Martens PLLC, Attorney at Law
Trusted Law Firm Serving All Of North Dakota
Local 701-223-2000 Toll Free 888-307-1302

Start Today With Your Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Martens PLLC Blog

Thinking about buying a foreclosure? Read this first

The North Dakota real estate market is hot, with plenty of investment opportunities for both sellers and buyers. Thanks to low interest rates and other factors, many potential homeowners are expanding their search to include foreclosures. While there is nothing wrong with purchasing foreclosed properties, without a fair amount of research, it could turn into a nightmare that has far-reaching financial consequences. 

What is a foreclosure? 

Does your estate planning cover your pets?

Planning for the care of your beloved pets if you die before them is not as simple as it is in the movies, where wealthy pet owners often leave their fortunes to their furry family members. However, including your pets in your estate planning does not need to be complex, either. A pet trust should be able to cover the needs of pet lovers in North Dakota.

The law considers pets to be property, so yours can’t inherit an estate. You could simply leave Whiskers or Patches to one of your relatives in your will, but a pet trust gives you more flexibility and options for stating your precise wishes as to your pet’s continued well-being.

The pros and cons of plea bargains

If you are a North Dakota resident charged with committing a crime, you may be wondering if you should authorize your attorney to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecutor or if you should go to trial instead and risk conviction by a jury. Often this is one of the most important decisions you must make, particularly if you face felony charges.

Before agreeing to any plea bargain, it is important for you to understand exactly what the agreement is, who will do what, and what the consequences likely will be. Therefore, always thoroughly discuss with your defense attorney any plea bargain that the prosecutor proposes.

You could face criminal charges for road rage

In today’s world of hectic schedules and heavy traffic, it is not surprising that many people are impatient to get to where they are going. When an inconsiderate or inattentive driver comes into the mix, some people might fly off the handle. Before you lose patience in traffic, however, you should understand the consequences you might face for aggressive driving or road rage. These are issues that have become prevalent for nearly all drivers in North Dakota and elsewhere.

In statistics reported by the American Safety Council, some form of driver aggression is the cause of 66 percent of fatal traffic accidents. You should know that there is a legal difference between aggressive driving and true road rage. When you are driving aggressively, you may have already lost your patience and you might either be trying to get back at another driver or get around slower traffic. This type of driving behavior can result in accidents, and if police pull you over for aggressive driving, you may face charges of a traffic offense.

Keep your "Holiday Cheer" from Resulting in "Holiday Jeer"

Last month, we shared some sage advice to help your Thanksgiving guests avoid needing to hire us to get out of the dreaded "whisky ticket" - hopefully they were thankful.  Now that we're into December - "the most wonderful time of the year" -  with family, work, and other social gatherings set in the coming weeks that advice is even more important to heed.

DUI, however, is only one of a number of things that could go wrong with your holiday season.  While we certainly don't want to be the Scrooge in your Christmas Story, we want to make sure our friends and clients avoid other things that could go wrong with the holidays - keep that well intended "holiday cheer" from resulting in "holiday jeer" if you will.

Tips to keep Thanksgiving guests from driving drunk

As the weather gets colder and the ground starts to freeze, families come together for the holiday season. As we fill our plates with turkey and mashed potatoes, the wine is often flowing as well. There's a lot to be thankful for, but sometimes the celebration goes too far.

If you're hosting friends and families over Thanksgiving, you want to throw a great party without anybody getting hurt. According to the CDC, roughly 30 people die in an alcohol-related crash each day. This number rises on holidays. Thanksgiving is the busiest travel weekend of the year.

Estate Planning & Long Term Care

While flying by the seat of your pants can be fun, most of us would agree that planning for the future is the best route to go.  Many of us have benefits that come with our jobs that include savings for retirement - 401K, IRA, pension plans - or we've taken our own initiative and set up an IRA or invested in the market with the eventual goal of sitting somewhere warm in the winter, enjoying our later years.  And a number of us take the basic step of having a will prepared to make sure our worldly possessions pass to the right people when we're gone.  But the one issue some of us overlook in estate planning is the potential of needing long-term care at some point toward the end of our life.

Can hunting violations lead to felony charges?

North Dakota hunters understand that game and fish laws govern their actions. They dictate where, when and what you are able to hunt. Violating these laws can come with fines and misdemeanor charges. But did you know that House Bill no.1188 made it possible for you to face felony charges for violating hunting laws?


Marijuana and the law in North Dakota

Marijuana law reform has been getting a lot of publicity over the last few years and for good reason. Even though cannabis remains illegal according to federal law, the majority of states in the United States have some kind of legal marijuana program. However, the tension between federal and state law can be confusing for citizens.

Even though there is a growing trend of legalization, some forms of marijuana use can result in serious legal consequences. Knowing the rules and regulations regarding cannabis and its use will make it easier for people to follow the law.

Martens Named To Super Lawyers 2016 Great Plains Rising Star List

James W. Martens has been selected to the 2016 Great Plains Rising Stars list for North Dakota. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in North Dakota. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list. The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel. The Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in their practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to