Reynaldo “Reggie” Aligada, first assistant in the Office of the Federal Defender, has been named the 2nd Judicial District’s newest judge.
Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement in a press release Tuesday. Aligada will replace former Ramsey County District Court Judge David C. Higgs, who retired on March 1. Higgs currently serves as a senior judge.
“I was impressed by his distinguished career on the state and federal levels, as well as his commitment to community,” Walz said of Aligada’s service.
In one of his highest profile cases, Aligada was on the Danny Heinrich defense team that brokered a plea deal, leading to the recovery of Jacob Wetterling’s remains.
“They were professional, they operated with the highest integrity and, without them, we would not be here today,” U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said at the time, referencing both Aligada and Chief Federal Defender for Minnesota Katherian Roe.
Aligada previously did civil litigation work and served as a law clerk for the U.S. District Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals, according to Walz’s office.
His community involvement includes the Community Outreach Committee for the Federal Bar Association; the Federal Practice Committee; the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Gateway to Legal Education Advisory Board; several bar associations and some other organizations.
Aligada received his bachelor’s degree from Saint John’s University and his juris doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law. He will chamber at St. Paul.