All District Court Judges

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Albert T. Cole

District Court Judge

Elected: 1918 - 1932

Judge Cole was born in Avon, Wisconsin, October 8, 1858. In the spring of 1863, he moved with his parents to Minnesota where he received his grade school education. In 1884 he moved to Ellendale, North Dakota, where he engaged in the grain-buying business and began the study of law. In 1891 he was admitted to the Bar, by Judge Lauder of Wahpeton, North Dakota, and the following year was admitted to the Bar by the Supreme Court of North Dakota. He was a member of the first North Dakota Legislature from Dickey County, serving one term, he also served as State's Attorney of Dickey County. In 1917 he was elected Judge of the Third Judicial District, he served until 1919, when the judicial districts were revised he became Judge of the First Judicial District from 1919 until his death on May 12, 1932.

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Charles M. Cooley

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1913 - 1927

Judge Cooley was born in Decorah, Iowa, on December 18, 1856. He graduated from the Literary Department of the University of Michigan in June 1878. During his vacations and after graduation, he studied law in his father's office, and was admitted to the Bar in the state of Iowa in 1879. In March 1882, he moved to a farm in Davison County, Dakota Territory. He served as County Superintendent of the schools of Davison County in 1885 and 1886. On July 5, 1900 he moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota. On January 9, 1913 he was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District, by Governor Louis B. Hanna. Judge Cooley served in that capacity until his death on September 12, 1927.

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Wickham Corwin

District Court Judge

Elected: 2009 - 2014

Born in 1950. Graduated from the University of Utah with degree in Biology, 1972. Graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law, 1976. Attorney at Conmy Feste Ltd., Fargo, 1976-2008. Elected District Judge in 2008. Married: Wife, Holly; Son, Johnathon.

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John F. Cowan

District Court Judge

Elected: 1901 - 1912

Judge Cowan was born in Moffat, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, December 29, 1858. In 1862 the family emigrated to Ontario, Canada, where he attended the common schools of Canada, graduating from the Ottawa Normal School in 1877. After that he studied medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for two years. He came to the United States in 1880, locating in Port Huron, Michigan, where he was a clerk for the Chicago & Grand Trunk Railroad Company. In 1881 he came to North Dakota and settled near Stump Lake, in Nelson County, later he moved to Devils Lake, where he began reading law and later entered the law office of John McGee, of Devils Lake, he then became a member of the firm of McGee & Morgan. In 1885 he was admitted to practice before the Territorial District Court, he opened his own law office that same year, later he became associated with P. J. McClory, under the firm name of Cowan & McClory. In 1890 he was elected State's Attorney of Ramsey County serving until 1894, when he was elected Attorney General of North Dakota, he was re-elected to this position three times. He served as Judge of the Second Judicial District from 1901 until 1912, surviving an unsuccessful impeachment attempt in 1911 Judge Cowan died on November 25, 1917.

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Eugene Coyne

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1967 - 1971

Judge Coyne was born in Starkweather, North Dakota, May 5, 1915. He graduated from the Starkweather High School, he then entered the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, and graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1938. He practiced law in Pembina County until entering the military, he returned to Pembina County following the war, in 1953 he moved to Minot, North Dakota. He was in private practice at Minot for a time, until he became a partner in the firm of Bosard, McCutcheon and Coyne. In June of 1967 he was appointed Judge of the Fifth Judicial District by Governor William L. Guy, with the term to become effective on August 1, 1967. He served until his death in March 11, 1971.

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Eugene F. Coyne

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1942 - 1948

Judge Coyne was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on August 31, 1887. He graduated from the St. Paul College of Law, later was admitted to the Bar in Minnesota and North Dakota. In 1912 he came to LaMoure, North Dakota where he entered in the general practice of law. During the years at La Moure he served several years as City Attorney and was State's Attorney of LaMoure County for ten years. In January of 1942 he was appointed Judge of the Third Judicial District by Governor Moses. Judge Coyne served in that capacity until his death on February 12, 1948.

