All District Court Judges

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John C. Lowe

District Court Judge

Elected: 1921 - 1942

Judge Lowe was born near Stella, Nebraska, on December 6, 1873. While a student at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, he served as a stenographer in the federal courts. In 1898 he went to New York, and attended night classes in the New York Law School and New York University while working in law offices. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1902. Practiced law for a time in New York, before coming to Minot, North Dakota in June, 1903. He was elected District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District in 1920 and served in that capacity until 1942. Judge Lowe died on May 4, 1950 at Donna, Texas.

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Albert Lundberg

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1951 - 1963

Judge Lundberg was born in Walsh County, near Fairdale, North Dakota, February 27, 1894. Educated in local schools, received his L. L. B. from the University of North Dakota in 1932, was admitted to the North Dakota Bar that same year. He engaged in private practice at Grafton, North Dakota, served as State's Attorney of Walsh County from 1936-1940. On June 18, 1951 he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District, by Governor C. Norman Brunsdale, he served in that capacity until his death on April 30, 1963.

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Wilfred C. Lynch

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1960 - 1973

Judge Lynch was born in Turtle Lake, North Dakota on July 12, 1926. Graduated from the North Dakota University School of Law in 1949. He served as Special Assistant Attorney General, Adjutant General's office 1949-1951; Assistant Attorney General of the State of North Dakota 1951-1952. He was a partner in the law firm of Jansonius, Fleck, Smith, Lynch & Strutz of Bismarck, North Dakota, from 1952 until 1960, when he was appointed Judge of the Fourth Judicial District, by Governor John E. Davis. He served in that capacity until 1973. Judge Lynch now resides in Eugene, Oregon.

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Ralph B. Maxwell

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1967 - 1978

Judge Maxwell was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota on November 26, 1919. Graduated from elementary school Turtle Mountain Consolidated Indian Day School, Belcourt and the Rolla High School. He received a B. S. degree in Commerce from the University of North Dakota, and L. L. B. degree from the Law School of the University of North Dakota in 1947. He was admitted to the North Dakota Bar that same year. He served as State's Attorney of Rolette County, 1949-1953; Assistant United States Attorney and United States Attorney for North Dakota, 1953-1958. From 1958-1967 he was in private practice at West Fargo, North Dakota. On August 1, 1967 he was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District by Governor William L. Guy. He served in that capacity until 1978. Judge Maxwell died Sept. 28, 2014, at the age of 94.

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John C. McClintock, Jr.

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2017

Born in 1961, Rugby, N.D. Graduated with B.S.B.A. in accounting from UND in 1983 and J.D. in 1986. Worked for Price Waterhouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Started private practice in Rugby 1991. Assistant Pierce County State's Attorney 1993-94. Member of North Dakota Bar Association and American Bar Association. Admitted to Federal District Court. Elected district judge in 1994, reelected in 2000, 2006, 2012. Four sons. Retired April 2017.

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William B. McConnell

District Court Judge

Elected: 1889 - 1896

Judge McConnell was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, November 15, 1849. He graduated from Waynesburg College, Greene County, Pennsylvania. He studied law under Judge Morris at Fort Wayne, Indiana, later he moved to the Dakota Territory. In 1886 he was appointed Supreme Court Justice of the Dakota Territory by President Grover Cleveland, he served until 1889. After statehood he became Judge of the Third Judicial District, 1889-1896. Judge McConnell died August 3, 1931 in Sandusky County, Ohio.

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Ray Garfield McFarland

District Court Judge

Elected: 1929 - 1953

Judge McFarland was born near Bloomfield, Iowa, on April 4, 1880. Graduated from Highland Park College of Law, Des Moines, Iowa in 1904. He came to North Dakota in 1905, and took up a homestead near Cleveland, North Dakota, which he still owned at the time of his death. He was associated with S. L. Glaspell in law practice, served two years as Assistant State's Attorney and five terms as Judge of Stutsman County. Elected Judge of the Fourth Judicial District in 1928, retired due to ill health on September 1, 1953. Judge McFarland died on December 10, 1961.

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George A. McGee

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1952 - 1953

Judge McGee was born in Amboy, Illinois, September 13, 1878. Following his graduation from Notre Dame University, he moved to Minot, North Dakota in November 1901, where he practiced law. In 1904 he was elected State's Attorney of Imperial Ward County, serving for four years. In 1952 he was appointed Judge of the Fifth Judicial District by Governor C. Norman Brunsdale. He served in that capacity until his death on March 24, 1953.

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Michael O. McGuire

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1979 - 2004

Born in 1941. Graduate: Fargo Central High School; BA, Moorhead State College; JD, University of North Dakota; National Criminal Defense College at University of Houston 1975; Judges School at University of Nevada 1979. Active duty with U. S. Army and Air Force. Practiced in North Dakota and Minnesota. Elected Cass County Judge with Increased Jurisdiction 1978; appointed District Judge 1979 by Governor Arthur A. Link and elected in 1980, 1986, 1992, and 1998. Member: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Award for serving as president of halfway house in North Dakota; 1980 Distinguished Alumni Award, Moorhead State. American Legion. Married: Linda; two children. Retired as District Judge October 31, 2004.

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George M. McKenna

District Court Judge

Elected: 1921 - 1942

Judge McKenna was born in Laporte, Indiana, February 10, 1879. Received his primary education in the public schools of Wisconsin. Graduated from St. Thomas College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Law Department, University of Minnesota. He served as State's Attorney of Logan County, North Dakota from 1904 until 1919. Elected Judge of the Second Judicial District in 1920, he served in that capacity until his resignation in 1942, due to ill health. Judge McKenna died September 7, 1971.

