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Bar Buzz: Tien elected Tax Court chief

Judge Wendy S. Tien

Judge Wendy S. Tien

The election of Wendy S. Tien as chief judge of the Minnesota Tax Court has made history, according to the governor’s office.

For the first time ever, all five chief judges on Minnesota’s appellate and executive branch courts are women. The Minnesota Tax Court unanimously elected Tien that court’s chief judge effective March 17.

“I applaud the selection of Judge Tien as chief judge of the Minnesota Tax Court,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a March 16 press release. “As a remarkable jurist and leader with a strong dedication to public service, I have no doubt Judge Tien will make an excellent chief.”

“Representation on the bench matters, and a more diverse Judicial Branch equates to a more representative government for our communities,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in the same news release. “I am proud to see such distinguished women serving Minnesotans as chief judges.”

Tien joins a group that also includes Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea; Court of Appeals Chief Judge Susan Segal; Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings Chief Judge Jenny Starr; and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals Chief Judge Patricia Milun. Tien, Starr and Segal are all Walz appointees.

Tien had been serving as a Tax Court judge since her November 2019 appointment.

Previously, she worked as an assistant Minnesota attorney general, a deputy assistant director in the Office of Oversight, a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division and an estate tax attorney for Internal Revenue Service.

She is also a former associate with the Pillsbury Madison & Sutro LLP law firm.

Tien earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review.

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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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