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Law clerk Bekker leaving District Court

 

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Law clerk Bekker leaving District Court

Tim Leeds — [email protected]

Another position is coming open in the state District Court in Havre, with law clerk Brian Bekker leaving the position to move into a private practice.

"I need to get out there and try it as a lawyer," Bekker said.

His leaving the position comes just two months before a new judge will be needed, as well. District Judge David Rice will retire on Nov. 30.

The state Judicial Nomination Commission will filter through applications to send a list of three to five possible replacements for Rice to Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who will appoint the judge for the district, which includes Hill, Liberty and Chouteau counties.

That will leave little time for Rice to find a replacement for Bekker. He must wait until the position is open for 30 days before he can advertise it, which will leave him about 30 days to select someone.

The judge position is not something that interests Bekker, at least not at this time in his career.

"I don't have any plans to submit an application to be a judge," he said.

Bekker said he does almost any work imaginable in his position. He researches and writes orders for Rice. He also acts as a special master for Rice, in which he conducts hearings ranging from arraignments in which defendants enter their initial pleas, schedules hearings, holds initial hearings on petitions to revoke suspended or deferred imposition of sentences, and performs other court functions.

Rice said he tends to have Bekker doing more of his researching and writing orders and that kind of work, while he holds most hearings himself.

"I like to get in there and mix it up with people," he said.

"Just about everything I do is writing," Bekker said.

Rice hired Bekker as his law clerk in 2004, one year after he was appointed to his position as district judge. The court had not had a law clerk before that, he said.

"(Brian's) been with me a long time," he added.

Bekker, a Havre native and 1982 Havre High School graduate, attended Northern Montana College, now Montana State University-Northern, then transferred to Montana State University in Bozeman, where he received a bachelor's degree in accounting.

He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He first worked for the IRS in Seattle, then in a judge's office, before returning to Montana to work as a certified public accountant in Great Falls.

He worked for Rice in the Hill County Attorney's Office — Rice was the county attorney before taking office as the judge — while he was studying for the bar exam in Montana to be admitted as an attorney.

Rice said he hopes to go over the list of applicants, working with the person selected to take his position or a short list of applicants, to find a right fit for the Havre office.

He added that Bekker has provided valuable help in the ever-increasing number of cases his court has heard over the last six years.

"Brian stayed and was willing to stay," Rice said. "It's nice he has the opportunity to move on."

Another position is coming open in the state District Court in Havre, with law clerk Brian Bekker leaving the position to move into a private practice.

"I need to get out there and try it as a lawyer," Bekker said.

His leaving the position comes just two months before a new judge will be needed, as well. District Judge David Rice will retire on Nov. 30.

The state Judicial Nomination Commission will filter through applications to send a list of three to five possible replacements for Rice to Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who will appoint the judge for the district, which includes Hill, Liberty and Chouteau counties.

That will leave little time for Rice to find a replacement for Bekker. He must wait until the position is open for 30 days before he can advertise it, which will leave him about 30 days to select someone.

The judge position is not something that interests Bekker, at least not at this time in his career.

"I don't have any plans to submit an application to be a judge," he said.

Bekker said he does almost any work imaginable in his position. He researches and writes orders for Rice. He also acts as a special master for Rice, in which he conducts hearings ranging from arraignments in which defendants enter their initial pleas, schedules hearings, holds initial hearings on petitions to revoke suspended or deferred imposition of sentences, and performs other court functions.

Rice said he tends to have Bekker doing more of his researching and writing orders and that kind of work, while he holds most hearings himself.

"I like to get in there and mix it up with people," he said.

"Just about everything I do is writing," Bekker said.

Rice hired Bekker as his law clerk in 2004, one year after he was appointed to his position as district judge. The court had not had a law clerk before that, he said.

"(Brian's) been with me a long time," he added.

Bekker, a Havre native and 1982 Havre High School graduate, attended Northern Montana College, now Montana State University-Northern, then transferred to Montana State University in Bozeman, where he received a bachelor's degree in accounting.

He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He first worked for the IRS in Seattle, then in a judge's office, before returning to Montana to work as a certified public accountant in Great Falls.

He worked for Rice in the Hill County Attorney's Office — Rice was the county attorney before taking office as the judge — while he was studying for the bar exam in Montana to be admitted as an attorney.

Rice said he hopes to go over the list of applicants, working with the person selected to take his position or a short list of applicants, to find a right fit for the Havre office.

He added that Bekker has provided valuable help in the ever-increasing number of cases his court has heard over the last six years.

"Brian stayed and was willing to stay," Rice said. "It's nice he has the opportunity to move on."

 
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