Two of three new Hennepin County judges have Pawlenty ties

In his waning days on the job, Gov. Tim Pawlenty stayed fairly close to home in making three appointments to the Hennepin County District Court bench.

One is the governor’s general counsel, Patrick D. Robben. Another, Jamie L. Anderson, is married to Paul Anderson, a longtime Pawlenty aide and now his deputy chief of staff.

Also appointed was Mary R. Vasaly. The three replace Warren R. Sagstuen. Stephen C. Aldrich and Tanja K. Manrique, who’ve retired.

Anderson wasn’t screened through the Commission on Judicial Selection, which normally reviews applicants and names finalists for the governor to select. The law allows this because Pawelnty is near the end of his term. Robben and Vasaly did go through the screening process.

Short bios on the three new judges from the governor’s office:

Robben is the general counsel to the Office of the Governor, a position he has held since 2009. Previously, he was an attorney with the Morrison, Fenske and Sund law firm in Minnetonka from 2007 to 2009, an associate attorney (2000 to 2005) and partner (2005 to 2007) with the Rider Bennett law firm in Minneapolis, an associate attorney with the Briggs and Morgan law firm in Minneapolis from 1999 to 2000, and a law clerk to Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Joan Ericksen Lancaster from 1998 to 1999.

Vasaly is an attorney and partner with the Maslon, Edelman, Borman and Brand law firm in Minneapolis. She has been an attorney with the firm since 1984 and a partner since 1993. She has also been an attorney in the Minnesota State Public Defender’s office from 1983 to 1984, and a law clerk with the Honeywell Office of General Counsel in Minneapolis from 1982 to 1983. She was also a staff nurse at the Hennepin County Medical Center from 1977 to 1982.

Anderson is an attorney with the Howse and Thompson law firm in Plymouth, a position she has held since 2005. Her previous positions include being the legislative affairs director for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry; a committee administrator with the Minnesota House of Representatives, during which time she was on an assignment hearing and ruling on unemployment cases on appeal with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Unemployment Insurance Legal Affairs Division; and a research attorney with Legal Research Center in Minneapolis.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by William Pappas on 12/23/2010 - 07:05 am.

    What most of us would like to know is the history and trend of their judicial rulings or a more revealing look at their political history. Any chance of that?

  2. Submitted by William Pappas on 12/23/2010 - 07:19 am.

    It appears, through Google, that Anderson served as a lobbyist as well. If that is true the client list is very interesting.

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