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Senior Judge Galen J. Vaa
Senior Judge Galen J. Vaa


Appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura on Jan. 18, 2000. Elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014.

Retired on Mar. 31, 2018. Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019.


J.D., University of South Dakota, 1974
B.A., Moorhead State College, 1970


Attorney- McLavnan, Hannaher, Vaa & Skatvold, (Moorhead, Minnesota) 1975-2000
Assistant Attorney General- State of South Dakota, 1974-1975

Professional Memberships:

Ronald N. Davies Inns of Court, Fargo, ND, 1995-2007
Minnesota District Judge’s Association, 2000-2007
American Bar Association
Minnesota State Bar Association
American Board of Trial Advocates
Federal Bar Association

Professional Activities:

President- Ronald N. Davies Inns of Court, 2005

Chairman- Case Flow Management Committee, Seventh Judicial District, 2005-2007

Lead Judge for the Seventh Judicial District- Children’s Justice Initiative, 2005-2006

President- St. Joseph’s Pastoral Council (Moorhead), 2006-2007

President- Seventh District Bar Association, 1999-2000

President- Clay County Bar Association, 1979

Board of Directors- Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, 1990-2000

Community Activities:

President- Clay County Historical Society, 1999

President- Trinity Lutheran Church (Moorhead), 1983

Trinity Foundation
Board Member- 1983-1984
Chair- 1993

Vice-chair- FM Volunteers for Community Service, 1988

President- Red River Serenity Manor Halfway House, 1983

Lecturing and Teaching Experience:

Annual presenter of the Civil Case Law Update at the Minnesota District Judges Association annual convention at Madden’s, 2004-2007

In 1981, Judge Vaa taught "Innkeepers Law" at Moorhead State University. It was a four credit course taught to juniors and seniors majoring in hotel management.