Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Gov. Walz appoints Amber Brennan and Keala Ede to fill 4th Judicial District vacancies


February 24, 2022

Contact: Claire Lancaster



Governor Walz Appoints Amber Brennan and Keala Ede to Fill Fourth Judicial District Vacancies

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan today announced the appointments of Amber Brennan and Keala Ede as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. These seats will be chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County.

Ms. Brennan will be replacing the Honorable Elizabeth V. Cutter.

“Ms. Brennan is an extraordinary attorney whose breadth of experience includes service in the United States Attorney’s Office as well as the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis,” said Governor Walz. “Ms. Brennan’s unique background will provide her with a holistic and compassionate view of the justice system that will serve her well on the bench.”

“Ms. Brennan is a dedicated public servant who will serve the people of Hennepin County with dignity and honor,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Her commitment to fairness, justice, and equitable outcomes for all will make her an excellent addition to the bench.”

Mr. Ede will be replacing the Honorable Martha A. Holton Dimick.

“I am also proud to appoint Mr. Ede to the Fourth Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “As an Assistant Federal Defender, he works every day to ensure that the people of Minnesota receive adequate representation when they come before the court. The compassion and empathy that he has gained through his legal career will make him a great judge.”

“Mr. Ede—Minnesota’s first Native Hawaiian judge—has committed his career to working for people,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “His commitment to ensuring that our justice system treats everyone fairly and equitably will serve him well as a judge.”

Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District encompasses Hennepin County.


About Amber Brennan

Ms. Brennan is Chief of the Firearms and Violent Crime section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. In this role, she supervises prosecutors handling violent crime and firearms cases, oversees local implementation of federal initiatives addressing gun violence, and prosecutes fraud schemes, public corruption, and other federal crimes. Ms. Brennan is also an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she teaches litigation skills. Previously, Ms. Brennan served as an Assistant Hennepin County attorney and as a Minnesota Assistant Attorney General. She has also served as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. Ms. Brennan co-founded a task force to recruit and train volunteer lawyers to represent victims of predatory lending and foreclosure rescue scams. Her community involvement has also included volunteering with Meals on Wheels and youth basketball and football programs at Southwest High School and Pearl Park in Minneapolis. Ms. Brennan earned her B.A. from San Diego State University and J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

About Keala Ede

Mr. Ede is an Assistant Federal Defender in the Office of the Federal Defender in Minneapolis. He represents clients charged with a wide variety of federal criminal offenses. Mr. Ede previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General's Office where he prosecuted both criminal Medicaid fraud and civil consumer fraud. He was also a Judicial Law Clerk for Ret. Justice Steven H. Levinson of the Hawai'i Supreme Court. His community involvement includes volunteering for the Federal Practice Committee, the Federal Court "Open Doors" project, and the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association Scholarship Committee. He also is a community youth sports coach. Mr. Ede earned his B.A. from Occidental College and J.D. from the University of California, Berkley School of Law.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage.


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