Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced the appointment of Ivy S. Bernhardson, Peter A. Cahill and William H. Koch to three trial court bench vacancies in the Fourth Judicial District in Hennepin County. These vacancies are as a result of the retirement of the Honorable Thorwald H. Anderson on January 31, 2007, the Honorable Stephen D. Swanson on March 14, 2007, and the Honorable Robert H. Lynn on April 2, 2007. Sixty people applied for these positions.
Bernhardson is the chief legal officer at the Hazelden Foundation, a position she has held since 2004. She was a shareholder at the Leonard, Street and Deinard law firm in Minneapolis from 2000 to 2004, except for four months in 2002, when she was senior vice president and general counsel with Medica Health Plans in Minnetonka. Prior to joining Leonard Street and Deinard, she was a staff attorney, associate counsel, senior associate counsel, and associate general counsel with General Mills, Inc. in Golden Valley from 1978 to 2000. Bernhardson earned her juris doctorate degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978, and her bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter in 1973.
“Our courts are best served by judges who bring a variety of professional experiences with them to the bench,” Governor Pawlenty said. “Ivy has excelled in civil law, and her expertise in this area will be a great benefit to the Hennepin County courts.”
Bernhardson is a member of the American, Minnesota State, and Hennepin County Bar Associations, as well as the American Health Lawyers Association, Corporate Counsel Association, University of St. Thomas Law School Board of Governors, and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, of which she is past president of the Twin Cities Chapter. She serves on the board of directors of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, is a trustee of the Bush Foundation, as well as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Board of Pensions. She is a past chair of the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees, was chair of the Fairview Southdale Hospital Board, and was vice chair of the Fairview Health Services System Board.
Bernhardson, 55, was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and lives in Bloomington with her husband, Mark. They have two adult children, Andrew, 23, and Jenna, 20.
Cahill is the managing attorney in the special litigation division of the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, a position he has held since January. He was the chief deputy attorney from 2000 through 2006, and has been an attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s office since 1997. He was the founder and chief executive officer of The Blue Pages, Inc., from 1996 to 1997, a solo practitioner in Wayzata from 1993 to 1997, an attorney and partner with the law firm of Colich and Cahill in Minneapolis from 1988 to 1993, an associate attorney with the law firm of Colich and Wieland in Minneapolis from 1987 to 1988, and an assistant Fourth Judicial District public defender in Hennepin County from 1984 to 1987. Cahill earned his juris doctorate degree magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1984, and his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts in 1981.
“Pete has a tremendous combination of trial experience and leadership in the administration of Hennepin County’s judicial system,” Governor Pawlenty said. “The contributions he will make as a district court judge will extend far beyond the courtroom itself.”
Cahill is a member of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, where he serves on the Criminal Law and Technology Committees, chaired the Blakely Work Group, and is a past member of the board of directors. He is also a member of the National District Attorneys Association, Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), Hennepin County Bar Association, Criminal Justice Institute Conference Planning Committee, and various CriMNet working groups. He is also a Wayzata High School Mock Trial Team Attorney Coach, MSBA High School State Mock Trial Tournament Volunteer Judge, and a member of the Plymouth Charter Commission.
Cahill, 48, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lives in Plymouth with his wife Jane, and their four children, Sean, 23, Caitlin, 21, Daniel, 19, and Ashlyn, 16.
Koch is an assistant United States Attorney in Minneapolis, a position he has held sine 2000. He was an attorney and partner with the law firm of Downey, Brand, Seymour and Rohwer in Sacramento, California from 1997 to 2000, an attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard in Minneapolis from 1991 to 1997, an area defense counsel with the United States Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland from 1990 to 1991, and a special assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Maryland, as well as a prosecutor with the United States Air Force from 1988 to 1990. Koch earned his juris doctorate degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1988, and his bachelor of science degree from Duke University in Durham, NC in 1985.
“Bill has a unique combination of experience as a prosecutor in the major crime section with the U.S. Attorney’s office, a complex business litigator with two civil law firms, and a military defense lawyer,” Governor Pawlenty said. “His broad-based background will be an asset as a district court judge.”
Koch is a member of the American, Minnesota State, California State, and Hennepin County Bar Associations. He is a mentor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, a judge with the MSBA High School Mock Trial Competition, a judge with the University of Minnesota Law School Civil Rights Competition, and a judge with the National Hispanic Moot Court Competition. Koch is also president of Poplar Bridge Elementary School Parent-Teacher-Student Association, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and a basketball and football coach with the Bloomington Athletic Association, as well as a basketball, soccer, and flag football coach with Southdale YMCA.
Koch, 43, was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and lives in Bloomington with his wife, Laurie, and their two children, Jack, 10, and Kate, 7.