Three attorneys have been appointed to the bench in Minnesota's largest district court in downtown Minneapolis.
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced Tuesday the appointment of Dean Eyler, Kristen Marttila and Dominick Mathews as district judges. More than 60 judges serve the Fourth Judicial District encompassing Hennepin County.
Mathews, a principal attorney at the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, is replacing outgoing Chief Judge Toddrick S. Barnette, who was appointed as Minneapolis public safety commissioner in October. Barnette's chief role is filled by Judge Kerry Meyer.
Mathews previously served as Barnette's law clerk. He now supervises more than 100 attorneys and staff in the felony prosecution of serious and violent crimes. He is a member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and earned his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.
"His deep roots in community and lived experience will serve the people of the Fourth Judicial District well. I look forward to seeing him excel in his new role, " Flanagan said of Mathews in a news release Tuesday.
Eyler will replace Judge Keala Ede, who Walz recently appointed to the Court of Appeals. Marttila will replace Judge Tanya Bransford, who is retiring after nearly three decades on the bench.
Marttila litigates antitrust and other consumer-oriented class action as a partner at Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP. She was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Patrick J. Schiltz and Honorable Eric C. Tostrud on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. In her past work at Faegre & Benson LLP, she handled environmental and land use matters.
Eyler, a former Edina High School debate coach, is partner at Lathrop GPM handling commercial and intellectual property disputes. He previously clerked for Judge Donald P. Lay on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and was an associate attorney at Dorsey & Whitney law firm.
Both Eyler and Marttila earned their law degrees from University of Iowa College of Law.
Walz said that Eyler has "an extensive background in complex civil litigation that will lend itself well to the Hennepin County bench." Flanagan added that he is dedicated to serving the most vulnerable based on his pro bono representation with asylum seekers.
Flanagan said Marttila often advocates for the underdog, lending herself to be "a fair, effective, and empathetic jurist." Walz added that her background "will bring a valuable perspective to this court."