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William W. McLees

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2014

Born in 1951, Valley City, ND; resident of Watford City, ND, 1959-2002. B.A., Political Science, University of North Dakota (1973); J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law (1976). Private practice in Watford City, ND, 1976-1982. McKenzie County Judge 1983-1990. Multi-county Judge for Billings, Dunn, Golden Valley, and McKenzie Counties 1990-1994. Elected District Judge in 1994, reelected 2000, 2006, 2012. Married: Wife, Kim. Five children. Judge McLees retired June 30, 2014.

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Thomas E. Merrick

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2009 - 2016

Born August 2, 1950 in Elkhart, Indiana. Received his bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo and his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1983. Served in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of captain. Admitted to practice in North Dakota in 1983. Engaged in private legal practice in Jamestown, ND, from 1983-2009. Appointed district judge in 2009 by Governor John Hoeven. Elected 2012. Married, Pamela, with three children.

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Thomas K. Metelmann

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 1998

Judge Metelmann was born in Grafton, North Dakota, in 1951. Graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.A. degree in 1973; J.D. degree from University of North Dakota Law School in 1976. Engaged in private practice in Grafton and Walhalla, North Dakota from 1976 until 1983. He served as County Judge from 1983 until 1994, when he was elected Judge of the Northeast Judicial District, term to begin January 1995. Judge Metelmann served in that capacity until the end of 1998. Married: wife, Roxanne, one daughter, Jessica.

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Harvey J. Miller

District Court Judge

Elected: 1936 - 1964

Judge Miller was born on a farm south of Buffalo, North Dakota, on November 18, 1887. He attended rural public schools near Buffalo, graduating from the Buffalo High School. After receiving his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1911, he practiced law at New England, North Dakota for 24 years, where he also served as Mayor for six years and as State's Attorney of Hettinger County for two years. Elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District in 1935, served in that capacity until 1964. Judge Miller died on December 16, 1979 at the age of 92.

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Norbert J. Muggli

District Court Judge

Elected: 1965 - 1981

Judge Muggli was born in Richardton, North Dakota, May 26, 1919. Graduated from Richardton High School and St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He received his L. L. B. from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1942, and was admitted to the Bar that same year. Following three and one-half years in the Army, he practiced law in Dickinson, North Dakota, he served four terms as State's Attorney of Stark County and also was a member of the House of Representatives, 1957 and 1959. He was elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District in 1964. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Southwest Judicial District, he resigned in 1981. Judge Muggli died on April 7, 1997.

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Harold B. Nelson

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1949 - 1954

Judge Nelson was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, February 10, 1885. He attended a business college in St. Paul Minnesota, in 1905 he became instructor of the business college in Minot, North Dakota. In 1909 he became court reporter for Judge A. G. Burr of Rugby, while he was court reporter he studied law by clerkship under Judge Burr, and was admitted to the North Dakota State Bar in 1914. In 1916 he opened his law office in Rugby, North Dakota, he continued in private practice until 1949, when he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District, by Governor Fred G. Aandahl. After serving five years on the bench he resigned on April 30, 1954 to re-enter private practice. Judge Nelson died on December 21, 1960.

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Samuel L. Nuchols

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1911 - 1915

Judge Nuchols was born in Maryville, Tennessee on March 1, 1871. He attended College and Law School at the University in Tennessee, where he also was admitted to the Bar and practiced law until 1902, when he moved to Mandan, North Dakota. He was City Attorney of Mandan for three years. In 1911 he was appointed Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District, by Governor John Burke, serving until his resignation in 1915. He then entered private practice in Mandan, North Dakota. In 1919 President Wilson appointed him Assistant United States Attorney, with headquarters at Fargo, North Dakota, which position he held until 1921, when he again entered private practice at Bismarck, North Dakota. Judge Nuchols died January 1, 1928.

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James H. O'Keefe

District Court Judge

Elected: 1971 - 1994

Born May 22, 1930, at Fargo, N.D. Graduate of Grand Forks Catholic Schools; Ph.B. and J.D. University of North Dakota 1956. Veteran Korean Conflict. Law Clerk for Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; Editor, North Dakota Law Review; Walsh County State's Attorney; Municipal Judge at Grafton; Past President, State's Attorneys Association and District Judges. Elected District Judge in 1970. Reelected 1976, 1982, and 1988. Retired 1994. Surrogate Judge 1995-2002. Married to Leatrice. Six children. Died January 17, 2003.

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Everett Nels Olson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1979 - 2002

Born July 12, 1939, in Hettinger, North Dakota. B.A. from Dickinson State University, 1962. L.L.B. from University of North Dakota, 1965. Practiced in New Town, 1965-68, and Minot, 1968-79. Elected District Judge in 1978, 1984, 1990, and 1996. Retired as District Judge, December 31, 2002. Appointed Surrogate Judge, 2003. Married: wife, Mary; four children.

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Leo J. Palda

District Court Judge

Elected: 1903 - 1904

Judge Palda was born March 4, 1873, in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa High School. In 1893 he graduated from the University of Michigan Law Department. He moved to Kenmare, North Dakota in 1899 where he began practicing law, later he moved to Minot, North Dakota where he continued practicing law. He served as Judge of the Eighth Judicial District from 1903 to 1904. After his judgeship he continued practicing law in Minot, North Dakota, until his death on November 6, 1946.