Off the bench: Jeff Flynn retires senior judge status to resume legal practice

WORTHINGTON -- After a 31-year hiatus from practicing law, former district court judge Jeff Flynn will again be offering his services and professional expertise as a Worthington attorney.

Jeff Flynn (left) poses with his son, Jesse, last week at Jesse A. Flynn Law Office in Worthington. The elder Flynn will join his son’s practice on April 1. (Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - After a 31-year hiatus from practicing law, former district court judge Jeff Flynn will again be offering his services and professional expertise as a Worthington attorney.
Effective April 1, Flynn is joining his son, Jesse, at Jesse A. Flynn Law Office, where he will focus on providing mediation in civil cases but is also willing to accept cases involving product liability, personal injury, business litigation, probate and estate planning as requested.
“There’s a need for some civil practice lawyers in the area, and these areas will be a good fit with my experience,” observed Flynn.
“I’m interested in developing my practice again because I need to stay busy, and sitting around waiting for the weather to warm up in Minnesota - well, that dog didn’t hunt.”
Flynn was appointed to the bench in the state’s Fifth Judicial District on June 1, 1984; he retired in January 2012. He has served as a senior judge in the region since then, until resigning that status on March 1.
“I’m really looking forward to having him here,” said Jesse Flynn, the only one of the former judge’s four children to follow his father into a legal career.
Jesse Flynn opened his solo Worthington legal practice in July 2012, after having previously worked at Ahlquist & Wiltrout LLP since February 2007.
“I mostly do real estate transactions, as well as some estate planning and probate matters,” the younger Flynn detailed.
“Having Jeff here will not only help build my practice, but I can get his advice on a lot of matters - and having a mentor on hand really helps any attorney or judge.”
Both Flynns are Worthington High School alumni who went on to earn bachelor’s degrees at St. John’s University. Jeff Flynn graduated from the William Mitchell College of Law in 1975 and was in private practice for nine years (three in the Twin Cities and six in Worthington) before he became a judge.
“When you’re a judge, you’re working for the state and doing a particular job, trying to move your calendar along, resolve the cases that come before you and be fair,” noted Flynn.
“As a lawyer, you’re an advocate for your client,” he added. “It’s the same law, the same rules apply, but you’re taking a different approach to cases and have a different perspective, for sure.
“Being in private practice again means I’ll be representing clients, but still working with the same subject matter, the same legal community and the same kinds of cases.”
Flynn anticipates he may also work on complex estates.
“Folks around here now, especially some farmers, have large estates that require significant planning due to land values,” observed Flynn.
In his earlier private practice career, Flynn did “a lot” of personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, as well as handling mediations, wills, probate and family law.
Jeff Flynn is the second lawyer to join Jesse Flynn’s practice in the past year; Candace Riordan, who formerly practiced in Jackson and primarily does estate planning, began working with him last February.
“My dad’s career and legal experience definitely piqued my interest in law,” said Jesse Flynn, a December 2006 graduate of Hamline University School of Law. He lives in Worthington with his wife, Heather, a Worthington Middle School fifth-grade teacher, and their two young children
As Jeff Flynn voluntarily and enthusiastically returns to the legal profession, he expects to maintain his interests in golf, walking and grandchildren while also exercising his intellectual skills and representing clients on the job.
“I’ll work part-time to start with and see how busy things become,” he said. “But I need to stay busy, stay interested and stay active in the law.”
Jesse A. Flynn Law Office is located at 906 Third Ave., Worthington; 372-2620.

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