Dawn R. Hennessy
Family: I live with my significant other, Kyle.
Education: Hamline Law School; Minnesota State University Moorhead.
I am a trained mediator in Washington County’s victim-offender conferencing program and was very active in the conferencing program until the program was cut for budget reasons in 2009.
Work experience: I am an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Minnesota. I currently work, and have worked for almost 10 years, as the judicial law clerk to Judge Thomas G. Armstrong.
1. What makes you the best candidate?
I’ve accumulated 10 years of experience working in a courtroom setting everyday in the 10th District. This has allowed me to be experienced in all areas of the law and has required that I maintain a neutral, unbiased perspective; both qualities essential of a judge. I have 10 years on-the-job (experience) and am the only candidate familiar with the current court files that would be assigned to the new judge. I have 10 years of working with the present court personnel and already know the county’s policies and procedures. This confirms a seamless transition that will save the taxpayers money.
2. How would you as a judge suggest the court system respond to limited or reduced state funding?
Electing me to the bench would be the first step in saving the taxpayers money as I am the only candidate who is familiar with the job and can immediately take the bench comfortably and confidently without a lengthy government funded training period. With losing court employees and doubling the work of the remaining employees, a judge needs to vigilantly monitor her cases to assure they move efficiently though the system with judicial economy in mind. This includes requiring parties to exhaust settlement/mediation resources before coming to court, facilitating settlement before trial and directly pro se parties to self-help clinics.
3. Do you believe judicial candidates should be allowed to discuss political views and be involved in non-judicial politics?
I don’t believe that judicial candidates should be allowed to discuss their political views or seek backing by political parties, even though the 8th Circuit found it to be protected by the First Amendment. I believe a judge needs to be detached and unbiased on the bench. She should not be beholden to any group or use political views to influence any decision on a case. I do not have, or have never had, any party affiliation and only make a commitment to follow the law and apply it fairly and honestly in every case without a political agenda.More from around the web