Served as U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota for 30 years, from January 1985 until January 2015.
Appointed as Chief Magistrate Judge in 1993.
Began legal career as law clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge Paul Benson in Fargo, ND from 1977-1979.
Practiced law in Fargo from 1979-1985.
Established mediation as a part of the federal district court’s civil case management in 1985 and became one of the first judges/lawyers in North Dakota to mediate civil disputes.
Successfully mediated thousands of legal disputes as a judge.
In addition to judicial mediation, served as trial judge and pretrial case manager.
Well known regionally, nationally and internationally as a settlement expert.
Mediation experience covers a wide range of cases, including:
Contracts/business disputes, personal injury, product liability, professional malpractice, insurance coverage, oil and gas leases/royalties, employment/labor, intellectual property, environmental/CERCLA, employment benefits/ERISA, civil rights, whistleblower/qui tam actions and class actions.
Lead faculty member for Federal Judicial Center Mediation Skills Workshop for Federal Judges (annually 1999-2015)
Faculty member for settlement segment of Federal Judicial Center Orientation Programs for Newly Appointed Magistrate Judges (3 times annually 1998-2015)
Presenter at American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Annual Conference (2011)
Faculty for mediation skills programs for Judges in Poland (Eastern EU Judges), Jordan, India and Malaysia (2003-2010)
Faculty at seminars on mediation skills for North Dakota State Judges and Virginia State Judges (1995-2005)
Annual guest lecturer at University of North Dakota School of Law on representing clients in settlement (approx. 2000-2014)
Former Chair, State Bar Association of North Dakota Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
Former President, Federal Magistrate Judges Association
Former Board Member, Federal Judicial Center (appointed by Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court)
Former Chair, Federal Judicial Center Advisory Committee on Magistrate Judge Education (appointed by Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court)
Former Member, U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Information and Technology (appointed by Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court)
Former Member, U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Administration of the Magistrate Judges System (appointed by Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court)
Former Chair, Civil Justice Reform Panel, U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
Former President, Ronald N. Davies Inn of Court
Former Member, North Dakota Judiciary Standards Committee (appointed by Chief Justice, N.D. Supreme Court)
Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
Member, American Arbitration Association Neutrals Panel
Federal Magistrate Judges Association Founders Award (2014)
University of North Dakota Law Women’s Caucus Professionalism Award (2014)