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Judge Kermit Bye (U.S. Ct. of Appeals for 8th Cir.)

On this day in 1937, Judge Kermit Bye was born in a railroad section house during a blizzard in the small town of Hatton, ND.  After Bye graduated the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1962, he began his career as Deputy Security Commissioner for the State of North Dakota which was a position he held until 1964.  From 1964 to 1966, Bye served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of North Dakota.  From 1966 to 1968, Bye served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota.  In 1968, Bye entered private practice by joining a large law firm in Fargo, ND.  Bye was named President of the law firm in 1981 which was a position he held until 2000.  During his years in private practice, Bye also served as President of the North Dakota Bar Association and on the North Dakota Bar Association Board of Governors.  On April 22, 1999, Kermit Bye was nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton to serve as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Bye took the seat of Judge John Kelly, who had just been appointed to the 8th Circuit a few months before and had been a longtime law partner of Bye.  Judge Bye, who is now 77, was confirmed on March 9, 2000 and remains a Judge on this Court as of the date of this posting.  Judge Bye's story is a classic "small town boy makes good" story--now who couldn't love that story.  

UPDATE:  Since this post was originally posted, Judge Kermit Bye took senior status with the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on April 22, 2015, after 15 years of active service with that Court.  He remains active as a senior status judge as of this updated post. (April, 2016)

UPDATE:   Since the last update, Judge Kermit Bye fully retired from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on September 1, 2016.  Interesting, as of the date of this update, his seat remains vacant even though it could have been filled when he took senior status in 2015.  Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl, who is an Assistant U.S. Attorney from Fargo, ND and was a year behind me at the UND School of Law, was nominated by President Barack Obama, but the U.S. Senate never confirmed her appointment and it lapsed when his term ended.  As of the date of this update, President Donald Trump has not nominated a replacement. (March, 2017).



Larry J. Richards, Attorney at Law
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Grand Forks, N.D. 58203

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