Name: David Hermerding
Title: Judge, 9th Judicial District
Education: B.S., biology, minor in political science, St. John’s University (Collegeville); J.D., Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Ninth Judicial District Judge David Hermerding brought extensive experience as a prosecutor and public defender when he was appointed to the bench just over a year ago.
“I think I have a unique perspective from what I’ve done in the past to listen to both sides, hear both arguments and then hopefully make a good decision,” Hermerding said.
Hermerding previously was chief deputy Crow Wing county attorney and managing attorney in the public defender’s office. He also was in private practice.
In each of those areas, I felt like I was making a difference in the community, so this is just sort of a natural progression,” Hermerding said of his judgeship.
Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?
A. People who know me think I’m pretty gregarious and willing to talk about just about anything. I’m a father of six children who range in age from 28 down to 15.
Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?
A. I had always been interested in law. I had also been interested in biology. There was a time when I was toying with becoming a veterinarian. As college went along I knew that wouldn’t be for me.
Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?
A. There are two books sitting by my bedside right now. One is “Sting-Ray Afternoons” by Steve Rushin. The other is “Hokkaido Highway Blues,” by Will Ferguson. I taught [English] in Japan for four years so I still have a lot of interest in Japan itself.
Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?
A. Someone who is not honest with me. If someone is not being honest or is lying to me in court and I can spot it, that will set me off the wrong way.
Q. What are your most favorite and least favorite aspects of being a judge?
A. I love being a judge. It is the best job I have ever had. I like to think that I’m making a difference in people’s lives. This is a great community. I couldn’t ask for better staff.
I am the only judge in Aitkin County. We don’t have the resources here that I need. … That is the biggest source of frustration.
Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?
A. I love spending time with my kids. We have a small cabin just south of Brainerd. On weekends to go there and putter around the yard, sit on the dock and go fishing or at night watch the stars and relax, those are my favorite things.
Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?
A. Aitkin and Brainerd have such beautiful lakes, so it’s good to take people to see some of that, to take them out on a boat ride around, say, the Whitefish Chain up by Crosslake.
Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?
A. Two attorneys. One who’s passed away now but his name was Criston Drake. Don Ryan, the Crow Wing county attorney, has been a great friend and a mentor. Judge David TenEyck in Crow Wing has been sort of my mentor judge and has given me a lot of insight into what I needed to do to do this job.
Q. What was the last arts or cultural event you attended?
A. Because six children aren’t enough, we have a foreign exchange daughter, I would almost call her, from Egypt. We have been trying to take her to as many events around the state as we can. We took her to the State Fair to get the true Minnesota experience.
Q. What is the highlight or lowlight of your daily commute to work?
A. Every morning and every evening when I’m driving here or home I call my father, who’s going to be 88 years old soon and still lives on his hobby farm of 84 acres and is as clear of mind as anyone.