Anderson, UND Law School 2001 Grad, Appointed As 6th District Judge


Jesse White

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News Article

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Campus Unit

School of Law


VIRGINIA — Michelle Anderson has been tapped by Gov. Mark Dayton to replace Sixth District Judge James Florey, who was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals earlier this year.

Anderson, a graduate of Virginia High School, has worked in the St. Louis County Attorney’s office as in Virginia since 2006 — most recently as Range Division Head.

“I’m just extremely grateful for the opportunity the governor has given me to continue working for the people but in a different capacity,” she said by phone Wednesday. “There were a lot of great candidates in this process so I feel pretty fortunate to be the person he believes can do the work.”

Anderson — who will be chambered in Virginia — applied for the position after Florey’s announcement and was interviewed by a state judicial selection committee in Duluth earlier this summer. That committee then recommended her and two other candidates to the governor.

Anderson interviewed with Dayton last Friday.

Getting to the bench wasn’t a career goal Anderson said, but when the opportunity presented itself she decided to throw her hat in the ring.

“Certainly it’s an incredible honor to be considered for a district court judge position so when the vacancy came I just made a decision that I would apply,” she said.

In a press release, Dayton said: “Michelle Anderson brings a spirit of volunteerism and strong experience in both public service and private practice to this important new role. I thank Ms. Anderson for agreeing to serve the people of Minnesota as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District.”

Anderson said she’s not sure when she will get behind the bench for the first time as the timing details need to be worked out between her office and the court administrator.

“With Judge Florey being gone there is a lot falling on Judge (Gary) Pagliaccetti and Judge (Terry) Aronson as well as court administration with having to make those schedules work so I’m excited to get started,” she said, adding that leaving her current office won’t be easy.

Anderson has been the Range Division Head in the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, supervising attorneys and criminal caseloads in both Hibbing and Virginia offices. Before that she was assistant county attorney.

“Certainly it’s difficult to leave my office. I love the work I do and I’ve been lucky to do this work but I’m excited to get onto the next one,” she said.

In April, the Governor announced that Florey would become just the third representative from the Eighth District to hold a seat on the state appeals court since it was formed in November 1983. The first was R.A. (Jim) Randall, who was appointed in 1984. Stauber was appointed in 2008.

He had been a Sixth District Judge since 1999.

Anderson said she reached out to her predecessor and said she understands she has some “big shoes to fill,” adding that she feels it’s an honor to take his seat.

“Certainly I’ve been appearing before Judge Florey since 2006 so I’ve learned a lot from him in the way he does his job and I certainly want to carry [that] forward, most importantly just how much he cared about people and the system and being respectful of people that are in the system,” Anderson said.

According to the press release, before becoming an assistant St. Louis County Attorney, Anderson was an associate attorney at Prebich and Sullivan, P.C., and a judicial law clerk to the Pagliaccetti. She earned both her B.A. and J.D. from the University of North Dakota.

She is also the Vice President of the North St. Louis County Sexual Assault Program Board, a member of the Mountain Iron-Buhl Public School Board and Vice President of its Parent Teacher Association, and a member of the YMCA Strategic Planning Committee.

Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District consists of Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis Counties.

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