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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Top News
78 applicants begin bar exam
Seventy-eight applicants began writing the North Dakota bar examination on Tuesday. Sixty-four percent of the applicants are graduates from the University of North Dakota School of Law. North Dakota's exam is comprised of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), which allows applicants to apply for admission to the bar in other states that accept the UBE scores. The two-day examination is scheduled to end Wednesday afternoon.
As McKenzie County remodels, court carries on
Judge Robin Schmidt McKenzie County is working to remodel and expand its courthouse to meet growing needs in the area. While work is going on to construct a new facility, Judge Robin Schmidt has continued to hold court proceedings in a doublewide trailer the county has converted into a courtroom. It's called the 'trailer court.'
U.S.: Appeals court upholds labels on meat packages
WZVN News/AP: "A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld new government rules requiring labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The meat industry has attempted to block the rules, which went into effect last year."
  • Opinion Text: American Meat Inst. v. USDA
  • Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades
    Washington Post: "Nearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said."
    S.D.: General counsel says prison reform working
    KELO News: "South Dakota's General Counsel says legislation passed last year in an effort to reduce the prison population and save money is working. Jim Seward says the Public Safety Improvement Act has tripled the number of nonviolent offenders in the state's DUI and drug courts, increased the number of criminals on probation and decreased the number serving parole."
    Minnesota Court of Appeals upholds arson conviction for Pierz man
    Minnesota Great Seal WJON News: "The Minnesota State Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Pierz man for Arson. A Morrison County Jury returned a guilty verdict against 63-year-old Randy Reed, of Pierz, on charges of First Degree Arson on October 24, 2013."
  • Opinion Text: State v. Reed
  • Job Announcement
    A job announcement for an Assistant State's Attorney I with Burleigh County in Bismarck has been posted.

    North Dakota
    Appellate practice tip of the week
    A long brief should have a summary of the argument.
  • Other appellate practice tips
  • Big Muddy Bar Association hosts The Banquet in Bismarck
    Gabrielle Goter works the serving line. The Big Muddy Bar Association hosted the Banquet at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bismarck July 24. The Banquet is a community event, hosted by various groups and served each week on Thursday evening. There is no cost to the guests, many of whom attend because they are lonely or appreciate the gift of a meal. About 35 members of the Big Muddy worked together to prepare and serve the meal. 422 meals were served.
    New Opinions: July 17
    The Supreme Court posted 16 new opinions on July 17.
    Court approves amendments to rule on standards for bar admission
    The Supreme Court has approved amendments to Admission to Practice Rule 2 on standards for admission. The amendments relate to the SBAND Lawyer Assistance Program and take effect October 1.
    Court approves amendments to appellate rules
    The North Dakota Supreme Court has approved amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure. The amendments integrate electronic filing into the rules and require filing of the notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The amendments take effect October 1.
    Parenting coordinator training set for Sept. 23-24 in Bismarck
    The North Dakota Supreme Court will be hosting parenting coordinator training for anyone interested in becoming a parenting coordinator on Sept. 23-24 in Bismarck. See the linked brochure for more information and a registration form. Registration deadline is Sept. 8.
    N.D. Attorney General opinion: July 28
    Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued an opinion that NDSU Development Foundation broke the law when it denied a request for records on incorrect legal grounds and when it delayed its response for months even after acknowledging that it had responsive records.
    N.D. 125: Williams' Constitution
    North Dakota 125th Anniversary logo Prairie Public: "Twenty-five days into the Constitutional Convention for North Dakota, the Constitution was progressing rapidly. By this date in 1889, over one hundred and thirty resolutions or files had been introduced since July 12th. These covered a variety of topics from the Preamble to Women's Suffrage, but originally there was no uniform constitution on which to base the resolutions."
    State penitentiary 'a work in progress'
    Colby Braun Bismarck Tribune: "North Dakota State Penitentiary Warden Colby Braun considers his new role an opportunity to make the state prison more efficient and to minimize recidivism. Prison should only be a 'once-in-a-lifetime experience,' said Braun, who was named warden last week."
    US attorneys in Dakotas turn up heat on health care fraud
    Bismarck Tribune/AP: "The top federal prosecutors from South Dakota and North Dakota say they have increased their efforts to fight health care fraud. U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson of South Dakota said he has restructured his office to allow lawyers in the criminal and civil divisions to devote 'significant time' to investigating medical fraud."
    N.D. gets funding for sex offender registry
    Bismarck Tribune/AP: "The office of the attorney general in North Dakota will receive more than $30,000 in federal funding for the implementation of sex offender registry programs. U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer on Monday announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will grant the funds."


    August brings a wave of new Minnesota laws
    St. Cloud Times: "Some of the laws passed during the latest legislative session take effect Aug. 1. Here's a look at five key changes from a list posted by the Minnesota House of Representatives."
    Minn.: Appeals court upholds ruling on Duluth head shop
    Minnesota Great Seal Duluth News Tribune: "The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a ruling Monday upholding Judge Shaun Floerkes decision to order an infamous Duluth head shop called Last Place on Earth to close its doors last summer. He shut it down after deeming the shops sale of synthetic drugs a public nuisance."
  • Opinion Text: City of Duluth v. 120 East Superior Street

  • South Dakota
    S.D.: Tribes cast eye to water laws and protecting resource
    Sioux Falls Argus Leader: "At the Indian Water Rights Conference this week in Rapid City, lawyer David Ganje gave a overview of water laws as they relate to tribes and offered recommendations on writing and maintaining successful tribal water codes."
  • Bismarck Tribune/AP: Tribal group pursues water rights
  • S.D. reform goal: Reduce rate of juveniles in custody
    Sioux Falls Argus Leader: "A group of lawmakers hopes to find ways to reduce the number of children in Department of Corrections custody in South Dakota. Jim Seward, general counsel for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, said the group is tasked with finding ways to divert youth away from commitments at the state's juvenile facilities in Custer, Plankinton and Sioux Falls."

    Montana Supreme Court upholds state's milk rule
    Montana State Seal Helena Independent Record: "The Montana Supreme Court on Friday unanimously upheld a lower-court decision supporting the state Board of Livestock's decision to keep its rule providing for a sell-by date for milk of 12 days after pasteurization. The court affirmed a 2013 decision by District Judge Mike Menahan of Helena."
  • Opinion Text: Core-Mark v. Board of Livestock

  • Other States and Jurisdictions
    U.S.: More states push homicide charges in heroin overdoses
    USA Today: "As legislators across the country pass anti-heroin bills and health officials hold community summits, prosecutors in more states are pursuing homicide, and similarly serious charges, against those who provided the deadly doses."
    U.S.: Are opponents of the death penalty contributing to its problems?
    NPR News: "Kevin Cooper was convicted of murdering a married couple and two children, and was sentenced to die.That was back in 1985. Cooper is still awaiting execution on California's death row. San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who is handling the case, blames the long delay on Cooper's multiple appeals in state and federal courts."

    Job Announcements
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for assistant state's attorney for Ward County in Minot has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a United States Magistrate Judge with the U.S. District Court in Fargo has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a Court Reporter with the District Court in Jamestown has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for Chief Judge of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court in Fort Yates has been posted.
    Job Announcement
    A job announcement for a contract attorney with the North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents in Minot has been posted.

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