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Judge Richelle M. Wahi

Dakota County Courthouse
First Judicial District
(651) 438-8100

Chambers Phone: (651) 438-8100

First Judicial District Judicial Officers

Judge Richelle M. Wahi

Appointed/Elected:

Appointed Feb. 26, 2016, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2018. Current term expires Jan. 2025.

Education:

  • Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law, Cum Laude
  • Bachelor of Arts, College of St. Catherine, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi

Past Employment:

Partner, Lindquist & Vennum LLP, 2011-2016
Conciliation Court Referee, Dakota County
Attorney, Moss & Barnett, 2008-2011
Attorney, Henson & Efron, 2003-2008

Judicial Committees: 

  • 1st Judicial District Representative to the Statewide Committee for Equality and Justice
  • Co-chair of the Race Bias Data and Interpreter Subcommittee of the Statewide Committee for Equality and Justice
  • Chair of the 1st Judicial District Equality and Justice Committee
  • Chair of the 1st Judicial District Community Outreach Subcommittee for Community Outreach for Equality and Justice
  • 1st Judicial District Representative to the Statewide Early Case Management Committee
  • 1st Judicial District Early Neutral and Moderated Settlement Committee
  • Chair of the Dakota County Family Court Work Group 
  • Chair of the Dakota County Early Case Management Committee
  • Chair of the Dakota County Moderated Settlement Program Committee
  • Dakota County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team – Firearms Taskforce

Presentations, Publications, and Appearances:

  • Presidential Pardons and Minnesota Board of Pardons, Warren E. Burger Inn of Court (January 2019)
  • Speaker, Issues Surrounding Firearm Surrender Dakota County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response, Dakota County Bench (December 2018)
  • Dakota County 1st Judicial District Domestic Abuse Advocate Community Listening Session – Dakota County Event (November 2018)
  • Speaker, Race Data Collection in the 1st Judicial District, 1st Judicial District Bench (October 2018) 
  • Speaker, Building Resilience – Impact of Trauma Informed Courts and Decision Making, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Conference (September 2018)
  • Faculty, New Judge Orientation Program – Trial Skills Training (August 2018)
  • Contributing Author, Minnesota District Judges Foundation Judge Handbook (2018)
  • Speaker, Implicit Bias and The Courts – Dakota County Bar Association (June 2018)
  • 1st Judicial District Community Listening Session – Scott County Event (May 2018)
  • Speaker, Me Too and the Minnesota Judicial Branch, Mitchell Hamline College of Law (April 2018)
  • Faculty, New Judge Orientation Program – Trial Skills Training (January 2018)
  • Hispanic-Latino Innovation Lab Community Outreach Event  (November, December 2017)
  • Panelist, Building a Representative Judiciary – Infinity Project (November 2017)
  • Moderator, 1st Judicial District Community Listening Session – Dakota County Event (October 2017)
  • Faculty, New Judge Orientation Program – Trial Skills Training (August 2017)
  • Contributing Author, Minnesota District Judges Foundation Judge Handbook (2017)
  • Speaker, Perspectives from the Bench, Dakota County Bar Association (August 2017)
  • Moderator, 1st Judicial District Community Listening Session – Dakota County Event (April 2017)
  • Panelist, “Building your Judicial Resume,” Judicial Bootcamp sponsored by the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Infinity Project (October 2016)
  • Faculty, New Judge Orientation Program – “New Judge Round Table Discussion” (2016)
  • Speaker and Chair, Access to Leadership Conference, sponsored by Lindquist & Vennum, Medtronic, Best Buy, and Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Author and Speaker, “Clarity and Brevity – How To Avoid Common Drafting Mistakes in Divorce Documents,” 2015 Minnesota Family Law Institute
  • Author and Speaker, “Family Law Basics,” 2015 Pro Bono Legal Aide and Lindquist & Vennum Seminar Series
  • Panelist, “Race and the Judiciary” – 2014 Dakota County Bar Association Seminar
  • Speaker, “Togstad in the Digital Age,” 2014 Warren E. Burger Inns of Court
  • Author and Speaker, "Fundamentals of Property Division," 2013 Minnesota Family Law Institute
  • Author, “Limitations on Grandparent Visitation?” Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Family Law Forum, 2012 Winter Edition
  • Author and Speaker, “Basics of Property Division,” 2012 Minnesota Family Law Institute
  • Author, “Business Valuations in Tough Economic Times: Tips for Practitioners,” MSBA Family Law Forum, 2011 Winter Edition
  • Author, “Child Custody Crosses the Border,” Application of the Hague Convention and International Child Custody Disputes, Fall 2010
  • Speaker, “International Child Abduction and the Hague Convention,” WCCO Minnesota Law, Nov. 2010
  • Speaker, “Divorce for Business Owners,” WCCO Minnesota Law, July 2010
  • Speaker, “Changes in Child Support Laws,” WCCO Minnesota Law, August 2008
  • Speaker, “Coaching to Win,” Minnesota State High School League, 1995-2001

Recognition:

  • Minnesota Rising Stars, 2008-2010, 2012-2015
  • North Star Lawyer recognition for pro bono service, 2013-2015

Professional Membership and Community Involvement:

  • Warren E. Burger Inn of Court. 2011-Present
  • Minnesota District Judges Foundation
  • Minnesota District Judges Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Dakota County Bar Association
  • Dakota County Conciliation Court Referee
  • ​Mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law & William Mitchell College of Law
  • Coach, M1 Volleyball Association
  • Previously Volunteer Coach, Eagan Athletic Association Volleyball
  • Previously Volunteer Coach, Mendota Heights Athletic Association Softball