The twelve applicants for the coming vacancy on the North Dakota Supreme Court were asked to provide brief information on their background, education, professional experience, civic involvement, family, and strengths they would bring to the Court. Here are highlights with links to more detailed information provided by the applicants:
Sonna M. Anderson, 55, is a Judge in the South Central Judicial District in Bismarck. A 1985 graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Patrick A. Conmy prior to entering private practice in Bismarck. She practiced primarily civil law until 2004 when Governor Hoeven appointed her to the District Court.
Douglas Bahr, 53, serves as Solicitor General with the North Dakota Office of Attorney General. In this position, he is chief appellate lawyer for the state among other duties. A 1990 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, he has been with the Attorney General's office since 1991. He has also taught political science at Bismarck State College since 2008.
Susan Bailey, 50, has been an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings since 2006 and a municipal judge for several cities including West Fargo since 2004. A 1997 U.N.D. Law School graduate, she has previously worked as an assistant state's attorney with Cass County Social Services prosecuting child protection cases.
Constance Cleveland, 52, has worked with the Cass County State's Attorney's Office since 1991, beginning as a criminal prosecutor and currently serving as legal counsel for Social Services. A 1988 University of North Dakota School of Law graduate, she has also worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Burleigh County, a specially appointed prosecutor in Morton County and Richland County and a Special Assistant Attorney General.
James Hill, 64, has been an active trial attorney for the Bismarck law firm Zuger Kirmis and Smith since 1981. A 1974 University of North Dakota School of Law graduate, he previously served for 5 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has been the representative of the State Bar Association the American Bar Association House of Delegates since 1994 and recently completed a term on the ABA Board of Governors.
Lawrence Klemin, 68, has practiced law in Bismarck for 35 years and is a lawyer with Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C. A 1978 University of North Dakota School of Law graduate, he he has tried more than 100 civil cases in state and federal courts. He has also been a State Representative in the North Dakota Legislative Assembly for 15 years and is a Commissioner on the National Uniform Law Commission.
Lisa Fair McEvers, 51, is a District Judge in the East Central Judicial District, chambered in Fargo since 2010. A 1997 graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law, she has served as the North Dakota Commissioner of Labor, an Assistant Cass County State's Attorney, and in private legal practice.
Leslie Oliver, 60, has been in private practice with the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck since 2000. A 1991 U.N.D. Law School graduate, her practice is focused on representing North Dakota employers on a variety of human resource issues. She also works with Medicare and Medicaid compliance issues facing North Dakota health care facilities. She was the first chair of SBAND's Lawyer Assistance Program.
Bradley Peterson, 47, is an attorney for Legal Services of North Dakota/Legal Assistance of North Dakota and Chief Justice of the Standing Rock Sioux Supreme Court. A 1991 University of North Dakota School of Law graduate, he has tried a wide variety of cases and handled numerous appeals, mostly involving low-income people. He also teaches at Sitting Bull College and the University of Mary.
David Reich, 56, has served for more than seven years as a district court judge for the South Central Judicial District. A 1982 U.N.D. School of Law graduate, he previously spent more than 20 years in private practice, working in civil litigation with the Pearce & Durick Law Firm in Bismarck. He has presided over a broad range of civil and criminal proceedings on the bench, including more than 100 jury trials.
Daniel Traynor, 43, is a shareholder in Traynor Law Firm of Devils Lake. A 1997 U.N.D. Law School graduate, he has been engaged in statewide litigation practice since 1998. He is also Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the North Dakota Supreme Court and is the immediate past-Chair of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation.
Barbara Whelan, 49, has served as Walsh County State's Attorney since 2006. A 1990 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, she served as Pembina County State’s Attorney from 1999-2005. Previously, she was in private practice in Grafton, Hettinger, and Baltimore, Md.
October 10, 2013