2023 Distinguished Jurist – Judge Mark Vandelist

Filed under: Distinguished Jurist Award

Posted by ACTLM
8 months ago | November 4, 2023

The Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota named Judge Mark Vandelist its 2023 Distinguished Jurist in a ceremony Thursday night in St. Paul.

The award honors recently retired judges who performed at the highest level of jurisprudence by respecting the constitutional requirement for a trial by jury, conducting themselves in a manner that generated respect for the judicial process, appreciating the work of trial lawyers, and fostering civility in the courtroom.

“ACTLM was pleased to recognize Judge Mark Vandelist as the 2023 Distinguished Jurist,” said ACTLM Executive Director Kristi Paulson. “We recognized him for his skills, knowledge, and dedication to the civil trial process; for his long-standing commitment to the jury system; and for his ethics, civility, and professionalism in the practice and on the bench.”
Attorney Roger Kramer, who chaired this year’s ACTLM award committee, said the vote for Vandelist was unanimous. The committee not only was impressed with Vandelist’s intellect, civility, and communications skills, but also his humility.

“I’ve known Mark for almost 30 years—he’s just a really good guy,” Kramer said. “Everyone gives him the highest marks.”

Vandelist, who recently retired from his position as a judge in the First Judicial District inScott County, said the award is a profound honor and a moving conclusion to his career.

“To be honored by ACTLM, who represent best civil trial lawyers in the state—it just means so much,” he said. “I am blown away that I’m even considered in the same breath with those who have previously won this award.”

Judge Vandelist was appointed to the bench by Gov. Mark Dayton in December 2013. He received his undergraduate degree from American University in Washington, D.C., and his J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.