Two Hennepin County judge races have plenty of hopefuls

  • Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 8, 2014 - 10:51 PM

Twelve attorneys will vie for two open Hennepin County judge seats in Tuesday’s primary.

A crowded field of 12 attorneys is vying for two open Hennepin County judge seats in Tuesday’s primary election. The top two vote-getters in each race will move on to the November election.

The seats opened up after Judges Janet Nordell Poston and Robert Small decided not to seek another term.

Here are the seven candidates for Seat 43:

Daniel Cragg, 31, is an attorney with Eckland & Blando in Minneapolis. He is also a volunteer attorney with the Federal Bar Association’s Pro Se Project. The publication Minnesota Lawyer named him an “Up and Coming Attorney” in 2014, and he has been recognized for his pro bono service.

Mark Giancola, 57, is president and shareholder managing partner of the criminal defense firm Giancola-Durkin. Before becoming a lawyer, he earned a nursing degree. He was a past member of the Blaine Park Board and is a current board member of the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Foundation.

Brian Hagerty, 46, has spent most of his 10 years as an attorney working as a law clerk for district, federal and Supreme Court judges in Minnesota and for a federal appeals court judge in New York. He also was an adjunct professor of legal writing at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. Before he went to law school at age 33, he started and ran CyberX, which he describes as Minneapolis’ first Internet cafe.

Jason Hutchison, 40, has been a criminal and civil trial referee for Hennepin County District Court since 2012. Before that, he was a prosecutor for the city of Hopkins and conflict case prosecutor for Medina, Deephaven, Maple Grove and Golden Valley. He was an associate attorney at Steiner & Curtiss for eight years and served on various criminal justice and judicial task forces.

Glen Norton, 55, has focused primarily on family law since 1986. He joined Henningson & Snoxell in 2012 after merging his private practice with the firm. He was vice chair of the Legislative Committee and member of the Domestic Abuse Committee for the state bar association’s family law section.

Paul Scoggin, 55, has spent most of his 30 years in law as a prosecutor for the Hennepin County attorney’s office. He headed its appellate section and violent-crimes division, and took a year off to prosecute cases for various projects and agencies in Europe and Jordan. He oversaw the first full-scale overhaul of eyewitness lineup procedures in an effort to reduce identification errors, and has received several awards from the county for quality service delivery.

Bridget Ann Sullivan, 51, worked at the law firm of Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly and practiced commercial, employment and intellectual property litigation at what is now Faegre Baker Daniels. She also volunteered as a guardian ad litem as well as in Hennepin County housing court. She represented victims of fraud cases involving Tom Petters and Denny Hecker and was named a “Rising Star” by Law & Politics magazine in 2000.

Here are the five candidates vying for Seat 61:

Beverly Aho, 57, is part of the litigation, corporate, and real estate and development practice groups for the James H. Gilbert Law Group. Before working as an attorney, she was employed as a program manager for Control Data Corporation’s Space Systems Division, for satellite programs including the Space Defense Initiative program. She also co-founded a technology company, Information Technology Solutions Inc.

Steven Antolak, 57, started his own law firm in 1992, concentrating on court hearings, lawsuits and litigation for small businesses and their owners. Eventually, the practice grew to three offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He later opened his own solo practice. He has been elected to several school boards, served on Brooklyn Park’s Human Rights and Park Planning commissions and is a commissioner on the Three Rivers Park District Board.

Mark Arneson, 43, has 16 years of experience as an attorney, dedicating much of his practice to drunken driving and criminal defense. He has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Law & Politics magazine. He was named a Top 100 DWI Attorney in Minnesota by The National Advocacy for DWI Defense and a Top 10 criminal defense attorney in Minnesota by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Jean Brandl, 50, currently works at Heltzer & Houghtaling, representing criminal and civil clients in state district and appellate court, federal district and appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. She also serves a federal public defender. She co-owned the law firm of Cloutier & Brandl from 2007 to 2012, and worked for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

Amy Dawson, 46, started her legal career at Faegre & Benson in 1992. She worked at several other firms and organizations before starting her own firm in 2009, the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, which focuses on helping individuals and families affected by disabilities. She is a member of the Statewide Autism Advisory Council.

 

David Chanen • 612-673-4465

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