Michael Wentzell (’98) Appointed to First District Court Bench
DECEMBER 13, 2012—Chief Deputy Carver County Attorney Michael D. Wentzell (’98) has been appointed to Minnesota's First Judicial District Court, replacing retired Judge Phillip T. Kanning, Gov. Mark Dayton's office announced recently.
As Chief Deputy Carver County Attorney since January 2011, Wentzell has served as chief of staff for the County Attorney's office, with responsibility for advising and overseeing county departments on criminal, civil, and juvenile legal issues. Previously, beginning in 2000, he was a prosecutor in the Criminal Division, where he successfully prosecuted numerous serious cases and devoted significant energies to child sexual assault prosecution. He also worked closely with law enforcement on major felony and narcotics investigations and gained extensive experience with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Before working with Carver County, Wentzell was an associate with Collins, Buckley, Sauntry & Haugh in St. Paul. He practiced in family law as well as business litigation, personal injury, employment law, and estate planning.
Wentzell received his B.A. in economics and political science from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. As a Law School student, he served as a volunteer clerk in the Carver County Attorney's Office before graduating, cum laude, in 1998.
He is a member of the Carver County Justice Advisory Council, actively involved with the Sexual Assault Interagency Council, a former president of the Eighth District Bar Association, a former Professional Responsibility Ethics Investigator, and has served as a volunteer trainer for sexual assault advocates at the Sexual Violence Center in Chaska.
The First Judicial District consists of seven counties (Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, LeSueur, McLeod, Scott, Sibley) in southcentral and southeast Minnesota. Wentzell's chambers will be in the Carver County Justice Center in Chaska.