The North Dakota Supreme Court: A Century of Advances
Herbert L. Meschke* and Ted Smith**
This history was orginally published in North Dakota Law Review [Vol. 76:217 (2000)] and is reprinted with permission.
The history has been supplemented by Meschke and Smith, A Few More Footnotes for The North Dakota Supreme Court: A Century of Advances, presented to the Judge Bruce M. Van Sickle American Inn of Court (April 26, 2001). Added material in footnotes begins with "+".
Links and photographs have been added to the orginal article. The Appendices contain updated and corrected material.
Introduction I. Leaving the Nineteenth Century A. The Territorial Courts B. A Capitol Railroad Job C. The 1889 Judicial Article D. Our First Supreme Court E. The First Justices F. Terms of Court G. Legal Education H. Usually Underpaid I. Often Overworked J. Continuity K. Other Public Service II. Meandering into the Twentieth Century A. No-Party Ballot B. Five-Member Court C. Governor-Justice Burke D. The NPL Elects Justices E. The NPL and Court Discord F. The NPL’s Justice Robinson G. The NPL’s Constitutional Legacy H. Creating the Judicial Council I. Ten-Year Tenure J. Justice Morris:Nazi War Crimes Judge K. The Farben War Crimes Case Debate L. Justice Grimson: Prison Reform M. Age and Action N. Publication of Opinions O. Prologues to Progess III. Modernizing in the twentieth century A. Reformation of Procedural Rules 1. 1868: Origins of Civil Rules 2. 1926: Reform Desirable 3. 1941: Reform Authorized 4. 1953: Revision Begins 5. 1957: New Civil Rules 6. Connection and Contrasts 7. Revision of Rules Continues 8. Publishing Rules 9. Appellate “Trial Anew” Repealed 10. Favored Appellate Finality Forgotten? 11. The Largest Advance B.Court Unification 1. 1961: Abolishing Justices of the Peace 2. 1967: Electing the Chief Justice 3. 1972: Futile Efforts 4. 1976: A New Judicial Article 5. 1981: Unifying the Courts 6. 1981: Judicial Nominating Committee 7. 1985: Dueling Governors 8. Election and Selection 9. Reporting to its Constituencies 10. Erickstad Era Progress 11. The Moving Force IV. Preparing for the Twenty-first Century A. Intermediate Court of Appeals B. Trial Court Consolidation C. Computer Publications D. A Century of Advances V. Conclusion Appendices A. North Dakota Supreme Court Justices B. North Dakota Supreme Court Law Clerks
* J.D. with distinction, University of Michigan Law School, 1953; law clerk, U.S. District Judge Charles J. Vogel, Fargo N.D., 1953-54; practitioner, Pringle & Herigstad law firm, Minot, N.D., 1954-85; Justice (now retired), North Dakota Supreme Court, 1985-98; Of Counsel to Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., Minot, N.D., 1999 to present.
** Law Librarian, Supreme Court, 1995 to present; Director, Attorney Services, U.N.D. Law library, 1987-95.
The authors are particularly grateful to Peggy Ganyo, judicial secretary at the Supreme Court, for her patient translation of myriad scribbled drafts and revisions that built this article.We also thank Justice Carol Kapsner, who so kindly consented to Peggy’s long-running contribution to writing this history.
We recognize the inspiration of Sandi Tabor, State Bar Association of North Dakota executive director, who hopefully suggested this “short” history to help celebrate SBAND’s centennial in 1999.
The authors are indebted to many people for their kind assistance on parts of this article. Their thoughtful suggestions made this a better article.