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Daniel Mabley

Daniel H. Mabley, Hennepin County District Judge, Retired

Case Manager
Amanda Foster
T: 612-332-8225
F: 612-332-9887
333 So. Seventh St., Ste. 2550, Minneapolis, MN 55402


Daniel H. Mabley joins JAMS following 26 years of distinguished service as a Hennepin County (Minnesota) District Court judge, including a term as chief judge, and another 15 years in prosecuting attorney roles in Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

During his time on the bench, Judge Mabley handled assignments to both the civil and family divisions. In the civil division, he adjudicated a wide variety of matters, including disputes involving business, contracts, construction defects, personal injury, professional malpractice, FELA, clergy sexual abuse, environmental issues, insurance and employment. In the family division, he handled child custody matters and property disputes.

A widely sought after author and speaker on Minnesota practice, Judge Mabley is a quick study on legal challenges and opportunities for settlement.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Oversaw a complete restructuring of the court's felony case processes and procedures; this involved engaging, coordinating and negotiating with other criminal justice agencies, each with its own agenda and goals, which resulted in a more efficient and timely criminal justice system
  • Recruited, organized and led a multiagency arson task force to implement a coordinated and cooperative effort among federal, state, county and municipal agencies to investigate and prosecute arson cases; this required engagement with both federal and state law enforcement authorities and their cooperation on cross-jurisdictional issues and sharing of agency resources
  • Recruited, organized and led a multiagency white collar crime task force to implement a system of white collar crime investigation and prosecution in a relatively small jurisdiction that did not otherwise have resources to do so; facilitated stakeholder engagement among city councils, police departments and the county board
  • Was named Prosecutor of the Year by the International Association of Credit Card Investigators for success in proposing, drafting and ensuring passage of legislation at the Minnesota legislature; this involved creating buy-in and acceptance from legislative sponsors, negotiating changes and amendments with opponents and critics, and testifying before several legislative committees; the legislation increased criminal penalties for large swindles and frauds, provided forfeiture of ill-gotten funds and permitted freezing of bank accounts to ensure restitution
  • Chaired the fatality review committee, which examined individual cases of domestic homicide to identify procedures and policies across the entire court system in need of improvements; this involved getting all the agencies represented to acknowledge their own flaws and to commit to follow sometimes unwelcome recommendations for change
  • Negotiated and coordinated the Minnesota Judicial Branch's change from local to state funding; during this process, the objectives and goals of urban court districts were diametrically opposed to those of the rural court districts; all aspects of court administration statewide had to be negotiated and restructured

