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Judge Profile:

Senior Judge Marilyn J. Kaman
(retired 2013)

Hennepin County


Appointed January 12, 1990
Elected in 1992, 1998, 2006, 2010

Retired June 10, 2013.

Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015.


J.D., cum laude, University of Wisconsin, 1978, (Wisconsin Law Review)
M.A.T., University of Chicago, 1971
Certificate of Proficiency (Russian), Leningrad State University, U.S.S.R., Summer 1971
B.A., cum laude, Vanderbilt University, 1970


State of Minnesota (Hennepin County District Court), 1990-2013
Assistant Hennepin County Public Defender, 1984-1990
William Mitchell College of Law, Adjunct Instructor, 1983-1984, 1998-2000
Dorsey and Whitney LLP, 1979-1982

Professional Memberships:

  • American Bar Association: ABA Representative to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (New York) (2012-2014); ABA Section Liaison to U.N. ECOSOC; Liaison to the ABA Journal
  • American Bar Association, Section of International Law:
    Membership Officer (2011-2012); Publications Officer (2009-2012); Co-Chair, United National International Institutions Committee (2004-2011); Editor-in-Chief, International Law News (2008-2009); Co-Chair, International Criminal Law Committee (2004-2007); Co-Chair, International Courts Committee (2012-2014)
  • Minnesota Supreme Court: Appointed to Appeals Panel under Minn. Stat. 253B. 19
  • Minnesota District Judges’ Association (MDJA): Civil Jury Instruction Guide Committee, Chair (2006-2013); Fourth Judicial District Representative to MDJA Board of Directors
  • Minnesota State Bar Association: Civil Litigation Governing Council (Chair, 2003-2004); numerous other committee assignments
  • Hennepin County Bar Association: Miscellaneous committee appointments

Additional Information:

Case Assignment History

  • Criminal/Civil, 1/2010 – 6/2013
  • Presiding Judge, Probate/Mental Health Court, 10/2007-12/2009
  • Civil Block & Criminal Court, 7/2003-9/2007
  • Leave (Judging in Kosovo), 11/2002-6/2003

    In November 2002 Judge Kaman was one of the first four American jurists to be selected by the United Nations to serve as an international judge abroad for that organization. Judge Kaman's mission assignment was in Kosovo (Serbia-Montenegro) and involved hearing cases of war crimes, organized crime, ethnically-motivated disputes and trafficking of human beings. Judge Kaman returned to her judicial duties from her unpaid leave of absence in July 2003.
  • Family Court, 1/2001-11/2002
  • Civil Block & Criminal Court, 7/1994-12/2000
  • Presiding Judge, Mental Health Court, 7/1992-6/1994
  • Criminal Court, 1/1990-7/1992

Bar Admissions and Qualifications

  • Minnesota Supreme Court, 4/1979
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 11/1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 3/1988
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 5/1988
  • Rule 114 Qualified ADR Neutral (2013)

Awards and Honors

  • Judge Kaman was selected by the U.N. General Assembly to serve as an ad litem Judge on the U.N. Dispute Tribunal, New York Registry, representing the United States of America
  • 2005-Hall of Fame, Appleton-West High School, Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Co-recipient: "Minnesota Trial Judge of the Year-2004" by Minnesota Board of Trial Advocates
  • 1995 "Marvelous Minnesota Woman Award" by Gov. Arne Carlson


  • "Kosovo: Justice Amidst the Ruins of War," American Bar Association, Section of Criminal Justice, Winter 2004, Volume 18, Number 4.

Judge Kaman's approach to judicial responsibilities is to provide a forum for the fair resolution of disputes.