Senior Judge Kathleen R. Gearin
Senior Judge Kathleen R. Gearin


Elected in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010. 

Retired on July 30, 2013.

Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2025.


J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, (Student Director of Criminal Defense Clinical Program), 1975

B.A., with Honors, College of St. Catherine, History, 1967


District Court Judge- Second Judicial District, 1987-2013

Prosecuting Attorney- Ramsey County Attorney's Office, 1975-1985

Secondary School Teacher, Social Studies, 1967-1971

Professional Memberships and Activities:

Chief Judge, 2008-June 30, 2012

Assistant Chief Judge, 2004-2008

Board of Directors- Project Remand (a Ramsey county Pre-trial criminal diversion

Board of Directors- National Association of Women Judges/Women Judges Fund for Justice

President- Minnesota District Judges Association, 1999-2000

Advisory Board- Project Reconnect (a Ramsey County corrections program for substance abusing women offenders

Former Chair- Ramsey County's District committee that successfully developed home confinement, Sentence to Service, and Day Reporting programs

Former Member- Ramsey County Committee that developed and implemented the Fast Track Drug Program for possession cases

Former member- Steering Committee, MNCIS (Minnesota Court Information System)

Former chair- Juror Treatment Subcommittee, Minnesota Supreme Court Jury Task Force

Appointed Acting Supreme Court Justice on two conflicts cases

Lecturing and Teaching Experience:

In addition to formerly teaching in the St. Paul Public School System, Judge Gearin has extensive experience lecturing.

Topic: Judicial Decision Making, Illinois Advanced Judicial Academy, 2001

Teaches Sentencing Portion, Minnesota Judicial College, 1996-present

Minnesota County Attorney Association and Public Defender Association
Trial School, 1987-present

Topic: Continuing Legal Education Seminars on Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Civil Post-Trial Motions, Trial Skills, Juvenile Law, Sentencing, Ethics, and Juror Stress, 1977-present

Arkansas Circuit Court, Judges Sentencing Seminar, 1993

Topic: Substance Abuse and the Courts, Georgia Judges Conference, 1993

Panel Member, Center for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1993

Moderator/Presenter, Center for Sex Offender Management Seminar (White Plains, NY), 1993

Topic: Development of Intermediate Sanctions, American Probation and Parole Association National Convention, 1992

State of Minnesota Intermediate Sanctions Training Program, Conference of Chief Judges, 1992

Topic: Development of Intermediate Sanctions, Workshops sponsored by State Justice Institute and National Institute of Corrections in Chicago, Washington D.C., San Diego, Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina, 1992-1997

National Institute of Corrections-Longmount, Colorado Intermediate Sanctions Workshop, 1991

Topic: Investigating Sexual Assault Cases, International Association of Women Police Officers, 1978

Awards and Honors:

Judge Gearin has been a recipient of the following:

  • “Outstanding Service in Contributing to the Improvement of the Community,” Minnesota District Judges Foundation
  • “Rosalie E. Wahl Judicial Award of Excellence,” MSBA Public Law Section
  • "Senior Moot Court Award," William Mitchell College of Law
  • "Leadership Award," YWCA
  • "School Bell Award," Minnesota Education Association
  • "Distinguished Irishwomen of 2000 Award," St Paul's St Patrick's Day Association