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Family First

Jeff Sheridan is the fifth of eight children in his family and one of fifty-eight (and counting) branches on his family tree, just from his parents down. Being brought up with such support created an environment for him to thrive. Jeff is a 1984 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism (Rock Chalk Jayhawks!) and a 1987 graduate of the Hamline University School of Law (Go Pipers!). After graduation, Jeff began his legal career in Dakota County. He has been here ever since.

Jeff and Melissa, his wife of 35 years, have lived in Dakota County since 1989. They have two daughters, who attended and graduated from District 196 schools and played nearly every sport offered by the Eagan Athletic Association and Eagan Hockey Association. Jeff and Melissa offered their services as volunteer coaches until their kids’ skill surpassed their own. They then became eager boosters throughout the kids’ careers. Both their daughters have long since graduated college and have families of their own. Jeff is the happiest grandpa on the planet because his darling grandchildren live nearby in the county.


It didn’t take long for Jeff to distinguish himself as a serious player in the practice of law. Many lawyers will never appear before an appellate court in their entire career. By the time he was out of school for just five years, Jeff had already argued appeals in cases involving criminal law, civil commitments, family law, insurance law, and administrative law – including two successful appeals to the Minnesota Supreme Court. In 1990, he brought his first successful challenge to the constitutionality of one of Minnesota’s laws. That win led to seven more successful constitutional challenges, all of which have defined his legacy. Jeff has now argued 16 cases in the Minnesota Supreme Court and over 100 cases in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He has also successfully appealed two cases to the United States Supreme Court.

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Fighting for justice every day

Jeff started his legal career in a Dakota County law firm that allowed him to also do public defense work. He represented both private and public defender clients in criminal cases and was Dakota County’s sole public defender for mental health/chemical dependency civil commitment and paternity/child support cases for a number of years. These are all matters that are prosecuted by the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.


In 2021, Minnesota Lawyer recognized Jeff as a “Minnesota Icon” for the transformational work he has done during his 35-year legal career.


Jeff has also been peer-recognized in the list of the “Best Lawyers in America” every year since 2007, and has been singled out as their “Lawyer of the Year” twice, in 2013 and 2019.



Minnesota Lawyer, Minnesota’s leading legal publication, recognized Jeff as an “Attorney of the Year” in 2005, 2009, and 2011, following landmark decisions he secured.


In addition, he has been selected by Eagan’s own Thomson Reuters company as a SuperLawyer every year since 2006.

Reaching new heights

When he is not in a courtroom, Jeff can usually be found at Fleming Field, the South Saint Paul Municipal Airport. He is a commercial pilot, and flies airplanes and seaplanes. Jeff started flying lessons at the age of 12, soloed on his 14th birthday and has been flying ever since. Jeff is a volunteer pilot for the Commemorative Air Force – Minnesota Wing, a World War II military museum at Fleming Field. Jeff flies passengers on “History Flights” in the museum’s immaculately-maintained fleet of vintage military aircraft to fulfill its mission to educate and inspire a new generation, as well as honor those who served.

Jeff is a volunteer pilot in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles Program. That program provides free airplane rides to kids from 7-17 years old to give them an opportunity to experience flight in a small plane. Many of those kids have gone on to pursue their pilot’s licenses and careers in aviation. Jeff has flown over 300 Young Eagles since the program began.

Watch Jeff and his wife, Melissa, discuss their work and the campaign on this interview with Access to Democracy.

Access to Democracy is hosted by Alan Miller. To learn more, you can visit the organization's website here.

Watch Jeff and the three other candidates for Dakota County Attorney answer questions presented by the League of Women Voters of Dakota County.

To learn more about the League of Women Voters, click here.

Jeff Sheridan for Dakota County Attorney

Prepared and paid for by Jeff Sheridan for Dakota County Attorney
P.O. Box 2215 Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

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