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Thursday, March 5, 2015
Tomorrow at the Court
9:30am State v. Gates
10:45am State v. Rufus
1:30pm Marhula v. Grand Forks Curling Club
2:45pm Williams v. Williams
FBI formally announces permanent Williston office
FBI Seal KFGO News/AP: "The FBI has formally announced that it will establish a regional office in the western North Dakota oil patch. The federal agency says it anticipates the Williston office will be fully staffed and operational later this year. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven says it's unclear how many agents will be stationed there but that it will likely have similar staffing levels to other regional offices."
U.S.: Supreme Court schedules argument in same-sex marriage case for April 28
United States Supreme Court building NBC News: "The Supreme Court has set April 28 as the date for historic arguments on gay marriage. The justices agreed in January to definitively answer whether the Constitution allows states to ban same-sex marriage. A ruling is expected by the end of the term in late June."
U.S.: Supreme Court weighs review of Army Corps' jurisdiction decisions
Greenwire: "The Supreme Court may decide as soon as Monday to review a high-profile case on whether an Army Corps of Engineers determination that property qualifies for Clean Water Act protections can be challenged in court."
Minn.: Supreme Court backs farmers in CapX2020 powerline fight
Minnesota Great Seal MPR News: "Farmers in the path of the enormous CapX2020 electric transmission line project have won a victory at the Minnesota Supreme Court against utility companies involved in the project. The court ruled in the case of landowners in the path of the Brookings, S.D. to Hampton, Minn., portion of the line, compelling Great River Energy to buy their entire farm."
  • Opinion Text: Great River Energy v. Swedzinski
  • 'Private divorce' measure aims to take split-ups out of Minnesota courtrooms
    Minneapolis Star Tribune: "A measure that would offer couples the option to divorce outside the authority of Minnesota courts has the backing of two legislators who say they want to start a conversation about how marriages end. But family law attorneys argue that the legislation is impractical - and unconstitutional."

