Commission on Judicial Selection recommends 1st Judicial District candidates to Gov. Walz

February 9, 2022
Contact: Claire Lancaster

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

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending three candidates for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s First Judicial District. The vacancy occurred upon the retirement of the Honorable Jerome B. Abrams. The seat will be chambered in Hastings in Dakota County.

Ayodele Famodu: Ms. Famodu is an Assistant Ramsey County Attorney in the Youth Justice and Wellness Division. She joined the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Human Trafficking Task Force. She was previously an Assistant Public Defender for Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office and an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago Department of Law. She also serves as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army Reserves/National Guard. Her community involvement includes serving as an ambassador and mentor for the Kids ‘n Kinship program.  

Stacey Sorensen: Ms. Sorensen is an attorney for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Her legal practice includes personal injury, premises liability, commercial liability, workers compensation, and complex insurance litigation. Additionally, Ms. Sorensen serves as an adjunct professor in Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s trial advocacy program. She is a Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Civil Trial Specialist. She has served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and as a volunteer faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Ms. Sorensen coaches high school mock trial and serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT), as well as the Prior Lake chapter of MCGT.

Sarah Wendorf: Ms. Wendorf is the Chief Deputy County Attorney at the Scott County Attorney’s Office, where she advises the County Attorney on policymaking decisions affecting both criminal and civil proceedings. Previously, Ms. Wendorf worked as the Criminal Division Manager and as an Assistant Scott County Attorney. She has practiced in the areas of adult criminal prosecution, juvenile delinquency, and child protection. Ms. Wendorf serves on numerous multidisciplinary and steering committees in Scott County. In addition to her work in Scott County, Ms. Wendorf is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Cornerstone Advocacy Services. She is also an active member of Cornerstone’s Governance Committee, which works on implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Ms. Wendorf’s other community involvement includes service as a mock trial judge for Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School, a parent volunteer at St. Hubert School, and a member of the music ministry at St. Hubert Church.

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