News Item
Public Defender Krista Jass Appointed to Fifth Judicial District Judgeship

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010

Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced the appointment of Krista J. Jass to a Fifth Judicial District trial court bench vacancy in the city of Mankato in Blue Earth County.  The vacancy occurred with the retirement of the Honorable Norbert P. Smith on September 11, 2010.

Jass is the Fifth Judicial District Chief Public Defender, a position she has held since 2007.  Previously, she was the managing attorney with the Fifth Judicial District Public Defender’s office in Mankato from 2002 to 2007, an assistant Fifth Judicial District Public Defender in Mankato from 1994 to 2002, and a Fifth Judicial District law clerk from 1993 to 1994.  Jass earned her juris doctorate degree from Hamline University School of Law in 1993, where she received the American Jurisprudence Award in evidence, and an Outstanding Scholarship Award from the Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy.  She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter in 1990.

“Krista has a great combination of significant trial work, management experience, and a steady demeanor, all of which will serve her well as a district court judge,” Governor Pawlenty said.

Jass is a member of the Minnesota State and Sixth District Bar Associations, Minnesota Women Lawyers for the South Central Area, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Minnesota Department of Corrections Female Offender Task Force, Fifth Judicial District Drug Court Steering Committee, Blue Earth County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Blue Earth County Law Library Board of Trustees, Blue Earth County Judicial Coordinating Council, Blue Earth County Drug Court and Family Dependency Treatment Court Steering Committees.  She was also the public defender representative on the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on ITV (interactive television).

Jass’s community activities include serving as secretary of the Life Work Planning Center Board, a member of the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club, Bridges Community School Advisory Board, and a Sunday school volunteer at Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Jass, 42, was born in St. Peter and lives in Mankato with her husband, Darrin, and their daughter, Teegan, 8.