    North Dakota
    Amendments to court rules take effect March 1
    Amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Court, and the Administrative Rules will take effect March 1, 2015. Here is a review of the rule changes.
  • Amendments to North Dakota Rules as Adopted
  • The Third Branch: This Week on the Hill
    North Dakota Capitol For March 2-5, the weekly listing of legislative committee hearings which may be of interest to judges and lawyers has been posted.
  • 64th Legislative Assembly
  • Judicial Conference Executive Committee March 5 agenda
    The agenda for the March 5 meeting of the Executive Committee of the North Dakota Judicial Conference and the committee's Nov. 24, 2014, minutes have been posted.
    Pattern Jury Instruction Commission March 5-6 agenda
    The agenda for the March 5-6 meeting of the Pattern Jury Instruction Commission and the commission's Oct. 2-3, 2014, minutes have been posted.
    ND Law Review to host free CLE at Bismarck State College
    North Dakota Law Review The 2015 North Dakota Law Review Energy Law Symposium will be held March 19 at the Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence. The symposium is free and has been approved for 6.76 CLE credits. It will feature oil and gas law professors, scholars, and practitioners who will speak on central topics that impact oil and gas practice in North Dakota with a main focus on common title issues.
  • Oil and Gas Symposium Brochure
  • New Opinion: Feb. 25
    The Supreme Court posted a new opinion on Feb. 25.
    March Term of Court
    North Dakota Supreme Court
    The March term of court has been posted, including issues and briefs.
    Not Licensed to Practice Law
    The State Board of Law Examiners reports that a license to practice law for calendar year 2015 has not been issued to a number of attorneys who were licensed for calendar year 2014. The online list is being updated hourly.
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    Don't answer a question with a question.
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • Court seeks comment on proposed amendments to juvenile rules and policies
    The Supreme Court is seeking comment on proposed amendments to the Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Rule of Evidence 1101, and the Judicial System Policies. Comments are due March 31.
    Family law mediator applications now being accepted
    Applications are now being accepted for mediators to mediate for the Family Mediation Program in the Northeast Central, South Central, and the North Central Judicial Districts. In order to be considered, applicants must meet the criteria set forth in Rule 8.9; or have a minimum of 40 hours of mediation training and 4 years of experience in family mediation.
  • N.D.R.Ct. 8.9: Rostort of Alternative Dispute Resolution Neutrals
  • Federal Public Defender announces CJA panel attorney training
    The Federal Public Defenders Office will hold the annual Criminal Justice Act panel attorney training in Bismarck on May 11, Minot on May 12, Grand Forks on May 13 and Fargo on May 14. Training sessions will start at 8:30 a.m. each day.
    Registration open for Adult Guardianship Symposium
    Registration is now open for the Adult Guardianship/Elder Justice Symposium March 11-12 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. The free symposium is sponsored by the N.D. Court System. It is open to judges, attorneys, guardians, financial advisors, legislators, health care professionals, social workers, law enforcement, and any others who work with the elderly.
    Eighth Circuit decides N.D. case
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed a judgment against a North Dakota company in a federal taxation case.
  • North Central Rental & Leasing v. United States
  • New Grand Forks County bar officers installed
    The Greater Grand Forks County Bar Association installed new officers for the upcoming year at its February meeting. Larry Richards was sworn in as president, Cassie Schveing as vice president and Alyssa Albus as Secretary/Treasurer.˙Surrogate Judge Joel Medd administered the oath.
    North Dakota legislators will shelf spending bills until revenue forecast comes out
    G.F. Herald: "After cutting $1 billion from the governor's budget during the first half of the session, North Dakota legislators will enter the second half Wednesday with major spending bills shelved until a highly anticipated revenue forecast comes out in two weeks."
    Counties OK $82M in bids for combined jail
    Bismarck Tribune: "In a joint meeting Monday, the Burleigh and Morton counties' commissioners approved $82.86 million in bids for a combined county jail and remodeling their existing jails. The amount includes nearly $79 million for the jail bids and $3.9 million for renovations to the Burleigh and Morton counties' jails now in use."
    Improvements planned for County Courthouse
    Stutsman County Courthouse Jamestown Sun: "The Stutsman County Courthouse will receive $126,727 for work to improve security and create more office space for court personnel. The County Commission unanimously accepted courthouse facility grants from the North Dakota Supreme Court to share the costs of remodeling the lower level of the county courthouse to create office space for two new Southeast District Court personnel."

    Federal
    U.S. Supreme Court opinion: March 3
    United States Supreme Court building The United States Supreme Court has issued an opinion in a case involving a Colorado law that requires online retailers to advise customers about Colorado's use tax and to report sales information to the state revenue department.
  • Direct Marketing Assn. v. Brohl
  • U.S. Supreme Court opinion: March 4
    The United States Supreme Court has issued an opinion in a case involving Alabama's taxation of diesel fuel use by railroads and other carriers.
  • Alabama Dept. of Revenue v. CSX Transp., Inc.
  • U.S.: Supreme Court justices split in key challenge to Obamacare subsidies
    Washington Post: "Supreme Court justices split along ideological lines Wednesday in questioning during the latest legal battle over the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who saved the act from a constitutional challenge three years ago, asked no questions that would betray his thoughts this time."
  • King v. Burwell Oral Argument Transcript
  • U.S. Supreme Court March 4 arguments
    Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case on whether the IRS can give tax credits to participants of federally-run health insurance marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act.
  • King v. Burwell
  • U.S. justices raise doubts about Arizona redistricting commission
    Reuters: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday appeared skeptical of a voter-approved plan that stripped Arizona state lawmakers of their role in drawing congressional districts in an bid to remove partisan politics from the process."
    U.S.: Upholding Internet sales tax law, a justice invites a new case
    New York Times: "The Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to a trade group challenging a Colorado law seeking to aid state authorities in the collection of sales taxes on out-of-state purchases made online.The legal issue in the case was minor, and the decision was unanimous."

