Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Stephen Smith to a judge position in Ramsey County.
He replaces Judge Joanne Smith (no relation), who retired earlier this year.
Stephen Smith has been an assistant state public defender for 14 years; he also has a private law firm, where he has handled employment, criminal and civil rights cases.
He is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers.