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Saturday, April 30, 2016
N.D. court system posts 2015 annual reports
The 2015 North Dakota Court System Annual Report and the 2015 Juvenile Court Annual Report have been posted. The court system report provides details of activity in the Supreme Court, the district and juvenile courts and in court administration during 2015.The juvenile court report provides a more in-depth look at the structure and work of the North Dakota Juvenile Courts.
  • 2015 North Dakota Court System Annual Report
  • 2015 Juvenile Court Annual Report
  • Governor Dalrymple proclaims May 2016 Drug Court Month
    Gov. Jack Dalrymple This May, drug courts throughout North Dakota will join over 2,900 drug courts and treatment courts nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month. This year's National Drug Court Month theme is "Criminal Justice Reform in Action."
  • Gov. Dalrymple's Proclamation
  • After the Boom: Crowding Courtrooms
    KXNews: "The price of oil dropped, production slowed -- and for 18 months, oil trends have pointed downward. December of 2015 the price of oil was the lowest we'd seen since 2004. At that same time at the end of last year, some North Dakota court districts were collecting highest numbers of cases on record."
    U.S.: High court appears likely to ease public corruption rules in McDonnell case
    United States Supreme Court building USA Today: "The Supreme Court appeared likely to side with politicians over prosecutors Wednesday and rule that federal corruption laws are unfairly entrapping public officials. A clear majority of justices sided with lawyers for former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell, who was convicted in 2014 for accepting more than $175,000 in luxury gifts and loans from a wealthy vitamin executive in exchange for government favors."
    U.S.: Appeals court affirms dismissal of North Dakota reservation lawsuit
    Reuters: "The U.S. government did not mismanage North Dakota reservation land it holds in trust for Native Americans when it sold leases for oil and gas exploration on the site, a federal appeals court has held. Wednesday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a February 2015 ruling by the Court of Federal Claims."
  • Opinion Text: Two Shields v. United States
  • Compromise reached on drug sentencing laws in Minnesota
    Minnesota Great Seal G.F. Herald: "After weeks of closed-door wrangling between law enforcement, defense attorneys and lawmakers, a compromise has been reached on an effort at the Capitol to lighten criminal penalties for drug offenders statewide."
    $1.53 an hour for lawyer fees? Not in Florida, court says
    ABC News/AP: "The Florida Supreme Court struck down a law limiting lawyer fees in workers' compensation cases on Thursday, saying the $1.53 hourly rate a lawyer was paid to help an injured worker was 'absurdly low.'"
  • Opinion Text: Castellanos v. Next Door Co.

  • North Dakota
    Joint Committee on Attorney Standards April 29 agenda
    The agenda for the April 29 meeting of the Joint Committee on Attorney Standards and the committee's Feb. 26 minutes have been posted.
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    Proofread. Then proofread again.
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • May Term of Court
    North Dakota Supreme Court
    The May term of court has been posted, including issues and briefs.
    New Opinion: April 21
    The Supreme Court posted a new opinion on April 21.
    New Opinions: April 18
    The Supreme Court posted two new opinions on April 18.
    Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee formal opinion: April 26
    The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has posted a formal opinion on permissible campaign activities.
  • JEAC Formal Opinion 2016-2
  • Court sets hearing, seeks comment on proposed amendments to lawyer discipline rules
    The Supreme Court has set a hearing and is seeking comment on proposed amendments to the N.D. Rules of Lawyer Discipline. Comments are due prior to the May 9 hearing.
    UND law school commencement ceremonies to be held May 7
    The University of North Dakota School of Law will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. in the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the UND campus in Grand Forks. Sixty-four candidates have met the requirements for graduation.
    Federal Public Defender office offers CJA training
    The Federal Public Defender's Office will be conducting Criminal Justice Act training in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks May 24-26. The CJA governs appointment of defense attorneys in federal criminal cases.
    N.D. Attorney General opinion: April 25
    Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued an opinion that the City of Golva violated open records law when it required a request to be made in writing and when it unreasonably delayed access to the city's budget and tax levy records.
  • A.G. Opinion 2016-O-08
  • Only one Fargo judge digitally signs late-night search warrants, a speedy practice at center of Supreme Court case
    Judge Steven Marquart Fargo Forum: "At any hour of the night, Judge Steven Marquart could get a phone call from a police officer wanting him to sign a search warrant. Police agencies in the Fargo area all turn to Marquart because he's the only judge in North Dakota's East Central Judicial District who handles after-hours search warrants via email, also known as electronic search warrants."

    Federal
    U.S.: Justices weigh case of jury discharged, then called back
    Associated Press: "Once jurors return their verdict and the judge thanks them and sends them on their way, their job is done. Or is it? That's the question that turned a minor traffic accident in Montana into a Supreme Court case on Tuesday."
  • Argument Transcript
  • U.S.: Justices rule First Amendment protects officer demoted in misunderstanding
    United States Supreme Court building New York Times: "It has long been established that public workers as a general matter may not be fired or demoted for speaking out on political topics. The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled on a case that involved a twist on that question: What if the official doing the demoting misunderstood what the worker had done?"
  • Opinion Text: Heffernan v. City of Paterson

  • Minnesota
    Prosecutor: No DNA exonerations after review of 14K Minn. cases
    MPR News: "Minnesota officials have reviewed more than 14,000 criminal cases across Minnesota from the 1980s and '90s to see if advances in DNA technology could exonerate any convicted felons.Their conclusion? No."

    South Dakota
    South Dakota can sue Internet retailers under new tax law
    Bloomberg News: "South Dakota's Department of Revenue could begin suing Internet retailers any time under the state's new remote seller sales tax law, as the state looks to seed a case that might overturn federal tax policy. Under the state's recently enacted S.B. 106, retailers that sell at least $100,000 of products into the state or complete at least 200 separate transactions into the state annually must collect and remit sales tax."

    Montana
    Mont.: Court considers lower passing grade for State Bar Exam
    Billings Gazette: "The public is being asked to submit comment on whether to lower the passing score for the Montana State Bar Exam. The Montana Supreme Court is accepting public comment through May 20 on a committee report that recommends lowering the Montana State Bar Exam passing score from 270 out of 400 to 266."

    Other States and Jurisdictions

    Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for three Assistant Attorney General positions with the AG's Civil Litigation Division in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for five law clerk positions with the North Dakota Supreme Court in Bismarck has been posted.

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