Daily to be sworn in as newest judge Friday

Published 11:04 am Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mower County’s third judge is about ready to take the bench.

Christa Daily will be sworn in as the Third Judicial District’s newest judge at 3 p.m. Friday at the Mower County Jail and Justice Center, 201 First St. NE.

A public reception will follow.

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Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Daily as Mower’s third chambered judge earlier this spring. Her post is new to Mower County after the Minnesota Supreme Court moved retiring Referee JoAnne Yanish’s position in the Second Judicial District to the Third Judicial District and converted it into a district court judgeship.

Daily will be chambered in Austin.



Daily most recently served as an Assistant Third District Public Defender, where she primarily handled felonies and gross misdemeanors. Previously, she was an assistant Mower County attorney, an associate at Adams, Rizzi & Sween, P.A., and an Assistant Stearns County Attorney. Daily earned her B.A. from St. Olaf College and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

Daily volunteers at Mower County Seniors Inc., Mower County Habitat for Humanity and previously volunteered as a Minnesota State High School mock trial coach. She is also the past president of the Mower County Law Library and a member of Women Attorneys of Rochester.

The third judge position in Mower County is to address a high case load and high judge need in Mower and across the Third Judicial District.

Since Mower County Judges Jeffrey Kritzer and Kevin Siefken took the bench in June 2014, the judge need hasn’t dropped below 2.7 judges for a quarter, and it’s often been as high as three judges.

Chief Third Judicial District Judge Jeffrey Thompson attributed the need to things like a growing population, the local economy and high case loads, while adding the Destination Medical Center will drive the need throughout the Third Judicial District.

The change will make for 24 judges and a family court referee in the district, and this will nearly meet the district’s judge need.

With the recent high caseload in Mower, other district judges have traveled to Mower County a few days each week. Once Mower County is up to three judges, Thompson expects Mower judges to occasionally help out in Olmsted County.

Minnesota’s Third Judicial District consists of Mower, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona counties.