To the editor,

I have known Judge Kathryn Messerich for more than 30 years. She and I practiced in a similar area, focusing on the trial of civil lawsuits, and on occasion represented different parties in the same lawsuits. In addition, I worked closely with Judge Messerich through the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association where she was a past president (as was I).

During that tenure, prior to her becoming a judge, part of the work Judge Messerich did through the MDLA focused on legislative input that affected the trial of civil lawsuits. All of her efforts had the same theme - her interest was in providing for lawsuits that were fair to both sides.

Since she became a judge, I have appeared in front of Judge Messerich. As I expected, she was unfailingly courteous, extremely prepared, sharply analytical and applied the law. Judge Messerich is a tribute to the judiciary, to our state, and to the ideals of justice. By contrast, to my knowledge, her opponent has not distinguished himself in the trial of civil lawsuits. I'm not aware that he has ever completed a single jury trial. I'm not aware that he has devoted significant personal time to the betterment of the legal profession. I am certain he has not demonstrated any reason for the voters to replace one of our best jurists with an unknown whose legal accomplishments to date are, at best, limited.

I support Judge Messerich without any hesitation and with total commitment and enthusiasm, and invite my friends and neighbors to do the same.

Richard J. Thomas