Judge Jessica J.W. Maher


Appointed Aug. 7, 2017, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2018. Current term expires Jan. 2025.


J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
B.A., Minnesota State University Mankato

Past Employment:

  • Shareholder, Berg, Debele, DeSmidt & Rabuse, P.A.
  • Clinical instructor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Judicial law clerk, Honorable Gary Crippen, Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • Law clerk, Office of the General Counsel, University of Minnesota

Professional Memberships:

  • Chairperson, Minnesota Children’s Justice Initiative Lead Judges (statewide group)
  • Member, 1st Judicial District Governance committee
  • Member, Minnesota Bar Association
  • Member, McLeod County Bar Association
  • Judicial Fellow, Academy of Adoption And Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
  • ​Membership Committee, Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys, 2018- present
  • Member, 2019 Family Law Institute Judicial Track Planning Committee
  • Former member, Minnesota Supreme Court Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure Committee
  • Former Vice Chair, Hennepin County Bar Association Juvenile Section

Professional and Community Activities:

  • Presenter, September 2023, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session, What Criminal Attorneys Need to Know About Family Law
  • Presenter, 2021 Family Law Institute, Ex Parte and Emergency Motions
  • Presenter, February 2021, CLE session, Managing High Conflict Family Law Cases
  • Presenter, Minnesota State Bar Association, First Judicial District, Judge’s Panel On Covid-19 Impact On Courts, October 29, 2021
  • Co-Chair, communications/social media committee, Chanhassen High School Senior Class Party, 2022-2023
  • Volunteer, Chanhassen High School Speech Tournaments, 2021-2023
  • Volunteer, 2023 National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (NIETOC- national-level competitive Speech tournament)
  • Presenter, Children’s Justice Initiative Regional Training Session, December 13, 2018
  • Presenter, Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyers Section, January 2019
  • McLeod County Children’s Justice Initiative chair, 2017-present
  • First Judicial District Children’s Justice Initiative lead judge, 2018-present
  • Keynote speaker, Minnesota Paralegals Association convention, May 24, 2018
  • Team Manager, Arctic Blast Softball, 2015-2019
  • Co-Chair, Service Committee, Chanhassen High School Senior Class Party, 2019-2020
  • Founding member, local chapter of a charitable group