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Judge John H. Guthmann


Appointed on Mar. 27, 2008, by Governor Tim Pawlenty.  
Elected in 2010, 2016, and 2022.  Term expires Jan. 2029.


B.A. Degree from Cornell College in 1976 (history and political science). 

J.D. Degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in 1980.  Editor-in-Chief of the William Mitchell Law Review (1979-80).


1981-2008—Attorney; Hansen, Dordell, Bradt, Odlaug & Bradt, P.L.L.P.; Partner (1990-2008) and Managing Partner (1998-2002).

1980-1981—Law Clerk, Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Sheran.

1979—Law Clerk, Hennepin County District Court Judge Harold Kalina.

Judicial Activities and Professional Memberships:


  • Member, Criminal Division, Second Judicial District
  • Minnesota District Judges Foundation Board of Directors and Finance Committee Chair
  • Civil Jury Instruction Guide Committee
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Ramsey County Bar Association (President, 2004-2005)


  • Chief Judge, Second Judicial District
  • Member, Treatment Court Initiative
  • Co-Chair, Interpreter Services Workgroup
  • Lead, Judge, Minnesota Asbestos Litigation
  • Assistant Chief Judge, Second Judicial District
  • Co-Presiding Judge, Ramsey County Mental Health Court
  • Minnesota District Judges Association Board of Directors (2012-2014)
  • Member, Civil Division, Second Judicial District
  • Ramsey County Bar Association representative to the Minnesota Bar Association Assembly (2007-2013)

Professional and Community Activities:

Member of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Rotary Club of St. Paul - President (2014-2015)

Ramsey County Historical Society Board of Directors, 2014-present

Member of Minnesota Special Education Task Force- Legislative appointment through Commissioner of Bureau of Mediation Services (2007-08)

PACER Center, Inc. – Board of Directors Member, 1993-1999, 2000-2006, 2007-2014, and 2016-present; President, 1996-1998 and 2004-2006

Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America- Board of Directors, 2005-present and President, Board of Directors, 2021-present

North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting- Board of Directors Member, 1999-present; Board Chair, 2000-2007

Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Intervention- Appointed by Gov. Arne Carlson, Member (1992-2001), Chair (1995-96)

First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry (Civil War Reenactment organization)

Additional Information:


Marcy S. Wallace Excellence in Leadership Award, William Mitchell Law Review, 2015

William Spurgeon National Explorer Scouting Award, 2009

Named a “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine, 2001-2005, 2007

Woodward/White, Inc.'s "The Best Lawyers In America," 2006-2008.  Listed under both Personal Injury Litigation and Workers’ Compensation Law categories.

Highland Park High School Hall of Fame

Silver Beaver Award—Indianhead Council, Boy Scouts of America (2002)

“Volunteer Hall of Fame” - Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine (2001)

Norma G. Hexter Outstanding Volunteer Award - PACER Center, Inc. (1999)

Founders Award, Agaming Lodge, Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America (1989)

Eagle Scout (1968)


Bartenders Wanted - Women Need Not Apply, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Presentation Sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), the Ramsey County Bar Association (RCBA), and the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) (2022)

Clara Anderson v. City of St. Paul: A Woman’s Fight to Save Her Job in the Face of Discrimination, Vol. 55, No. 1, Ramsey County History Magazine (2020)

State of Minnesota v. T. Eugene Thompson: The Murder that Shocked St. Paul and Beyond.  Delivered at the MN District Judges Foundation Fall Educational Conference and on two other occasions.  Program moderator for Judge Jeff Thompson.

Ramsey County Mental Health Court: Working With Community Partners to Improve the Lives of Mentally Ill Defendants, Reduce Recidivism, and Enhance Public Safety, 41 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. (2015)

New Rules of Civil Procedure – Uninsured, Underinsured, No-Fault Insurance and Bodily Injury Update, Minnesota CLE (2014)

Co-Author, Ramsey County Condemnation Proceedings Handbook (2013)

The Continuing Controversy Over the Captured Flag of the 28th Virginia—Lecture delivered on multiple occasions to the Legal Employee’s Educational Association, the St. Paul Rotary Club, and the Twin Cities Civil War Roundtable

Lecturer--Damages Seminar--University of Minnesota Law School (1989-2002)

Recovery for the Value of a Chance in Medical Negligence Cases: Bringing Minnesota’s Standard of Causation Up-To-Date, 12 Wm. Mitchell Law Review 459 (1986) (co-author)

Editor- Negotiation Practice, Roger Haydock (1984)

Adjunct Legal Writing Instructor, William Mitchell College of Law, 1979-1980 and 1981-1982

Research Historian for Book - Minnesota Rag (Random House 1981), by Fred W. Friendly, former President of CBS News