Dakota Datebook

Interesting Legal Advice

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Robert Stanley of Devil’s Lake, North Dakota received some interesting advice from his lawyer on this date in 1908.
Stanley had been tenent farming some land which belonged to B.B. Regan, a local landowner. Regan decided that he no longer wanted Stanley renting his land and went out to his property to tell him so.
Before Regan could jump down from his wagon, Stanley began shooting at Regan, severely wounding him.
Stanley was then quickly arrested by the local sheriff.
During his trial, the judge asked Stanley why he shot Mr. Regan. Stanley replied that he had two reasons, “to protect my property, and second, because my attorney told me to.”
Some questions remained as to Mr. Stanley’s mental health as well as his choice of attorney.

Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, Wednesday Evening, December 2, 1908. pg. 2.

Written by Dave Seifert

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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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