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Judge Toddrick S. Barnette
Judge Toddrick S. Barnette

Bar Buzz: Barnette elected Hennepin chief judge

On July 1, Judge Toddrick S. Barnette will take over as chief judge on the Hennepin County District Court.

Toddrick, the first person of color to win that post, was elected by his 4th Judicial District peers to a two-year term on May 4. He will replace current Chief Judge Ivy S. Bernhardson, who retires from the bench on June 30 just as her term as chief judge comes to a close.

Toddrick has served on the 4th District bench since 2006 and as assistant chief judge since 2016. When he takes over for Bernhardson, Judge Kerry W. Meyer will assume his job as assistant chief.

“We want to continue to work with my colleagues to provide access to justice, while seeking more innovative and effective ways to serve the public and ensure public trust in our courts,” Barnette said in a press release announcing his election.

He will become head administrative judge for the state’s largest judicial district, overseeing and assigning the district’s 75 judicial officers. He also will assume a spot on the Minnesota Judicial Council.

Barnette was senior attorney at both the Hennepin County Public Defender’s and County Attorney’s offices prior to his appointment to the bench. He earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1992 and his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in 1988.

Bernhardson, who announced her retirement in February, has been the county’s chief judge since 2016. She has served on the 4th District bench since May 2007.

Meyer has been the presiding judge of the county court’s Criminal Division since 2017.

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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