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Judicial Appointments News

Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Tenth Judicial District Candidates to Governor Walz

3/30/2020 10:00:16 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending four candidates to the Governor for consideration to fill the current vacancy in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. The vacancy will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable Robert G. Rancourt and will be chambered at Center City in Chisago County.

Deidre Aanstad: Ms. Aanstad is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. In her role, Ms. Aanstad is responsible for prosecuting violent and drug crimes affecting tribal communities in the District of Minnesota. Ms. Aanstad has served as the Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2012, communicating and coordinating the prosecution of crimes occurring in Indian Country with tribal, local, state, and federal partners. She also serves on the DOJ Tribal Liaison Council and as a Hiring Committee Member for the DOJ Gaye L. Tenoso Indian Country Fellowship. Previously, she worked as an Assistant Anoka County Attorney. She is an adjunct professor of Trail Advocacy at the University of Minnesota Law School. Ms. Aanstad’s community involvement includes serving as a legal representative on the Minnesota Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

Nancy Norman Sommer: Ms. Norman Sommer is currently a Senior Assistant Anoka County Attorney. In her current role, she is responsible for representing the Human Services Division, where she handles administrative appeals, contracts, data privacy, HIPAA and various assignments relating to the entire county. Ms. Norman Sommer also has experience handling felony trials from simple assaults up to first degree murder cases. She has tried six first degree murder cases to verdict. Previously, Ms. Norman Sommer practiced as an Assistant County Attorney in greater Minnesota (including Steele, Renville and Chippewa Counties). She is an adjunct professor in Advanced Trial Advocacy at Mitchell Hamline College of Law. She is active as the Chair of the District Ethics Committee and the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for Anoka County. Ms. Norman Sommer is active in the Minnesota State Bar Associations Public Law Council and was previously involved in the MSBA’s Criminal Law Certification Project. Her community involvement includes volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, and Community Meal.

Jessica Rugani: Ms. Rugani is currently an Assistant Anoka County Attorney, where she handles adult felony prosecutions. She has led office initiatives by developing and administering the state’s first pre-charge diversion program, and recently drafted new drug charging and prosecution guidelines. Ms. Rugani staffs both the Anoka County Drug Court and Veteran’s Court. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime, where she chairs the public policy committee. Ms. Rugani also serves on the Diversity and Inclusion and Building Resilience committees for the Anoka County Attorney’s Office. During her previous role as an Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney, Ms. Rugani was selected to attend the Leadership Development Academy and was awarded the Chief’s Award of Merit, the Minneapolis Police Department’s highest civilian honor. Her community and volunteer experiences include interview coaching at Dress for Success, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, where she received a volunteer service award, La Casa de Esperanza; the U.S. Attorney’s office, and the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center.

Catherine Trevino: Mrs. Trevino currently serves as a part-time Assistant Public Defender and a court appointed counsel for the Mental Health Commitment and Paternity/Contempt cases in Sherburne County. Mrs. Trevino also operates her own law firm in Anoka, where she primarily practices criminal defense. Prior to residing in Minnesota, Mrs. Trevino was a Felony Trial Supervisor at the Lake County Indiana Prosecutor’s Office, a Public Defender in Lake County, a member of the federal Criminal Justice Act Panel, and practitioner of her own law firm where she concentrated her practice in the areas of family law, eviction work, personal injury, and criminal defense. She has done extensive pro bono work as guardian ad litem. Her community involvement includes membership in the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Minnesota Women Lawyers Community Action & Advocacy Committee, the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force. She also serves as an Advisor for the Totino Grace High School Mock Trial Team.

Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District consists of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington, Wright Counties.

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

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