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William C. Crawford

District Court Judge

Elected: 1909 - 1919

Judge Crawford was born in Cedar County Missouri, on February 24, 1872. At the age of sixteen he left for college; teaching two years to procure means to continue his education. He graduated from Warrensburg State Normal College; taught two more years and served as Principal of the Warsaw Public Schools. He then entered the Missouri State University, from which he graduated in 1897, with the degrees of B. S. and L. L. B. He practiced law in Cedar County, Missouri, was twice elected as State's Attorney of Cedar County. He moved to Dickinson, North Dakota, in March 1903. He was elected Judge of the Tenth Judicial District in 1908, he served in that capacity until 1919, when the judicial districts were revised he became Judge of the Sixth Judicial District from 1919 until 1920. Judge Crawford died on February 28, 1961.

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Georgia Dawson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2010

Born in 1949. BA, University of North Dakota, 1971, J.D., University of North Dakota 1974. Private practice in Jamestown, ND 1971-85; private practice, Fargo, ND 1986-88; Assistant State's Attorney, Stutsman County, ND 1974-76. Assistant City Attorney, Jamestown, ND 1977-78. City Attorney, Jamestown, ND 1977-85; Special Assistant Attorney General 1978-86; Attorney Jamestown Public Schools and outlying districts 1978-87; Cass County Judge 1988-94. Elected East Central Judicial District Judge in 1994, 1996, 2002 and 2008. Retired as District Judge September 1, 2010. Married. Three children.

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Herbert C. DePuy

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1943 - 1946

Judge DePuy was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, April 14, 1869. After his graduation from high school he purchased a weekly newspaper, which he operated for one year. In 1890 he graduated from law school, and in 1892 he came with his father, Attorney William R. DePuy, to Minot, North Dakota. He practiced law with his father in Minot for a time and served as Mayor for two terms. He moved to Grafton in 1906, where he served as State's Attorney of Walsh County from 1906 to 1920. In 1943 he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District, by Governor John Moses, served in that capacity until 1946. Judge DePuy died on February 22, 1949.

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Glenn Dill III

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2001

Born at Fargo, ND, January 28, 1941. B.S., University of North Dakota, 1963; J.D., University of North Dakota, 1965. Sole practice Kenmare 1965-93. Assistant Ward County States Attorney 1965-93. Appointed Ward County Judge 1993. Elected Judge of the Northwest Judicial District 1994; served 1995-2001. Member, State Bar Association Title Standards Committee. Wife, Kitty. Two children. Died September 12, 2001.

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Robert L. Eckert

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1975 - 1995

Born December 15, 1932, Garrison, ND. Graduate, New Rockford High School, 1950; B.S.C., University of North Dakota, 1954; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1957. Engaged in private practice until July 1, 1975, when Governor Arthur A. Link appointed him Third Judicial District Judge in 1975. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Southeast Judicial District. He was elected district judge in 1976, 1978, 1984, and 1990. Presiding Judge of the Southeast Judicial District from June 4, 1979, to January 31, 1995. Retired November 30, 1995. Married: wife, Dorothy. Three children: Robert, Jr., Ann Marie, and Joseph. Died November 8, 1998.

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Hamilton E. Englert

District Court Judge

Elected: 1964 - 1980

Judge Englert was born in Valley City, North Dakota January 31, 1909. Educated at Valley City Public Schools; standard teaching degree from Valley City State College; B. A., University of North Dakota. Attended Dakota Business College of Fargo; post graduate work, Gregg College, Chicago, Illinois. Served as official district court reporter for twenty-seven years, 1935-1962. Admitted to the North Dakota State Bar in 1949, and practiced law in Valley City until 1963, when he was elected Judge of the First Judicial District. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Southeast Judicial District, he served in that capacity until 1980. Judge Englert died on May 6, 1998.

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Michael J. Englert

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1919 - 1951

Judge Englert was born near Laurens, Iowa on October 21, 1876. He attended Highland Park College, of Des Moines, Iowa, after graduating, he entered the Law School of the University of South Dakota, graduating in June, 1904. In July of that same year, he moved to Valley City, North Dakota, where he was admitted to the Bar in November, 1904. From 1909 to 1913 he was City Attorney of Valley City, and State's Attorney of Barnes County, North Dakota, from 1913 to 1917. He was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District by Governor Lynn J. Frazier on August 25, 1919. After retiring from the bench in 1951, he moved to San Diego, California where he died on November 5, 1954.

