Commission on Judicial Selection recommends 4th Judicial District candidates to Gov. Walz

July 21, 2021
Contact: Claire Lancaster

Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Fourth Judicial District Candidates to Governor Walz

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending five candidates for consideration to fill two vacancies in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. These vacancies will occur upon the retirements of the Honorable Margaret A. Daly and the Honorable Kathleen D. Sheehy. These seats are chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County.

Flavio Abreu: Mr. Abreu is an Assistant City Attorney at the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes a variety of gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and petty misdemeanor cases. Mr. Abreu is also an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, where he teaches trial advocacy and mentors law students. He previously worked in the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted a variety of child support related matters. In his role as a trial attorney over the past 16 years, Mr. Abreu has litigated hundreds of motion hearings and trials and has served as a mentor to newer attorneys. He regularly collaborates with criminal justice partners and works with a variety of public agencies and stakeholders. A native of Brazil, Mr. Abreu is an active member of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and its Outreach Committee, recruiting and helping minorities enter and succeed in the legal field. His role in the MHBA Outreach Committee also includes meeting with local communities and underrepresented members and informing them about a variety of legal issues and services.

Amber Brennan: Ms. Brennan is Chief of the Firearms and Violent Crime section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. In this role, she supervises prosecutors handling violent crime and firearms cases, oversees local implementation of federal initiatives addressing gun violence, and prosecutes fraud schemes, public corruption, and other federal crimes. Ms. Brennan is also an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she teaches litigation skills. Previously, Ms. Brennan served as an Assistant Hennepin County attorney, where she prosecuted cases involving mortgage fraud and other financial crimes. She has also served as a Minnesota Assistant Attorney General and an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, where she represented low-income clients with housing and consumer protection matters, including predatory mortgage lending, foreclosure, illegal debt collection practices, landlord-tenant issues, and housing discrimination. Ms. Brennan co-founded a task force to recruit and train volunteer lawyers to represent victims of predatory lending and foreclosure rescue scams. Her community involvement has included volunteering with Meals on Wheels and youth basketball and football programs at Southwest High School and Pearl Park in Minneapolis.

Rachel Hughey: Ms. Hughey is a partner and shareholder at Merchant & Gould, where she litigates complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts in Minnesota and around the country. She is a member and past chair of Merchant & Gould’s Pro Bono Committee, co-chair of the firm’s Appellate Group, former chair of the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee, and former chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative. Previously, Ms. Hughey served as a judicial law clerk on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Her current community involvement includes serving as a member of the ACLU-MN Board, a member and immediate past chair of the Volunteer Lawyers Network Board, a member of the Hennepin County Bar Association Board, and a co-founder and president-elect of The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna Intellectual Property American Inn of Court. Ms. Hughey is also an active volunteer with the Advocates for Human Rights, Children’s Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers Network, and the State Public Defender’s Office. She previously served as a member of the YouthCARE Board, a member of the University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors, and a legal writing professor and moot court instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Jill Prohofsky: Ms. Prohofsky is the Deputy Child Support Magistrate Manager, where she oversees the Magistrates in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Judicial Districts, while continuing to hear cases across the state. Currently, Ms. Prohofsky serves on a number of statewide project teams dedicated to improving remote hearings and ensuring access to justice. Previously, Ms. Prohofsky served as a Child Support Magistrate in the Fourth and Tenth Judicial Districts. She is a member of the Hennepin County Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, and Minnesota Women Lawyers. Ms. Prohofsky was previously the Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation, and previously served on the Supreme Court Gender Fairness Implementation Committee. She is currently serving on the statewide Committee for Equality and Justice. Ms. Prohofsky has been an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota School of Law and at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Her community involvement includes service on the boards of Hopkins Youth Hockey Association, Hopkins Ultimate Recreation Team, and the International Spanish Language Academy. She has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, volunteered at her synagogue, and previously served on the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission.

Colette Routel: Ms. Routel is a Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Native American Law & Sovereignty Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, where she teaches Property, Federal Indian Law, the Indian Law Impact Litigation Clinic, and other subjects. Ms. Routel also serves as Of Counsel at Hogen Adams, PLLC and as an appellate judge for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. She has previously taught at the University of Michigan Law School and Wayne State University Law School, and she has worked at the Jacobson Law Group and Faegre & Benson LLP (now Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP). She is a special member of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, and a member of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association. Ms. Routel has maintained a robust pro bono practice throughout her career. In recent years, she has written eight amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and litigated several cases in state and federal courts on behalf of Indian tribes. Her previous pro bono activities include running a criminal defense clinic on the Menominee Indian Reservation, representing environmental non-profit organizations, and providing representation in asylum, housing, and family law matters.

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