Daniel El-Dweek, '06, Sworn in as Northwest Judicial District Judge

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School of Law


The oil industry may be slowing down, but the caseload for Northwest Judicial District judges isn't.

There are three district judges in Williams County and one in McKenzie County. Wednesday, one was added to the list.

With more people than seats available, the McKenzie County courthouse felt more like game seven of the World Series than investiture. Daniel El-Dweek was sworn in as a Northwest Judicial District judge.

"I really always respected the process. There are a lot of judges I look up to and I admire how they did and what they did. I thought it would be very interesting opportunity to emulate what they have done," El-Dweek said.

Many dignitaries and Supreme Court justices were present for the ceremony. District Court Judge David Nelson presided over the ceremony. Prior to accepting the judgeship, El-Dweek supervised the Williston Public Defender's office. During his interview, he impressed state and judicial officials.

"You have a very clear and obvious personal regard for service. And I think that came through very much in your interviewing process. I want to commend you for that because everyone that is involved in it knows those qualities will serve you very very well," said Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley.

When this year ends, McKenzie County judges will have presided over more than 12,000 cases. With only Judge Robin Schmidt holding down the fort, the presence of El-Dweek will help ease the load.

"It only makes sense that the courthouse needs to expand along with the police force," said Bill Tinnes, Watford City resident.

El-Dweek graduated from the University of North Dakota School of law in 2006. He has also spent time in Minnesota and South Dakota.

"It's an amazing opportunity. I'm very humbled that I was chosen by the governor and I look forward to serving the people of the state in this capacity," El-Dweek said.