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Pertler not among finalists for Sixth Judicial District vacancy

Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler is not among the finalists seeking the Sixth District Judicial District vacancy, according to a news release sent by Governor Tim Pawlenty's office today.

Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler is not among the finalists seeking the Sixth District Judicial District vacancy, according to a news release sent by Governor Tim Pawlenty's office today.

Pawlenty accepted the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Selection for the trial court bench vacancy in the city of Duluth in St. Louis County. The finalists are Gary W. Bjorklund, Dale O. Harris, and Michael W. Lien. This was Pertler's third attempt at appointment to the Sixth Judicial District trial court bench following unsuccessful attempts in 2007 and 2008.

Bjorklund, of Duluth, is an assistant St. Louis County Attorney, a

position he has held since 1983. Previously, he was an associate

attorney with the law firm of Qualley, Larson and Jones in Duluth from

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1982 to 1983. Bjorklund earned his juris doctorate degree cum laude

from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1982, and his bachelor of

arts degree with high distinction from the University of Minnesota -

Morris in 1979.

Harris, of Hermantown, is an assistant St. Louis County Attorney, a

position he has held since 2004. He was the chief deputy St. Louis

County court administrator in Duluth from 2001 to 2004, a litigation

associate attorney with the Hanft Fride law firm in Duluth from 2000 to

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2001, and a judge advocate with the United States Navy in

Everett/Bremerton, Washington, and in Washington, D.C. from 1993 to

2000. Harris earned his juris doctorate degree cum laude from Hamline

University School of Law in St. Paul in 1993, and his bachelor's degree

in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1990.

Lien, of Duluth, is a solo practice attorney in Duluth, a position he

has held since 2008. Previously, he was an attorney and partner with

the Stauber and Lien law firm in Duluth from 1987 to 2008, an attorney

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with Bankers Systems, Inc. in St. Cloud from 1986 to 1987, and an

attorney with the Lawrence B. Stauber, Jr., law firm in Duluth from 1983

to 1986. Lien earned his juris doctorate degree from William Mitchell

College of Law in St. Paul in 1983, and his bachelor of arts degree

magna cum laude from Concordia College in Moorhead in 1979.

The vacancy occurred with the retirement of the Honorable

Gerald C. Martin on Oct. 1. The Minnesota Supreme Court certified the continuation of Judge Martin's vacancy for the city of

Duluth in St. Louis County.

The Commission on Judicial Selection screens judicial candidates and

makes recommendations to the Governor for district court vacancies that

occur during the term of a judge. The commission consists of 13

members: nine at-large members and four members from the judicial

district. The commission members include attorneys and non-attorneys

appointed by the Governor and the Minnesota Supreme Court. The

commission received seven applications for this judicial vacancy.

Related Topics: CARLTON COUNTY
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