A few of my Facebook fans recently asked me these questions:
â€œIs the North Dakota Capitol building the tallest Capitol in the nation?â€
â€œIs it an old wivesâ€™ tale that there can be no other building built taller than the North Dakota Capitol building in the state?â€
I turned to the State Historical Society of North Dakota for some answers. Hereâ€™s what Jim Davis, head of reference services, said:
â€œThe Louisiana state Capitol is taller, and the North Dakota Capitol building was actually based on that in Louisiana and Nebraska.
â€œThere is no law in North Dakota concerning the height of buildings taller than the Capitol, even in Bismarck. The only reason that buildings arenâ€™t built as high is that there is no lack of space to build as there is in larger cities.â€
A Grand Forks reader sent me the following:
â€œMy daughter was awarded money due to a car accident. Her lawyer kept the award money.
â€œMinnesota requires lawyers to be bonded in Minnesota. North Dakota doesnâ€™t make lawyers be bonded. My daughter got nothing. My daughter canâ€™t work, and it has cost me many dollars for medical expenses.
â€œMy questions: Why arenâ€™t lawyers in North Dakota required to be bonded? Why didnâ€™t the courts award North Dakota victim money?â€
I talked to Tim Groshens of the Minnesota State Bar Association, who said lawyers are not required to be bonded in Minnesota.
â€œThere is a client security fund board in Minnesota that in some instances, not every but in some instances, will reimburse the client where the loss has been the result of a lawyerâ€™s theft.â€
I also talked to State Bar Association of North Dakota Executive Director Bill Neumann. Hereâ€™s what he said:
â€œBonding isnâ€™t a practical solution because all that would happen then is lawyers would pass the cost of the bond on to the client as an expense.
â€œLike Minnesota, North Dakota has a client protection fund that can reimburse part or all of a clientâ€™s loss in those rare cases where embezzlement occurs.
â€œEvery lawyer licensed in North Dakota pays in $16 every year to build the fund.
â€œRight now, the amount that can be paid to any one client canâ€™t exceed $25,000, but our goal is to build a client protection fund balance of $500,000.Â If and when we get there, my recommendation to the association will be to keep building the fund and raise the limits.â€
If you think you qualify for the fund, you can call Neumann at (701) 255-1404 or e-mail him at email@example.com. The fund is limited to embezzlement cases.
Do you have a question for a state government official or agency? Send us your question, and weâ€™ll do our best to find an answer.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Ask your government).
You may also write to Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, N.D. 58505.
Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.