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Governor appoints two judges for Oil Patch

BISMARCK -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple has appointed attorneys Robin Schmidt and Paul Jacobson to serve as new district court judges in northwest North Dakota.

The two judgeships were created by the state Legislature to help address the increased caseload in the Oil Patch. They are expected to start July 31.

"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," Dalrymple said in an issued statement.

Schmidt, a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law, will be chambered in Watford City, where she lives and owns Schmidt Law Firm. Prior to establishing the firm, Schmidt worked for the Vogel Law Firm in Fargo and Bismarck for five years, the release said.

Jacobson, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School with his undergraduate degree in history and economics from North Dakota State University, will be chambered in Williston. He lives in Bismarck and Williston, and 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.

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.

The Legislature also created a new judgeship for the state's East Central Judicial District in Fargo. It has yet to be filled.