Representative Matters

  • Assigned to, made pretrial rulings in and obtained settlements in the first Minnesota case brought under new legislation allowing the state Pollution Control Agency to directly sue insurance companies for environmental cleanup costs caused by their insureds; all challenges to the legislation were denied, and eventually all cases settled
  • Assigned to and made numerous pretrial rulings in a priest sexual abuse case; one of those rulings involving the application of the statute of limitations was affirmed on appeal and eventually led to a legislative change to the statute of limitations for such cases
  • Presided over a trial in which two plaintiffs suffering from multiple personality disorder alleged sexual abuse by their treating psychiatrist; during the trial, the plaintiffs—who ultimately received a $4 million verdict—were allowed to testify in one of their altered personality states after being hypnotized; there was no appeal
  • Presided over a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff died as a result of a bacterial infection following childbirth; the jury's verdict of over $20 million was the largest medical malpractice verdict ever recorded in Minnesota
  • Assigned a case in which the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sued several German automakers that employed "defeat" technology in diesel vehicles to improperly pass EPA pollution testing; ruled that portions of the case could proceed despite defendants’ previous settlement in federal court and federal preemption arguments
  • Chairperson and Member, Hennepin County Bench Executive Committee, 1996–2004, 2011–2016 2017–2018
  • Member, Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards, 2008–2012
  • Liaison, Hennepin County District Court Jury Office, 1996–2018
  • Chairman, Hennepin County Fatality Review Team, 2006–2007
  • Member, Criminal Jury Instruction Guide Committee, 2006–2008
  • Chairman, Hennepin County Judges Bylaws Committee, 2000–2018
  • Chairman, Minnesota Supreme Court Criminal Benchbook Committee, 1995–2005
  • Co-Recipient, Trial Judge of the Year Award, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2004
  • Co-Chairman, Hennepin County Domestic Violence Court Steering Committee, 2000–2002
  • Co-Chairman, Hennepin County Family Violence Coordinating Council, 2000–2002
  • Member, Board of Directors, National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, 1999–2002
  • President, National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, 2000–2001
  • Chairman, Supreme Court Jury Task Force, Trail Procedures Subcommittee, 1999–2001
  • Chairman, Hennepin County Joint Bench/Board Committee, 1998–2000
  • Chairman, Hennepin County Criminal Justice Task Force, 1996–2000
  • Co-Chairman, Legislative Committee, Minnesota District Judges Association, 1994–2002
  • Member, Minnesota Conference of Chief Judges, 1996–2000
  • Co-Chairman, State Funding Task Force, 1998–2000
  • Member, Supreme Court, Jury Compensation Task Force, 2000
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Classic Lake Conference High Schools, 2001
  • Board of Trustees, Hennepin County Law Library, 1996–2000
  • Public Partner Award, Minneapolis Center for Neighborhoods, 1998
  • Member, ABA Task Force, Standards for Criminal Justice: The Special Functions of the Trial Judge, 1996
  • Prosecutor of the Year, International Association of Credit Card Investigators, 1985
  • Member, National District Attorneys Association Economic Crime Project, 1978–1980
  • Participant, Connect: U.S./Russia, a nonprofit organization that arranged seminars in the U.S. and in former Soviet Socialist Republics relating to criminal law issues, particularly those involving crimes against women and children; attended seminars in Russia and Moldova and collaborated with judges from Georgia, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine
  • Frequent testimony and appearances before Minnesota city, county and state legislative authorities on various criminal law proposals
  • Frequent presenter on trial advocacy, trial management, jury management, case management, arson, white collar crime, evidence, domestic violence and sentencing in both law school and judicial training and development contexts



  • Co-Author, Minnesota Evidence Rules Summary Guide: Trial Objections; Evidence Basics, 6th Ed., Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2010
  • Author, Arson Investigation and Prosecution, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, 1983



  • Minnesota State Bar, 1974
  • United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, 1978
  • Rule 114 Certified Neutral, Minnesota, 2019
  • Contract Administrative Law Judge, Office of Administrative Hearings, 2019 
  • District Court Judge; Hennepin County District Court; Minneapolis, MN; 1992–2018
    • Chief Judge, 1996–2000
    • Civil Block Judge, 1993–1996, 2017–2018
    • Presiding Judge, Criminal Division, 2014–2016
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, Criminal Division, 2012–2014
    • Felony Judge Team Leader, 2009–2016
    • Family Court Judge, 2004–2005
  • United Nations International Judge, Pristina, Kosovo
    • Pristina District Court and Kosovo Supreme Court, 2002–2003
  • Hennepin County Attorney’s Office; Minneapolis, MN; 1980–1992
    • Chief, Adult Prosecution Division, 1991–1992
    • Senior Attorney and Trial Team Supervisor, 1989–1991
    • Special Prosecution Unit, 1988–1989
    • White Collar Crime Unit, 1981–1988
    • Arson Prosecution Unit, 1980–1987
  • Adjunct Faculty; Trial Advocacy; William Mitchell College of Law; St. Paul, MN; 1981–1992
  • Prosecuting Attorney and Director of the Economic Crime Unit; Dakota County Attorney’s Office; Hastings, MN; 1978–1980
  • Prosecuting Attorney; Criminal Division; St. Paul City Attorney’s Office; St. Paul, MN; 1975–1978
  • J.D.; University of Minnesota Law School; Minneapolis, MN; 1974
    • Director, Civil Legal Aid Clinic, 1973–1974
  • B.A.; cum laude; Carleton College; Northfield, MN; 1971



Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial
  • Construction Defect
  • Family Law
  • Professional Liability
  • Settlement Master/Ombudsman
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee
Available nationwide


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