Appointed on June 28, 2013, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2014 and 2020. Retired on Nov. 30, 2022. Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from Jan. 3, 2023, to June 30, 2023.
1977: Juris Doctor; Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN
1974: Bachelor of Arts Degree in History; University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
1970: High School Degree, Crestwood High School, Cresco, IA
Admitted to practice law in the State of Iowa in June 1977.
Admitted to practice law in the State of Minnesota on October 21, 1977. Attorney License Number: 82636.
Admitted to practice before the Federal Bar.
Admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court on November 6, 1989.
Matthew J. Opat, P. A.
Engaged in the private practice of law.
General practice, including civil and criminal cases, real estate, estate planning, probate and business planning.
Fillmore County Attorney, Fillmore County, MN
Duties included all statutory duties of a county attorney, including oversight of the County Attorney’s Office and legal advice to the County Board and to the County Staff.
Assistant Fillmore County Attorney, Fillmore County, MN
Serving under County Attorney Robert Benson in the part-time position. Duties included prosecution of all petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor violations; child support; juvenile cases and civil matters for the County.
Prosecutor for City of Chatfield, MN
Prosecute petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor violations for the City of Chatfield, Fillmore County, MN. Render advice to the members of the Chatfield Police Department.
City Attorney for the City of Chatfield, MN
Advised Mayor, City Council members, and City staff on City matters, including drafting ordinances and enforcement of zoning violations.
Minnesota State Bar Association, including service as member of the Board of Governors
Fillmore County Bar Association, including several terms as president
10th District Bar Association, including several terms as president
Past member of the 10th District Bar Association Ethics Committee; Appointed by Minnesota Supreme Court as chair (1989-1996)
Chair of the 10th District Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee (2009-2012)
Past member of the Fillmore Family Resources Board, a non-profit organization providing victims’ services
Current member of the Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections Board (several past terms as chairperson)
Current member of the Fillmore County Corrections Task Force
Volunteer Experience and Community Service:
Member of the Chatfield Center for the Arts Advisory Committee, which reports to the Chatfield Economic Development Authority, in the development and operation of the Chatfield Center for the Arts and Historic Potter Auditorium
Treasurer of Chatfield Center for the Arts, Inc., Chatfield, Minnesota; a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the arts in the Chatfield area
Member of the Chatfield FFA Alumni Association
Member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, serving as lector and usher
Member and past officer of the Chatfield Lions International Club
Member and past officer of the Chatfield Commercial Club
Retired member of Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department (1980-2001)
Member of Chatfield Firefighters’ Activities Association
Past member of Chatfield Boy Scout Troop 43 Committee and merit badge counselor; Eagle Scout
Past committee member and chairperson of the Chatfield Cable Commission for local cable access station (1998-2013)
Past member and inaugural president of Chatfield PTSA (1990)
Past member of Chatfield Western Days Committee and Chatfield Western Days
Past member of Chatfield Rotary Club; Paul Harris Fellowship recipient