July 17, 2013

Schmidt, Jacobson appointed as NW District judges

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Robin Schmidt of Watford City, along with Paul Jacobson of Bismarck and Williston, has been appointed by North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple to serve on two newly created district court judge vacancies in North Dakota’s Northwest Judicial District. Schmidt and Jacobson are expected to assume their new positions July 31.
Schmidt, a distinguished graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law, lives in Watford City where she owns and operates Schmidt Law Firm. Prior to establishing the firm, Schmidt worked for the Vogel Law Firm in Fargo and Bismarck for five years. At the Vogel Law Firm and at her Watford City practice, Schmidt focused on several areas of law including family, criminal, and administrative law. She has served as a law clerk for the North Dakota Supreme Court and her undergraduate degree in Social Work will also serve her well on the bench.
“I am honored to be appointed to the Northwest District Judgeship by the Governor,” states Schmidt. “I have been in court a lot the past few years and have witnessed the toll the heavy caseload has had on the judicial system. I look forward to being a part of the solution and am particularly pleased to be appointed to the judgeship in Watford City to serve the community in this new capacity.”
Dalrymple appointed Schmidt to the newly created Northwest Judicial District Judgeship No. 11 to be chambered in Watford City.
“Robin Schmidt and Paul Jacobson are experienced, dedicated attorneys who are highly respected by their peers and I have great confidence they will do an outstanding job serving the citizens of northwest North Dakota,” stated Dalrymple. “Robin and Paul have strong ties to northwest North Dakota, they have excellent legal skills and they are well prepared to help address the district’s increased caseload.”
Jacobson, currently a resident of Bismarck and Williston, has served as assistant disciplinary counsel and disciplinary counsel for the North Dakota Supreme Court and Judicial Conduct Commission for 20 years. Prior to serving the Supreme Court, Jacobson was a partner at the Williston law firm of Bjella, Neff, Rathert, Wahl and Eiken, P.C. where he gained extensive litigation experience in state and federal courts. A military veteran, Jacobson served in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he served as prosecutor and defense counsel between 1974 and 1979.
Jacobson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and earned undergraduate degrees in History and Economics at North Dakota State University.
Dalrymple appointed Jacobson to the newly created Northwest Judicial District Judgeship No. 10, which will be chambered in Williston.
The Northwest Judicial District serves Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail, Ward and Williams counties. Currently, the district consists of five judgeships in Minot and two judgeships in Williston.
Dalrymple recommended and the 2013 Legislature appropriated funding for two additional judgeships to support the northwest district’s increased caseload. The Legislature also created a new judgeship which is yet to be filled for the state’s East Central Judicial District.