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Friday, August 1, 2014

Top News
New Opinions: July 31
The Supreme Court posted eight new opinions on July 31.
Legislative Council mainstay retiring
Jay Buringrud Bismarck Tribune: "A fixture at the North Dakota Legislative Council who arrived just after the state's unsuccessful 1972 vote on a new state constitution has called it a career. Jay Buringrud, director of the agency's Legal Services Division, stepped down Thursday after 42 years with the Legislative Council after recently filing a letter tendering his resignation."
  • Jay Buringrud Attorney Record
  • Justice Department releases report on Indian country jails
    U.S. Dept. of Justice seal The U.S. Department of Justice has released its annual report on jails in Indian country. The report shows that 2,287 inmates were confined in 79 Indian country jails at midyear 2013, a 3.3 percent decrease from the the midyear 2012 amount.
    S.D.: Supreme Court overturns Montrose man's DUI charge
    KELO News: "The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned a drunken driving conviction for a Montrose man who accidently bumped his parked truck into neutral while reaching for a cigarette almost two years ago. 54-year-old Donald Nekolite was charged with DUI while out dancing with his girlfriend in Canistota in September of 2012."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Nekolite

  • North Dakota
    Judge Cruff named a 2014 Toll Fellow
    Judge Bradley Cruff Southeast Judicial District Judge Bradley A. Cruff has been named a Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments.The Toll Fellowship is a leadership program for state officials from the judicial, executive and legislative branches. Only 48 officials nationwide are selected each year for the program.
    As McKenzie County remodels, court carries on
    Judge Robin Schmidt McKenzie County is working to remodel and expand its courthouse to meet growing needs in the area. While work is going on to construct a new facility, Judge Robin Schmidt has continued to hold court proceedings in a doublewide trailer the county has converted into a courtroom. It's called the 'trailer court.'
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    A long brief should have a summary of the argument.
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • Court approves amendments to rule on standards for bar admission
    The Supreme Court has approved amendments to Admission to Practice Rule 2 on standards for admission. The amendments relate to the SBAND Lawyer Assistance Program and take effect October 1.
    Court approves amendments to appellate rules
    The North Dakota Supreme Court has approved amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure. The amendments integrate electronic filing into the rules and require filing of the notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The amendments take effect October 1.
    Parenting coordinator training set for Sept. 23-24 in Bismarck
    The North Dakota Supreme Court will be hosting parenting coordinator training for anyone interested in becoming a parenting coordinator on Sept. 23-24 in Bismarck. See the linked brochure for more information and a registration form. Registration deadline is Sept. 8.
    N.D. Attorney General opinion: July 28
    Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued an opinion that NDSU Development Foundation broke the law when it denied a request for records on incorrect legal grounds and when it delayed its response for months even after acknowledging that it had responsive records.
    N.D. 125: Williams' Constitution
    North Dakota 125th Anniversary logo Prairie Public: "Twenty-five days into the Constitutional Convention for North Dakota, the Constitution was progressing rapidly. By this date in 1889, over one hundred and thirty resolutions or files had been introduced since July 12th. These covered a variety of topics from the Preamble to Women's Suffrage, but originally there was no uniform constitution on which to base the resolutions."
    US attorneys in Dakotas turn up heat on health care fraud
    Bismarck Tribune/AP: "The top federal prosecutors from South Dakota and North Dakota say they have increased their efforts to fight health care fraud. U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson of South Dakota said he has restructured his office to allow lawyers in the criminal and civil divisions to devote 'significant time' to investigating medical fraud."
    N.D. gets funding for sex offender registry
    Bismarck Tribune/AP: "The office of the attorney general in North Dakota will receive more than $30,000 in federal funding for the implementation of sex offender registry programs. U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer on Monday announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will grant the funds."
    Open house planned for historic courthouse
    Jamestown Sun: "That stately old courthouse wedged into the northeast corner of the Law Enforcement Center will open its doors to the public for an early peek into the workings of its restoration. Barb Lang, secretary/ treasurer for the 1883 Courthouse Commission . . . announced the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the 1883 Committee will open the Stutsman County Courthouse to the public, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13."

