Over seven years experience as a district court judge for the South Central Judicial District.
Have presided over a broad range of civil and criminal proceedings in seven-plus years on the bench, including more than 100 jury trials.
Over 20 years experience in civil litigation with the Pearce & Durick Law Firm.
Significant civil pretrial and trial experience in personal injury, products liability, insurance, employment, contract and school law matters. Administrative hearing experience as Special Assistant Attorney General for Workforce Safety & Insurance and the North Dakota Real Estate Commission. Qualified neutral mediator.
1982: Juris Doctorate, with Distinction, University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, ND
1979: Bachelor of Arts Degree, Summa Cum Laude, Political Science, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
May 2006 to present: District Court Judge for the South Central Judicial District.
One of eight judges serving the South Central Judicial District, which encompasses 12counties, including Burleigh and Morton. The South Central Judicial District is one of the busiest districts in North Dakota with more than 34,400 case filings in 2012. Service on a number of Supreme Court Committees including the Joint Procedure Committee, the Judicial Education Committee, the Juvenile Policy Board, the Court Improvement Program Committee, and the Informal Complaint Panel. Member of the Transition from Prison to Community Oversight Committee. Secretary/Treasurer for the North Dakota Judges Association.
August 1983 - May 2006: Attorney in private practice with Pearce & Durick, Bismarck, ND. Partner, 1986 - 2006.
Practice focused on civil litigation (majority of work for defendants) in areas of personal injury, products liability, insurance defense, employment law, and school law. Over 30 civil jury trials tried to verdict and over 20 appeals briefed and/or argued before the North Dakota Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Significant administrative hearing experience as Special Assistant Attorney General for Workforce Safety & Insurance and the North Dakota Real Estate Commission. Mediator and/or arbitrator in numerous civil cases. Authored a number of articles for professional publications and have presented at numerous seminars on a variety of legal topics.
August 1982 - July 1983: Law Clerk, North Dakota Supreme Court. Law clerk to the Honorable Justices William L. Paulson, Gerald W.VandeWalle, and Vernon R. Pederson.
Admitted to the North Dakota Bar, October 1982.
Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the District of North Dakota and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Member of the Big Muddy and American Bar Associations, and the State Bar Association of North Dakota.
Member of the North Dakota Judges Association (Secretary/Treasurer 2010 to present).
Extensive community volunteer background including:
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, church council (1992-1994, council chair 1994), church missions team (chair 2002-2004 ), United Way Day of Caring co-chair (2000), Folkfest committee co-chair (1991-92), Burleigh County Extension Advisory Committee (2002-2006), University of Mary President's and Varsity Clubs and fund raising campaigns, youth basketball coach, and others.
Married to Ann since 1984.
One child, Kristen, age 24.
Strengths you would bring to the Court
Open-minded, fair-minded, hard-working, patient and willing to listen and learn.
Gets along well with others, including co-workers, opposing counsel and the court.
Decisive, able to analyze complex factual and legal issues and make objective decisions.
Good organization and writing skills.
Computer literate, Westlaw and Lexis trained.
Able to perform the essential functions of a Supreme Court Justice