Cornell College alumnus chosen to lead Minnesota Judicial District as chief judge

Cornell College alumnus John Guthmann ’76  has been selected by fellow judges to become chief judge of Minnesota’s Second Judicial District.Official photo 2011 Judge Guthmann will take over the position on July 1, 2016.

The Cornell alumnus has been a judge in the Second Judicial District since 2008, where he currently serves as assistant chief judge of the District. Before his appointment to the bench Guthmann spent nearly 30 years as an attorney at Hansen, Dordell, Bradt, Odlaug & Bradt, P.L.L.P., where he was a partner from 1990 to 2008.

“I am honored to serve with a fine group of jurists in the Second District, and I am humbled that my colleagues had enough confidence in my abilities to elect me to this post,” said Assistant Chief Judge Guthmann. “I will do my best to continue the work of Judge Warner, a truly great Chief Judge.”

Guthmann received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell College in 1976. He graduated with a double major in history and political science and went on to get a Juris Doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1980.

“At Cornell I learned the critical thinking and writing skills that served me well in law school, as a lawyer, and as a judge,” Guthmann said.

By statute, the chief judge of a judicial district exercises general administrative authority over the courts within the district, including assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. The chief judge of each judicial district also serves as a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the administrative policy-making authority for the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

Minnesota’s Second Judicial District consists of Ramsey County. Twenty-nine judges serve the district. In 2015, more than 216,000 cases were filed in the Second Judicial District.