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Judge Profile:

Judge Mel I. Dickstein


Hennepin County

Hennepin County Courthouse
Phone: (612)348-2040

Chambers Phone: 612-596-8823

Chambers Email: Email Chambers Staff

Appointed/Elected:

Appointed in August 2002
Elected in 2004 and 2010

Education:

J.D., University of Minnesota, 1973
B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Minnesota, 1969

Employment:

Minnesota District Court Judge, 2002-present
Partner, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, 1982-2001
Associate, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, 1978-82
Assistant United States Attorney, District of Minnesota, 1974-78

Professional Memberships:

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

Additional Information:

Judge Dickstein began his professional career as an Assistant U. S. Attorney serving under U. S. Attorney Robert Renner. During his tenure, Judge Dickstein tried approximately 40 federal jury trials, representing the U. S. government in both civil and criminal matters. 

In 1978 Judge Dickstein left the U. S. Attorney’s Office to join the firm of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, where he became a partner in 1982. While at the Robins firm, Judge Dickstein handled a wide variety of matters including insurance subrogation involving large commercial industrial losses, first party property insurance coverage matters, intellectual property litigation, white collar criminal defense, and a variety of miscellaneous matters. Judge Dickstein had a national practice, appearing in state and federal courts throughout the country.

In 2002, Judge Dickstein was appointed to serve on the Hennepin County District Court bench.  He served his first two years handling criminal cases, and began his Family Court assignment in 2004. In July 2006, he rotated to his present assignment handling a mix of civil and criminal matters.

Judge Dickstein serves or has served on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the General Rules of Practice, the Minnesota District Judges’ Civil Jury Instruction Guide Committee, the Hennepin County District Court Blue Ribbon Panel Pro-Bono Committee, the District Court Domestic Violence Committee and the District Court Civil Committee.

Throughout his career, both on and off the bench, Judge Dickstein has been involved in a number of community activities, including:

  • Board Member, Project Élan—alternative to prison for women offenders
  • Board Member, Lowry Hill Residents’ Association
  • Adath Jeshuran Service to the Community and Scholarship Committees
  • Hennepin County Juvenile Court Guardian Ad Litem
  • Board Member, Northern Clay Center
  • Board Member, Greater Minneapolis Children’s Crisis Nursery
  • Pro-bono representation of indigent families on a variety of matters including representation before the IRS, landlord tenant matters, and contract and wage claims

Background Articles:

An article regarding Judge Dickstein’s background can be found in Hennepin County Lawyer Magazine (October 2002).

Judge Dickstein has written articles regarding his experiences as a Hennepin County District Court judge.  The topics of the articles include: his first six months (Southwest Journal/Skyway News- April/May 2003), what he learned as a new judge (Law & Politics-August/September 2004), and his transition from a large law firm with a national practice to his role as state district court judge (MPLS/St.Paul Magazine- June 2004). 

Court Proceedings:

Judge Dickstein has a standing order to help guide attorneys and pro se litigants in proceedings before him.  A copy of the current order may be obtained by contacting the judge’s chambers.  A second standing order addresses the judge’s requirements for those seeking to serve by publication.

Assignments:

Criminal & Civil, 4/2008-Present