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Four finalists named for Bismarck-based judgeship

Four finalists named for Bismarck-based judgeship

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The Burleigh County Courthouse is located in downtown Bismarck on Thayer Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets.

North Dakota's Judicial Nominating Committee has chosen four finalists for Gov. Doug Burgum's consideration to fill a Bismarck-area judgeship.

The committee on Tuesday selected the following attorneys as finalists:

  • Mercer County State's Attorney Jessica Binder
  • Bismarck attorney Paul Myerchin
  • North Dakota Solicitor General Matthew Sagsveen
  • Bismarck attorney Bobbi Weiler

Eight attorneys applied to succeed Judge Gail Hagerty, who is resigning March 16 to focus on ministry work. She has been a judge since 1987.

8 attorneys apply for Bismarck-based judgeship
South Central District Judge Gail Hagerty to resign in mid-March

The North Dakota Supreme Court last month decided that the judgeship should remain where it is currently chambered, in Bismarck. The judgeship is one of 10 in North Dakota's South Central Judicial District, which comprises Burleigh, Morton, Emmons, Grant, Mercer, McLean, Oliver, Sioux and Sheridan counties.

Burgum has 30 days to appoint one of the finalists, reconvene the committee or call a special election.

Hagerty's six-year term ends Dec. 31, 2020. Her successor will have to run for election.

The South Central Judicial 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 jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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