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The First Judicial District awarded its eighth annual Amicus Curiae Award to Fredrikson & Byron on May 11, 2018. The Amicus Curiae Award, meaning friend of the court, is an annual recognition of persons who have provided exceptional service, leadership or other contributions to assist the courts in the First Judicial District discharge their constitutional responsibility for the administration of justice.

Fredrikson & Byron was recognized for providing volunteer attorneys to serve as conciliation court referees in the First Judicial District. Since October 2016, eight experienced civil litigators from Fredrikson & Byron have covered the conciliation court calendars each Friday in Scott County, overseeing more than 2,000 cases. The program has freed up the local judges for other assignments and has helped relieve the chronic need for additional judicial resources in the First District.

These referees have allowed the local judges to concentrate on efforts to start a treatment court and devote additional judges to the growing child protection caseload. The referees currently serving are attorneys Joseph J. Cassioppi, Joseph T. Dixon, Leah C. Janus, Gregory E. Karpenko, David R. Marshall, Jeffrey W. Post, Richard D. Snyder and Mark W. Vyvyan. They have been supported by staff at the firm reviewing the files and assisting in preparation each week. Additionally, Pamela J. Wandzel, Fredrikson & Byron’s Director of Pro Bono and Community Service, has been instrumental in scheduling and training.

"The generous contribution by Fredrikson & Byron assists the First Judicial District in providing prompt, quality service to the people of our communities and demonstrates once again how important volunteer attorneys are to the overall administration of justice," said Chief Judge Kathy Messerich when presenting the awards.

The State of Minnesota's First Judicial District has 36 judges and 250 staff who handle over 120,000 cases annually in the counties of Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott and Sibley. Its mission is to provide justice through a system that assures equal access for the fair and timely resolution of cases and controversies. For more information, visit

Fredrikson & Byron is a 275-attorney law firm based in Minneapolis, with offices in Bismarck, Des Moines, Fargo, St. Paul, Saltillo, Mexico, and Shanghai, China. Fredrikson & Byron has a reputation as the firm “where law and business meet”. Our attorneys bring business acumen and entrepreneurial thinking to work with clients, and operate as business advisors and strategic partners, as well as legal counselors. More information about the firm is available at Follow us on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FredriksonLaw.

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Kelly Griffith
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