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Judge Profile:

Judge Mark S. Wernick

Hennepin County

Hennepin County Courthouse
Phone: (612)348-2040

Chambers Phone: 612-596-9201

Chambers Email: Email Chambers Staff


Appointed in 2002. Elected in 2004 and 2010. His current term expires in January 2017.


J.D., Drake University of Law, 1975, Order of the Coif
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1972


  • Wernick Law Office, 1987
  • Mauzy & Wernick, 1985
  • Wernick Law Office, 1977
  • Assistant Hennepin County Public Defender, 1975

Professional Memberships:

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota District Judges Association

Positions Held in Professional Associations

  • President, Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2000
  • Chair, Criminal Law Section, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1996-97
  • Co-chair, Criminal Law Section, Hennepin County Bar Association, 1991-93

Additional Information:

Assignment History

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Block, 9/2010 – Present
  • Presiding Judge, Criminal Division, 7/2008-6/2012
  • Felony Block, 1/2007-6/2008
  • Civil Block and Criminal, 1/2006-12/2006
  • Family, 1/2004-12/2005
  • Criminal, 11/2002-12/2003

Fourth Judicial District Court Bench Committees

  • Executive Committee
  • Criminal Law Committee
  • Equal Justice Committee

CLE Lecturer

  • "'Not for the Faint of Heart,"  Managing the Complex Criminal Case -- Scheduling Conferences and Case Management Orders  2013 SCAO Judicial Education, Minnesota District Judges Association, Hamline Law School
  • "Avoiding Reversible Error When Taking Guilty Pleas," 2011 Annual Conference of Judges
  • “Post-Conviction Relief after Padilla,” 2011 Minnesota District Judge Association
  •  "Padilla v. Kentucky - Retroactivity," 2011 Upper Midwest Conference American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • “Judicial Role in Plea Bargaining,” 2010 Criminal Justice Institute
  • “2010 Calendaring Pilot in Hennepin County District Court,” 2010 Suburban Prosecutors’ Association
  • “Sentencing Multiple Counts,” State Court Administrator’s Office, Disposition & Sentencing Education Program, 2010
  • “Judicial Role in Plea Bargaining,” 2009 Suburban Prosecutors’ Association
  • “Bail and Public Safety,” 2008 Fourth Judicial District Court Bench Meeting
  • “Judicial Role in Plea Bargaining,” 2007 Minnesota Judicial College  
  • "The Minnesota Supreme Court Jury Task Force; Best Practices for Voir Dire Are Coming," MACDL, 2001
  • "Joinder and Severance of Offenses and Defendants," MSBA Criminal Law Section, 2001
  • "Living With the New Final Argument Rule," State Public Defender Conference, 2000
  • "Preparing to Win: Developing Your Theory and Use of Themes," Law and Politics CLE, 1999
  • Course Chair - "Criminal Cases, The Basics From In-house Investigation To Closing Arguments," MILE, 1998
  • "State Discovery Dilemmas," MACDL, 1997
  • "How To Examine Witnesses Effectively," MSBA-CLE, 1997
  • "In Defense Of White Collar Criminal Cases," MSBA-Criminal Justice Institute, 1995
  • "Televising Trials: The Search For Truth Or The Courtroom Is A Stage?" MILE, 1995
  • "Brainstorming For Themes and Theories of Defense in Federal Criminal Cases," Federal Defender Seminar, 1993
  • "Discovery in Complex Criminal Cases," MSBA Criminal Justice Institute, 1992
  • "Legal Fees, Money Laundering and Forfeiture," MILE, 1992
  • "Money Laundering and Forfeiture," MSBA Criminal Justice Institute, 1991
  • "Bail and Pretrial Detention Issues," MSBA Criminal Justice Institute, 1987
  • "DWI Update," MSBA Criminal Justice Institute, 1986
  • "Recent Cases - Search and Seizure," MSBA Criminal Justice Institute, 1985
  • "Immigration Consequences in Criminal Law," American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1985

Community Activities

  • Board of Directors, Council on Crime and Justice, 2011 - present
  • Board of Directors, Sabathani Community Center, Inc., 1985-2010
  • Page Foundation Mentor, 2003-2005
  • MSBA "Everybody Wins" Elementary School Reading Program, 2003-2005
  • Board of Directors, Legal Rights Center, Inc., 1994-2002
  • Chair, Minneapolis Police Civilian Review Working Committee, 1989