Governor Walz Appoints Judge Keala Ede and Jon Schmidt to Minnesota Court of Appeals

Keala Ede and Jon Schmidt



(ST. PAUL, MN) — July 25th, 2023 – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Judge Keala Ede and Jon Schmidt to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Ede and Schmidt will fill the vacancies that will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable Denise D. Reilly and the Honorable Lucinda E. Jesson, who both served in an at-large capacity. 


Ede will be replacing the Honorable Denise D. Reilly.


“I am honored to appoint Judge Keala Ede to the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” said Governor Walz. “His breadth of experience will be an asset to the court and to the people of Minnesota. His commitment to public service and dedication to ensuring fair and equitable justice will make him a tremendous addition to the Court of Appeals.”


“Judge Ede is a thoughtful and compassionate leader,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “His commitment to equal justice, fairness, and building public trust in the judicial system will make him an excellent addition to the appellate bench. As the first Asian Pacific Islander appointed to the Court of Appeals, he will bring a valuable and needed perspective to our appellate courts.”


“I am delighted by Judge Ede’s appointment,” said Judge Wilhemina Wright of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and former Minnesota Supreme Court justice. “He is an excellent lawyer who has the skills, temperament, and integrity that Minnesotans deserve on the bench.”


“The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association and Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association celebrate the historic appointment of Judge Keala Ede to the Court of Appeals,” said Casey Matthiesen, president of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, and Chris Jison, president of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “For the first time in Minnesota’s history, the voice and perspective of the Asian Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian community will be represented on Minnesota’s appellate courts. Judge Ede’s commitment to justice, public service, and legal acumen will make him a remarkable judge on the Court of Appeals.”


Schmidt will be replacing the Honorable Lucinda E. Jesson. 


“I am honored to appoint Jon Schmidt to the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” said Governor Walz. “His nearly two decades of appellate practice has made him a respected expert in the field across the state. He is well prepared to be on the bench, and he brings empathy and compassion to his work.”


“Jon Schmidt will be a remarkable addition to the court,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “His profound understanding of appellate practice in the state of Minnesota will serve him well in this new chapter of his legal career. His commitment to being an advocate for the people and his proficiency in civil and criminal law will allow him to be a great judge.”


“Jon Schmidt, simply put, is a class act,” said Justice Anne McKeig, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. “Not only is he a remarkable attorney, but he also cares deeply about the integrity and future of the profession and spends countless hours mentoring young attorneys and students so that they can be successful members of our legal community.”


“On paper, Jon Schmidt is one of the state’s most experienced and able appellate advocates,” said Justice David Lillehaug, retired Minnesota Supreme Court justice. “But what really distinguishes him is that he is a public servant of exceptional integrity.”


About Judge Keala Ede 

Keala Ede serves as a judge in the Fourth Judicial District in Hennepin County. He previously served as an assistant federal defender in the Office of the Federal Defender in Minneapolis and as an assistant attorney general in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Ede was also a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Steven H. Levinson of the Hawai’i Supreme Court. His community involvement includes volunteering for the Fourth Judicial District Court Equal Justice Committee, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Effective Advocate Trial Skills Course, the McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court, and the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association Scholarship Committee. He earned his B.A. from Occidental College and his J.D. from the University of California-Berkeley School of Law.


About Jon Schmidt 

Jon Schmidt is a principal attorney at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. He was previously a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan. He is a past chair of the MSBA Appellate Section and established a pro bono program in which private attorneys represent indigent clients on behalf of the Minnesota Public Defenders’ Office. Schmidt’s community involvement includes serving on the advisory committees for the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure and the Rules of General Practice. He also volunteers at his children’s school, theater, and sporting activities, and as Hennepin County’s representative on the Advisory Board of the Attorney General’s Conviction Review Unit. He earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. 


For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage.


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