FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 13, 2021
Contact: Claire Lancaster
claire.lancaster@state.mn.us
651-219-2975 

Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Fifth Judicial District Finalists to Governor Walz

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending three finalists for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District. The vacancy occurred upon the creation of a new district court judgeship effect July 1, 2021. The seat will be chambered in Mankato in Blue Earth County.

Andrea Lieser: Ms. Lieser is a Deputy County Attorney in the Brown County Attorney’s Office, where her responsibilities include prosecuting felony and gross misdemeanor cases. She has previously served as an Assistant Public Defender for Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office representing indigent clients in criminal proceedings and children in Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) matters. Her community involvement includes serving as a volunteer Commissioner on the New Ulm City’s Police Commission, a member of the Predatory Offender Work Group, a board member on the New Ulm Community Garden Board, a volunteer at her children’s elementary school, and a member of the New Ulm Women’s Forum and the League of Women Voters New Ulm Chapter. Ms. Lieser also serves on the Brown County Drug Court Team where she assists in the application and referral process and attends Drug Court hearings.

Kristine Weeks: Ms. Weeks is currently an Assistant Public Defender in Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office. She previously worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District Public Defender’s Office, as a law clerk to the Honorable Diane R. Alshouse, and as an Adjunct Professor at Hamline University in the Legal Studies department. As an Assistant Public Defender, Ms. Weeks represents indigent clients in misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, felony, and probation violation proceedings. She also represents clients in child protection and delinquency matters. For the last nine years, she has served as a union steward for Teamsters Local 320. She is also a member of the Blue Earth County Law Library Board and Minnesota Women Lawyers, and she also serves as a volunteer judge for the Minnesota High School Mock Trial Program. In the past, she has served as a volunteer mock trial coach, a volunteer conflict screener for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, and a volunteer at the Animal Humane Society. 

Aaron Zurek: Mr. Zurek is an Assistant Public Defender with Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office. He represents indigent clients in misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, felony, and probation violation proceedings. He also represents clients in child protection and delinquency matters. Previously, Mr. Zurek served as a staff attorney in the State Court Administrator’s Office, Legal Counsel Division, where he worked to improve court accessibility through Minnesota Judicial Branch’s eCourtMN initiative. Mr. Zurek has been involved with the community in various capacities including serving as a co-organizer of the annual Miles4Miles 5k, a member of the Law Library Board of Trustees for Cottonwood and Watonwan counties, and a volunteer with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and the Minnesota Justice Foundation. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and Minnesota’s Sixth District Bar Association.  

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit: https://mn.gov/governor/administration/judicialappointments/ 

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