The Men and Women in Black

As an attorney, it would be impossible to determine how many court appearances I have made. The number certainly runs well into the thousands. Why so many? When I worked as a contract public defender, I appeared in court almost daily for weeks on end, many times with multiple hearings in a day. Even today, I appear regularly in Court about two or three times a week.

While determining the number of court appearances may not be possible, I do have the power to recall who (i.e. which judges) I have appeared before. By appearances, I don’t mean “on paper”–which are motions, ect. sent to the judge who reviews them in chambers without anyone physically appearing before him–I have sent those all over the State and have no way of determining that. However, my power of recollection can tell you if I appeared before a particular judge or not. Obviously, the vast majority of appearances happened in Grand Forks County, but certainly not all. Here are the numbers as of the date of this post:

U.S. Ct. of Appeals–3 Judges

U.S. Federal Judges (incl. Full, Magistrate, Bankruptcy)—6 Judges

N.D. Supreme Court–7 Justices

State District Court (incl. Full-time and Surrogates)—23 Judges

State Judicial Referees/Magistrates–5

Here is a question–Which Judge have you appeared the most in front of?

Like the number of court appearances, it is impossible to say with absolute certainty. However, I am about 90% certain that the honor belongs to now-retired Judge Joel D. Medd. For whatever reason, I always ended up in the man’s courtroom. Call it luck or a curse. Even when he was acting as a Surrogate Judge, I always ended up in front of him. However, it has been over 18 months since I last appeared before Judge Medd, but we have judicial vacancy coming up—-so I might be seeing him again. Congrats on the “honor”, your Honor.