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Bar Buzz: Finalists in 10th District

Three finalists for the 10th Judicial District have been named by the Commission on Judicial Selection: Deidre Aanstad, Nancy Norman Sommer and Jessica Rugani. The vacancy will occur upon the retirement of Judge Robert G. Rancourt and will be chambered at Center City in Chisago County.

Deidre Aanstad is currently an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. Aanstad prosecutes violent and drug crimes affecting tribal communities. She has served as the Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2012, communicating and coordinating the prosecution of crimes occurring in Indian Country with tribal, local, state, and federal partners. She also serves on the DOJ Tribal Liaison Council and as a Hiring Committee Member for the DOJ Gaye L. Tenoso Indian Country Fellowship.

Nancy Norman Sommer is currently a senior assistant Anoka County attorney. In her current role, she is responsible for representing the Human Services Division, where she handles administrative appeals, contracts, data privacy, HIPAA and various assignments relating to the entire county. Norman Sommer also has experience handling felony trials from simple assaults up to first-degree murder cases. She is active as the chair of the District Ethics Committee and the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for Anoka County. Norman Sommer is active in the Minnesota State Bar Associations Public Law Council and was previously involved in the MSBA’s Criminal Law Certification Project. Her community involvement includes volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, and Community Meal.

Jessica Rugani is currently an assistant Anoka County attorney, where she handles adult felony prosecutions. She has led office initiatives by developing and administering the state’s first pre-charge diversion program, and recently drafted new drug charging and prosecution guidelines. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime, where she chairs the public policy committee. Rugani also serves on the Diversity and Inclusion and Building Resilience committees for the Anoka County Attorney’s Office. Her community and volunteer experiences include interview coaching at Dress for Success; Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, where she received a volunteer service award; La Casa de Esperanza; the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center.

Catherine Trevino is a part-time assistant public defender and a court-appointed counsel for mental health commitment and paternity/contempt cases in Sherburne County. Trevino also operates her own law firm in Anoka, where she primarily practices criminal defense. She has done extensive pro bono work as guardian ad litem. Her community involvement includes membership in the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Minnesota Women Lawyers Community Action & Advocacy Committee and the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force. She also serves as an adviser for the Totino Grace High School Mock Trial Team.

Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District consists of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright Counties.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit our website: https://mn.gov/governor/administration/judicialappointments/

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