Commission on Judicial Selection recommends 7th Judicial District candidates to Gov. Walz


March 4, 2022

Claire Lancaster




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

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending four candidates for consideration to fill two vacancies in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. The vacancies will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable Kris H. Davick-Halfen and the resignation of the Honorable Amber B. Gustafson. These seats will be chambered in St. Cloud in Stearns County and Moorhead in Clay County.

Leah duCharme: Ms. duCharme is a senior shareholder at Gjesdahl Law, where she practices primarily family law, including marriage dissolutions, child custody, paternity, child and spousal support, domestic violence, protective orders, adoption, and guardianships. Her community involvement includes serving on the YWCA of Cass/Clay Board of Directors, the YWCA Racial Justice Committee, the YWCA Women of the Year Committee, the Moorhead City Charter Commission, the State Bar Association of North Dakota (SBAND) Ethics Committee, the SBAND Volunteer Lawyer & Lawyer Referral Committee, and the North Dakota Child Support Guidelines Quadrennial Review Committee.

Heidi Schultz: Ms. Schultz is an Assistant Todd County Attorney, where she prosecutes adult criminal cases of all levels. She was previously a partner at Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz Cass. Ms. Schultz also served as an assistant county attorney in Douglas, Olmsted, and St. Louis Counties. Earlier in her career, she clerked for the Honorable Mark A. Munger in the Sixth Judicial District. Ms. Schultz’s community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for the Alexandria Dollars for Scholars foundation and the Alexandria Figure Skating Club. Ms. Schultz also served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Greta Smolnisky: Ms. Smolnisky is a District Court Referee in the Seventh Judicial District, where she handles the Master Family calendar. She was previously an assistant public defender in the Seventh and Eighth Judicial Districts, and an attorney with Mid Minnesota Legal Aid. Ms. Smolnisky spent time in private practice, where she represented clients in immigration, family law, civil commitment, appellate, and probate matters. Ms. Smolinsky’s community involvement includes serving as a trainer for the State Public Defender Sentencing Advocacy Program. She also volunteers as a judge for the Minnesota State Bar Association Mock Trial competition.

Stormy Vickers: Mr. Vickers is a solo practitioner specializing in criminal defense at Vickers Law. He previously served as an assistant public defender in the Seventh Judicial District. Mr. Vickers community involvement includes serving as a judge for the Minnesota State Bar Association Mock Trial competition, and he is a member of the East Central Judicial District’s Drug Court team. He also previously served as a committee member on the Clay County Children’s Justice Initiative.

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