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Judicial Appointments News

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

4/5/2021 11:45:08 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending three candidates for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. The vacancy occurred upon the retirement of the Honorable Thomas S. Fraser. The seat will be chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County.

Julia Dayton Klein: Ms. Dayton Klein is a partner and trial lawyer at Lathrop GPM, where she represents clients in matters involving asylum, election and voting rights, employment, food safety and labeling, government investigations, housing, intellectual property, international arbitration, products liability, and regulatory issues. She also serves as the co-lead of Lathrop GPM’s Women’s Initiative Network and on its Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Previously, Ms. Dayton Klein served as General Counsel for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and as an associate at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi and Moss & Barnett. She also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles A. Porter, Jr. Her pro-bono activities include volunteering with The Advocates for Human Rights, the Volunteer Lawyers Network, and various voting rights organizations in voter protection efforts. Ms. Dayton Klein’s community involvement includes serving on the Board of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, serving as a parent volunteer at Kenwood Elementary School, and volunteering at the North Community Herald Mezlie YMCA, assisting children with distance learning. She previously served on the Board of Women Winning.

Rachel Hughey: Ms. Hughey is a partner and shareholder at Merchant & Gould, where she litigates complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts in Minnesota and around the country. She is a member and past chair of Merchant & Gould’s Pro Bono Committee, co-chair of the firm’s Appellate Group, former chair of the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee, and former chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative. Previously, Ms. Hughey served as a judicial law clerk on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Her current community involvement includes serving as a member of the ACLU-MN Board, a member and immediate past chair of the Volunteer Lawyers Network Board, a member of the Hennepin County Bar Association Board, and a co-founder and president-elect of The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna Intellectual Property American Inn of Court. Ms. Hughey is also an active volunteer with the Advocates for Human Rights, Children’s Law Center, Volunteer Lawyer’s Network, and the State Public Defender’s Office. She previously served as a member of the YouthCARE Board, a member of the University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors, and a legal writing professor and moot court instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Colette Routel: Ms. Routel is a Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Native American Law & Sovereignty Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, where she teaches Property, Federal Indian Law, the Indian Law Impact Litigation Clinic, and other subjects. Ms. Routel also serves as Of Counsel at Hogen Adams, PLLC and as an appellate judge for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. She has previously taught at the University of Michigan Law School and Wayne State University Law School, and she has worked at the Jacobson Law Group and Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Drinker). She is a special member of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, and a member of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association. Ms. Routel has maintained a robust pro bono practice throughout her career. In recent years, she has written eight amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and litigated several cases in state and federal courts on behalf of Indian tribes. Her previous pro bono activities include running a criminal defense clinic on the Menominee Indian Reservation, representing environmental non-profit organizations, and providing representation in asylum, housing, and family law matters.

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

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