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Judge Shaun R. Floerke

St. Louis County - Duluth Courthouse
Sixth Judicial District
(218) 726-2460

Chambers Phone: 218-726-2476

Sixth Judicial District Judicial Officers

Judge Shaun R. Floerke


Appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty on July 30, 2004. Elected in 2006, 2012, and 2018. Current term expires January 2025.


J.D., magna cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1992

  • Director- Misdemeanor Prosecution Clinic, 1991-1992
  • Co-Director- Intellectual Property Moot Court, 1991-1992
  • Member- Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition Team, 1991-1992

B.A., University of Wisconsin (Madison), 1988


Judge- Sixth Judicial District (Duluth), 2004-present

  • Chief Judge from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2016
  • Member of the Drug Court Initiative, a Judicial Council advisory committee, since July 1, 2012 (currently co-chair)
  • South St. Louis County DWI Court Founding Member and Presiding Judge since January 2008

Assistant St. Louis County Attorney- Civil Division, 1997-2004
Attorney- Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick (Duluth), 1996-1997
Prosecutor- Steele County Attorney's Office, 1992-1996
Attorney- Ruth, Schreiner, Long & Floerke (Owatonna), 1992-1996

Professional Memberships:

Minnesota State Bar Association
Eleventh District Bar Association
Minnesota County Attorneys Association
American Bar Association
Steele County Bar Association

Professional Activities:

Interviewed for law review article, "Breaking Free of the Prison Paradigm: Integrating Restorative Justice Techniques Into Chicago's Juvenile Justice System," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Fall 2014 

Mock Trial Coach, Harbor City International High School, Duluth, MN, 2010–2012

Assisted Judge Sally Tarnowski in implementing an Early Neutral program for all family cases in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth.

Chair of committee in Duluth piloting a restorative justice sentencing model using sentencing circles. Recruited and trained several community volunteers. Has completed several sentencing circles to date. 

Minnesota Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee

Lead Judge - Minnesota Supreme Court Children's Justice Initiative

Minnesota Judicial College Planning Committee and Chair of Community Involvement Committee/Presentation 2007

Minnesota District Judges Association Member, Education and Planning Committee Member, former Board Representative from the Sixth Judicial District, Fall Conference Planning Committee and Presenter

Arrowhead Regional Corrections Advisory Board

Planning Committee for Annual Minnesota Judge's Conference

Drug Court Judge

St. Louis County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee

Community Activities:

Men As Peacemakers (Duluth);
Board Member (Elected March 26, 2008)

United Way/Duluth Community Trust, 2006-present;

Hillside Community Church (Duluth), February 2005-present;
Member and Leadership Team Member

Youth Alive, Inc., 2001-2010;
Volunteer, Leader, and Board Member

MSBA Mock Trial Program, 1997-present;
Volunteer Judge and Mock Trial Coach at Harbor City International School, Duluth

Duluth Harvester Church, 2000-2004;
Youth Leader

MSBA National Mock Trial Competition, May 2002;
Competition Judge

Federal Prison Camp Duluth, 1997-2000;

Genesis - Committed to Personal Wholeness, Inc., 1996-1998;
Board Member and Chair

Junior Achievement Duluth, 1996-1997;

Owatonna High School Mock Trial, 1992-1997;
Attorney Coach

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Owatonna, 1994-1996;
Big Brother

Owatonna Domestic Violence Intervention Project, 1994;
Founding Member

Justice Fellowship Minnesota, 1991-1992;

Lecturing and Teaching Experience:

Judge Floerke has extensive experience in public speaking and training at the local and national level. He is a faculty trainer with both the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Center for DWI Courts.

