Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Gov. Walz appoints Viet-Hanh Winchell to fill 10th Judicial District vacancy


March 12, 2024

Contact: Claire Lancaster  



Governor Walz Appoints Viet-Hanh Winchell to Fill Tenth Judicial District Vacancy 


[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Viet-Hanh Winchell as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Winchell will be replacing the Honorable Richard C. Ilkka and will be chambered in Stillwater in Washington County  

“It is my pleasure to appoint Viet-Hanh Winchell to the Washington County bench,” said Governor Walz. “She is a talented litigator whose broad life experiences and commitment to building connections in her community will make her a wonderful addition to the Tenth Judicial District.”

“Viet-Hanh Winchell’s commitment to public service and dedication to working towards fair and just outcomes for all will make her a great judge,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “I look forward to seeing her thrive in her new role.”

Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District encompasses Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright counties.  

Viet-Hanh Winchell is a solo practitioner at United Rivers Law Firm PLLC, where she represents clients in a broad range of criminal and civil matters. She also serves as court appointed counsel for parents in child protection cases and as a neutral in alternative dispute resolution matters. Winchell was previously a shareholder at Galowitz Olson, PLLC. Her community involvement includes volunteering with the Stonebridge Elementary Parent Teacher Association, providing pro bono legal services and serving on the advisory board of the Tubman Safety Project, and serving as a member on the Washington County Children’s Justice Initiative. Winchell also serves as a member and MSBA alternative representative for the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and she is the former president of the Washington County Bar Association. She also served as a member of the Commission on Judicial Selection. Winchell received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law. 

The selection of Viet-Hanh Winchell marks Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s 100th appointment to the Minnesota Judicial Branch since taking office in 2019.  

“I could not be prouder of the work that we have done to build a bench that is full of highly qualified jurists who are committed to following the rule of law,” said Governor Walz. “The Commission on Judicial Selection has been instrumental in this work, and I thank them for helping make our judiciary the strongest it has ever been.”  

“When we first took office, we committed ourselves to appointing judges who would reflect Minnesota’s full diversity,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “I am pleased to say that we are delivering on that commitment, and our Judicial Branch now looks more like the communities it serves than ever before.” 

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


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