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Home / Bar Buzz / Bar Buzz: Dayton taps 3rd District’s chief public defender as judge

Bar Buzz: Dayton taps 3rd District’s chief public defender as judge

Jeffrey M. Johnson has been appointed to a judgeship in Minnesota’s 3rd Judicial District, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Johnson to replace Thomas M. Neuville, a former deputy minority leader in the Minnesota Senate. Neuville, 65, was appointed to the bench in 2008 by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He retired on Jan. 4.

Based in Owatonna, Johnson is the 3rd Judicial District’s chief public defender, managing that office’s services in eleven counties

“I am pleased to appoint Mr. Jeffrey Johnson to serve as District Court judge,” Dayton said in a press released. “Mr. Johnson will bring a breadth of public and private sector experience to the bench.” He will be chambered at Faribault in Rice County.

Johnson previously was an interim managing attorney and assistant public defender with the 3rd Judicial District’s public defender’s office. He also has been president of Jeffrey M. Johnson, P.A., and a partner at Faribault-based Schurhammer & Johnson, P.A.

According to the governor’s office, Johnson serves on steering committees for the Steele-Waseca and Olmsted Treatment Courts, as well as on advisory boards for Rice County Community Corrections and Dual Recovery.

He also is involved with the Minnesota Board of Public Defense Advanced Sentencing Advocacy Program, and has been girls’ youth hockey coach and member of the Exchange Club Center for Family Unity in Owatonna.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. He got his juris doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law.

The 3rd Judicial District includes Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona Counties in southeastern Minnesota.

Information on the Commission on Judicial Selection and vacancies it currently is considering is online at http://mn.gov/governor/appointments/judicial-appointments/.

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