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Friday, April 17, 2015
New Opinions: April 15
The Supreme Court posted three new opinions on April 15.
Please check attorney contact information
Due to technical difficulties the Board of Law Examiners is experiencing with the attorney database, all attorneys are requested to please review their online attorney listing and verify that the contact information is correct. Any changes should be e-mailed to:
N.D. Attorney General opinion: April 17
N.D. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued an opinion that the Foster County Commission violated the law when the chairman asked the auditor to act as a liaison between the commissioners to convey information and build a consensus regarding a matter of public business, without holding a properly noticed meeting.
Parenting Investigator/Legal Guardian ad Litem 18-hour certification training
Parenting Investigator/Legal Guardian ad Litem certification training will be offered June 17-19 in Bismarck.This 18-hour orientation will provide interactive projects and group discussions. Sessions will focus on understanding the role of the parenting investigator and guardian ad litem, gathering information, interviewing, applying the best interest factors, writing a parenting investigator report, and testifying in the court room. This course qualifies for the 18-hour orientation training required by Rules 8.6 and 8.7 of the North Dakota Rules of Court.
U.S. Supreme Court April 20 arguments
United States Supreme Court building Monday, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in a firearms possession case addressing whether the "residual clause" in the Armed Career Criminal Act is unconstitutionally vague.
  • Johnson v. United States
  • U.S.: Female justices honor O'Connor
    Sandra Day O'Connor ABC Fox Montana News/AP: "All three female justices on the Supreme Court came together Wednesday to pay tribute to the life and continuing legacy of former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the high court. O'Connor, who was appointed in 1981 and retired in 2006, was lauded for her trailblazing success."
    Law school brain drain: Fewer individuals with high LSAT scores are applying
    ABA journal: "Hit with a double whammy, law school officials are lowering their admission standards, a study suggests. In addition to a drop in the amount of overall applications, a number of individuals with the highest scores on the Law School Admission Test aren't pursuing a legal education, says one law professor, based on Law School Admission Council statistics."

    North Dakota
    Investiture of Judges Hager and Romanick: The April 10, 2015 photos
    Judges Hager and Romanick The formal investiture of new Northeast Central District Judges Lolita Romanick and Donald Hager was held at the Grand Forks County Courthouse. Here are the photos.
  • G.F. Herald: Grand Forks judges sworn in amid high turnover
  • Court e-mail scam ongoing in N.D.
    There is an e-mail scam occurring in the state that involves an alleged notice to appear for a court hearing. The e-mail informs the recipient that they are required to appear for court on a certain date and includes a document titled Court Notice or some variation of that title. These are not official court notices from any North Dakota Court but are spam originating from an unknown person or organization.
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    Don't talk in jargon, whether legal or technical.
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • Joint Procedure Committee April 23-24 agenda
    The agenda for the April 23-24 meeting of the Joint Procedure Committee and the committee's Jan. 29-30 minutes have been posted.
    Court Technology Committee April 24 agenda
    The agenda for the April 24 meeting of the Court Technology Committee and the committee's Nov. 14, 2014, minutes have been posted.
    Court approves juvenile rule amendments
    The Supreme Court has approved rule amendments related to practice and procedure in the juvenile courts. The amendments affect the N.D. Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Rule of Evidence 1101, and the Unified Judicial System Policies. The amendments take effect May 1.
    Court seeks comment on proposed child support rule
    The Supreme Court has issued a notice of comment on proposed new N.D. Rule of Court 8.14. The new rule relates to termination of child support orders. Comments are due May 1.
    Court seeks comment on amendments to interpreter rules
    The Supreme Court has issued a Notice of Comment on proposed amendments to Administrative Rule 50, Civil Procedure Rule 43, Criminal Procedure Rule 28, and Trial Court Administrative Policy 522 relating to interpreters. Comments are due April 20.
    County decides to finance new law enforcement center project
    McKenzie County Farmer: "'After a long day and a lot of discussion at the commissioner's meeting on April 7, the commissioners passed several resolutions,' said Linda Svihovec, McKenzie County auditor and acting treasurer. 'They approved applying for a loan with the Bank of North Dakota for a maximum $60 million line of credit for the law enforcement center.'"

