ST. PAUL, MN – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending eight candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the five current vacancies in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. These vacancies were created upon the retirements of the Honorable John L. Holahan, Jr., the Honorable William R. Howard, the Honorable Marilyn J. Kaman, the Honorable Richard S. Scherer and the Honorable Lloyd B. Zimmerman. These district court judgeships will be chambered at Minneapolis in Hennepin County in the Fourth Judicial District.
Kristine Boylan: Ms. Boylan currently is a partner at Merchant & Gould, P.C., where she handles complex business cases. Previously, she was an associate attorney at Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P., and, prior to that, practiced at Lockridge Grindal Nauen, P.L.L.P. Ms. Boylan is a volunteer attorney for the United States Department of Commerce, a Conciliation Panelist for the Center for Conflict Resolution in Minneapolis, and a Criminal Justice Act Panelist for the Office of the Federal Defender of the District of Minnesota.
Marta Chou: Ms. Chou currently serves as counsel for the Litigation Department at Barnes & Thornburg, L.L.P, where she represents businesses and individuals in complex litigation matters. Previously, she was an associate at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., and was an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law. Ms. Chou is a member of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, serving as co-chair of the professional Development Committee, and is a former chair of the Diversity Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Nicole Engisch: Ms. Engisch is an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Criminal Division Chief at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, serving as a federal criminal prosecutor and senior manager. Previously, she was a shareholder and Board of Directors member at Leonard, Street and Deinard, where she litigated commercial and intellectual property disputes. Ms. Engisch is a volunteer at a Catholic Charities Opportunity Center Branch and a former board member of the Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Harriet Tubman Center.
Thomas Fraser: Mr. Fraser is a shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., where his practice consists of general civil trials and practice as an arbitrator, mediator, and special master. Previously, he was a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Solicitor General and Tort Claims Divisions of the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General. Mr. Fraser currently serves as the chair of the Judiciary Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the chair of the board for Call for Justice, L.L.C. and is a board member of the Council on Crime and Justice.
Juan Hoyos: Mr. Hoyos currently serves as an Assistant County Attorney at the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes felonies with an emphasis on crimes against persons. Previously, he was a Public Defender, having served in Minnesota’s First and Second Judicial Districts, and the State Public Defender’s Office. Mr. Hoyos is past president of the Warren Burger Inn of Court, the Ramsey County Bar Association and the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, and is the former chair of the Board of Directors for the Resource Center of the Americas.
Carolina Lamas: Ms. Lamas currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief Attorney for the Neighborhood Justice Center, Inc., where she manages the community-based non-profit while representing low-income persons charged with felonies, misdemeanors and probation violations. Previously, she was a Public Defender in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District. Ms. Lamas is the Vice President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and a former President of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.
Bruce Manning: Mr. Manning is Counsel at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., where he primarily practices in commercial civil litigation. Mr. Manning also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School, and is a trustee at the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School. Previously, he was a member and vice-chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the City of Minneapolis and was the former co-chair of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council.
Nnamdi Okoronkwo: Mr. Okoronkwo is an Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney, where, in addition to providing legal counsel for the city, he is presently assigned to the 4th Police Precinct Station as a community attorney and works on livability and neighborhood issues in North Minneapolis. Previously, he was an Associate Corporate Counsel for Best Buy and, prior to that, was a broadcast engineer for WCCO Television. Mr. Okoronkwo is an active volunteer with Harvest Heartland, the River of Life Church Homeless Shelter, and the Northside Comic Club.
Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District consists of Hennepin County.
An announcement of the appointments will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.