News Item
Molly Trieschman and Fredrikson & Byron Law Firm Receive First Judicial District Amicus Curiae Award

Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018

The First Judicial District awarded its eighth annual Amicus Curiae Award to Molly Trieschman and Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. on May 11, 2018.  The Amicus Curiae Award, meaning Friend of the Court, is an annual recognition of persons who have provided exceptional service, leadership or other contributions to assist the courts in the First Judicial District discharge their constitutional responsibility for the administration of justice. 
Molly Trieschman joined the Le Sueur County Drug Court in 2016 as a Recovery Specialist, where she assists participants with housing, employment, and insurance concerns, as well as making sure they are following the program’s requirements.  Molly describes her role by saying she’s “not out to get them in trouble, but to help find a proper solution if they do.”
In June 2017, the Le Sueur County Drug Court Coordinator left her position leaving a gap in the administration of the drug court.  When asked by the drug court team, Molly undertook the role of Coordinator, which included all of the administrative and financial duties of running the Le Sueur County Drug Court.  Molly took on the duties of this position while maintaining her position as the Recovery Specialist.
Molly continued to be both the Recovery Specialist and the Coordinator for eight months, until a new coordinator was hired in February 2018.  During this extensive period, both the judicial team and the participants relied on Molly’s dedication to keep the program going, with one participant stating, “She shows by her actions and how she treats us that she cares and has faith in us. She helps us do the right thing.”
Judge Mark Vandelist, the First District Court Judge chambered in Le Sueur County, says “without Molly taking on this duel role and working two completely different full time jobs, I don’t think our drug court would have survived.”  The Le Sueur County Drug Court has nine graduates and currently has ten active participants.  Molly’s work has had an effect on over 50 children of graduates and participants, as well as countless others by helping assist in their recovery efforts.
The law firm of Fredrickson & Byron was recognized for providing volunteer attorneys from their firm to serve as conciliation court referees in the First Judicial District.  Eight experienced civil litigators from Fredrickson & Byron are now covering 4 half-day conciliation court calendars each month in Scott County.  The program has freed up the local judges for other assignments and has helped relieve the chronic need for additional judicial resources in the First District.  These referees have allowed the local judges to concentrate on efforts to start a treatment court and devote additional judges to the growing child protection caseload.
The referees currently serving are Joe Cassioppi, Joe Dixon, Leah Janus, Greg Karpenko, Dave Marshall, Jeff Post, Rick Snyder, and Mark Vyvyan.  They have been supported by staff at the firm reviewing the files and assisting in preparation each week.  Those support staff are Jan Stahura, Deb Synowczynski, Cathy Haugen, Cindy Thomas, Julie Ciesynski, Mary Peterman, and Linda McCormick.  Pam Wandzel, the firm’s pro bono and community service director, has been instrumental in scheduling and training. 
“The generous contribution by Fredrickson & Byron assists the First Judicial District in providing prompt, quality service to the people of our communities and demonstrates once again how important volunteer attorneys are to the overall administration of justice”, said Chief Judge Kathy Messerich when presenting the awards.
Past recipients of the Amicus Curiae Award are: Liz Reppe, Dana McKenzie, Merlyn Meinerts, Mary Freyberg, the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum, Sharon Freiling, Karissa Richardson, Dan Beeson, Wayne Jagow, Lloyd Moosbrugger, Bob Morris, Jerome Wickert, Mary Stapleton, Chuck Brill, and Manual Roman.