Minnesota – Second Judicial District Nominees

Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Candidates for Second Judicial District to Governor Tim Walz

ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) The Commission on Judicial Selection today announced that it is recommending three candidates for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District. The position will become vacant upon the retirement of the Honorable Robert A. Awsumb. The seat will be chambered in St. Paul in Ramsey County.

Mary Mitchell: Ms. Mitchell is an assistant district attorney for Ramsey County, where she is the director of the Youth Justice and Welfare Division, which handles cases of juvenile delinquency, truancy and school neglect. Previously, she served as Assistant Public Defender in Hennepin County in the Adult Criminal Division and Law Clerk to the Honorable Tanya M. Bransford in the Fourth Judicial District. Ms. Mitchell’s community involvement includes serving on the board of Women’s Advocates, a domestic violence shelter and advocacy organization in St. Paul. She previously served as a trustee of the Sheltering Arms Foundation and president of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers.

Jennifer Verdeja: Ms. Verdeja is the Ramsey County Assistant District Attorney in the Trial Justice and Pretrial Divisions. Ms. Verdeja prosecutes felony-level crimes, focusing on criminal sexual behavior, homicide and assault. She also serves on the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force and the Second District Ethics Committee. Ms. Verdeja previously worked as an assistant district attorney for Anoka County and as an assistant public defender and community corrections worker for Ramsey County. Ms. Verdeja’s community involvement includes serving as a judge for the Urban Debate League, volunteering with the Cretin-Derham Hall Parents Association and coaching youth at St. Paul.

Der Yang: Ms. Yang is the founder of Village Lawyer, a general practice practice specializing in family law and criminal defense located in the Hmong village on the east side of St. Paul. She is also an adjunct professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, where she teaches civil dispute resolution, civil procedure, and family law. Ms. Yang was previously an assistant public defender in Stearns County and a special public defender in St. Louis County. Ms. Yang is chair of the Friends of St. Paul Public Library Advocacy Committee. She is also a volunteer attorney for the Volunteer Lawyer’s Network and a youth mentor with the Yang Wameng Association of Minnesota. Ms. Yang is a competition recorder and trial judge at Mitchell Hamline Law School and the University of Minnesota Law School.

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