John Grinsteiner, '98, Invested as South Central Judicial District Judge

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News Article

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School of Law


When South Central District Court Judge Bruce Romanick formally presented John Grinsteiner with his judicial robe, Romanick couldn't help but reference the more than a decade in which Grinsteiner had already worn it.

"We're kind of cheap, so we're giving him the same robe he had as a judicial referee," Romanick joked.

But as Grinsteiner donned the familiar robe, it was invested with new power, as North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle and North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley reminded him.

"Judge Grinsteiner moves from a somewhat limited role as a jurist to a district judge," VandeWalle said.

Wrigley added, "Let's be honest, there's a sacred responsibility with judges."

Grinsteiner's formal investiture on Friday afternoon marked the beginning of his tenure as the ninth judge of the South Central District Court, one of four new judge positions created to handle North Dakota's skyrocketing caseload.

Grinsteiner previously served as a judicial referee, specializing in juvenile drug court cases.

In his prepared remarks, the newly enrobed judge thanked his mentors, teachers, friends, co-workers and family members for the support they've given him through the years. He thanked his wife last, for some "wise advice" she gave him shortly after he first accepted his job as a judicial referee in 2003.

"Don't let it go to your head," she said, as Grinsteiner recalled.

Burleigh County Senior Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Nesvig said in an interview following the investiture that she has been selected to replace Grinsteiner as judicial referee, with a start date of Oct. 5.