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Saturday, February 6, 2016
Odyssey file and serve system maintenance set for Friday
The Odyssey System will be unavailable for use from 10 p.m. CST on Friday, Feb. 5, until 5 a.m. CST on Saturday, Feb. 6, to allow for the installation of new computer hardware.
Court system, McKenzie County work together to improve court security
Carolyn Probst, the court administrator for Unit 4, along with Northwest Judicial District Judges Robin Schmidt and Daniel El Dweek recently led the newly constituted McKenzie County Security Committee through a discussion and review of the draft Courthouse Security Handbook.
Myers to serve as U.S. attorney in North Dakota
Christopher Myers G.F. Herald: "Christopher Myers is set to be the U.S. attorney for North Dakota. Myers, whose appointment was approved Saturday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ralph Erickson, will serve as U.S. attorney until President Barack Obama nominates a replacement and the U.S. Senate confirms the nominee."
  • Christopher Myers Lawyer Record
  • S.D.: Supreme Court says blood draw in Fischer case was constitutional
    Mitchell Daily Republic: "The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that a blood draw aiding in the conviction of a man who killed two U.S. Fish and Wildlife workers was constitutional. Ronald Fischer Jr., who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for two counts of vehicular homicide, appealed a circuit court decision."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Fischer
  • Minn.: State completes transition to centralized court payment center
    Brainerd Dispatch: "The Minnesota Judicial Branch has completed a multi-year project to centralize the processing of citations and traffic tickets, from case initiation through case disposition, for all 87 counties in Minnesota."
    Minn.: Bad lawyer defense doesn't hold
    Minnesota Great Seal Mankato Free Press: "The assault conviction of a Mankato man who punched a man who asked him to quiet down has been upheld by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Daniel Luis Ruiz-Oliva argued his attorney in the 2012 case failed to present his self-defense claim, didn't instruct the jury about it and misstated the legal standard for the crime he was charged with."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Ruiz-Oliva
  • Ostby, first female federal judge in Montana, announces resignation
    Carolyn Ostby KTVQ News: "Carolyn Ostby, the state's first female federal judge and the longest serving magistrate in the state, has announced her resignation. According to a press release issued Tuesday by the United States District Court District of Montana, Ostby informed Chief U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen of her resignation by letter on Tuesday."

    North Dakota
    Harold John Bergquist 1934-2016
    Harold John Bergquist Attorney and educator Harold John Bergquist died in Lakota on Jan. 30. After a long career in education in North Dakota and Minnesota, he practiced law in Larimore and Lakota. Services will be held Feb. 9 at Lakota Lutheran Church
  • Harold John Bergquist lawyer record
  • Attorneys revisit court unification
    Big Muddy Bar Association South Central Judicial District Law Clerks Katie Johnson and Jared Wall discussed trial court unification at the January meeting of the Big Muddy Bar Association. Legislation implementing the consolidation took effect 20 years ago, and the two along with former Supreme Court Law Clerk Andrew Askew are authors of an article looking back at the process of consolidation. The article is pending publication in the North Dakota Law Review.
    February Term of Court
    North Dakota Supreme Court
    The February term of court has been posted, including issues and briefs.
    New Opinion: Jan. 26
    The Supreme Court posted a new opinion on Jan. 26.
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    A lawyer is not always protected by following the client's specific directions.
  • See Jacobson v. Garaas, 2002 ND 181, 652 N.W.2d 918
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • SCJD to hold free courtroom basics CLE
    Gavel The South Central Judicial District will offer a free continuing legal education program in February geared to attorneys practicing criminal law. The program is titled "Courtroom Criminal Basics" and two-hour sessions will be held beginning at 5 p.m. on (Tuesdays) February 2 and 9. The program will be presented at the Burleigh County Courthouse, and no registration is required.
    Court adopts amendments to lawyer conduct rules
    The Supreme Court has adopted changes to the N.D. Rules of Professional Conduct. The amendments reflect principles set out in the ABA's Ethics 20/20 Report, which focused on the impact of globalization and technological change on legal practice. The amendments take effect March 1, 2016.
    Court adopts order on review of guardianships
    The Supreme Court has adopted Administrative Order 22, which establishes a process for the regular review of guardianships. The order takes effect March 1.
    Family law mediator applications now being accepted in SEJD
    Applications are now being accepted for mediators to mediate for the Family Mediation Program in the Southeast Judicial District. The deadline for application is Feb. 10.
    Family law mediator applications now being accepted in NEJD
    Applications are now being accepted for mediators to mediate for the Family Mediation Program in the Northeast Judicial District. The deadline for application is Feb. 17.
    Federal appointed counsel must now use eVoucher system
    U.S. District Court The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota has implemented eVoucher, a web-based solution for submission, monitoring, and management of all Criminal Justice Act (CJA) functions. CJA appointed counsel must now submit all payment vouchers electronically via eVoucher.

    U.S.: Supreme Court ruling has Florida scrambling to fix death penalty law
    United States Supreme Court building New York Times: "In the wake of a United States Supreme Court decision that struck down part of Florida's capital punishment law, the State Legislature and courts are grappling with proposals that could significantly change sentencing in a state with one of the nation's most crowded death rows."
    Registration open for 8th Circuit judicial conference
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit The 8th Circuit judicial conference will be held May 3-5 in Rogers, Ark. The conference is open to all judges and members of the bar and will present a CLE program featuring speakers and panelists examining a broad range of civil, criminal, and bankruptcy topics.
    U.S.: Chief Justice John Roberts seeks to limit role of courts
    Chief Justice John Roberts USA Today: "By siding with the Supreme Court's liberal wing on two major cases last week, Chief Justice John Roberts lent credence to conservatives' concerns that they can't count on his vote. But as he moves into his second decade as the nation's 17th chief justice, Roberts is proving to be strikingly consistent in one area that conservatives applaud. He wants to close the courthouse doors to challengers with tenuous legal grounds or claims."


    South Dakota

    Mont.: Vet Court graduates three participants
    Great Falls Tribune: "Josh Elder was the first participant admitted to the Montana 8th Judicial District Veterans Court when the program began in November 2013. On Tuesday afternoon, Elder received his certificate of completion and was discharged from probation."
    Mont. judicial committee: State needs 21 more district court judges
    Montana State Seal Montana Public Radio: "Montana needs more district court judges, according to members of an interim judicial committee that met [Feb. 2]. A study by the District Court Council reported an additional 21 judges are needed to meet case workload demands in the state."

    Other States and Jurisdictions
    Nation: A record number of people convicted of crimes were exonerated last year
    Washington Post: "There were 149 people exonerated in the United States last year after being wrongly convicted of crimes, a tally that included dozens convicted of murder and an uptick in people who had pleaded guilty or falsely confessed, according to a new report."
    Alcohol a 'very alarming' problem for nation's lawyers, Hazelden and ABA find
    Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Lawyers in the Twin Cities and across the United States cope with depression and anxiety at troubling levels and turn to alcohol far more often than the population as a whole. Those are among the results of a study released Wednesday that found 21 percent of practicing attorneys qualify as problem drinkers."

    Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Alternative Municipal Judge with the City of Grand Forks has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Contract Attorney with the Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents primarily in Stutsman County has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney II (with underfill) for Burleigh County in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant Tribal Public Defender with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Fort Yates has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Deputy Clerk of District Court I with the District Court in Grand Forks has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Deputy Director for the North Dakota League of Cities in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Temporary Hearing Officer (Attorney I) with the N.D. Department of Transportation in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant Attorney General with the AG's Natural Resources & Indian Affairs Division in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney for Ward County in Minot has been posted.

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