You are on page 1of 4



Paid Sorom, Marvin 'Nelson, Michael Court File No. : 09-20I8-GV-00089

Coaefaman,CharlesTuttle and LisaMarie
Omlld, eachon belialfof themselves and all
other similarly situated tax payersofthe State
ofNorth Dakota,



1'he State ofNorth Dakota, The Boardof COSTS AND SERVICE AWARD
University andSchool Landsofthe Stateof
NorthDakota, TheNorth Dakota Industrial
Commission. The Hon. DouglasBurgum, in
hisofficial capacityasGovemoroftheStateof
North Dakota, and the lion. Wayne Stenehjem,
in his official capacity as Attorney ©eneratof
North Dakota,


) ss.

Marvin Nelson, being first duly sworn, states iiadfir oath as foltows;

1. I swear and affirm iipon penalty of perjluy the statements made in this Affidavit

are troe andcorrectto the bestofmy personal knowledge,infonnatiQn,andbelief.

2. I am a Plaintiff in this ffiatter and a legislator in the North Dakota House of


3. As a legislator, I participatedin the hearings on Senate Bill 2134, whichbecame

N.D.C. C. §61-33. 1 (the "Act"};

26481. 00UI-4126048J
4. After passage of the Act, I spoke with North Dakota attorneys about challenging

its constitutionality. Fintan Dooley agreed to represent Plaintiffs, but we needed a firm wiA

more resources thM. a solo practitioner. I spoke with other North Dakota attorneys at finns

based in North Dakota that potentially had the resources required for a case ofthis magnitude. I

learned thai locally based attorneys did not have the resources or did not want to become

involved in such a politically chargedcsse a this one, and that most firms would have actual or

perceived conflicts of interest due to their representetion of landowners affected by the Act,

representationofoil coinpanies,or associationswith the defendants.

5. I then approachedTerry Moore, becausehe is a North Dakotalicensedattorney at

a large Minneapolis firm, Hellmudi & Johnson, PLI-C, with the resources to take this case. He

agreed to represent Plaintiffs, along witii Fintan Dooley. Hellmirth & Johnson has several

attorneys licensed in North Bakota with the experience necessary to prosecute a case like tfcls

tot would be defended by a team of government paid attorneys and special assistant Attorneys


6. I put significant time into assisting cQunsel with the prosecution of this case,

including flie followmg categories ofasststance:

. I conducted ail invesdgation using the Wenck Report, North Dakota government

databases aiid other information to prepare map exhibits that compare the

historical river high water mark to the existing and that established by Wenck;

. I performed research into historical legislative eecoi'ds pertaining to Senate Bil}

2134, navigable waters, title to beds of navigable waters, ordinary faigh water

marks, mid standards for surveying.

. I reviewed, approved and provided factual materials for all pleadings, affidavits
and briefs in this matter;

. I partieipatoti in numerous strategy conferenceswith counsel:

. I traveled to and attended hearings;

» I assisted with drafting press releases: and

. I participated in numeroustelephoneconferenceswMi co-Plaintififs.

7. Intotal, I expended in excess of215 hours assisting my attorneys with thisease.

8. As expected. I was attacked in the media for being a Plaintiff in this case.

Plaintiffs were disparaged in The Cmde Life Network, Say Anythiiig Blog, Williston Herald,

Bismarck Tribune, and Minot Daily News. We were called thieves. We were accused of using

"dark money" to hurt North Dakota. We also had to explain our ease to numerous people

questiomng our motives and character. We were also accused of using the lawsuit to merely
harassmineral owiierswith pendinglawsuits.

9. I experienced additional hardship as a result of volunteering to be plaintiff in this

case and to protect State assets from imconstitutional I received phone calls

attacking and insulting me. One caller from Oklahoma even said she prayed that we would lose

the case. Numerous people confronted and disparaged me in public. Inshort, I became p^wwa

mfngrstawdsmno longer mvited to wrtain group meefings and events.

10. I also experienced hardship as a North Dakota House Representative.

Representative Porter blocked me from serving on the Natural Resources House Committee " a

committee chosen for me by my caucus. No other House Representative was blocked from their
chosen committees. Rep. Mary Jofanson also improptfrty questioned me about the lawsuit on the

Housefloor duringdebateon an unrelatedbill.

11. The Attorney General also refused to provide me with public Industrial
Commission records, because he is a named defendant in thiscase. I was legally entitled to the
open records, but he stated that I could only get them torough discovery -- which wasn't allowed
in this case.


Marvin Nelson

Subscribedand swornto before me

:this i^day of ^ ^[^ 2019 HEmBUwy
:^; l
Notary Pa lie
Corruriisiw '@sMw.'~21 2023