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Thomas J. Kalitowski, Judge, 1987-2014

Thomas J. Kalitowski

Thomas Kalitowski Portrait



Thomas J. Kalitowski served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals for 26 years.




Thomas Jerome Kalitowski was born on March 26, 1948 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. He graduated from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis before attending the University of Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science 1970. He then attended the University of Minnesota Law School, from which he received his law degree in 1973. During this time he also worked as a law clerk for Hennepin County District Court judge Lindsay Arthur from 1972-1973. 

After law school, Judge Kalitowski held a number of positions working in various Minnesota state administrative agencies. In 1973 he was hired as an assistant Attorney General, tasked with representing the state's Department of Agriculture, Livestock Sanitary Board, Veterinary Examining Board, and Horticultural Society. In 1975 he became an Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, a position he held until 1977 when he was appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich to become the first chairperson of the newly-created Minnesota Water Planning Board as well as the Chairman of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association and the Red River Water Resources Council. In 1983, following the merger of the Minnesota Water Planning Board with the Minnesota State Planning Agency, Judge Kalitowski served as Director of the Environmental Division of the State Planning Agency and the Chairman of the state Environmental Quality Board. In 1984 he was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

On November 16, 1987, Thomas J. Kalitowski became the first person to replace one of the Minnesota Court of Appeals' original 12 judges when Governor Rudy Perpich appointed him to replace judge Peter Popovich. Judge Kalitowski brought his background and experience in administrative law to the Court of Appeals bench, where he served for 26 years before retiring on April 1, 2014. During his time on the Court of Appeals, Judge Kalitowski taught Appellate Advocacy at the University of Minnesota Law School for 10 years as an adjunct professor. He is currently serving the Court of Appeals in a Senior Judge capacity and is married with two children. 

You may read more about the life and work of Judge Kalitowski in the research resources linked in this guide, which are the sources of this brief biography.

Thomas J. Kalitoswki's Signature in Minnesota's Roll of Attorneys

Image Credit: Thomas J. Kalitowski's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1971-1983, p 55 (October 5, 1973), available online at: