News Item
JaPaul J. Harris and Kelly L. Olmstead Appointed to Fill Second Judicial District Vacancies

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointments of JaPaul J. Harris and Kelly L. Olmstead as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District. Mr. Harris and Ms. Olmstead will be replacing the Honorable William H. Leary, III and the Honorable Edward S. Wilson, and will be chambered at St. Paul in Ramsey County.
“Mr. JaPaul J. Harris and Ms. Kelly L. Olmstead have both demonstrated their firm commitments to justice and public service,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Minnesotans will be well-served by the depth and quality of their legal knowledge and experiences.”
Minnesota’s Second Judicial District consists of Ramsey County.
More information on the Commission on Judicial Selection, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found at
About JaPaul J. Harris:
Referee Harris is a District Court Referee in the Fourth Judicial District, where he currently presides over juvenile court cases and previously presided over housing court, mental health court, harassment court, and petty misdemeanor court. Prior to his appointment, he was a Supervising Attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Senior Employee Relations Attorney with the Minneapolis Public School District, and an attorney at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Referee Harris is a youth coach at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center and a member of the Fourth Judicial District Equal Justice Committee, the Minnesota Supreme Court Committee for Equality and Justice, and the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.
About Kelly L. Olmstead:
Ms. Olmstead is an Assistant Ramsey County Attorney in the Adult Criminal Division, where she is assigned to the special victims unit, prosecuting homicide, sexual assault, and felony familial violence cases. Previously, she was a civil trial attorney at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. and a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. She received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
Ms. Olmstead is currently serving as the President of the Ramsey County Bar Foundation, and is a former President of both the Ramsey County Bar Association and the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association. Additionally, she coaches 8U softball and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.