The Committee on Judicial Selection has recommended candidates to Gov. Mark Dayton for current and upcoming vacancies on the Court of Appeals and in the Ninth Judicial District.
The Court of Appeals is expected to have two vacancies when Judge Thomas Kalitowski and Judge Terri Stoneburner retire. The selection committee nominated four candidates for consideration for those posts, including Portia Hampton-Flowers, Judge Denise Reilly, Peter Reyes and Tracy Smith.
Hampton-Flowers is a St. Paul Deputy City Attorney and manages its civil litigation division. She has worked for the Minnesota Department of Corrections and has been an Assistant Attorney General. She is a member of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association and a former member of the Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network.
Reilly has been a judge in Hennepin County since 1997 when she was appointed by Gov. Arne Carlson. Before that, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Minnesota. Reilly teaches trial practice at the University of Minnesota law school.
Reyes focuses on intellectual property and litigation as a partner at Barnes & Thornburg. He has worked for Cargill, Inc. and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. He has been the president of both the national and state Hispanic bar associations.
Smith is the deputy general counsel for the University of Minnesota and has also been an Assistant Minnesota Attorney General and a judicial clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The Ninth Judicial District has one vacancy and three candidates for Dayton to consider, including Corey Harbott, Eric Schieferdecker and Gregory Widseth. The judgeship will be chambered at Warren in Marshall County.
Harbott is an Assistant Public Defender and primarily handles adult gross misdemeanors and felonies. He was previously a judicial law clerk in the Ninth Judicial District. Schieferdecker is an Assistant Attorney General who primarily prosecutes murder, drug and implied consent cases in the Seventh and Ninth Judicial Districts. He is a former Chief Assistant Beltrami County Attorney. Widseth is the Polk County Attorney. Prior to that, he was a partner at Odland, Fitzgerald, Reynolds, Remick & Widseth, where he handled criminal prosecution, civil litigation and personal injury cases.