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John practices in the areas of business law and government relations.  Prior to co-founding Berns Knight in January 2015, John operated the Berns Law Firm, and practiced in the areas of government affairs, business law, and estate planning, probate and trust administration.


John's experience includes serving as a felony prosecutor, serving as an aide and attorney to Governor Tim Pawlenty, serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives, serving on the professional campaign staff for Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, and running the Minnesota office of Duane Morris Government Strategies (DMGS).  





U.S. District Court in Minnesota



Duane Morris Government Strategies, Minnesota Director

McCain-Palin 2008, Minnesota State Director & Political Director-North Mountain Region

Minnesota House of Representatives, State Representative (representing 11 cities in the Lake Minnetonka Area of Hennepin County)

  • Member of 3 committees:  Biosciences & Emerging Technology, Commerce & Labor, and Capital Investment Finance

Office of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Dir. of Board and Commission Appointments & Associate General Counsel to the Governor

La Crosse County (Wisconsin) District Attorney's Office, Assistant District Attorney



Youth coach: baseball, girls basketball, boys basketball & football (former)

Board of Directors, Plymouth Wayzata Youth Baseball Association (former)

Adult Leader, Cub Scout Pack 283 (former)

Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, Wayzata Fire Department

Agitator/member, Mojo MN

City Council Member, City of Wayzata (former)

Board of Directors, Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (former)

Gubernatorial Appointee, Education Commission of the States (former)

Franklin Elementary School, St. Paul, MN, "book buddy" (former)

Dive Team member, La Crosse Area Underwater Rescue & Recover Unit--La Crosse County Sheriff's Dept. (former)

Member, St Bartholomew's Catholic Church

Eagle Scout



University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Policy Fellow

American Council of Young Political Leaders, Delegate to Vietnam

Council of State Governments, Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development

"40 and Under" list, Republican National Committee

Hennepin County Bar Association, Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community


Recognition for legislative work by:

  • Governor's Council on Developmental Disability

  • Minnesota State Council on Disability

  • National Federation of Independent Business ("Guardian of Small Business")

  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association (for support of the MN Biomedical Research Program)



George Washington University

Loras College, B.A. in History

Drake University Law School, J.D.

John Berns

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