First female judge in the district retiring
JACKSON — After serving 24 years on the bench, Judge Linda S. Titus will be retiring from Jackson County District Court on Friday.
Titus was appointed to the bench on March 1, 1990, and became the first woman judge in Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial district.
Previously, she was the Jackson County Attorney from 1988-1989. She was an associate with Von Holtum, Malters & Shepherd in Worthington, and was also the assistant city attorney for Worthington from 1978-1984.
“This job is all about progression,” Titus said. “You make each decision as it comes along.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a judge,” she added. “Each case is important in and of itself.”
Titus has not always practiced law. When she graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, she was a secondary-level English teacher in Circle Pines.
“At the time my husband was going to veterinary school … but I always knew I wanted to go to grad school, and law school is what I picked,” Titus said.
Titus attended William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and graduated in 1978.
“There was no grand plan in why I picked law school, but I always felt I made the right choice,” she said. “You never get bored in this job.”
Titus will still be working part- time as a judge until July, but she said she is definitely looking forward to retired life with her husband.
“We have no definite plans, except on Monday morning my husband and I are hopping a plane to Charleston, S.C., and staying for five days,” she said.
As for finding a new judge to take her place, Titus explained a replacement may not be found until the fall.
“It’s quite an extensive procedure,” Titus explained. “First, the Supreme Court must certify the vacancy. Then (it) asks for advisory in choosing candidates, and then the governor chooses the final candidate.
“Once the governor chooses, whoever it is will have to leave wherever they are practicing law,” she said.
“That could take weeks or a month by itself, so it’s hard to say when a new judge will step in.”
When reflecting on her retirement time, Titus said she is ready to have more freedom.
“I’m looking forward to finding other things to do,” she said.
“One of the things I’ve done is bought myself a bright red purse,” she explained. “I would never have done that before, because you never want your wardrobe to be a distraction from your work. So, I’m just looking forward to doing more fun things like that.”
The process of finding a new judge will begin after Titus’s official last day.
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.