It seems a Waseca law firm has become something of a training ground for Minnesota judges.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, Gov. Tim Walz appointed Waseca County-based defense attorney Karie Anderson to replace retiring Third District Court Judge John Cajacob on the bench in Faribault.

Anderson’s appointment follows her former Patton Hoversten and Berg colleague’s, Carol Hanks. Hanks was named a Third District judge in January 2017. Hanks is chambered in Waseca.

“Karie has demonstrated remarkable perseverance, beginning her career as a legal secretary, working through law school, and rising quickly through the legal profession,” Walz said in a prepared statement. “Her commitment to her practice and her community is clear, and she will serve the people of Rice County well.”

Anderson has worked in law in Minnesota for more than two decades. At 19, she got a job as a legal secretary in the Blue Earth County public defender’s offices, and progressed to the status of legal assistant.

Anderson completed her bachelor’s degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2006, with a major in law enforcement. In 2007 she joined Patton Hoversten and Berg, which has offices in Waseca, Faribault, Owatonna and Janesville and became a law clerk in 2009. She subsequently attended William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and was admitted to the bar in 2012. Anderson’s specific areas of expertise are diverse, including Family Law, Real Estate, Criminal Defense, Bankruptcy, and General Civil Litigation.

In addition to her work with Patterson, Hoversten & Berg, Anderson has served as defense counsel for the Steele-Waseca Drug Court since its inception. In just five years, the treatment court has helped more than 50 residents of both counties successfully rebuild their lives.

Anderson also holds a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. She’s used the background in a variety of mediation and negotiation techniques in her job, as a referee for the Waseca County conciliation court.

Anderson is well respected by her peers, who chose her to serve as president of the Fifth District Bar Association. One of 21 Bar Association districts throughout the state, the Fifth District covers Rice, Steele, Waseca and Dodge counties.

Although Anderson isn’t a Waseca County employee, her work with the Waseca County Drug Court and as a court-appointed attorney for child protection cases has endeared her to it County Attorney’s office.

“I think she will be an excellent addition to the bench,” said Waseca County Attorney Rachel Cornelius. “She’s highly involved in a multitude of our cases and will be missed…. She’s a very logical candidate for the position for the position so I’m not surprised she was appointed.”

Anderson is also involved with the National Center for DWI Courts as a faculty member, with the Minnesota Valley Action Council and the Waseca Area Foundation as a board member, with Waseca High School Mock Trial program as a coach and as a member of the Waseca Rotary Club.

With Anderson’s appointment, two of the three judges based in Rice County are women. Anderson will share the bench with Judge Christine Long, appointed in 2010 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Judge Jeffrey Johnson, appointed in 2018 by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Anderson’s inauguration is scheduled for Friday, March 20 in the afternoon.

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