It can be hard to find useful information about candidates in judicial elections. As someone who has known Brian Hagerty for nearly 10 years, I want to share my insights into why you should vote for Brian for Hennepin County Judge, Seat 43.
I've know Brian since we worked together as summer associates at a large law firm in Minneapolis. I then had the good fortune to clerk with Brian in federal district court in Minneapolis. As clerks, we worked together closely on just about every kind of case you can imagine — both criminal and civil matters, from the relatively simple to the extremely complicated.
No matter how complicated or unusual the case, Brian consistently demonstrated a clear and thoughtful understanding of the issues, a pragmatic approach to the messy realities of litigation, and an unflinching fair-mindedness. In short, he’s someone I’d trust to get it right — whether “it” is interpreting a contract, making a custody determination, or deciding a criminal sentence. Brian ranks as one of the smartest lawyers I've ever known, but he's more than just smart: he's got common sense. That common sense comes, in part, from the fact that he went to law school later in life, after running his own business.
Brian's experience as a judicial clerk has kept him out of the spotlight. But that experience—working behind the scenes for judges in federal trial court, state trial court, a federal appeals court, and the Minnesota Supreme Court—is outstanding preparation for the job of Hennepin County district judge. A Hennepin County judge must be prepared for every kind of case, because the Hennepin County district court hears not just criminal cases, but also civil, family, juvenile, and probate cases. No one else in the race has the range of experience working on both civil and criminal cases that Brian does.
It's true that Brian has not been a trial lawyer. But judges are not trial lawyers. Judges preside over cases; they don't try them. Brian has been intimately involved in helping judges preside over cases for virtually his entire legal career. As a civil litigator, I would welcome the opportunity to appear before Brian for a hearing or for a trial, and that's why he has my vote and my public support. He should have your vote, too.