KATHERINE M. MENENDEZ SELECTED TO SERVE AS NEXT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
John R. Tunheim, Chief U.S. District Judge, is pleased to announce that the Court has selected Katherine M. Menendez to serve as its next U.S. Magistrate Judge. Menendez will replace Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes who is retiring at the end of April. Menendez will take the oath of office on April 28, 2016. A formal investiture ceremony will be held at a later date.
The U.S. District Judges of the District of Minnesota appointed a seventeen-member Merit Selection Panel to review applications, interview prospective candidates, and recommend to the District Judges the candidates they deemed best qualified for the position. Attorneys Thomas Boyd and Tara Norgard co-chaired the Panel.
Menendez has served as an attorney in the Minnesota Office of the Federal Defender for the past 18 years. She joined the office in 1997 as a Soros Justice Fellow and soon became an Assistant Federal Defender. Since 2006, Menendez has been the Office’s Chief of Training.
She has represented indigent clients at every stage of the federal criminal justice system, conducting pretrial litigation and sentencing advocacy, trying cases and arguing dozens of appeals to the Eighth Circuit. Most recently, she briefed and argued a case before the United States Supreme Court twice in a single term.
In addition, Menendez is a frequent instructor at local and national seminars, and has served as an Adjunct Professor at St. Thomas and Hamline Law Schools. Menendez serves on the Criminal Subcommittee of the Eighth Circuit Jury Instruction Committee, and has been a member of the Federal Bar Association and the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Since 2011, Menendez has been a Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Criminal Law Specialist. She is active in volunteer activities in her community and through her church.
Menendez received her B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago, and graduated magna cum laude from New York University School of Law. Following law school, she clerked for the late Honorable Samuel J. Ervin, III, on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
United States Magistrate Judges are appointed by the District Judges of the U.S. District Court for a term of eight years and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. After taking the oath, Menendez will chamber in the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis.