Former County Atty., Former Legal Partner Remember Duluth Judge Sally Tarnowski

DULUTH, Minn. – The legal community in Duluth was reflecting Tuesday on Judge Sally Tarnowski’s impact within Minnesota’s 6th Judicial District one day after she died in Florida was on vacation.

According to the Star Tribune, Tarnowski was stuck by a vehicle while out on a jog in Venice, Florida.

Duluth Lawyer Joe Roby worked with Tarnowski when she first started out of law school. That start was in the late 80s at Law firm Johnson, Killen, and Seiler.  She began as a law clerk and eventually moved up as an associate attorney and was made a partner of the firm.

Roby described Tarnowski as even keeled, funny, smart, and a good listener.

“It’s a sad day for the citizens of this judicial district. A sad day for the court system, it’s a sad day for the people that knew her. It’s just shocking and she’s going to be missed both professionally and personally,” Roby Said.

When Tarnowski applied for Judgeship, she asked Roby to put in a recommendation. He also gave a speech at her investiture when she was dawned the robe for the first time.

Former St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin also reflected Tuesday.

Rubin said he was always impressed with Tarnowski’s ability to hold high expectations of lawyers during cases. He said she had compassion, strength, courage, and a big laugh.

Tarnowski started the first Mental Health Court in Duluth and Rubin was the first prosecutor to have a case within it.

“I was fortunate to try cases in front of her back when she became a judge and I was so pleased when she was appointed to the bench because she had already earned a great reputation for being strong, excellent legal ability, and compassion,” Rubin said.


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