Judge Wade L. Webb Serves as 2013 Rodney S. Webb Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence
The UND School of Law was privileged to welcome The Honorable Wade L. Webb, District Judge of the East Central Judicial District, as the University of North Dakota School of Law's 2013 Rodney S. Webb Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence. Judge Webb visited the Law School from February 27-28.
Judge Webb's two-day visit at the School of Law last week began with a live criminal hearing in a misdemeanor case, State of North Dakota v. Joseph William Morken, 09-2012-CR-04528. Judge Webb made special arrangements to have the Cass County case held the Law School's Baker Courtroom so students could observe an actual hearing. Students were able to watch a hearing on a motion to suppress, a change of plea, and sentencing—all in the same case. The attorneys involved, along with Judge Webb, then spoke candidly with the students about the charges, strategies in pleading the case, and strengths and weaknesses in the facts and law from both sides.
During the second day of his residency, Judge Webb delivered a public lecture titled "The Practice of Life and the Law – How are you going to get your kicks?" The lecture incorporated several pieces of advice his father gave to him from childhood through his career as a lawyer and judge. It was a student-centered presentation on bringing personal values to bear on a lawyer's career. In addition to the two public events, Judge Webb served as guest lecturer in both the Federal Courts and Conflict of Law classes, and met individually with students and student groups.
The Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence Program was established in 2007 to bring outstanding judges to the UND School of Law for an extended visit with our law school community. The inaugural jurist in 2007 was the late Rodney S. Webb, United States District Judge for the District of North Dakota. Through the encouragement and financial contributions of UND Law alumni Mark Bring and Paul Noah along with other generous gifts from Rodney Webb's former law clerks, including the establishment of a permanent endowment by UND Law alumna Sara K. Sorenson, the program has been permanently named in his honor. The Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence program provides a unique and varied opportunity to learn about the bench and adds greatly to the law school experience of our students, faculty and staff.
Biography of The Honorable Wade L. Webb
The Honorable Wade L. Webb was born in 1970, in Grafton, ND, the son of Hon. Rodney and Betty Webb. He graduated from Oak Grove Lutheran School, Fargo, ND, where he earned all-conference honors in basketball. Webb earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, in 1992. In 1995, Webb earned his Juris Doctor, with distinction from the University of North Dakota School of Law.
Upon his graduation from law school, Webb served as law clerk for the Seventh Judicial District Court of Minnesota. From 1996 to 2003, he served as Cass County Assistant State's Attorney, leading the Personal Crimes Team. During that time, Webb was active in promoting awareness and prevention of sexual and domestic abuse. He was on the board of directors of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center board, a member of the Cass County Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Committee and he served on the Southeast Services Center Sexual Abuse Treatment Program advisory board, as well as other community and statewide organizations.
Former North Dakota Governor John Hoeven appointed Webb District Judge of the East Central Judicial District in May 2003. When appointed, Webb was believed to be the youngest district judge in the nation. At the time of his appointment, Hoeven said, "Wade balances a great respect for law enforcement, a judicious approach to prosecution and a sense of fairness and concern for victims. He has the respect of the law enforcement and business communities, and is the right person at the right time." He has since been elected in 2006 and 2008. May of 2013 will mark his tenth year of service on the bench.
In addition to his regular duties and caseload, Webb serves or served in his professional capacity in other manners. He was a member and past chair of the North Dakota Pattern Jury Instruction Committee and has served as a Juvenile Drug Court Judge in the East Central Judicial District since 2003. He is active in the American Bar Association, the State Bar Association of North Dakota, the North Dakota Bar Foundation, a member and past President of the Cass County Bar Association, and a past President of the Ronald N. Davies Inn of Court.
He is active in his community as well through work as a Councilman with Hope Lutheran Church, Fargo Kiwanis, Concordia College C-400 Club and Fargo Sons of Norway. He is a Fellow of the University of North Dakota, an advisor to the UND Law School Building committee, a member of the Oak Grove Lutheran School Board of Regents and a past member and President of the Concordia College National Alumni Board.
Webb and his wife, Linn M. Webb, have three children Nicholas Lykken Webb, Thomas Rodney Webb, and Becca Babe Webb.
The full schedule of events included:
Wednesday, Feb 27
3:15 p.m – Live hearing: State of North Dakota v. Joseph William Morken, 09-2012-CR-04528
Q & A with attorneys and judge to follow – Baker Courtroom
6:00 p.m. - Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence Honorary Dinner, Gorecki Alumni Center
Thursday, Feb 28
9:30 a.m. - Guest Lecture, Federal Courts Class
10:40 a.m. - Guest Lecture, Conflict of Laws Class
Noon - Luncheon with UND Trial Team
3:00 p.m. - Public Lecture – "The Practice of Life and the Law – How are you going to get your kicks?" Baker Courtroom - Reception to follow