BISMARCK, N.D. (July 12, 2017) – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the appointment of Judge Jon Jensen to the North Dakota Supreme Court. Jensen’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Carol Kapsner. Kapsner, who has served since Nov. 2, 1998, announced her resignation in April after nearly 18 years on the state’s highest court.
“Judge Jensen brings a wealth of private sector, public sector, legal and judicial experience,” said Burgum. “His intellect, temperament, listening ability and understanding of the law, along with an exemplary track record as a district judge, make him a terrific addition to our state’s highest court.”
Judge Jensen was chosen by his peers as the presiding judge for the Northeast Central Judicial District in 2013. Under his leadership, the district has nearly eliminated a significant case backlog through automating and streamlining court processes resulting in swifter outcomes and lower legal costs for citizens. These improvements were achieved during a time of budget and staff reductions, demonstrating that effective government often can do more with less.
Prior to his judicial appointment by then-Gov. Dalrymple, Jensen and his wife, Linda Bata, were partners in a Grand Forks law firm where they focused on taxation law, business law and estate planning. Jensen also practiced law at Pearson Christensen, PLLP in Grand Forks for 21 years, including civil litigation and criminal defense.
A certified public accountant and attorney, Jensen has served as a hearing officer and an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Dakota School of Law where he has instructed on trial advocacy and guest lectured on income tax law, corporate and partnership tax and estate and gift tax. Best Lawyers in America has recognized Jensen for his expertise in taxation and commercial litigation numerous times.
Jensen also has served as a special assistant to the North Dakota Attorney General for matters involving the North Dakota Department of Transportation, the Public Service Commission, North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota and the State Board of Higher Education.
He earned his law degree with distinction from the University of North Dakota School of Law and a B.S. degree in accounting from Minnesota State University Mankato. After earning his degrees, Jensen served as a law clerk in 1990 for North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Ralph Erickstad. He is the former president of the Grand Forks County Bar Association and past chairman of the North Dakota CPA Taxation Committee.
Jensen's community involvement includes serving as the Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America-Northern Lights Council District, director of Red River Runners, former member of the Grand Forks Public Library Board of Directors and former youth soccer coach.
Jensen will serve a minimum of two years before the general election, which occurs in November 2020, at which time he must run for a new term pursuant to Article VI, Section 13 of the North Dakota Constitution.