Judge Elena L. Ostby


Appointed as District Court Judge, Second Judicial District, by Governor Tim Pawlenty on Sept. 15, 2004.  Sworn into office on September 15, 2004. In 2006, 2012, and 2018, Judge Ostby was elected to six-year terms.


J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, 1986
B.A., University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, 1983

Judge Ostby has furthered her education by attending conferences such as the University of Minnesota's "Judicial Trial Skills" conference in 2005 and the Annual Conference of Judges, held in Bloomington in 2004.

Admitted to Practice:

Supreme Court, State of Minnesota, 1986
United States District Court, District of Minnesota, 1986
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1986


Judge- Second Judicial District and Ramsey County District Court, 2004-Present

Private Practice- Elena L. Ostby & Associates, P.A. (Roseville, MN), 2001-2004

Summer Associate, Associate, Partner/Shareholder- Briggs and Morgan, P.A. (St. Paul, MN), 1985-2001

Law Clerk- Centro Legal (St. Paul, MN), 1984-1985

Law Clerk/Law Librarian- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (St. Paul, MN), 1984

Past and Present Professional Memberships/Activities:

Minnesota District Judges Association

American Bar Association;
Member, Judicial Division, Civil Litigation, Labor and Employment Law, Immigration Law, and International Law Sections

Minnesota State Bar Association;
Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, Immigration Section, Civil Litigation Section, Solo and Small Practice Section, Alternate to the Board of Governors, General Assembly

Ramsey County Bar Association;
Member, Labor and Employment Law Section and Ethics Committee, Co-Chair, Diversity Committee, Board of Directors

Minnesota Women Lawyers;
Member, Chair, Personnel Committee, and Board of Directors

Minnesota State Bar Foundation;
Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2005

Minnesota Minority Lawyers Association

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association

Twin Cities Committee on Minority Lawyers in Large Law Firms

American Bar Association

Minnesota Supreme Court Public Trust and Confidence Committee

Minnesota Supreme Court Implementation Committee on Diversity and Racial Fairness in the Courts

Past and Present Community Activities:

Member and Board of Directors- Criminal Defense Services, Inc.
Member- Board of Directors and Board Chair- Family Service, Inc.
Member- North Suburban Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
Member- St. Paul Jaycees
University of Minnesota Alumni Association

Awards and Honors:

Listed in the Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, 2004
AV-Rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell, 2001-2004

In addition, Judge Ostby was voted one of the best lawyers in Minnesota by Twin Cities Business Monthly, Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Minnesota Law & Politics "Super Lawyers."

Lecturing and Teaching Experience:

“Dealing with the Impaired Lawyer,” May 2005, Hamline University co-sponsored by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Minnesota State Bar Association, Hennepin and Ramsey County Bar Associations.

Frequent past lecturer for Ramsey County Bar Association, Hennepin County Bar Association, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, Council on Education in Management.

Judicial Assignment History:

9/2004 to present: Criminal Misdemeanors and Felonies

Additional Information:

Judge Ostby is a life-long resident of Minnesota.  She has lived in Roseville, Ramsey County, Minnesota for the past 28 years. Her experience in private practice includes being a successful small business owner and making partner in a major law firm.  As a member of the judiciary, she has served on the Criminal Team for the Second Judicial District. She also currently serves on the Equal Justice Committee of the Second Judicial District.