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Bar Buzz: Repeat hopefuls vie for Court of Appeals

There are several repeat appearances on the governor’s list of Court of Appeals finalists, announced on April 24.

One of those is a finalist for two coveted judicial slots at one—Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.

All four candidates were recommended by the merit selection panel consisting of leadership in Gov. Tim Walz’s office, the chair of the Judicial Selection Commission and the at-large members of that Commission.

Whoever is named will take over upon the retirement of Court of Appeals Judge John Rodenberg. These are the finalists:

Judge Gordon Moore. Moore is the candidate competing for two seats at once. On the same day that he was named a finalist for Supreme Court, Moore was tapped a second time as a Court of Appeals finalist. The 5th District judge chambers at Worthington in Nobles County, which coincidentally or otherwise is nestled in the 1st Congressional District, which Walz once represented as a member of the U.S. House.

Judge Theodora Gaïtas. Gaïtas is a 5th Judicial District chambered in Minneapolis, where she co-chairs the district’s Domestic Violence Steering Committee. Previously, she practiced with Matonich Law. She also is a former state appellate public defender and once worked as Minnesota Court of Appeals judicial clerk. Like Moore, she was a Court of Appeals finalist in October 2019.

Judge Jamie Cork. Cork is a 1st District judge chambered at Hastings. She is a former assistant Hennepin County Attorney where she worked in the Child Protection Division. Judge Cork also has been an adjunct professor at Hamline University School of Law and St. Thomas School of Law, and like both Moore and Gaïtas, she competed for two open Court of Appeals seats last October.

Rachel Bond: The only newcomer to the list, Bond is a managing attorney in the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender, where she represents indigent criminal defendants in direct appeals to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court. Previously, she was an attorney at Faegre & Benson L.L.P. and Shearman & Sterling. She once clerked for Chief Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., on the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

For more information about the governor’s judicial selection process, see: https://mn.gov/governor/administration/judicialappointments/

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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