    Minnesota
    Little-known tax trial this month may lead to big Minnesota payout
    Fargo Forum: "Minnesota could be on the hook for $700 million in refunds should it lose a case pending in state tax court. The case, involving how multistate corporations calculate tax liability in Minnesota, is scheduled to be heard later this month."
    Minn.: Sentence upheld in 2012 Duluth stabbing
    Duluth News Tribune: "When Donald William Laquier Jackson was sentenced to prison last year, a judge described his severe criminal history as 'atrocious.' Laquier Jackson already had felony convictions for murder and assault."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Laquier Jackson
  • Minn.: Tribes press for power to stop autopsies
    MPR News: "Mushkoob Aubid's family only wanted to take him home. The 65-year-old spiritual leader died Feb. 7, a day after his car veered off a northern Minnesota highway and struck a utility pole. The family planned a four-day ritual based on the traditional Ojibwe religion known as Midewiwin that included ceremonial washing and dressing of the body."
    Study: Minnesota's drug courts continue to lower recidivism and jail costs
    Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Minnesota's specialty drug courts continue to significantly reduce recidivism and lower incarceration and its related costs for drug court participants, according to a study released Monday by the state's judicial branch."
  • Minnesota Judicial Branch News Release
  • Minn.: Convicted sex offender must serve full sentence
    Minnesota Great Seal West Central Tribune: "A convicted sex offender in Chippewa County will have to serve in its entirety the sentence he received as part of a plea bargain. In a ruling released Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Daniel Morris Johnson, 51, seeking a reduction in his sentence."
  • Opinion Text: Johnson v. State
  • Minn.: Ruling may impede on research
    Minnesota Daily: "An upcoming Minnesota Supreme Court decision that could tighten the public's access to child maltreatment documents has raised concern among child welfare advocates and University of Minnesota researchers. Before July, the state court could rule to restrict the access of social work documents and records of child mistreatment."

    South Dakota
    Drug court helps stabilize prison population in South Dakota
    G.F. Herald: "Since July 2013, 262 people statewide have enrolled in the five drug courts and four DUI courts and 216 of those have stayed out of the penitentiary, according to statistics from the state. Fifty-two have graduated from the programs. Each participant has three years to complete a drug court program, serving a minimum of 18 months to be successful."
    S.D.: All votes support juvenile justice reform
    SDPB News: "A Pierre committee is moving forward with reforms to South Dakota's juvenile justice system. Legislation that changes the way the state handles young offenders has now passed three of four steps to getting on the governor's desk."
    S.D.: High court won't overturn death sentence
    SDPB News: "A South Dakota death row inmate's conviction and sentence stand. A ruling from the United States Supreme Court Monday denies Rodney Berget's request to overturn the state court's decision. This puts an end to any direct appeals to his murder conviction and capital sentence."

    Montana
    Montana prosecutors honored
    Great Fall Tribune/AP: "The U.S. Department of Justice's inspector general honored the Montana U.S. Attorney's Office for its work to weed out fraud involving federally funded programs on Indian reservations. Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Rostad of Great Falls accepted the Collaboration Award on Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the U.S. Attorney's Guardians Project."
    Mont.: Veterans Treatment Court celebrates graduation in Great Falls
    KXLH News: "Several Montana veterans became the first to graduate from the Eighth Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court in a ceremony on Monday. Family and friends filled the courtroom in Great Falls as the veterans who got a second chance took their last official step to complete the program."

    Other States and Jurisdictions
    The first two law schools to drop the LSAT could be just the beginning
    Bloomberg News: "Two law schools said [in February] that they would begin accepting applicants who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test, a move that may help curb weak interest and plunging enrollments in law schools across the country."

    Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a State's Attorney for Renville County in Mohall has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a temporary attorney (public defender) with the Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents in Williston has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney with the Ward County State's Attorney's Office in Minot has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Court Reporter with the District Court in Fargo has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Programmer Analyst I with the Court System Information and Technology Division in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Electronic Court Recorder with the District Court in Williston has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for five law clerks with the North Dakota Supreme Court in Bismarck has been posted.

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