Appointed October 1, 1992, by Governor Arne Carlson. Elected 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2012.
Retired on Oct. 3, 2014.
Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021.
Born 1950. Resides in St. Paul.
Hamline University School of Law (J.D. 1983); Mankato State University Master Program (1975-77); University of Minnesota (B.A. Economics 1972)
Ramsey County Public Defender (1984-92); Metropolitan Council (1974-84)
- Johnson Enjoys the Challenge of Serving as Ramsey Chief Judge, Minnesota Lawyer, Sept. 13, 2004
- Family Judge Sees His Role as a Problem-Solver, Minnesota Lawyer, June 28, 1999
Minnesota State Bar Association; Ramsey County Bar Association; Minnesota District Judges Association
Adjunct Faculty, William Mitchell College of Law, Aug. 2007-Present
Advisory or Policy-Making Positions:
- Chief Judge, Second Judicial District, 2004-2008
- Assistant Chief Judge, Second Judicial District, 2002-2004
- Minnesota Judicial Council, 2005-2008
- Chair of Judicial Council Finance Committee, 2005-2008
- Judicial Council Access & Service Delivery Committee, 2008
- Minnesota Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Initiative Task Force, 2007-2008
- Minnesota Conference of Chief Judges, 2002-2005
- Supreme Court Committee on Open Chips Hearings
- Supreme Court Committee on Child Support Guidelines
Awards and Honors:
- Lao Family of Minnesota Appreciation Award 2006
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Criminal Justice Award 2006
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Award 2004
Notable Cases and Decisions:
- Presided over the 30-year-old homicide of St. Paul Police Officer James Sackett in the cases of: State of Minnesota v. Ronald Reed and State of Minnesota v. Larry Clark
- Presided over the homicide of St. Paul teen Benjamin Doran in the cases of: State of Minnesota v. Chawtell Nestell and State of Minnesota v. Robert Cindrich
- Presided over the homicide of St. Paul teen Anthony Basta in the cases of: State of Minnesota v. Dale Stewart, State of Minnesota v. Daniel Angus, and State of Minnesota v. Jonathan O’Neil
- Presided over all antitrust cases filed in Minnesota in the Minnesota Antitrust Vitamin Cases
- Presently presiding over the class action case of Clifford L Whitaker, Michael V. Mucci, et al, vs. 3M