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All District Court Judges

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John A. Thelen

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2015 - Present

UND, B.S. Economics, 1978; UND School of Law, J.D., 1981. Private practice of law, 1981-2009. Judicial Referee and Magistrate, 2009-2015. Appointed district judge, 2015; elected 2018.

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George A. Thom

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1947 - 1962

Judge Thom was born in Correctionville, Iowa, December 30, 1883. After graduating from high school, he went on to the University of Iowa where he received his law degree in 1907. He was admitted to the Iowa State Bar, on June 12, 1907; North Dakota State Bar, December 7, 1907. He was in private practice in Denhoff and Goodrich, North Dakota, where he served as State's Attorney of Sheridan County. He moved to McClusky where he continued his practice until he was appointed Judge of the Fourth Judicial District by Governor Fred Aandahl on September 1, 1947, he served in that capacity until his retirement in 1962. Judge Thom died February 7, 1973.

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Alfred A. Thompson

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1973 - 1976

Judge Thompson was born in Lisbon, North Dakota, September 25, 1918. He attended the Lisbon public schools, North Dakota State University and University of North Dakota Law School. Admitted to the North Dakota Bar in 1951, he then entered private practice in Bismarck North Dakota. He served as Assistant State's Attorney of Burleigh County for two years. On June 1, 1973 he was appointed Judge of the Fourth Judicial District by Governor Arthur Link. He served in that capacity until 1976. Judge Thompson died on May 26, 1994.

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Harold P. Thomson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1947 - 1951

Judge Thomson was born near Hamilton, North Dakota, November 21,1889. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1914. He served as State's Attorney of Pembina County for several years. He was elected Judge of the Second Judicial District in 1946, he served in that capacity until 1951. He was confined to bed for about a year before his death, he conducted judicial duties from the hospital and his home. Judge Thomson died in Winnipeg on May 13, 1951.

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Jerod E. Tufte

District Court Judge/Justice of the Supreme Court

Elected: 2017 - Present

Born in 1975 in Minot, N.D. J.D., Arizona State University College of Law 2002. B.S., Computer Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1997. Legal counsel to Gov. Jack Dalrymple, 2011-2014. JAG officer, N.D. Army National Guard, 2008-2016. In private legal practice in Steele, 2005-2011. Kidder County State's Attorney 2005-2011, Sheridan County State's Attorney, 2011. In private legal practice in Phoenix, Arizona, 2003-2005. Law clerk to Judge Roger Wollman, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2002-2003. Appointed District Judge in July 2014. Elected Justice of the Supreme Court in 2016 taking office on January 1, 2017. Married, three children.

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Tristan J. Van de Streek

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2019 - Present

Minot State University, BA, 2000. University of North Dakota School of Law, JD, 2003. In private legal practice, Minot, 2003-2007. Assistant State's Attorney, Cass County, 2007-2018. Appointed District Judge of the East Central Judicial District effective Jan. 1, 2019, by Gov. Doug Burgum.

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James Vukelic

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2000

Born in 1950, Mott, ND. Holds B.S. (Social Studies/Speech) and M.S. (Counseling and Guidance) from UND. Former school guidance counselor and teacher. JD from UND in 1978. Sole practitioner and state's attorney 1978-86. Former solicitor general and chief deputy, ND Attorney General's Office 1987-94. Elected district judge 1994. President, Big Muddy Bar Association 1995. Wife, Pam. Children: Reed and Meredith. Left office December 31, 2000.

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Wallace E. Warner

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1972 - 1975

Judge Warner was born in Edinburg, North Dakota, October 9, 1916. He graduated from Edinburg High School, he then attended the University of North Dakota, graduating from the law school. He also attended the American University, Washington, D.C., summer of 1935. Served as State's Attorney of Walsh County; Attorney General of North Dakota; first Chairman of the North Dakota Parole Board; North Dakota State Securities Commissioner; Richland County Judge, and Delegate to the 1971-1972 North Dakota Constitutional Convention. He was appointed Judge of the Third Judicial District by William L. Guy on April 19, 1972, and served in that capacity until 1975. Judge Warner died on February 25, 1994.

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Wade L. Webb

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2003 - Present

Born in 1970, Grafton, ND. Graduate of Oak Grove Lutheran High School, Fargo, ND, 1988. B.A., Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, 1992; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1995. Served as Minnesota District Court law clerk, 1995-1996. Cass County Assistant State's Attorney, leading the Personal Crimes Team, 1996-2003. Appointed District Judge of the East Central Judicial District 2003 by Governor John Hoeven. Elected 2006, 2008 and 2014. Married: wife, Linn M. Webb.

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Robert O. Wefald

District Court Judge

Elected: 1999 - 2010

Born in Excelsior, Minn. Graduate of Minot High School. B.A. from the University of North Dakota. J.D. from University of Michigan Law School. Navy officer during Vietnam War. Captain in Naval Reserve (retired). Law clerk to N.D. Supreme Court. Private practice in Bismarck, 1971-80, and 1985-98. Served as North Dakota Attorney General, 1981-84. Elected District Judge in 1998 and 2004. Married: wife, Susan. Three grown children: Sarah, Kathryn, and Tom.

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Bobbi Weiler

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2020 - Present

Born in 1983 in Lewistown, MT.  BS, University of Mary, 2005. JD, Thomas M. Cooley Law School Western Michigan University, 2009.  Private practice, 2010 to 2020.  Appointed District Judge in 2020.

