Gov. Tim Pawlenty accepted the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Selection for two Ninth Judicial District trial court bench vacancies in Brainerd.
Finalists are Erik J. Askegaard, Kristine R. DeMay, Earl E. Maus and Jay E. Sommer.
The first opening is as a result of a new judgeship created by the 2007 Legislature that takes effect on Jan. 1. The second vacancy will occur with the retirement of Judge Frederick J. Casey on March 12. The Minnesota Supreme Court has certified the chambers of both of these positions in Crow Wing County.
Askegaard, Brainerd, is an attorney and partner with the Brainerd law firm of Askegaard and Robinson, a position he has held since 1991. He was an associate attorney with the Jeffries, Olson and Flom law firm in Moorhead from 1987 to 1991, and a law clerk to North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Herbert L. Meschke in Bismarck from 1986 to 1987.
Askegaard earned his law degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1986, and his bachelor of science business administration degree cum laude from the University of North Dakota in 1982.
DeMay, Merrifield, is an assistant Crow Wing County attorney in Brainerd, a position she has held since 1997. She was an attorney with the Fitzpatrick, Nelson and Ten Eyck law firm and an assistant city attorney in Brainerd from 1996 to 1997, a Seventh Judicial District law clerk in Detroit Lakes from 1995 to 1996 and worked in the Washington County Public Defender's office in Stillwater in 1995.
DeMay earned her law degree from Hamline University School of Law in 1995 and her bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in Normal in 1990.
Maus, of Walker, is the Cass Sommer, of Walker, is the managing attorney in the Ninth Judicial District Public Defender's office in Walker, a position he has been in since 1996. He was a full-time assistant public defender in Walker in 1995, an attorney in private practice in Pine River, as well as a part-time Ninth Judicial District Public Defender in Walker from 1988 to 1995 and a self-employed attorney in Elk River from 1986 to 1987. Sommer earned his law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1986, and his bachelor's degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., in 1982.
The Commission on Judicial Selection screens judicial candidates and makes recommendations to the governor for district court vacancies that occur during the term of a judge. The commission consists of 13 members: nine at-large members and four members from the judicial district. The commission members include attorneys and non-attorneys appointed by the governor and the Minnesota Supreme Court. The commission received 17 applications for these judicial vacancies.
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