Mork served community admirably

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 29, 2000

To see a judge of James L.

Friday, December 29, 2000

To see a judge of James L. Mork’s caliber retire is unfortunate for the people of Minnesota.

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However, what isn’t unfortunate is Judge Mork really isn’t retiring. He’s refocusing his life on new challenges. For that, we can only applaud him.

Mork is an Olmsted County district court judge in the Third Judicial District who sits in Rochester. Mork is the senior district judge in the Third District and is one of Minnesota’s most senior district judges.

Mork started on the judge circuit in Freeborn County, where he received appointment in 1978. He was assigned chambers in Albert Lea, where he remained until August 1989.

Mork then was assigned by the state Supreme Court to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William J. Nirengarten in Austin. Mork remained in Mower County until he continued his trek east and was assigned in 1995 to fill a vacancy created by Judge Harold Krieger’s death.

Mork handled many civil disobedience cases resulting from the Hormel Foods Corp. labor dispute in 1985-1986 when he was on the bench.

Mork was an award-winning judge who served on judicial committees. He was well respected among his peers.

When Mork leaves the bench on April 15, he won’t rest on his laurels. He plans to become active in community affairs in Rochester, where he now lives. He also will spend a few months considering his options for future endeavors. In addition, the judge plans to speak out on legal, social and political issues, which he is prohibited from doing as a judge. He also plans to write books.

While Mork won’t be on the bench anymore, he still will be an important part of southeast Minnesota. We congratulate Mork for his years of dedication on the bench and look forward to his continued involvement in the region.