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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics & Government- #11145

Title: Robert Vogel

Dates: 1929-2002

Collection Number: 11145

Quantity: 3 feet

Abstract: Papers consist of the working files of Robert Vogel, which focus on William Langer and the NPL for Vogel’s 2004 book Unequal Contest: Bill Langer and his Political Enemies, but also include laws, court cases, and miscellaneous topics. Files contain a combination of research materials, copies of primary and secondary sources, writings, and notes by Vogel. The original order as created by Vogel was retained. Dates noted for each folder reflect the dates that Vogel collected and used the material, not the creation date of the original source material. Collection includes the files of Robert’s father Frank A. Vogel which cover NPL, political material and Langer.

Provenance: The records were donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Sarah Vogel, Robert Vogel’s daughter, in February 2013.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.   

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections:
MSS 10721 Sarah Vogel Papers


Justice Robert Vogel was born in Coleharbor, North Dakota, on December 6, 1918 to Frank A. and Louella Larsen Vogel. He received his B.S. degree from the University of North Dakota in 1939 and his law degree from Minneapolis-Minnesota College of Law in 1942. He was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1942 and the North Dakota Bar in 1943. He practiced law in Garrison from 1943 to 1954. During that time, he served as McLean County State's Attorney for five years. From 1954 to 1961 he served as United States Attorney in Fargo, and practiced in Mandan from 1961 to 1973. In 1973 he was appointed to the Supreme Court, and in 1974 he was elected to finish Justice Strutz's ten-year term. Justice Vogel served five years and two and one-half months before resigning from the Supreme Court. After his resignation, he joined the staff of the University of North Dakota School of Law as a professor and established the Vogel Law Firm in Grand Forks. Justice Vogel died January 28, 2005, at age 86.

"Robert Vogel, Justice of the Supreme Court 1973-1978." Biographical Sketches of the North Dakota District Court Judges. North Dakota Supreme Court. Accessed 19 February 2013.

MSS 11145, Box 1, Folder 6

Born in Coleharbor, a small town between Minot and Bismarck. Went through the grades there. Family moved to Bismarck, and I went through high school there, 1931-35. Graduated from UND with a degree in Commerce with a dual degree in prelaw and public administration (including one year of law). Went to night law school in Minneapolis while working in a bank trust department. Married there, have four children, one is Sarah Vogel, Ag. commissioner; Mary Carrick teaches potential dropouts in Mandan; Frank teaches Arabic Law at Harvard Law School; Bobby, wheelchair bound, is an advocate for the handicapped in Grand Forks.

I was admitted to Minnesota bar 1941 and North Dakota bar 1942, when we moved to Garrison, where I opened a solo practice 40 miles from the nearest lawyer. Practiced general law there, but came to specialize in representing plaintiffs, mainly in personal injury cases.

Elected State's Attorney of McLean County in 1948, acted as such during most of the construction of the Garrison Dam, finding out that I got part time pay for a work week of 40 hours, and continued my private practice in another 30 hours a week. I was appointed United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota in 1954, moved to Fargo and was U. S. Attorney for 7 years, including trying the longest case ever tried in North Dakota (4 % months), and then I joined a law firm in Mandan (now the Bair firm) and practiced mostly plaintiff's law there for 12 years from 1961 to 1973, also serving 6 years on the State parole board during that time.

In 1973 I was appointed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, and elected the next year to a 10 year term. I served a little over 3 and 1/2 years of that term (a total of 5 years) and resigned in 1978 and became a law professor at the University of North Dakota Law School, where I taught several years full time and then part time (teaching mostly trial and appellate practice) until retiring, but practicing law in my own office (now Robert Vogel Law Office, P. C., a firm of four lawyers.) I am now substantially retired, but continue to keep up on the current law literature.
I have tried more than 100, perhaps closer to 200, jury trials, and many hundreds of trials to a judge. They include many wrongful death cases. At one time in the late 1970s or early 1980s I obtained what was then the highest jury verdict up to that time for wrongful death of a teen ager, $65,000. Since then jury verdicts have gone up, at least as much as inflation, to more than double what they were then. A few years later, Kenneth Moran got a higher verdict, but it was reversed on appeal.

I have lectured many times to Bar seminars, and once to the national association of Attorneys General, and am a member of several honorary societies, including the American Law Institute, American Bar Foundation, and others. I have written several articles for the Practical Lawyer, and the North Dakota Law Review. I am admitted to the North Dakota, Minnesota, Eighth Circuit and United States Supreme Court bars, and have handled, I suppose, near 100 appeals to various appellate courts, as well as writing about 200 opinions on the North Dakota Supreme Court.

I have practiced law for more than 50 years. Aside from the 12 years I spent as Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court and United States Attorney, most of my time was spent as a trial lawyer, mainly for plaintiffs and mainly personal injury and, more recently, medical and legal malpractice, for plaintiffs.

