Several hundred people gathered at Mitchell Hamline on Friday, October 13, to see Jon Schmidt ‘03 and Keala Ede take their oaths as the newest members of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Chief Judge Susan Segal hosted the event, which featured welcomes from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Mitchell Hamline’s interim president and dean, Jim Hilbert, who noted the many connections between the court and Mitchell Hamline.
In addition to one of the new judges (Schmidt) being an alum, so too was one of the judges who stepped down earlier this year to create the vacancies: Denise Reilly ’83. Reilly is also a former Mitchell Hamline trustee. In addition, former Judge Lucinda Jesson, who also stepped down earlier this year, was founding director of the Health Law Institute at Hamline University School of Law.
The investiture also included a gratitude chant from a group of performers that included two of Judge Ede’s children. Ede, who grew up in Hawaii and whose family traces its history back to the original inhabitants of the island of Oahu, is the first Asian Pacific Islander on the Court of Appeals. He met his wife, who is from Minnesota, in college and later moved to the state.
Schmidt, in his remarks, noted that being on the Court of Appeals was his dream job. He spoke of the need for gratitude and civility in the judicial branch, as well as a focus on the mental health of judges and others in the courts system. And he regaled in the story of proposing to his now-wife, Ramsey County Judge Sara Grewing ’03, in the offices of what was then the William Mitchell Law Review. “My education here was amazing,” added Schmidt.
In the 40 years the Minnesota Court of Appeals has existed, Ede and Schmidt are the 64th and 65th appointees to the court, which issues the final ruling in about 95 percent of the 2,000 to 2,400 appeals every year.
Katherine Roe, the federal defender for the district of Minnesota, introduced Ede; retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug introduced Schmidt. Natalie Hudson, who was recently appointed chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, also offered remarks, as did Paul Floyd ’83, president of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Magistrate Judge Leo Brisbois ’87 offered a land acknowledgement.