Remembering U.S. District Court Judge James Turk - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Remembering U.S. District Court Judge James Turk

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 U.S. District Court Judge James Turk was known for his tough decision making in cases for the past several decades.

However, others that knew him closely saw him in a different light.

"He has one of the sharpest minds I've ever known just his legal ability to analyze cases and facts and decisions," says lawyer Jonathan Rogers, friend of Judge Turk.

Rogers met Judge Turk in the 1970's while still a senior in college. He said he was devastated to hear that his mentor and father figure passed away over the weekend.

Turk grew up in Roanoke County and lived most of his life in the area. In 1972, he was appointed by President Nixon to the federal bench where he stayed for more than 40 years.

During his time as a federal judge, he influenced many in the community. Even those like Rogers, who were starting their careers in law.

Judge Turk had a huge impact in the community and also at his alma mater Roanoke College. He served as president of the alumni association and gave back to current students through a pre-law program named after him and his brother.

Morgan Scott, a criminal justice teacher at Roanoke College, says Turk helped the students gain experience some wouldn't usually get in an undergraduate program.

"He's also allowed us to utilize his court room to have mock trials to have summer judgement hearings and he sat as a judge in some of those it's an invaluable experience to have been able to do that," says Scott.