North Dakota Law

Updates from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

President Trump nominates Devils Lake attorney for ND federal judgeship

President Donald Trump has nominated Devils Lake attorney Daniel Traynor to succeed federal Judge Daniel Hovland.

Traynor is a shareholder in the Traynor Law Firm in Devils Lake, where he practices insurance defense, personal injury, business litigation and American Indian law. He also has served on North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education since 2018.

He earned his bachelor’s of arts from the University of North Dakota and his juris doctor with distinction in 1997 from UND’s School of Law.

“I am honored to be nominated to this position of public service by President Trump, and I thank my friends — Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven — for encouraging me to seek it,” Traynor said in a statement.

“They are acting quickly to fill this judgeship because they understand the urgent need for a fully-functioning federal court system in North Dakota, which is still dealing with the impacts of the oil boom and pipeline protests,” he said.

Hovland, who is based in Bismarck, said in December that he plans to entire semiretirement, or “senior status.” He has served as a federal judge for the U.S. District of North Dakota since 2002.

Traynor’s nomination will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The full Senate must vote to confirm him. Federal judges are appointed for life terms.

North Dakota’s federal bench has seen some turnover in recent years. In February, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter succeeded U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Miller Jr., who retired in November 2018.

Earlier this month, former Grand Forks County State’s Attorney Peter Welte succeeded former Judge Ralph Erickson, who was based in Fargo and was appointed to serve on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Original story – Bismarck Tribune, August 29, 2019