New district court judge to be named for Olmsted County - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

New district court judge to be named for Olmsted County


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC-DT) -- Governor Tim Pawlenty has selected a new judge for Olmsted County, and will make public his choice for the District Court on October 21st in Rochester.

The Governor's office has scheduled a news conference for 8:15 a.m. on Oct. 21 in Courtroom #7 in the county government center to introduce his choice for the court, which has experienced a growing backlog of criminal cases over the past two years.

John Hultquist, the Director of Judicial, Board, and Commission Appointments in the Governor's office, is indicating that cameras will be allowed in the courtroom for the announcement.  Judges and court officials in the 3rd Judicial District were notified Tuesday afternoon via email that Gov. Pawlenty is poised to announce his decision on the vacancy in Olmsted County, which was created back in May with the retirement of Judge Lawrence E. Agerter.

The finalists being considered are Jennifer J. Dunn-Foster, Geoffrey A. Hjerleid, and Christina K. Stevens.  Hultquist's office provided KTTC with the following biographical information about the three: 

"Dunn-Foster, of Owatonna, is an assistant Steele County Attorney in Owatonna. Previously, she was a solo practice attorney in Owatonna from 2008 to 2010, an associate attorney with the Dow, Einhaus, Mattison and Carver law firm in Owatonna from 2001 to 2008, and also served as a part-time contact public defender in Owatonna in 2001. She began her law career as a law clerk to Third Judicial District Judge Renee L. Worke in Waseca County from 1999 to 2000, a law clerk in the criminal appeals division of the Minnesota Attorney General's office from 1998 to 1999, and a law clerk and certified student attorney in the Third Judicial District Public Defender's office in Owatonna in 1998. Dunn-Foster earned her juris doctorate degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1999, and her bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio in 1990." 

"Hjerleid, of Byron, is a senior assistant Olmsted County Attorney, a position he has held since 1996. He has also been an adjunct professor with St. Mary's University in Rochester since 2002. Previously, Hjerleid was a full-time assistant Third Judicial District Public Defender from 1994 to 1996, part-time assistant public defender and solo practice attorney in Rochester from 1992 to 1994, an associate attorney with the Klampe Law Offices in Rochester from 1991 to 1992, an associate attorney with the Skogerboe and Skogerboe law firm in Blaine in 1990, and an associate attorney with the Dennis Larson Law Office in Decorah, Iowa in 1990. Hjerleid earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Iowa Law School in Iowa City in 1989, and his bachelor of arts degree from Luther College in Decorah in 1986." 

"Stevens, of Chatfield, is an associate attorney with the Dunlap and Seeger law firm in Rochester, a position she has held since 2001. Previously, she was an attorney with the Bagniefski and Murakami law firm in Rochester from 2000 to 2001, a staff attorney with Ceridian Performance Partners in Eagan from 2000 to 2001, and an associate attorney with the Kenneth J. Jacobs Law Office in Forest Lake from 1998 to 2000. Stevens earned her juris doctorate degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1997, and her bachelor of arts degree from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 1995."

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