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Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Trial court tip
Judges can now sign documents with an e-signature. Documents which are e-signed will be processed more quickly and efficiently. Only documents which do not have blanks to be filled in and do not require editing can be signed in this way. When a judge uses the e-signature function of Odyssey, the date and time are included with the signature. The savvy attorney will prepare documents in such a way that they can easily be e-signed!
September Term of Court
Norrh Dakota Supreme Court
The September term of court (which will actually start Aug. 31) has been posted, including issues and briefs.
  • August cases
  • September cases
  • Judge Thelen begins work
    Judge John Thelen New Northeast Central Judicial District Judge John Thelen started work on Aug. 3. On July 8, Gov. Jack Dalrymple appointed Thelen to fill the judgeship vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lawrence Jahnke. Thelen had previously served as NECJD judicial referee since 2009.
    Paralegal association honors Beehler
    Brad Beehler NALA News Release: "The Association of Paralegals (NALA) awarded its Founders Award to Grand Forks attorney Bradley J. Beehler during a ceremony on July 24 at the association's 40th Annual Convention and Expo in Tulsa, Okla."
    U.S.: Probation may sound light, but punishments can land hard
    New York Times: "On Christmas Day in 2013, Donyelle Hall and her husband, Roland Jr., gave a party for friends and family at their apartment. Mrs. Hall, a nurse's aide for the severely disabled, had recently taken a college course in medical terminology to improve her earning potential."
    U.S.: Thirty-one states fight clean water rule
    Courthouse News Service: "Attorneys general from 31 states asked the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to delay implementation of a Clean Water Act rule for at least 9 nine months for judicial review."
    Minn.: Appeals court upholds damages in case of toddler burned by manhole cover in Duluth
    Minnesota Great Seal Duluth News Tribune: "The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the findings of a judge and a Duluth jury that limited damages awarded to the family of a Georgia toddler who was burned on a manhole cover in Canal Park."
  • Opinion Text: Brown v. Duluth Steam Coop.

  • North Dakota
    New Opinions: July 30
    The Supreme Court posted three new opinions on July 30.
    New law clerks begin work at Supreme Court
    Supreme Court Law Clerks On Aug. 1, the North Dakota Supreme Court welcomed (l-r) Quinn Hochhalter, Bismarck; Nick Henes, Bismarck; Zachary Eiken, Williston; Krista Thompson, Billings, Mont.; and Matthew Kirschenmann, Fargo, as they began their one-year clerkships with the Court.
    Judge Zane Anderson to retire Nov. 1
    Judge Zane Anderson Judge Zane Anderson of the Southwest Judicial District has announced that he will retire Nov. 1. In his retirement letter, Anderson wrote he had "the honor, privilege and good fortune to serve the people of the State of North Dakota for almost 25 years as a full time judge." He was first elected multi-county judge in 1990 and district judge in 1994. He was last reelected in 2012.
    Rule changes, more training and testing, help interpreter program grow
    On March 1, 2014, the Supreme Court amended Rule of Civil Procedure 43 and Rule of Criminal Procedure 28 to require the court to provide an interpreter when someone with limited English proficiency or a deaf person is involved in a proceeding as a party, witness, or person with a significant legal interest or legal decision-making authority. On August 1, additional rule amendments intended to supplement the 2014 changes take effect.
  • Interpreter Rule Changes Effective Aug. 1, 2015
  • Drug Court teams meet with senators
    Meeting with Sen. Heitkamp Members of the Drug Court teams from Fargo, Valley City and Jamestown met July 29 with Senator John Hoeven and Senator Heidi Heitkamp in Washington, D.C. The Drug Court team members were in Washington to attend the 21st conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    Long quotations usually are not effective.
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • Big Muddy Bar Association sponsors The Banquet in Bismarck
    Justice Dan Crothers The Big Muddy Bar Association sponsored and served The Banquet in Bismarck on July 23. About 330 people were served at Trinity Lutheran Church and there were about 40 take-out boxes prepared. The Banquet is a community event, hosted by various groups and served each week on Thursday evening. There is no cost to the guests. The left-over food was used to provide meals at shelters for abused adults. Here are the photos.
  • KFYR News: Bismarck Banquet continues to grow
  • Judge Hagerty named life member of Uniform Law Commission
    Judge Gail Hagerty Uniform Law Commission News Release: "North Dakota Uniform Law Commissioner and District Judge Gail Hagerty was elected to life membership in the Uniform Law Commission at the annual meeting in July. Commissioners are eligible for life membership after serving as a commissioner for 20 years."
    Court seeks comment on professional conduct rule amendments
    The Supreme Court has issued a Notice of Comment on proposed amendments to the North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct. Comments are due by Aug. 21.
    Juvenile Policy Board March 27 minutes
    The minutes of the March 27, 2015, meeting of the Juvenile Policy Board have been posted.
    Upper Midwest Drug Court Professionals Conference set for Sept. 30-Oct. 2
    The Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference will be held September 30 - October 2 at the Cambria Conference Center in West Fargo. The conference provides an opportunity for drug court professionals to gather together for networking, training, and team building.
  • Conference Brochure

  • Federal
    U.S.: Ex-Justice Dept. officials argue against federal prosecutors in Supreme Court brief
    U.S. Dept. of Justice seal New York Times: " An extraordinary brief filed last week in the Supreme Court has put the Justice Department in an awkward spot.The brief said federal prosecutors had violated the Constitution by failing to turn over evidence about a key witness."
    U.S. District Court seeks comment on local rule revisions
    The District of North Dakota has proposed a set of revisions to the Court's Local Rules. The proposed rules are now available for public comment. The public is encouraged to review and comment on the proposed rules. The proposed rules and a summary of the proposed revisions are available at the Court's website,

    With new law, Minnesota starts to tally untested rape kits
    Fox News/AP: " Law enforcement agencies are tallying the state's backlog of untested rape kits in hopes of erasing it -- or at least better understanding what led to it. The effort started Saturday as part of a new law passed by the Legislature this year that requires each law enforcement agency to report its number of untested rape kits."

    South Dakota


    Other States and Jurisdictions
    U.S.: Juvenile justice system failing Native Americans, studies show
    MPR News: "State courts are twice as likely to incarcerate Native teens for minor crimes such as truancy and alcohol use than any other racial and ethnic group, according to the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. And juvenile detention facilities around the country have a disproportionately high number of Native American youth, according to an Indian Law and Order Commission report."

    Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for two court reporter positions with the District Court in Bismarck/Mandan has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a University Ombuds with the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks 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 an Electronic Court Recorder with the District Court in Watford City has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Accountant Analyst with the North Dakota Court System in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Deputy Clerk of District Court I with the District Court in Bismarck has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney I for Stark County in Dickinson has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Electronic Court Recorder with the District Court in Dickinson has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Attorney III (Supervising Public Defender) for the Public Defender Office in Williston has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Administrative Assistant II for the Public Defender Office in Dickinson has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney for Ward County in Minot has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Citizen Access Paralegal with the Supreme Court Law Library in Bismarck has been posted.

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