I have testified as an expert witness in several legal malpractice cases, both for and against the lawyers charged with malpractice.


Box 1:
1 North Dakota Council of Defense, 1995-1998
2 Minnesota materials, 1994-1998
3 Minnesota materials (continued)
4 NPL and Leader, 1995-1997
5 “North Dakota Supreme Court” (reminiscences), 1989 and 1993
6 Notes and drafts on a variety of laws and cases and miscellaneous (curriculum vitae, list of cases Vogel tried, stories of law practice), 1993-1996
7 A. C. Townley, 1994-1996
8 Bill of Rights Committee (correspondence from Jane F. S.), n.d.
9 Huey Long, n.d.
10 John Moses and P. H. Costello correspondence (1934-1944), 1992
11 Department of Justice (Langer) papers, 1997
12 Material from Hyde Park and other archives, 1993
13 Congressional records on Langer Seating, conclusions from Senate Hearings, 1994, 1996
14 Statutes, n.d.
15 Directory indexes, 1990-1994
16 Encyclopedia entries, 1993-1997
17 Langer perjury trial, ca. 1993
18 Charge to Jury: Trial #1
19 Robert Vogel: Speeches, articles, clippings, 1966-1995
20 Robert Vogel: Speeches, articles, clippings, 1966-1995
21 Robert Vogel: Speeches, articles, clippings, 1966-1995
22 Press (Langer trial), 1996
23 Speech, Theodore Roosevelt, n.d.
24 The Attempt to Unseat Langer: the Testimony, 1995-1996
25 The Attempt to Unseat Langer: the Testimony from Witnesses other than Langer, the Affidavits, 1991
26 Frank A. Vogel’s clippings concerning the NPL
27 Plan and outline for book, 1992
28 Certificates, 1945-1967
29 Letters to the editor, correspondence, speeches, 1989-1999                
30 Notes and drafts for book sections, 1991-1996
31 World War I and Midwest, 1993-2002
32 Senate index, 1996
33 Archives notes, Lanier records, UND and Bismarck High School Reunions, 1985-1999
34 Frank A. Vogel’s collection of election returns information, 1938 and 1948
35 Minnesota trials correspondence, 1991-1993

Box 2:
1 William Lemke, 1993-1994
2 E. F. Ladd articles, n.d.
3 Judge Miller, 1986-1987
4 Introduction drafts and cast of characters, 19898-1990
5 Sedition and first amendment, ca. 1996
6 Freedom of information act, 1990-1996
7 Malpractice Seminar, 1982
8 Malpractice Seminar (cont.), 1982
9 Patriots book correspondence, 1994-1997
10 Correspondence, Frank A. Vogel and Langer, 1940s
11 Correspondence, Frank A. Vogel and Langer (continued)
12 Correspondence (professional and political), 1977-1998
13 Correspondence (professional and political) (continued)
14 Robert Vogel clippings, 1959
15 Lawyers and courts (memorials, short history of ND Courts by Vogel, miscellaneous), 1935-1985
16 Legislation, 1986-2004
17 Unequal Contest research information, 1992-2002
18 Charles Amidon, ca. 1995-1996
19 Charles Amidon (continued)
20 Langer Senate Affidavits, 1991, 1996
21 Research, 1993-1996
22  Langer write-ups/drafts for book (from binder), ca. 1996
23  Langer write-ups/drafts for book (from binder) (continued)
24  Langer write-ups/drafts for book (from binder) (continued)
25 Langer write-ups/drafts for book (from binder) (continued)
26 History of ND Supreme Court, 1979-2000
27  History of ND Supreme Court (continued)

Box 3:
1 K. W. Simons correspondence, 1998
2 Copy of agreement between John M. Burke, general manager of the “Buffalo Bill Wild West Show” and Sitting Bull, June 6, 1885
3 The Leader, NPL, Bank of ND financial records and William Lemke information, 1929-1994
4 Bank of ND historical sketch and audit, 1943, n.d.
5 Bond deals, 1937-1947
6 Langer trial materials, 1997, 1999
7 NDAC/NDSU, 1992-1996
8 Montana (Crum), 1996-1997
9 Montana (continued)
10 Montana (continued)
11  Montana (continued)
12 Federal sedition cases, 1996-1997
13 State sedition cases, 1993-1996
14 Jackson County (MN) trials, 1993-1997
15 “Tentative” and “ok” writings for book, 1996-1998
16 Loyalty and World War 1, 1995-1999
17 Decisions and copies of decisions, n.d.
18 Decisions and copies of decisions (continued)
19 U.S. Attorney commendations, etc., 1954-1961
20 U.S. Attorney commendations, etc. (continued)
21 U.S. Attorney commendations, etc. (continued)
22 NPL (and other political) publications and printed material, n.d.
23 Published articles, curricula vitae, 1973-1995
24 Sedition (ND), 1993-1997
25 German language, liberty bond, Red Cross, 1995-1997
26 SD and other states (sedition), 1995-1997

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