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Judge Profile:

Judge Matthew J. Opat


Fillmore County

Fillmore County Courthouse
Phone: (507) 765-3356

Chambers Phone: (507) 765-2696

Appointed/Elected:

Appointed on May 3, 2013, by Governor Mark Dayton. Term expires Jan. 2015. 

Education:

1977: Juris Doctor; Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN

1974: Bachelor of Arts Degree in History; University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

1970: High School Degree, Crestwood High School, Cresco, IA

Licenses:

Admitted to practice law in the State of Iowa in June 1977.

Admitted to practice law in the State of Minnesota on October 21, 1977. Attorney License Number: 82636.

Admitted to practice before the Federal Bar.

Admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court on November 6, 1989.

Work Experience:

1977-2013
Matthew J. Opat, P. A.
Chatfield, MN
Engaged in the private practice of law.
General practice, including civil and criminal cases, real estate, estate planning, probate and business planning. 

1997-2003
Fillmore County Attorney, Fillmore County, MN
Duties included all statutory duties of a county attorney, including oversight of the County Attorney’s Office and legal advice to the County Board and to the County Staff.

1981-1997
Assistant Fillmore County Attorney, Fillmore County, MN
Serving under County Attorney Robert Benson in the part-time position. Duties included prosecution of all petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor violations; child support; juvenile cases and civil matters for the County.

1981-2013
Prosecutor for City of Chatfield, MN
Prosecute petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor violations for the City of Chatfield, Fillmore County, MN. Render advice to the members of the Chatfield Police Department.

1981-1997
City Attorney for the City of Chatfield, MN
Advised Mayor, City Council members, and City staff on City matters, including drafting ordinances and enforcement of zoning violations.

Professional Organizations:

Minnesota State Bar Association, including service as member of the Board of Governors

Fillmore County Bar Association, including several terms as president

10th District Bar Association, including several terms as president

Past member of the 10th District Bar Association Ethics Committee; Appointed by Minnesota Supreme Court as chair (1989-1996)

Chair of the 10th District Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee (2009-2012)

Past member of the Fillmore Family Resources Board, a non-profit organization providing victims’ services

Current member of the Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections Board (several past terms as chairperson)

Current member of the Fillmore County Corrections Task Force

Volunteer Experience and Community Service:

Member of the Chatfield Center for the Arts Advisory Committee, which reports to the Chatfield Economic Development Authority, in the development and operation of the Chatfield Center for the Arts and Historic Potter Auditorium

Treasurer of Chatfield Center for the Arts, Inc., Chatfield, Minnesota; a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the arts in the Chatfield area

Member of the Chatfield FFA Alumni Association

Member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, serving as lector and usher

Member and past officer of the Chatfield Lions International Club

Member and past officer of the Chatfield Commercial Club

Retired member of Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department (1980-2001)

Member of Chatfield Firefighters’ Activities Association

Past member of Chatfield Boy Scout Troop 43 Committee and merit badge counselor; Eagle Scout

Past committee member and chairperson of the Chatfield Cable Commission for local cable access station (1998-2013)

Past member and inaugural president of Chatfield PTSA (1990)

Past member of Chatfield Western Days Committee and Chatfield Western Days

Parade Committee

Past member of Chatfield Rotary Club; Paul Harris Fellowship recipient