News Item
Governor Pawlenty Appoints Robben, Vasaly and Anderson to Fourth Judicial District Judgeships

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced the appointment of Patrick D. Robben, Mary R. Vasaly, and Jamie L. Anderson to three Fourth Judicial District trial court bench vacancies in Hennepin County.  These vacancies occurred as a result of the retirement of the Honorable Warren R. Sagstuen on September 14, 2010, the disability retirement of the Honorable Stephen C. Aldrich on October 31, 2010, and the retirement of the Honorable Tanja K. Manrique on November 1, 2010.

Robben is the general counsel to the Office of the Governor, a position he has held since 2009.  Previously, he was an attorney with the Morrison, Fenske and Sund law firm in Minnetonka from 2007 to 2009, an associate attorney (2000 to 2005) and partner (2005 to 2007) with the Rider Bennett law firm in Minneapolis, an associate attorney with the Briggs and Morgan law firm in Minneapolis from 1999 to 2000, and a law clerk to Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Joan Ericksen Lancaster from 1998 to 1999. 

Robben is a member of the Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations, and previously was a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, where he served on the Communications Committee; Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, where he chaired the Publications Committee, co-chaired the New Defense Lawyers Committee, and served on the Commercial Litigation Committee; and the Defense Research Institute Commercial Litigation Committee, where he chaired the website committee.  He chairs the Minnetonka Park Board, is active in his church, and previously served on the Lake Minnetonka/Excelsior Rotary, where he chaired the International Service Committee.  Robben, 37, was born in Spencer, Iowa, and lives in Minnetonka with his wife and their two children.  Robben replaces Judge Warren Sagstuen.

Vasaly is an attorney and partner with the Maslon, Edelman, Borman and Brand law firm in Minneapolis.  She has been an attorney with the firm since 1984 and a partner since 1993.  She has also been an attorney in the Minnesota State Public Defender’s office from 1983 to 1984, and a law clerk with the Honeywell, Inc. Office of General Counsel in Minneapolis from 1982 to 1983.  She was also a staff nurse at the Hennepin County Medical Center from 1977 to 1982.  Vasaly earned her juris doctorate degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1983, her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1980, and her associate of arts degree in nursing from Normandale Community College in Bloomington in 1978.

Vasaly is a fellow with the American Bar Foundation and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a member and past president of the Hennepin County Bar Association, and  Minnesota Women Lawyers, a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society Executive Committee, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure, Minnesota State Bar Association Implementation Task Force on Diversity in the Profession, Eighth Circuit Bar Association Board of Directors, co-chair of the Minnesota Judicial Council Committee for Equality and Justice, a St. Thomas Law School mentor, and chair of the Continental Ballet Company Board of Directors.  Vasaly, 58, was born in St. Paul, and lives in Edina with her husband, Michael Wisneski.  They have three adult children, Laura, Michael and Thomas.  Vasaly replaces Judge Stephen C. Aldrich.

Anderson is an attorney with the Howse and Thompson law firm in Plymouth, a position she has held since 2005.  Her previous positions include being the legislative affairs director for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry; a committee administrator with the Minnesota House of Representatives, during which time she was on an assignment hearing and ruling on unemployment cases on appeal with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Unemployment Insurance Legal Affairs Division; and a research attorney with Legal Research Center in Minneapolis.  Anderson earned her juris doctorate degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego in 2000, and her bachelor of arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 1997.

Anderson is a member of the Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations, and a Sunday school teacher and volunteer in children’s ministry with her church.  Anderson, 35, was born in Minneapolis, and lives in Plymouth with her husband and their two daughters.  Anderson replaces Judge Tanja Manrique.