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News Item
Marta M. Chou, Nicole A. Engisch, Thomas S. Fraser, Carolina A. Lamas and Bruce D. Manning Appointed to Fill Fourth Judicial District Vacancies

Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013

Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Marta M. Chou, Nicole A. Engisch, Thomas S. Fraser, Carolina A. Lamas and Bruce D. Manning as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. The appointees will be filling vacancies created upon the retirements earlier this year of the Honorable John L. Holahan, Jr., the Honorable William R. Howard, the Honorable Marilyn J. Kaman, the Honorable Richard S. Scherer and the Honorable Lloyd B. Zimmerman. These judgeships will be chambered at Minneapolis in Hennepin County in the Fourth Judicial District.

“These five new judges were selected from over seventy well-qualified applicants,” said Governor Dayton. “Ms. Chou, Ms. Engisch, Mr. Fraser, Ms. Lamas, and Mr. Manning are all highly accomplished legal professionals.  I am confident that they will serve very well the citizens in the Fourth Judicial District."                                                                                                

Marta M. Chou: Ms. Chou currently serves as counsel for the Litigation Department at Barnes & Thornburg, L.L.P., where she represents businesses and individuals in complex litigation matters. Previously, she was an associate at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., and was an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law. Ms. Chou earned her B.A. from the Honors Program of the James Madison College at Michigan State University and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Additionally, Ms. Chou is a member of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, serving as co-chair of its Professional Development Committee, and is a former chair of the Diversity Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Nicole A. Engisch: Ms. Engisch is an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Criminal Division Chief at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, serving as a federal criminal prosecutor and senior manager. Previously, she was a shareholder and Board of Directors member at Leonard, Street and Deinard, where she litigated commercial and intellectual property disputes. Ms. Engisch earned her B.A. from Rutgers University and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law.

Additionally, Ms. Engisch is a volunteer at a Catholic Charities Opportunity Center Branch and a former board member of the Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Harriet Tubman Center.

Thomas S. Fraser: Mr. Fraser is a shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., where his caseload consists of general civil trials and practice as an arbitrator, mediator and special master. Previously, he was a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Solicitor General and Tort Claims Divisions of the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General. Mr. Fraser earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Additionally, Mr. Fraser currently serves as the chair of the Judiciary Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the chair of the board for Call for Justice, L.L.C., and is a board member of the Council on Crime and Justice.

Carolina A. Lamas: Ms. Lamas currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief Attorney for the Neighborhood Justice Center, Inc., where she manages the community-based non-profit while representing low-income persons charged with felonies, misdemeanors and probation violations. Previously, she was a Public Defender in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District. Ms. Lamas earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law.

Additionally, Ms. Lamas is the Vice President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and a former President of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.

Bruce D. Manning: Mr. Manning is Counsel at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., where he primarily practices in commercial civil litigation. Mr. Manning also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School and is a trustee at the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School. Mr. Manning earned his B.A. from Carleton College, his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and his Masters of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Additionally, Mr. Manning is a former member and vice-chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the City of Minneapolis and is the former co-chair of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council.