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Commission on judicial selection recommends Seventh Judicial District candidates to Governor Dayton

The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending six candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the four current vacancies in Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District. These vacancies will occur upon the retirements of the Honorable Steven J. Cahill, the Honorable Sally Ireland Robertson, the Honorable Waldemar B. Senyk, and the Honorable Galen J. Vaa. Judge Cahill's seat and Judge Vaa's seat will be chambered at Moorhead in Clay County, Judge Ireland Robertson's seat will be chambered at Wadena in Wadena County and Judge Senyk's seat will be chambered at Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County.

Michelle Clark: Clark is an Assistant Douglas County Attorney, where she handles gross misdemeanor and felony cases. Previously, she was an attorney at Tillitt, McCarten, Johnson & Haseman Ltd. and a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas M. Stringer. Clark serves on the Domestic Violence Taskforce, the Douglas County Coalition on Mental Health and the Legal Office Advisory Committee at Alexandria Technical and Community College. Clark serves as a lifetime member of the Wadena Chapter of the VFW Auxiliary and the President of the Douglas County Law Library Board.

Douglas Clark: Clark is an attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, where he primarily handles cases in housing law, criminal issues, government benefits and social security. Previously, he was an attorney and supervising attorney in the St. Cloud Office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance and an attorney at Community Legal Services in Phoenix, Arizona. Clark has served as a member of the St. Cloud Civil Service Board, the St. Cloud Library Board, Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity and Minnesota Housing Partnership. He also regularly lectures at the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas Law Schools.

Amber Gustafson: Gustafson is the owner of Gustafson Law, where she specializes in family law, mediation and criminal defense work. She also serves as defense counsel for the Clay and Becker County Veterans Treatment Court, of which she is a founding member. Previously, she was an associate at Oster Law Office, an attorney advisor for the Social Security Administration, a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Lisa N. Borgen and the Hon. Galen J. Vaa and a Sergeant in the Minnesota Army National Guard. Gustafson serves as a North Dakota Guardian ad Litem, a board member of the Moorhead Business Association and Vice President of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.

Tammy Merkins: Merkins is the Becker County Attorney, where she works on a wide variety of cases with a focus on serious felony and child protection cases. As County Attorney, she also participates in and oversees attorneys for the local Drug Court, Veterans Treatment Court and DWI Court. Previously, she was an Assistant Becker County Attorney, a partner at Thorwaldsen, Malmstrom, Sorum, Majors & Merkins and an attorney at Westrick & McDowell-Nix. Merkins is on the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center Board of Directors, the Becker County Library Board of Trustees and is the former President of the Becker County Bar Association.

Kevin Miller: Miller is an Assistant Becker County Attorney, where he handles criminal prosecution and civil commitments, provides legal opinions to the Becker County Board and participates in the local specialty courts. Previously, he was an attorney at Miller Law Office, a financial advisor at Foster Klima and an associate attorney with Zenas Baer and Associates. Miller is a member of the White Earth, Becker County, Clearwater County and Mahnomen County Public Safety Committee, a Public Safety in Indian Country Partner with the U.S. Department of Justice and the former President of the Becker County Bar Association.

Jade Rosenfeldt: Rosenfeldt is an attorney and shareholder at Vogel Law Firm, where she practices criminal and family law in Minnesota and North Dakota state and federal courts. She also serves as the Chair of the firm's mentorship program. Previously, she was an intern at the Clay County Attorney's Office, a teaching assistant at the University of North Dakota School of Law and an intern with the Children's Defense Fund. Rosenfeldt is a board member for the Clay County Law Library, the Youth Court and Restorative Justice program, a Moorhead High School Task Force and is the Vice President of the Clay County Bar Association.

Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena Counties.

An announcement of the appointments will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.