Nonprofit defense attorney named to Dakota County bench

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Luis Rangel Morales of the Neighborhood Justice Center will fill a judicial vacancy in the south metro.

Rangel Morales has been appointed district judge in Minnesota’s 1st Judicial District, which serves Dakota, Carver, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott and Sibley counties. He will replace Shawn Moynihan, who retired May 3 after 17 years on the bench, and be chambered in Hastings.

Luis Rangel Morales (Courtesy photo)

Rangel Morales is a staff attorney and director of community engagement for St. Paul-based Neighborhood Justice Center, where he represents low-income community members facing criminal charges in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties.

He also has served as defense counsel for the Ramsey County Veterans Treatment Court and the county’s DUI Court.

His community involvement includes serving as chair of the St. Paul Planning Commission and vice chair of the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

He received his B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

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