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Two From Becker County Attorney's Office Appointed as Judges

Two From Becker County Attorney's Office Appointed as Judges Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN--Becker County's Attorney and Assitant Attorney are appointed as District Court Judges in Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District. Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointments of Tammy L. Merkins, Kevin M. Miller, along with Douglas B. Clark, Amber B. Gustafson, as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. Mr. Clark will be replacing the Honorable Sally Ireland Robertson, and will be chambered at Wadena in Wadena County. Ms. Gustafson and Ms. Merkins will be replacing the Honorable Steven J. Cahill and Honorable Galen J. Vaa, and will be chambered at Moorhead in Clay County. Mr. Miller will be replacing the Honorable Waldemar B. Senyk, and will be chambered at Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County.

“I thank Mr. Clark, Ms. Gustafson, Ms. Merkins, and Mr. Miller for their willingness to serve the people of Minnesota, as District Court Judges for the Seventh Judicial District,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Their breadth of experiences and knowledge in the law will serve Minnesotans well, as they take on the challenges and responsibilities of these important new roles.”

Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena Counties.

Becker County Attorney Tammy Merkins

Tammy L. Merkins is Becker County Attorney, where she works on a wide variety of cases with a focus on serious felony and child protection cases. As County Attorney, she also participates in and oversees attorneys for the local Drug Court, Veterans Treatment Court, and DWI Court. Previously, she was an Assistant Becker County Attorney, a partner at Thorwaldsen, Malmstrom, Sorum, Majors & Merkins, and an attorney at Westrick & McDowell-Nix. She earned her B.A. from Concordia College and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Ms. Merkins is on the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center Board of Directors, the Becker County Library Board of Trustees, and is the former President of the Becker County Bar Association.

Assistant Becker County Attorney Kevin Miller

Kevin M. Miller is an Assistant Becker County Attorney, where he handles criminal prosecution and civil commitments, provides legal opinions to the Becker County Board, and participates in the local specialty courts. Previously, he was an attorney at Miller Law Office, a financial advisor at Foster Klima, and an associate attorney with Zenas Baer and Associates. He earned his B.A. from Concordia College and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. Mr. Miller is a member of the White Earth, Becker County, Clearwater County, and Mahnomen County Public Safety Committee, a Public Safety in Indian Country Partner with the U.S. Department of Justice, and the former President of the Becker County Bar Association.


Douglas B. Clark is an attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, where he primarily handles cases in housing law, criminal issues, government benefits, and social security. Previously, he was an attorney and supervising attorney in the St. Cloud Office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance and an attorney at Community Legal Services in Phoenix, Arizona. He earned his B.S. from St. John’s University and his J.D. from Arizona State University. Mr. Clark has served as a member of the St. Cloud Civil Service Board, the St. Cloud Library Board, Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity, and the Minnesota Housing Partnership. He also regularly lectures at the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas Law Schools.

Amber B. Gustafson is the owner of Gustafson Law, where she specializes in family law, mediation, and criminal defense work. She also serves as defense counsel for the Clay and Becker County Veterans Treatment Court, of which she is a founding member. Previously, she was an associate at Oster Law Office, an attorney advisor for the Social Security Administration, a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Lisa N. Borgen and the Hon. Galen J. Vaa, and a Sergeant in the Minnesota Army National Guard. She earned her B.S. from Minnesota State University Moorhead and her J.D. from the University of North Dakota School of Law. Ms. Gustafson serves as a North Dakota Guardian ad Litem, a board member of the Moorhead Business Association, and Vice President of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.

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