Governor Doug Burgum has appointed Charles “Chas” Neff Jr. to a judgeship in the Northwest Judicial District.

Neff has served as a staff attorney for the Northwest Judicial District Court since May 2020, assisting judges with research and drafting orders and opinions on a variety of topics including criminal motions, oil and gas matters, administrative appeals and complex civil pre-trial motions, in addition to providing trial assistance.



He previously served as the McKenzie County state’s attorney in Watford City in 2017 and 2018 and as an assistant state’s attorney from 2014 to 2017, prosecuting over 3,000 criminal cases, 23 jury trials, and advising the County Commission on legal matters. He also spent seven years as a reference staff attorney and consultant for the legal research platform Westlaw at Thomson Reuters in Eagan, Minn., and worked for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations during the 61st General Assembly.

Neff was born and raised in central Minnesota. He is a graduate of Shanley High School in Fargo and Cardinal Muench High School Seminary. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from North Dakota State University in Fargo and his law degree in 2006 from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in the Twin Cities.

Neff is a member of the Upper Missouri Bar Association and the Long X Arts Foundation and has officiated several sports at the high school and collegiate levels. He will fill the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Paul W. Jacobson. Two attorneys were named as finalists to fill the vacancy for the judgeship, which is chambered in Williston.

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