DHS Commissioner Jesson is one of four finalists for two state Court of Appeals openings

State Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson is one of four recommended candidates for two open positions on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Gov. Mark Dayton will now interview the four candidates, who were recommended by the Commission on Judicial Selection.

The openings on the court are the result of the appointment of Judge Natalie Hudson to the state Supreme Court and the pending retirement of Judge John Smith in February.

The governor’s office sent bios of the recommended candidates:

  • Judge Diane B. Bratvold, a District Court Judge in the Fourth Judicial District. Prior to her appointment, she was a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan P.A., partner and associate at Rider Bennett, LLP, and an attorney at Fetterly & Gordon, P.A. Judge Bratvold serves as the Director and Treasurer of Advocates for Human Rights, is a board member for the Zion Lutheran Foundation in Anoka, volunteers as a mentor at the University of St. Thomas Law School, and previously served as Director and Secretary of the Champlin Park Vocal Music Association.
  • Judge Jeffrey M. Bryan, a District Court Judge in the Second Judicial District. Prior to his appointment, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office and a civil litigation attorney at Robins, Kaplan, LLP. Judge Bryan serves as an executive board member on the Minnesota Urban Debate League and is involved with various committees with the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association. He also volunteers as coach and team manager for the Saint Paul Blackhawks Football Club and as a Sunday school teacher at the Fairmont Avenue Methodist Church.
  • Lucinda E. Jesson, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Prior to her appointment, she was an Associate Professor at Hamline University, partner at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly, LLP, Chief Deputy County Attorney for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, and the Deputy Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Commissioner Jesson serves on the executive committee of the Olmstead Subcabinet and is the Co-Chair of the Children’s Justice Initiative, the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness, Task Force on Health Care Financing, and the Governor’s Task Force on Child Protection.
  • Tracy M. Smith, Deputy General Counsel for the University of Minnesota, where she is responsible for representing the University in general litigation in state and federal district and appellate courts. Previously, she was an Associate General Counsel for the University of Minnesota, Assistant Attorney in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and a judicial clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. Smith volunteers for Southwest High School and previously served on the Minneapolis Public Schools Advisory Committee on Global Languages and volunteered as a teacher for English language learners at Neighborhood House.

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