Two area attorneys up for judgeship
Two area attorneys are among three finalists for a judgeship for a Seventh Judicial District trial court bench vacancy in Fergus Falls. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has accepted the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Selection for a Seventh Judic...
Two area attorneys are among three finalists for a judgeship for a Seventh Judicial District trial court bench vacancy in Fergus Falls.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has accepted the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Selection for a Seventh Judicial District trial court bench vacancy in Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County.
The opening occurred upon the death of Judge Thomas M. Stringer on Jan. 19. The Supreme Court certified the continuation of the chambers of this judgeship for Otter Tail County. The finalists are Jay D. Carlson, Timothy M. Churchwell, and Mark F. Hansen.
Carlson, of Big Cormorant Lake, is an attorney in private practice with offices in Detroit Lakes and Fargo. He has been a self-employed attorney since 1979, except between 2003 and 2005, when he was an attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Ohnstad and Twichell.
Carlson earned his juris doctorate degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1979, and his bachelor of arts degree cum laude from St. John's University in Collegeville in 1976.
Hansen, of Ottertail, is an attorney and partner with the Wadena law firm of Hansen and Pederson, a position he has held since 1985. He is also a part-time assistant Wadena County Attorney; city attorney for Aldrich, Bertha, Sebeka, and Wadena; a prosecuting attorney for the cities of Menahga and Verndale; and township attorney for Blueberry Township and Deer Creek Township.
Prior to forming Hansen and Pederson, Hansen was an associate attorney with the law firm of Kennedy and Nervig in Wadena from 1974 to 1985, and an Eighth Judicial District law clerk in Chippewa County from 1972 to 1974. Hansen earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1972, and his bachelor of arts degree cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul in 1969.
Churchwell, of Burtrum, is an attorney and shareholder with the Long Prairie law firm of Peters and Churchwell, and a part-time Seventh Judicial District assistant public defender. He has held both positions since 1994. He was an attorney with the law firm of Brown and Sellnow (now known as the Brown Law Office) in Long Prairie from 1991 to 1994, an attorney with the law firm of Curott and Jesse in Milaca from 1990 to 1991, and a Third Judicial District law clerk for the Honorable Lawrence T. Collins in Winona from 1989 to 1990.
Churchwell earned his juris doctor degree cum laude from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1989, and his bachelor of arts degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb in 1985.
The Commission on Judicial Selection screens judicial candidates and makes recommendations to the governor for district court vacancies that occur during the term of a judge. The commission consists of 13 members: nine at-large members and four members from the judicial district.
The commission members include attorneys and non-attorneys appointed by the governor and the Minnesota Supreme Court. The commission received 18 applications for this judicial vacancy.