Minnesota Audiences

Keynote, "Calling: Our Work and Our Lives," 33rd Annual St. Louis County Health & Human Service Conference, Oct. 15, 2015

Faculty, DWI Court Evaluation and Screening and Brief Intervention Pilot Project" and "DWI Mock Trial: Preparing for Defense Tactics," 2014 Toward Zero Deaths Conference, Nov. 13, 2014

Faculty, "DWI Court" and "Best Practices and How to Improve," Specialty Courts in Minnesota: Function and Impact, Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee Continuing Legal Education, Sept. 16-17, 2014

Speaker, "Courts Systems Role in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan," TZD Strategic Visioning Workshop, April 3, 2013

Trainer, "Reflections and Recommendations on Visitation," 30th Annual St. Louis County Health & Human Service Conference, Oct. 8, 2012

Guest Speaker, Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association Law Enforcement Memorial Vigil and Ceremony, May 15, 2012

Keynote Speaker, “Integrity, Service, Excellence and Respect,” Civil Air Patrol 1st Wing Duluth Annual Banquet, Duluth, MN, Feb. 16, 2012

Visitation Summit Sponsored by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Lutheran Social Service, and Saint Louis County; Keynote; Feb. 3, 2012

Minnesota CLE Criminal Justice Institute, "Justice for Sale? – Judicial Campaigns, Advertising and Money Post Citizen’s United," Aug. 22. 2011

Annual Presenter on Children’s Issues to the Leadership Duluth Program sponsored by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.

Panelist, "What Family Court Judges Want You to Know," National Business Institute, Trial Practice Judicial Forum for Family Law Attorneys, May 7, 2010

“Truth, Justice and the American Way: Who Wins and Who Loses When Retribution is King and Money is Tight?”  Address to Men as Peacemakers Annual meeting March 31, 2010

Panelist, "What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know," National Business Institute, Trial Practice Judicial Forum for Civil Litigators, May 8, 2009

August 22, 2007 – Presenter: “Community Involvement and Leadership,” Bridging the Gap – Minnesota State Courts Education and Organization Development Division

August 10, 2007 – Presenter: “Sentencing Persuasion,” Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

May 4, 2007 – Chair/Presenter: Community Involvement and Leadership,” Minnesota Judicial College

August 18, 2006- Presenter: "What is Persuasive to a Jury?" Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Annual Meeting

August 2-4, 2006- Faculty and Critiquer: Minnesota County Attorney's Association Trial School

March 15, 2006- "How to Deal with Judges," 11th District Bar Association

March 4, 2005, and March 3, 2006- "Judicial Perspective," Minnesota Trial Lawyer's Annual Convention

April 13, 2005, and January 11, 2006- "The Judicial System and the Judge's Role," Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Duluth

Instructor: Fond du Lac Tribal College Law Enforcement Program, 2003-present

June 20, 2003- Faculty: "DWI Forfeitures," Minnesota Institute of Legal Education

May 22, 2003- Faculty: “Ethics and Elimination of Bias for Government Civil Attorneys,” Minnesota County Attorneys Association

April 2, 2003- "Public Records and Open Meetings in Minnesota," Lorman Education Services

August 20, 2001- "Privacy, Privilege, and Data Issues in Criminal Practice," Minnesota Criminal Justice Institute

April 27, 2001- Faculty: "Conflict of Interest and Other Issues in Government Civil Practice," Minnesota County Attorneys Association

November 16, 2000- "Training County Personnel in Data Management and Practices," Minnesota County Attorneys Association Annual Meeting

June 15, 2000- Statewide live telecast on public health issues and concerns, Minnesota Department of Administration

January 2000- "Data Management and Practices," Minnesota Association of County Officers Annual Meeting

National Audiences

May 19-21, 2016 (Reno, NV), and June 26-28, 2014 (Chicago, IL) - Faculty, Supervised Visitation & Safe Exchange and Family Assignment, Continuing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Program (Sponsored by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Futures Without Violence, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women)

June 4, 2016 - Speaker; The Power of Compassion: Individualized Recovery and Reduced Recidivism Using Best Practices, Research, and Human Connection; National Assoc. of Drug Court Professionals Annual Conference; Anaheim, CA

