Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Appoints Merchant & Gould Partner  to Fill Fourth Judicial District Vacancy

Rachel C. Hughey Committed to Strengthening Hennepin County District Court
Monday, August 2, 2021

Merchant & Gould is proud to announce that Minnesota Governor Tim Walz appointed the firm’s partner and stakeholder Rachel C. Hughey as a District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. 

Rachel will replace the Honorable Margaret A. Daly in September for a term ending in 2027. This seat will be chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County.

“I am proud to appoint Ms. Hughey to the Fourth Judicial District bench,” said Governor Walz. “She is an accomplished lawyer who brings extensive legal and courtroom experience and devotion to public service. Ms. Hughey will be an outstanding addition to the bench.”

“Ms. Hughey is a remarkable and compassionate leader,” added Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota Peggy Flanagan. “Her deep commitment to community by representing the unheard and unseen, outstanding qualifications, and strong work ethic will strengthen Hennepin County District Court.”

Rachel is a trial attorney who specializes in intellectual property law and litigates complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts in Minnesota and around the country. She has a technical background in chemical engineering and has experience in a wide variety of fields, including chemical technologies, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, mechanical devices and software. Previously, Rachel served as a judicial law clerk on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. She has held a variety of leadership positions at Merchant & Gould, including member and past chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, co-chair of the firm’s Appellate Group, former chair of the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee, and former chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative.

Rachel is also extremely active in the community, including serving as a member and past chair of the Volunteer Lawyers Network Board, a member of the Hennepin County Bar Association Board, and a co-founder and president of The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna Intellectual Property American Inn of Court. Ms. Rachel is also an active volunteer with the Advocates for Human Rights, Children’s Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers Network, and the State Public Defender’s Office. She previously served as a member of the YouthCARE Board, a member of the University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors, a member of the ACLU-MN Board, and a legal writing professor and moot court instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

“We are all thrilled for Rachel on this well-deserved appointment. She is a long-time leader in our firm, the community and the legal industry, and now she can extend her deep experience even further to the Hennepin County District Court,” said Christopher J. Leonard, Managing Director, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, of Merchant & Gould. “She brings so much depth and perspective to our firm, and now she will add valuable insight to the bench.”

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