Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed a Bismarck attorney to replace a retiring, longtime district judge.
The governor's office on Friday announced Bobbi Weiler's appointment, effective March 17. She succeeds South Central District Judge Gail Hagerty, who is retiring March 16 to focus on ministry. Her chambers will be in Bismarck.
Weiler, 36, said she is excited to start and has desired to be a judge since she mentored with former South Central District Judge Burt Riskedahl as a student at the University of Mary.
"I think I have some interesting ideas that I think can benefit the community," Weiler told the Tribune.
She was one of four finalists for the position, which drew eight applicants. She has been in private practice since 2010 and a partner for the last nine years with the Bismarck law firm of Jackson, Thomason & Weiler P.C.
Her practice is focused on family and criminal law. She represents clients who struggle with financial, behavioral health and substance abuse issues. She also has provided representation to pro bono clients through the State Bar Association of North Dakota and is a mock trial coach for students at Bismarck's Legacy High School.
Weiler has a bachelor's degree in social and behavioral sciences from the University of Mary. She graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University in Lansing, where she also was editor-in-chief of the law review.
Hagerty's six-year term ends Dec. 31, 2020. She is a former Burleigh County state's attorney and was a Burleigh County judge from 1987 to 1994. She has been a district court judge since 1995, after the Legislature changed the structure of the state's court system, and presiding judge of the South Central Judicial District since 2004.
Weiler will serve for two years, and plans to run for election in 2022.
The South Central Judicial District comprises Burleigh, Morton, Emmons, Grant, McLean, Mercer, Oliver, Sheridan and Sioux counties.
The district is the busiest in North Dakota and has had a shortage of two to three judges since at least 2009, based on weighted caseload studies. The 2019 Legislature added a 10th judge to the district.
South Central District Judge Thomas Schneider has said he won't seek reelection in 2020. He has been a judge since 1986.
Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or email@example.com.
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