Dalrymple appoints Don Hager, '86 & Lolita Romanick to fill NEC Judge Vacancies

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School of Law


BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today appointed Grand Forks attorney Lolita Romanick and Larimore attorney Donald Hager to the Northeast Central Judicial District Court bench. Romanick replaces Karen Braaten who passed away in October and Hager replaces Sonja Clapp who resigned earlier this month.

"Lolita and Donald are dedicated and highly-qualified attorneys who are well respected by their peers," Dalrymple said. "Their integrity and extensive experience will be a great asset to the Northeast Central Judicial District. I am confident they will both bring to the bench the same sense of fairness and respect for the law that has defined their careers."

Romanick has worked as an attorney with the Morley Law Firm in Grand Forks since 1999, with a practice emphasis in insurance defense, employment, personal injury, workers compensation and general litigation. Previously, she worked for American West Insurance Company in Grand Forks and McGee, Hankla, Backes and Wheeler in Minot, where she practiced estate planning, probate, and elder, administrative and family law.

Romanick served as president of North Dakota Defense Lawyers and is currently a state representative for the Defense Research Institute. She is an active member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota, currently serving on the Member Services Committee and as a mentor to new lawyers. She is a member of the Grand Forks County Bar Association and currently serves on the Membership Committee for the American Inns of Court, Randy Lee Chapter. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota (UND) and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Hager has been self-employed since 1986, owning and operating Don Hager Law Office in Larimore. He worked as Larimore's city attorney and prosecutor for 13 years, and city attorney for 15 municipalities and governmental subdivisions, including townships and rural water districts. He served as the indigent defense attorney for Grand Forks County and the City of Grand Forks, and in 2003, was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for the Bank of N.D. by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

In addition to his legal practice, Hager taught accounting, tax, business law and management courses for over 20 years as a tenured staff member at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. He also taught similar courses at Park University on the Grand Forks Air Force Base and for the University of Mary at its Grand Forks location. He is a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota and the Grand Forks County Bar Association, and is active in various local charities, volunteering and providing no-fee legal services. He received his undergraduate degree from Mayville State University and his Juris Doctorate from the UND School of Law.

The Northeast Central Judicial District serves Grand Forks and Nelson counties. Both Romanick and Hager will begin serving on the bench in January.