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H. Patrick Weir

District Court Judge/State's Attorney

Elected: 2009 - 2012

Born 1939 in Dickinson, North Dakota. He is a 1961 graduate of St. John's University, B.S., cum laude, and received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1964, where he served on the editorial board of the Notre Dame Law Review. He was a Law Clerk to Chief Judge Charles J. Vogel, United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit, 1964-1965. After that he became a partner with the Vogel Law Office, Fargo, North Dakota. He later joined the Bismarck Vogel Firm, where he practiced until his appointment by Governor John Hoeven as Judge of the Southwest Judicial District, chambered in Dickinson, North Dakota, succeeding retiring Judge Allan Schmalenberger; term beginning September 16, 2009. Judge Weir retired as a district judge Dec. 31, 2012.

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Barbara L. Whelan

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2017 - Present

Born in 1963 in Turtle Lake, ND. BA, Hospital Administration, Concordia College, 1986; JD, University of Baltimore School of Law, 1990. Private practice in Maryland, 1990-93. Private practice in Hettinger, 1993-1994. Private practice in Grafton, 1994-1998. Pembina County State's Attorney, 1999-2005. Walsh County State's Attorney, 2006-2017. Appointed District Judge October 2017.

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Joris O. Wigen

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1946 - 1958

Judge Wigen was born near Austin, Minnesota on August 9, 1883. He received his early education in the Mower County schools and Jewel Academy at Jewel, Iowa, and later attended the Red Wing Seminary, Red Wing, Minnesota, where he received a B. A. degree in 1907. The following years he spent at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a law degree in 1910. Admitted to the Minnesota State Bar, June, 1910 and North Dakota State Bar, December, 1910. Shortly thereafter he moved to Bucyrus, North Dakota, where he engaged in the practice of law. He moved to Hettinger, North Dakota, where he served as Mayor and entered into the banking business, which he continued until 1931. He was a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1929 and 1931. On July 1, 1946 he was appointed Judge of the Sixth Judicial District by Governor Fred G. Aandahl, he served in that capacity until 1958. Judge Wigen died in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 26, 1958, as a result of a traffic accident.

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Bert L. Wilson

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1981 - 1991

Born May 22, 1921, at Flaxton, N.D. Graduate of Bowbells High School. Attended Valley City State College, Bismarck State College, University of North Dakota with General Business major; L.L.B. and J.D. University of North Dakota. Lt.j.g. U.S. Naval Reserve in World War II; served in both theaters of war; D-Day at Normandy, Rhineland; ended service in Okinawa. In general practice with father in Bowbells and practiced law in Burke County for 30 years. Burke County State's Attorney 1953-1978. County Judge of Increased Jurisdiction of Williams County 1979-1981. Appointed District Judge November 30, 1981, by Governor Allen I. Olson. Elected 1982 and 1988. Retired 1991. Served as a Surrogate Judge 1991-2000. Member, Lutheran Church, American Legion, Lions, Masons, Scottish Rite, Shrine, Eastern Star, State and National Bar, Judicature Society. Married Beatrice Aune in 1946. Five children: Nancy McCann, Shelley Kilgore, James, Tammy Post, and Thomas.

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Walter H. Winchester

District Court Judge

Elected: 1889 - 1912

Judge Winchester was born in Malone, New York, March 21, 1844. He received his early education in the common schools of New York, he also attended the Franklin County Academy from which he graduated in 1866. In 1867 he entered Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he spent two years. In 1870 he went to Davenport, Iowa, where he was employed as a reporter on the daily and weekly "Democrat" for six months. He then accepted the position as principal of the Cordova Academy at Cordova, Illinois, after one year he returned to New York, where he commenced the study of law in his native town, under John I. Gilbert, a well-known attorney of New York. Subsequently he served as principal of the Fort Covington Academy, New York, for three years, at the end of which time he entered the law department of Albany University, graduating in 1873. After his admission to the Bar in 1873, he began practice in his native county and remained there until coming to Bismarck, North Dakota, in 1883. He engaged in the practice of law and was recognized as one of the ablest attorneys of the state, he also served as Burleigh County Superintendent of Schools for six years. In 1889 he was elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, where he served until 1912. Judge Winchester died on March 4, 1913.

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Keith Wolberg

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 1995

Judge Wolberg was born in Dickinson, North Dakota, November 3, 1949. He graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1971, received his J.D. degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law, with distinction in 1975. He served as a law clerk, for the North Dakota Supreme Court, 1975-1976. From 1983-1993, he was director of the Legislative Intern Program, for the North Dakota Legislative Council. He was in general law practice from 1976 until being elected Judge of the South Central Judicial District in 1994, term to begin in January 1995. He died in office on January 21, 1995.

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Charles E. Wolfe

District Court Judge

Elected: 1923 - 1929

Judge Wolfe was born in Nicollet, Minnesota, November 13, 1859. He practiced law in the Territory of Dakota and North Dakota for forty-four years, and served many years as City Attorney of Wahpeton, and State's Attorney of Richland County. He served as Judge of the Third Judicial District from 1923 until his death on February 20, 1929.

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James A. Wright

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1992 - 1997

Born December 25, 1946, in Jamestown, ND, and raised in Courtenay, ND. A.A., Bismarck State College 1966; B.S., North Dakota State University 1969; J.D. Hamline University School of Law, 1976. Taught at Jamestown High School 1969-73. Engaged in private law practice from 1976-92. Appointed District Judge in March 1992, and elected in 1992, and 1996. Married: wife Janet. Daughter: Courtney. Died November 4, 1997.