    Public Alert: New juror scam seeks personal data
    U.S. District Court for N.D. The U.S. District Court has issued a warning about a new jury duty scam the has been circulating the country. In this scam, people are receiving e-mails officially inviting them to fill out an Ejury duty form online. The subject line may read "EJuror Program." These e-mails do not come from the U.S. District Court.
    U.S.: Ginsburg expects to remain on Supreme Court 'for a while'
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Politico: "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signaled in an interview broadcast Wednesday that she has no plans to resign in the near future and may not do so while President Barack Obama is still in office. 'All I can say is that I am still here and likely to remain for a while,' the 81-year-old justice told Yahoo's Katie Couric."
    Federal judge says American Crystal Sugar CEO should testify in long-standing sweetener suit
    Seymour TribTown/AP: "American Crystal Sugar Co. CEO David Berg should testify in a federal lawsuit pitting the refined sugar manufacturers against the corn syrup industry, a federal judge ruled Wednesday after presiding over a hearing in the case."
    Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades
    Washington Post: "Nearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said."
    U.S.: Appeals court upholds labels on meat packages
    WZVN News/AP: "A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld new government rules requiring labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The meat industry has attempted to block the rules, which went into effect last year."
  • Opinion Text: American Meat Inst. v. USDA

  • Minnesota
    Minn.: Appeals court upholds ruling on Duluth head shop
    Duluth News Tribune: "The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a ruling Monday upholding Judge Shaun Floerkes decision to order an infamous Duluth head shop called Last Place on Earth to close its doors last summer. He shut it down after deeming the shops sale of synthetic drugs a public nuisance."
  • Opinion Text: City of Duluth v. 120 East Superior Street
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals upholds arson conviction for Pierz man
    Minnesota Great Seal WJON News: "The Minnesota State Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Pierz man for Arson. A Morrison County Jury returned a guilty verdict against 63-year-old Randy Reed, of Pierz, on charges of First Degree Arson on October 24, 2013."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Reed
  • Minn.: Mille Lacs battle still being waged in court
    Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Legal wrangling over Mille Lacs continues, with attorney Erick Kaardal of Minneapolis asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to invalidate the Department of Natural Resources' Mille Lacs management scheme in favor of one that considers the lake's 'hunting and fishing heritage.'"
    Minn.: Domestic violence victims get better housing options under new law
    MPR News: "A 2007 Minnesota law allowed domestic violence victims to break a housing lease, but they had to jump through so many hoops it was rarely used. A package of laws taking effect Friday will vastly expand housing protections offered to victims of domestic violence and those who face sexual violence or stalking."

    South Dakota
    S.D.: General counsel says prison reform working
    KELO News: "South Dakota's General Counsel says legislation passed last year in an effort to reduce the prison population and save money is working. Jim Seward says the Public Safety Improvement Act has tripled the number of nonviolent offenders in the state's DUI and drug courts, increased the number of criminals on probation and decreased the number serving parole."


    Other States and Jurisdictions
    U.S.: More states push homicide charges in heroin overdoses
    USA Today: "As legislators across the country pass anti-heroin bills and health officials hold community summits, prosecutors in more states are pursuing homicide, and similarly serious charges, against those who provided the deadly doses."
    U.S.: Are opponents of the death penalty contributing to its problems?
    NPR News: "Kevin Cooper was convicted of murdering a married couple and two children, and was sentenced to die.That was back in 1985. Cooper is still awaiting execution on California's death row. San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who is handling the case, blames the long delay on Cooper's multiple appeals in state and federal courts."
    Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law
    USA Today/AP: "The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers, sparked massive protests and led to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's recall election and rise to national prominence."
  • Opinion Text: Madison Teachers v. Walker
  • Texas: Fisher challenges new college admissions ruling
    SCOTUSblog: "Lawyers for Abigail Fisher, who has been pursuing a lengthy court challenge to the use of race in admitting students to the University of Texas in Austin, on Tuesday asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reconsider a new decision upholding the policy."

    Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for assistant state's attorney for Ward County in Minot has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a United States Magistrate Judge with the U.S. District Court in Fargo has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney I with Burleigh County in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Court Reporter with the District Court in Jamestown has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for Chief Judge of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court in Fort Yates has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a contract attorney with the North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents in Minot has been posted.

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