    Supreme Court justices continue resisting long push for TV coverage of proceedings
    United States Supreme Court building The Denver Channel: "A group of tourists, largely made up of school children, gathered on benches in the high-ceilinged chambers of the Supreme Court one Friday morning. As a tour guide gave them a crash course on the United States highest court, she paused from her lecture to take what she noted was, perhaps, visitors' most popular question: Why aren't cameras allowed in the Supreme Court?"
    Appeals panel considers SEC's use of in-house courts
    Wall Street Journal: "A U.S. appeals court panel on Monday began wrestling with the Securities and Exchange Commission's growing-and controversial-use of in-house courts, which defendants argue is unconstitutional and unfairly weighted in favor of the agency."
    Sandra Day O'Connor's post-court legacy: Civics games
    Sandra Day O'Connor USA Today: "When historians someday ponder the legacy of former U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, they'll have no shortage of material. She was, of course, the first woman on the high court, where she served for 25 years, often as a key swing vote in momentous cases such as Bush v. Gore."
    U.S.: Wal-Mart defeats bid for shareholder vote on gun sales
    Reuters: A federal appeals court on Tuesday lifted an injunction that would have required Wal-Mart Stores Inc to let shareholders vote on a proposal to tighten oversight of its sale of guns with high-capacity magazines. In a brief order, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a permanent injunction imposed in November by U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark."
  • Order Text: Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores
  • U.S.: Chief Justice Roberts reports for jury duty in a Maryland court
    Chief Justice John Roberts Washington Post: "One potential juror who was considered for a civil trial in Montgomery County on Wednesday morning could have brought a lot to the jury room. He's the chief justice of the United States. John G. Roberts Jr. showed up for jury duty in Rockville like other civic-minded citizens and was being considered for a civil trial in a case involving a car crash."
    U.S.: Legal battle begins over Obama bid to curb greenhouse gases
    New York Times: "President Obama's most far-reaching regulation to slow climate change will have its first day in court on Thursday, the beginning of what is expected to be a multiyear legal battle over the policy that Mr. Obama hopes to leave as his signature environmental achievement."
    Federal Public Defender announces CJA panel attorney training
    The Federal Public Defenders Office will hold the annual Criminal Justice Act panel attorney training in Bismarck on May 11, Minot on May 12, Grand Forks on May 13 and Fargo on May 14. Training sessions will start at 8:30 a.m. each day.

    Minn. Appeals Court: Rice County failed to follow procedure in Bio Wood permit denial
    Faribault Daily News: "Rice County will have to take another crack at a conditional use permit request from a controversial wood-processing plant in Warsaw Township. The Minnesota Court of Appeals panel ruled Monday that the Rice County Planning Commission violated its own ordinance in failing to get on the record its findings of fact in recommending a denial for Bio Wood Processing to amend its conditional use permit."
  • Opinion Text: Bio Wood Processing v. Rice County Board
  • Obama nominates MN Justice Wright for federal bench
    Justice Wilhelmina Wright MPR News: "President Barack Obama has nominated Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina Wright to serve on the U.S. District Court in Minnesota to replace retiring Chief Judge Michael Davis. In a statement, Obama said he was proud to nominate Wright and praised her 'long and distinguished record of service.'"
    Giving wife cocaine to hide not the same as selling it to her, Minnesota Supreme Court rules
    Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Giving your wife some cocaine to hide when you are being pulled over by police is not the same as selling it to her, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. Abshir Abtidon Barrow had the legal right to withdraw his guilty plea, the court said, reversing both the district court ruling that prohibited him from changing his plea and the state Court of Appeals, which had agreed with the district court."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Barrow
  • Minn.: Appeals court reverses decision to dismiss Willmar man's drug charge
    Minnesota Great Seal West Central Tribune: "The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed Judge Jennifer Fischer's decision to dismiss a Willmar man's felony second-degree drug charge. Adam Alvarado, 34, of Willmar, faces one count of second-degree drug possession and two counts of fifth-degree drug possession stemming from two separate searches of his vehicle."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Alvarado

  • South Dakota
    Court scams continue to target South Dakota citizens
    KDLT News: "Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota citizens continue to be heavily targeted by two different types of telemarketing scams that use the court system as a means to construe urgency to their claims. Both scams include recorded phone messages that threaten the recipient with law enforcement action if the phone call is not returned."

    Mont.: Supreme court upholds sentence
    Montana State Seal Valley Journal: "A Lake County man will continue serving a 25-year sentence, with 10 of those years suspended, for felony driving under the influence after the Montana Supreme Court refused to grant an appeal on April 7."
  • Order Text: Two Teeth v. Kirkegard

  • Other States and Jurisdictions
    Canada: Supreme Court deals new blows to mandatory-sentencing rules
    Toronto Globe and Mail: "The Supreme Court struck down a signature law of the Conservative government, ruling Tuesday that mandatory minimum sentences of three years for gun possession, and five years for possession by repeat weapons offenders, are cruel and unusual punishment."
  • Opinion Text: R. v. Nur

  • Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Programmer Analyst I with the Court System Information and Technology Division in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Attorney with the North Dakota Insurance Department in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Contract Attorney with the Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents in the Northeast Judicial District has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Administrative Assistant I position with the District Court Administrative Office in Fargo has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a temporary attorney (public defender) with the Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents in Williston has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Contract Attorney with the Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents in the Northwest Judicial District has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for five law clerks with the North Dakota Supreme Court in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for two Case Administrator I positions with the United States District Court in Bismarck and Fargo has been posted.

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