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Ralph R. Erickson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2003

Born April 28, 1959, Thief River Falls, MN. B.A., Jamestown College, 1980; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1984. Associate and Shareholder with Ohnstad Twichell, P.C., West Fargo, ND 1984-91; sole practitioner in West Fargo, ND 1991-94; Secretary-Treasurer State Bar Association of North Dakota 1990-93. Cass County Magistrate 1993-94; County Judge Traill, Steele, Nelson, and Griggs Counties, 1994. Elected East Central Judicial District Judge in 1994, 1996, and 2002. Sworn in as U.S. District Judge with chambers in Fargo March 14, 2003, succeeding United States District Judge Rodney Webb. Appointed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals October 13, 2017, succeeding Judge Kermit Bye.

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Frank E. Fisk

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1911 - 1920

Judge Fisk was born in Fulton, Whiteside County, Illinois, on November 30, 1877. Attended the public schools there and later the Northern Illinois Normal School at Dixon, Illinois. He came to North Dakota in 1896 and took up the study of law in the office of Bangs and Fisk in Grand Forks. Was admitted to the bar in September 1899; moved to Bottineau in March 1900, where he practiced law for four years, afterwards practicing a short time in Minot, later he moved to Williston, North Dakota. In February, 1911 he was appointed Judge of the Eleventh Judicial District, by Governor John Burke, he served in that capacity until 1919, when the judicial districts were revised he became Judge of the Fifth Judicial District from 1919 until 1920. Judge Fisk died June 21, 1935.

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Charles L. Foster

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1955 - 1960

Judge Foster was born on a farm near Pomery, Iowa on February 20, 1886. He attended grade school and three years of high school at Pomery, Iowa; graduated from Monticello, Minnesota High School in 1903. While living in St. Paul, Minnesota he worked days as an estimator in the lumber yard and attended St. Paul College of Law at night, from which he graduated in 1914. He was admitted to practice law in the states of Minnesota, Florida and North Dakota. In January 1915, he moved to Turtle Lake, North Dakota, where he started his private practice, served as city attorney and carried on in general practice until 1923, when he moved to Bismarck, North Dakota, and became associated with James A. Hyland in a law partnership of Hyland and Foster. In 1949, he was appointed President of the State Bar Board by the Supreme Court of North Dakota, serving until 1960. In 1955 he was appointed Judge of the Fourth Judicial District by Governor C. Norman Brunsdale. He served in that capacity until his death on January 5, 1960.

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Francis E. Foughty

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1961 - 1961

Judge Foughty was born in Rolette County, North Dakota, November 12, 1919. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1949. He was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District by William L. Guy on February 21, 1961, but never served. See State v. Friederich, 108 NW 2d 681. He was a resident of Devils Lake, North Dakota, and died July 7, 2005.

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Martin C. Fredricks

District Court Judge

Elected: 1961 - 1983

Judge Fredricks was born in Wichita, Kansas, on January 24, 1912. He moved with his parents to Jamestown, North Dakota, the following year. He was educated in the local schools and attended Jamestown College. He became a member of the North Dakota Bar in 1936 after studying law as an apprentice and passing the bar examination. He practiced law at Jamestown, North Dakota, 1937-1960, and served as State's Attorney of Stutsman County, 1953-1960. He was elected Judge of the Fourth Judicial District in November 1960. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Southeast Judicial District and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1983. Judge Fredricks died on May 25, 1985.

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Raymond R. Friederich

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1960 - 1979

Judge Friederich was born in Fredonia, North Dakota, September 20, 1921. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of North Dakota School of Commerce and a Bachelor of Science Degree in law from the University of Minnesota. He graduated from the University of North Dakota Law School at Grand Forks in 1948. Admitted to the North Dakota State Bar, September 7, 1948. He practiced law in Rugby, North Dakota, from 1948 to 1960, served as Pierce County State's Attorney for several years. On December 30, 1960 he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District by Governor John E. Davis, to fill the unexpired term of Honorable Asmunder Benson who retired. He served in that capacity until 1979. Judge Friederich died on May 18, 1979.

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John O. Garaas

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1978 - 1988

Judge Garaas was born in Wheelock, North Dakota, September 1, 1922. He attended St. Olaf College and University of North Dakota, graduating with B. A., L. L. B. and J. D. degrees. He was admitted to the Bar in 1949 and practiced at Watford City and Fargo, North Dakota. Served as State's Attorney of McKenzie and Cass Counties and United States Attorney for North Dakota. He served in the United States Army during WWII. In 1978, Governor Arthur A. Link appointed him Judge of the First Judicial District. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the East Central Judicial District, he served in that capacity until 1988. Judge Garaas died on March 4, 1997.