Tufte Appointed to Southeast Judicial Bench
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today appointed Jerod E. Tufte to the Southeast Judicial District Court bench which serves Barnes, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Griggs, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Stutsman and Wells counties. Tufte replaces John Paulson who has retired after serving more than 30 years on the bench.

Tufte has served as Gov. Dalrymple’s legal counsel for the past four years. A North Dakota native, Tufte is a former Kidder County and Sheridan County state’s attorney. In 2002, he graduated first in his class at Arizona State University College of Law, followed by a federal appeals court clerkship and employment with a large litigation firm in Phoenix. A member of the North Dakota Army National Guard, Maj. Tufte has also served as legal counsel to military commanders and served a tour of duty in Kosovo.

“Jerod Tufte brings a wealth of legal experience to the bench, including his work as a prosecutor, a private-practice litigator and as legal counsel to the governor’s office,” Dalrymple said. “He is an exceptional attorney and his integrity, work ethic, judicial temperament, education and experience will serve the people of the Southeast Judicial District very well.”

As legal counsel, Tufte has advised the governor on a wide range of state issues related to the judicial branch, Native American tribes, the Department of Corrections, North Dakota Highway Patrol as well as other legal and policy matters. Prior to joining the governor’s office staff, Tufte served as the state’s attorney for Kidder and Sheridan counties while also operating a law office in Steele.

After law school, Tufte served as a law clerk with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Sioux Falls, S.D. A clerk to Judge Roger Wollman, Tufte was responsible for legal research and preparing draft opinions for the court. Following his clerkship, Tufte worked for Perkins, Coie, Brown and Bain, a large law firm in Phoenix where he practiced several areas of law including commercial patent litigation for technology companies such as Intel Corporation and Maxim Integrated Products.

Prior to law school, Tufte earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering, graduating with honors from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tufte’s community involvement includes serving as a member of the state’s Criminal Justice Information Sharing Board and past board member of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Robinson. Tufte is an avid runner and has represented North Dakota on its National Guard Marathon Team for the past four years. He and his wife, Mylynn, have three children.

-Jeff Zent, Office of the Governor