June 2, 2016 - Speaker, How to Implement Research-Based Best Practices in Your DWI Court, National Assoc. of Drug Court Professionals Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA

Feb. 21-24, 2016 - Lead Faculty, Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases, National Judicial Institue on Domestic Violence, Louisville, KY

Sept. 4, 2015 - Faculty; Plenary: Responding to Client Behavior: Incentives & Sanctions; Plenary: Sharing of Information and Ethics; National Center for DWI Courts & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US Department of Transportation DWI Court Training Initiative; Athens, GA

July 28, 2015 - Faculty; The Pathway to Minnesota’s Drug Court ExpansionDWI Court Research and Best Practices: What's the Latest Evidence?, and Judicial Leadership and Strong Treatment Voice and Response; National Association of Drug Court Professionals 21st Annual Conference, "Setting the Standard" 

Jan. 23, 2015 - Judicial Perspective on Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Panel, Safe Havens Southern Regional Conference, Atlanta, GA

May 19, 2014 - Practical Monitoring Strategies Panel, Second Annual Association of Ignition Interlock Program Administrators Conference, Baltimore, MD

April 27-30, 2014 - Faculty, Enhancing Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Workshop, National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence, San Francisco, California (Also faculty for this workshop) 

Feb. 9-12, 2014, New Orleans, LA; April 14-17, 2013, San Francisco, CA; Nov. 13-16, 2012, Rochester NY; Feb. 11-15, 2012, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; April 3-6, 2011, San Francisco, CA (Sponsored by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and Futures Without Violence)

March 3, 2014 - Interpersonal Violence and Custody session, Family Law Institute for Judges and Lawyers, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Nov. 14, 2013 - Keynote Speaker, The Courts' Role in Traffic Safety, 2013 Toward Zero Deaths Conference, St. Cloud, MN

Nov. 5, 2013 - Restorative Justice for Victims and Abusers, Abusers 201: Essential Up-to-Date Information about Abusers and Abuser Interventions, Emerge: Counseling and Education to Stop Domestic Violence Conference, Minneapolis, MN

July 14, 2013 - Faculty, "Collaboratively Courting Success: Using Data Collection and Evaluation to Improve Performance," National Assoc. of Drug Court Professionals Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.

May 1, 2013 - Keynote Speaker, United to End Abuse Annual Awards Breakfast, Omaha, NE 

April 4, 2012 - Keynote speaker, "Cultural Competence- Judicial Culture." Also presented, “Why Doesn’t She Just Leave? Comings and Goings: An Exercise in Choices," Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition, Inc. Domestic Violence Conference, Omaha, NE

April 28, 2006; June 11, 2007; and Sept. 26, 2008- "The Judge's Perspective within a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence," Domestic Abuse Intervention Project Training and Resources

August 11, 2005, and May 12, 2006- "Domestic Assault: The Probation Response - a Judicial Perspective," Domestic Abuse Intervention Project Training and Resources

April 11, 2006- Faculty for conference, "Putting the Brakes on DWI," Sponsored by the National Office of Highway Safety, Providence, RI


Judge Floerke has Authored:
Moving away from One-Size-Fits-All Handling of DWI offenders,, Nov. 2, 2015

County Attorney's Statutory Duties, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, January 2003.

DWI Forfeitures in Minnesota, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, September 2001.


2014 Star Award, Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program, for demonstrating exceptional creativity, leadership, and organizational skills, and the ability to successfully motivate and collaborate with others, in efforts to move toward zero deaths on Minnesota’s roads, Nov. 13, 2014

Judicial Award for the commitment to excellence and outstanding service to the Minnesota judiciary, Minnesota District Judges Foundation, Sept. 4, 2014

Judicial Award for DWI innovation and intervention, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Mar. 9, 2011 

Additional Information:

Judge Floerke and his wife, Sara, have five children: Merit (23), Connor (21), Cole (18), Curran (16), and Mercedes (14).