January 8, 2015
by Orin J. Kipp
Wilford Geske & Cook, P.A. – USFN Member (Minnesota)
Over the past year, the landscape of Minnesota’s bankruptcy community has been significantly transformed. With the sad passing of Judge Nancy Dreher and the retirement of Judge Dennis O’Brien, three new bankruptcy judges have been appointed to the Minnesota bench. These appointments come after more than a decade without a change to Minnesota’s bankruptcy panel. In addition, longstanding Chapter 13 Trustee Jasmine Keller retired, making way for the appointment of a new Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Minnesota.
Judge Kathleen Sanberg, formerly of the Minnesota Tax Court, was appointed to the bankruptcy bench towards the end of 2012. Judge Sanberg replaces Judge Robert Kressel, who is retired and is on recall status. Prior to being appointed to the Tax Court, Judge Sanberg was a partner at Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels), where she practiced in the areas of financial institutions, loan workouts, and bankruptcy.
In mid-2013, Judge Michael Ridgway was appointed to the bench. Before joining Chief Judge Kishel and Judges Kressel, O’Brien, and Sanberg, Judge Ridgway served as a trial attorney at the Office of the U.S. Trustee. Due to his experience within the local bankruptcy community, Judge Ridgway is a familiar face to members of the bankruptcy bar.
Shortly after the appointment of Judge Ridgway, Judge Katherine Constantine was appointed to replace the retired Judge O’Brien. Prior to appointment, Judge Constantine chaired Dorsey & Whitney’s Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group.
Most recently, the U.S. Trustee appointed Gregory Burrell as Standing Chapter 13 Trustee. Mr. Burrell is a native of New Orleans and brings much experience and training in the area of bankruptcy law. His appointment was a result of the retirement of Jasmine Keller.
These are major fluctuations for a bench and bar that have seen little change in the past years. While the impact and implications of these appointments have yet to be realized, the local bar is excited to welcome the new additions.
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