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Judge Carolina Lamas was appointed on February 3, 2014 by Governor Mark Dayton and elected in 2016. During her time on the Hennepin County Bench, Judge Lamas has earned a reputation as a thoughtful, fair and impartial judge. As a general jurisdiction judge, Judge Lamas has presided primarily over felony-level criminal trials during her time on the bench. Judge Lamas also served as a Treatment Court Judge from 2017 - 2020 presiding over Veterans Treatment Court and Mental Health Treatment Court. In addition, Judge Lamas handled all adult criminal competency related matters for the district during that time.

 

Judge Lamas is the Chair of the Hennepin County Bench’s Equal Justice Committee and is a representative to State Courts's Committee for Equality and Justice. Previously Judge Lamas served on the Hennepin Bench's Education Committee, Amnesty Day Planning Committee, represented the Fourth Judicial District in the Minnesota District Judges Association Board, and served on the Statewide Treatment Court Initiative.

 

As a fluent Spanish speaker, Judge Lamas performs bilingual and Spanish wedding ceremonies and was previously featured in the free Valentines Day wedding event.

 

JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT:

 

Appointed February 3, 2014, by Governor Mark Dayton. Current term expires January 2, 2017.

 

EDUCATION:

 

J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, 2003

B.A., University of Minnesota, 2000

 

EMPLOYMENT:

 

Executive Director/Lead Attorney, Neighborhood Justice Center, 2007-2014

Assistant Public Defender, Ramsey County Office of the Public Defender, 2003-2007

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

 

Member, Minnesota Women Lawyers

Member, Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (President 2007-2008; Board of Directors 2004-2009)

Member, Hispanic National Bar Association

Member, Hennepin County Bar Association

Member, Minnesota State Bar Association

Past member, Warren E. Burger Inn of Court

Past member, Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Past member, Ramsey County Family Violence Coordinating Council

Past member, Ramsey County Bar Association

 

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES:

 

Tempo, Minnesota Opera (Member since 2004; Board of Directors 2011-2014; Executive Committee 2012-2014

American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (Vice President 2013; Board of Directors 2009 – 2013)

 

LECTURING AND TEACHING EXPERIENCE:

 

Instructor: “New Judge Training: Self- Represented Litigants Best Practices” (2020- 2021).

Instructor: PESI Seminar“A Different Approach: Addressing Mental Health Concerns through Treatment Courts” (2020).

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “Veterans Forum” (2019)

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “The Criminal Sexual Conduct Case: Cross-Examination of the SANE Nurse”, 2013.

Instructor: Week-long Trial Advocacy Institute for Minnesota Public Defenders, 2013.

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “Beginning Criminal Defense: Nuts and Bolts of Criminal Defense in the East Metro”, 2012.

Presenter: Minnesota Women Lawyers Presents “Hot Topics in Criminal Law”, 2012.

Instructor: Week-long Trial Advocacy Institute for Minnesota Public Defenders, 2011.

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “Effective Opening Arguments”, 2011.

Presenter: Growing the Connections Conference on Restorative Justice, 2010.

Instructor: Week-long Trial Advocacy Institute for Minnesota Public Defenders, 2010.

Instructor: Week-long Trial Advocacy Institute for Minnesota Public Defenders, 2009.

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “Criminal Defense in Ramsey County”, 2009.

Presenter: Minnesota State Bar Association Networking Panel, 2008.

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “Defending Dissent”, 2008.

Instructor: Continuing Legal Education Seminar “2005 Omnibus Public Safety Bill”, 2005.

 

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota, 25 On The Rise Award, 2008

Minnesota Lawyer, Up and Coming Attorney Award, 2005