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Dayton appoints Cass County judge to fill at-large seat on Minnesota Court of Appeals

Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appointment of the Honorable John P. Smith as judge of an at-large seat on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Smith will replace the Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, who was appointed earlier this year to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

“For over 21 years, Judge John Smith has served admirably as a district court judge,” Dayton said. “He is highly regarded by his colleagues, as evidenced by his election as president of the Minnesota District Judges Association. I have the utmost confidence in his experience and ability to serve on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.”

Smith has served as a Ninth Judicial District Court judge since his appointment by Gov. Arne Carlson in 1991. He has served as both chief judge and assistant chief judge of the Ninth Judicial District and has served as vice chair of the Minnesota Judicial Council.

He is currently the president of the Minnesota District Judges Association and serves as a faculty member with the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev.

Before his appointment in 1991, Smith was a civil trial specialist with the firm of Smith and Hunter in Park Rapids. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Concordia College in 1971, his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in 1975, and his L.L.M. from Emory University of Law in 1987.

Additionally, Smith is active in the Boy Scouts of America, having served as a scoutmaster for many years and currently as a member of the executive board of the Central Minnesota Council. He has received numerous awards and honors for his judicial leadership and community activities.

He has four adult children and two grandsons and lives in Nevis with his wife, Linda.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals handles most of the appeals from the final decision of the trial courts, state agencies and local governments. It is composed of judges who represent each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts as well as 11 judges who serve in an at-large capacity.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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