This week, Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Joseph R. Klein to the Fourth Judicial District trial court bench in Hennepin County. The seat had been left vacant in September with the death of the Judge Steven A. Pihlaja.
"Joe has a sharp intellect," Governor Pawlenty said in a statement. "His passion for public service and helping others, as reflected by his volunteer work in the community, will help him in his new job."
Klein, 49, has been an attorney with the law office of Andrew P. Sherwood in Roseville since 2006 and has served as counsel for the Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.
Previously, Klein worked as a contract attorney with Universal Underwriters Group in Edina, as an attorney with Zurich North American Insurance, as a quality assurance supervisor with Medical Evaluations, Inc. in Minneapolis, and an attorney and shareholder with the Moss and Barnett law firm in Minneapolis.
Klein earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1986, his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1982, and his associate of arts degree from Rochester Community College in 1979.
Klein is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, its Civil Litigation Section, and has been a Certified Civil Trial Specialist. He is also a member of the Hennepin County Bar Association, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, and has been a member of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association.
Klein was born in Alexandria, Minn., and lives in Minnetonka with his family.