Three finalists have been named by the Commission on Judicial Selection for one vacancy in the Seventh Judicial District. They are Michael D. Fritz, Johnathan R. Judd, and Michelle Winkis Lawson. The vacancy was created upon the appointment of Judge Michael Kirk to the Court of Appeals.
Fritz serves as the Becker County Attorney where he is responsible for criminal and child protection matters. He previously served as the Assistant Becker County Attorney and was a partner with Hummel, Sinclair, Evans, Hunt, Heisler and Fritz, P.A. where he practiced in estate planning, municipal and employment matters.
Judd maintains Judd Law Office, PLLC which represents clients in criminal, family and civil matters. The office also provides public defender services with the State Board of Public Defense and holds a contract with Clay County to represent indigent parents in CHIPS cases. He previously worked as an associate attorney with Aaland Law Office, served as an Assistant Public Defender with the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s Office.
Lawson serves as the Chief Assistant Clay County Attorney for the Civil Division, and has served as the Interim Clay County Attorney. Prior to this, she worked as a facilitator for the University of Mary and was an associate attorney with the Vogel Law Firm.
Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena Counties.
An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.