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Luella Dunn 1921 - 2023 Friday, March 17, 2023


The Court has learned that former North Dakota Supreme Court Clerk of Court, Luella Dunn, recently passed away.  Luella Dunn was the first woman Supreme Court Clerk of Court and only the third person to hold the office since statehood. She served in that capacity from October 30, 1968 until her retirement on June 30, 1992.  In her role as the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Ms. Dunn also served as secretary/treasurer of the State Bar Board, secretary of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court, secretary of the Judicial Conduct Commission, and as a member of the North Dakota State Canvassing Board.

Ms. Dunn was a charter member of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks and served as its president from 1982-1983. She also served on the executive committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and as its treasurer. Throughout her career, her commitment to public service was recognized many times. She received a commendation for outstanding service to the bar, bench and people of North Dakota from the State Bar Association in 1981. Governor Allen Olson bestowed the Heritage Award upon her in 1982 for outstanding service as a state employee. In 1986, she received the Liberty Bell Award from the State Bar Association in recognition of community service which strengthens the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law. Also, in 1986, she received the J.O. Sentell award from the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks. In 1991, Governor Sinner presented her with his Award of Excellence in Public Service.

Ms. Dunn began her career with the Supreme Court on September 15, 1947, when she was hired to serve in a dual position as secretary to Chief Justice A.M. Christianson and as a deputy clerk of the supreme court. She was originally from Blaisdell, North Dakota.