Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Governor Walz appoints Dean Eyler, Kristen Marttila, and Dominick Mathews to fill 4th Judicial District vacancies


November 28, 2023

Contact: Claire Lancaster


Governor Walz Appoints Dean Eyler, Kristen Marttila, and Dominick Mathews to Fill Fourth Judicial District Vacancies


ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Dean Eyler, Kristen Marttila, and Dominick Mathews as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. The seats will be chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County.

Eyler will replace the Honorable Keala C. Ede.

“I am honored to appoint Dean Eyler to the Fourth Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “He is a skilled attorney with an extensive background in complex civil litigation that will lend itself well to the Hennepin County bench.”

“I applaud the appointment of Dean Eyler,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Not only is he a talented attorney, but his dedication to helping asylum seekers through our justice system demonstrates his dedication to serving the most vulnerable.”

Marttila will replace the Honorable Tanya M. Bransford.

“I am pleased to appoint Kristen Marttila,” said Governor Walz. “Her background working on complex antitrust cases, consumer class actions, and environmental litigation will bring a valuable perspective to this court.”

“Kristen Marttila will be an excellent addition to the Fourth Judicial District bench,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Throughout her career she has demonstrated a deep commitment to justice, oftentimes advocating for clients who were the underdog. I am confident she will be a fair, effective, and empathetic jurist.”

Mathews will replace the Honorable Toddrick S. Barnette.

“It is my honor to appoint Dominick Mathews to the bench,” said Governor Walz. “He approaches the law with humility and grace, which will continue to show through his work on the Hennepin County bench.”

“Dominick Mathews is an outstanding attorney with a deep understanding of our criminal justice system and the role that the judge plays in ensuring the equitable administration of justice,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “His deep roots in community and lived experience will serve the people of the Fourth Judicial District well. I look forward to seeing him excel in his new role.”

Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District encompasses Hennepin County.

About Dean Eyler

Dean Eyler is a partner at Lathrop GPM, where he litigates complex commercial and intellectual property disputes and serves as the firm’s pro bono partner. He was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Donald P. Lay on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and an associate attorney at Dorsey & Whitney. Eyler’s community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Advocates for Human Rights and Minnesota Urban Debate League. He also volunteers with the Volunteer Lawyers Network and provides pro bono representation to parties seeking asylum before the asylum office and immigration court. Eyler helped create a fellows program for high school debaters and is a former Edina High School debate coach. He earned his B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.

About Kristen Marttila

Kristen Marttila is a partner at Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP, where her practice focuses on litigating complex antitrust and other consumer-oriented class actions. She is the chair of the firm’s pro bono committee, and her own pro bono practice has included civil rights, environmental, criminal appeals, and criminal expungement cases. Marttila was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Patrick J. Schiltz and Honorable Eric C. Tostrud on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. She was also an attorney at Faegre & Benson LLP, where she handled environmental and land use matters. Marttila’s community involvement includes chairing the amicus committee of the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws. She also volunteers in Minneapolis Public Schools as a classroom assistant and as a member of the Welcoming Equity Committee of her local elementary school. She earned her B.A. from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. 

About Dominick Mathews

Dominick Mathews is a principal attorney at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, where he supervises over 100 attorneys and support staff in the felony prosecution of homicide, sexual assault, domestic assault, child abuse, felony assault, and other serious felony level crimes. He was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Toddrick S. Barnette in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. Mathews’s community involvement includes serving on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure and volunteering as a mentor for the ACT/SAT college preparatory program for Twin Cities youth. He is also a member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his 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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