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Judge Profile:

Senior Judge Jon Stafsholt
(retired 2013)

Pope County


Appointed June 20, 1983.   Elected in 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. 
Retired April 30, 2013.

Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015.


University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. 1972); University of Missouri (B.A. 1965; B.J. 1965), double major Spanish and Journalism; California Lutheran University (A.A.).

Employment Background:

General Practice in Elbow Lake 1972-1983; Grant County Attorney 1979-1983.

Bar Admissions:

Minnesota Supreme Court (1972); Federal District Court of Minnesota (1972).


Taught law-related undergraduate classes at the University of Minnesota (Morris Campus), Alexandria Technical College, Fergus Falls Community College, and Willmar Community College.  Presented seminars for Minnesota CLE, ABA National Conference of State Trial Judges, Minnesota Conference of Judges, Iowa Judges Association, and Tennessee Judges Association.

Professional Organizations:

Served on the Executive Committee of the ABA National Conference of State Trial Judges; served three terms of delegate to the ABA House of Delegates representing Minnesota; Served on the ABA Rural Courts Committee, Judicial Outreach Committee, POW/MIA Committee, and Criminal Rules Committee.
Served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Criminal Rules Advisory Committee and General Rules Advisory Committee, and served on the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.
Served on the Minnesota State Bar Association Executive Committee and Board of Governors as well as a member of the MSBA Court Rules and Administration Committee, Operations Committee, Publications Committee, Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee, and served as chair of the MSBA General Practice Section and chair of the MSBA Agricultural Law Section.
Served as President of the 16th District Bar Association.
Served as chair/co-chair of the Minnesota District Judges Association Elections Committee and Bylaws Committee and as a member of the Benefits Committee.

Community Involvement:

Served as president of Parent Teacher Association, local church, city library board, Rotary Club, Lions Club.
Helped organize legal aid programs, victim advocate programs, guardian ad litem programs, sentencing to service programs, victim impact panels, community service programs, mentoring programs, and judicial outreach programs including the Children's Justice Initiative.

Published Materials:

Judge Stafsholt's articles on a variety of legal topics have been published in the ABA Journal, National Conference of State Trial Judges Newsletter, Law and Politics, Bench and Bar, and Minnesota Lawyer.


Named "District Judge of the Year"  in 1999 by the Minnesota District Judges Association for community outreach efforts; received the "Access to Justice Award" by Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota and the "Career Achievement Award" by the Council on Domestic Violence.