News Item
Judge Matthew Opat and Senior Judge Susan Miles receive awards from the Minnesota State Bar Association

Posted: Friday, July 15, 2022

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) recently recognized Judge Matthew J. Opat and Senior Judge Susan Miles with awards.
Judge Matthew J. Opat received the Professional Excellence Award, which recognizes attorneys who improve the administration of justice and practice of law, promote access to justice, serve and govern the profession, and benefit the community.
Judge Opat has served as a district court judge since 2013 and is chambered in Fillmore County. He has dedicated his legal career to the citizens of Southeastern Minnesota and Fillmore County, not only in private practice, but also serving as county attorney, city attorney, and now as a judge. Judge Opat has also been involved with the Chatfield Center for the Arts, the Chatfield Future Farmers of America Alumni Association, the Lions International Club, the Commercial Club, the Rotary Club, and the Chatfield Boy Scout Troop 43 Committee. He also served for 21 years as a member of the Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department.
Senior Judge Susan R. Miles received the Elmer H. Wilbishauser Author’s Award by the Publications Committee of “Bench & Bar,” the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The Award recognizes the author of the best article contributed to “Bench & Bar” during the previous year. Judge Miles authored, “Stress is what you think: the importance of a clear mind.”
Judge Miles served as a Minnesota district court judge for 22 years in the Tenth Judicial District. She was Assistant Chief Judge of the District, and also served as president of the Minnesota District Judges Association, the Minnesota District Judges Foundation, and Minnesota Women Lawyers.