Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Governor Walz appoints Adam Johnson and Lauren Johnson to fill 1st Judicial District vacancies


October 11, 2023

Contact: Claire Lancaster



Governor Walz Appoints Adam Johnson and Lauren Johnson to Fill First Judicial District Vacancies


[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Adam Johnson and Lauren Johnson as district court judges in Minnesota’s First Judicial District. The seats will be chambered in Hastings in Dakota County and Shakopee in Scott County. 

Adam Johnson will be replacing the Honorable Tim D. Wermager for the seat chambered in Dakota County.

“I am delighted to appoint Adam Johnson to the First Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “His career in public service is a testament to his commitment to ensuring equity and fairness in our justice system.”

“Adam Johnson is an exceptional legal mind and leader who will be a great addition to the Dakota County bench,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “He approaches the practice of law with compassion and humility, even in the most challenging of moments.”

Lauren Johnson will be replacing the Honorable Mark C. Vandelist for the seat chambered in Scott County.

“I am proud to appoint Lauren Johnson to the Scott County bench,” said Governor Walz. “Her lived experience and diverse practice background will allow her to tackle the variety of cases and challenges faced by our judiciary.”

“Lauren Johnson’s integrity and commitment to justice is indisputable,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “I am confident that her connection to community, dedication, and mindfulness in the courtroom will make her a judge of the highest quality.” 

Minnesota’s First Judicial District consists of Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott, and Sibley counties.

About Adam Johnson 

Adam Johnson is the deputy county administrator for Rice County, where he serves as a legal advisor to the county administrator and the county board on a wide variety of civil and operational matters. He was previously chief assistant for the Rice County Attorney’s Office, where he was primarily responsible for criminal prosecution of felonies including domestic assault, criminal sexual conduct, and murder. Johnson’s community involvement includes serving as an American Mock Trial Association judge, volunteering at legal aid clinics provided by Legal Assistance of Dakota County, and serving as the Fifth District Bar Association representative to the Minnesota State Bar Association. Additionally, Johnson has previously volunteered at Worthington Dollars for Scholars, Feed My Starving Children, and Volunteers Enlisted to Aid People. He earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

About Lauren Johnson  

Lauren Johnson is an associate attorney with Melchert Hubert Sjodin, PLLP, where she specializes in family law, orders for protection, and child protection matters. She previously served as an assistant county attorney for the McLeod County Attorney’s Office, where she focused on criminal prosecution and child support. Johnson also worked as a staff attorney with the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, where she represented families with special needs. Her community involvement includes serving as a board member of the ISD 110 Foundation and as president of the Eighth District Bar Association. Johnson has also volunteered with Lutheran Social Services. She earned her B.S. from Minnesota State University, Mankato and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. 

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

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