Updated: Moore among finalists for Minnesota Supreme Court
ST. PAUL — Earlier this year, Gov. Tim Walz asked a merit selection panel consisting of leadership in the Governor’s Office, the Chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection, and the at-large members of that Commission, to solicit applicants, review candidates, and recommend finalists for appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The panel announced today that it is recommending four candidates for consideration to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court occurring upon the retirement of the Honorable David L. Lillehaug. Among the candidates is Gordon Moore of Worthington.
Moore currently serves as a judge in the Fifth Judicial District chambered in Worthington in Nobles County, where he presides over a wide variety of criminal, civil, juvenile, probate and child protection matters. Previously, Moore served as the Nobles County Attorney, where he managed the office and was the county’s chief prosecutor.
Prior to becoming the Nobles County Attorney, Moore was an associate attorney and assistant city attorney at the Worthington law firm Malters, Shepherd & Von Holtum. He also was a special assistant and assistant attorney general under Attorney General Hubert Humphrey.
Moore's community involvement has included service on the Worthington First United Methodist Church’s Board of Trustees, as a member of the Worthington Hockey Association’s Board of Directors, a youth hockey and soccer coach, founding director of the Worthington Futbol Club, and roles as chair with the boards of School District 518 and the Worthington Area YMCA.
The three other candidates are:
Judge Diane Bratvold: Bratvold has served on the Court of Appeals since her appointment by Gov. Mark Dayton in March 2016 and subsequent election to a six-year term in 2018. Previously, she served as a district court judge in the Fourth Judicial District, where she presided over pretrial hearings and trials in the criminal misdemeanor and civil divisions. Prior to joining the bench, Bratvold was a trial lawyer and an appellate attorney.
Judge Jeffrey Bryan: Bryan has served on the Court of Appeals since his appointment by Gov. Walz in November 2019. Previously, he served as a district court judge in the Second Judicial District. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was an Assistant United States Attorney, where he prosecuted economic fraud and drug-trafficking conspiracies, and was a civil litigation attorney for Robins Kaplan, LLP, where he developed a litigation practice emphasizing antitrust law and intellectual property disputes. At the start of his legal career, Bryan clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson.
John Keller: Keller serves as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, where he oversees the Office’s 130+ attorneys, deputies, and managers, helps set and carry out the legal and policy priorities of the office, and strengthens partnerships across state government and the community. Previously, Keller was the executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), which he helped transform from a small, regional legal-services organization to a nationally recognized statewide provider of free, high-quality, and comprehensive legal, policy and education services for low-income immigrants and refugees.
Additionally, the merit selection panel also announced Friday that it is recommending four candidates for consideration to fill the current vacancy on the Court of Appeals. This vacancy will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable John Rodenberg., and is an at-large designated seat.
Moore is also one of four finalists for this post. The other three are:
Rachel Bond: Bond is currently a managing attorney in the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender, where she represents indigent criminal defendants in their direct appeals to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court. Previously, she was an attorney at Faegre & Benson LLP and at Shearman & Sterling. At the start of her legal career, Bond clerked for Chief Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Judge Jamie Cork: Cork currently serves as a judge in the First Judicial District chambered in Hastings in Dakota County, where she presides over a variety of cases including criminal, civil, juvenile, probate, and family matters. Previously, she was a former Assistant Hennepin County Attorney where she worked in the Child Protection Division, specializing in Sexually Exploited Youth and Indian Child Welfare Act cases, including: traditional child protection, long term foster care, educational neglect, runaway, sexually exploited youth, Rule 20 incompetent delinquent, and truancy cases. Prior to becoming an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, Judge Cork was an adjunct professor at Hamline University School of Law and St. Thomas School of Law, teaching Juvenile Justice, and Children and the Law.
Judge Theodora Gaïtas: Gaïtas currently serves as a judge in the Fourth Judicial District chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County, where she presides over criminal matters and co-chairs the district's Domestic Violence Steering Committee. Previously, she practiced with Matonich Law, where she represented individuals in medical negligence and medical device litigation throughout Minnesota. Prior to practicing at Matonic Law, Gaïtas served as an appellate public defender with the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender's Office, a trial-level public defender in Pennsylvania, and a judicial clerk at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Judge Gaïtas serves as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Advisory Committee.