidt is currently a Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney. In his role, Mr. Schmidt oversees all criminal appeals, assists on civil appeals, and frequently argues before the Minnesota appellate courts. Previously, Mr. Schmidt was a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan, where he chaired the firm’s appellate group. Mr. Schmidt is a past Chair of the MSBA Appellate Section and established a pro bono program where private attorneys represent indigent clients on behalf of the Minnesota Public Defenders’ Office. Mr. Schmidt clerked at the Minnesota Court of Appeals for then-Judge Natalie Hudson and at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Myron Bright, has taught appellate advocacy at local law schools, and was named a fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Mr. Schmidt’s community involvement includes volunteering with the Washburn Center for Children, a mental health program, and his children’s school, theater, and sporting activities.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit our website:

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