Senior Judge Philip C. Carruthers
Senior Judge Philip C. Carruthers


Appointed Oct. 17, 2011, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2012 and 2018. Retired on Aug. 5, 2022. Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from Nov. 9, 2022, to June 30, 2025.


Private law practice for 21 years in Minneapolis, 1979-2000, practicing in the areas of civil litigation, criminal defense, and as a prosecutor for several cities in Hennepin County.

  • Associate, Nichols & Willeke and Nichols & Kruger, 1979-1981
  • Partner, Nichols, Starks, Carruthers & Kaster, 1982-1984
  • Partner, Luther, Ballenthin & Carruthers, 1985-1992
  • Partner, Carruthers & Tallen, 1992-1993
  • Owner, Law Office of Philip C. Carruthers, 1994-2000

Director of Civil and Prosecution divisions, Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, 2000-2011

Community Activities:

Resident of Hennepin County for over 55 years

Metropolitan Council, member, 1983-1986, representing five cities in Hennepin County

Minnesota State Representative, 1987-2000, representing a portion of Hennepin County (Speaker of the House, 1997-1998; Majority Leader and Chair, House Rules Committee, 1993-1996)

West Metro Fire District, Board of Directors, 2001-2003

Brooklyn Historical Society (the historical society for Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center), Treasurer, 2005-2007, and Board of Directors, 2002-2007

North Hennepin Mediation Program, President, 1999-2002, and Board of Directors, 1993-2002

Brooklyn Peacemaker Program (a program to divert first-time juvenile offenders from the criminal justice system), Board of Directors, 1990-1992

Former Little League and youth soccer coach

Professional Activities:

Hennepin County and Minnesota State Bar Associations, member

Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court, member (President, 2016-17)

Project Remand, Board of Directors, 2003-2010

University of Minnesota Law School Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 2001-2005

American Arbitration Association, arbitrator, 1979-2011

Frequent Continuing Legal and Judicial Education presenter

President, Minnesota District Judges Foundation, 2018 - Present


B.A., 1975; J.D., 1979, University of Minnesota

  • Member and Note and Comment Editor, Minnesota Law Review
  • Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Certificate in Project Management, University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education, 2009

Graduate of St. Anthony Village public schools


“Recent Minnesota Cases, Criminal Procedure,” 62 Minn.L.Rev. 1252-1286 (1978)

Co-author, "The Drinking Driver in Minnesota: Criminal and Civil Issues (1st ed.)," Mason Publishing, 1982, 376 pp.

Co-author, “Prosecutorial Error,” Aug. 2007 and Jan. 2010, Minnesota County Attorneys Association


Harrison Salisbury Achievement Award, Minnesota Daily Alumni Association, 1998

Professional Achievement Award, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, 2009

Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, Ramsey County Bar Association, 2010

As an attorney, given an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell (highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards) and selected a Leading American Attorney


  • Presiding Judge, Probate and Mental Health Court, June 10, 2019 - Aug. 5, 2022
  • Person Felonies - October 22, 2018 - June 9, 2019
  • Criminal (Downtown) - February 12, 2018 - October 21, 2018
  • Family, January 5, 2015 - February 11, 2018
  • Civil & Criminal, June 2012 - January 2, 2015
  • Criminal, October 2011 - May 2012

Civil Practice Pointers & Preferences