The North Dakota Commission for Indigent Defense has selected Donald A. Sauviac, Jr. to serve as the supervising attorney for the Northwestern District of North Dakota, covering the counties of Williams, McKenzie and Divide.
He officially started in the position on Thursday, Dec. 26. Sauviac wrote that he was honored to have been selected to serve as the chief public defender for the region. He looks forward to bringing his 30 years of extensive legal experience to the role, as well as the opportunity to lead an energetic team to meet the growing needs of the Bakken.
Sauviac was born in New Orleans. He obtained a business administration degree and certificate of paralegal studies from the University of New Orleans. He worked as a corporate paralegal in a large firm and then went on to receive his juris doctorate degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge Louisiana. While in law school Sauviac served as Editor In Chief of the law school newspaper, was published and on the editorial board of the law review, moot court team officer and graduated 10th in his class with cum laude honors.
Sauviac was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 1991. After admittance he worked as a prosecuting attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service — honors program in Oakdale, Louisiana. Then entering private civil and criminal defense practice in New Orleans while serving as a federal CJA panel attorney in the United States District Court and the Orleans Indigent Defender Program where he became death penalty defense certified. Sauviac also practiced as a public defender in St. Tammany, Washington and Calcachieu parishes.
In 2014 Sauviac made North Dakota home when his wife Glynda Troyo-Sauviac became the CEO of Vibra Hospital of the Central Dakota.
Following this move, Sauviac was admitted to the United States District Court of North Dakota where he served on the CJA panel handling federal criminal cases. He was then admitted to the North Dakota Bar and has served as a contract public defender in Burleigh, Morton, Ward, Williams, McKenzie and Divide counties.
Sauviac is the father of four daughters, a step son and two grandsons. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and was named the 2015 North Dakota Knight of the Year. He is also the Supreme Advocate of the International Order of Alhambra, a Catholic organization serving persons with developmental disabilities and Is a member of the Moose, Elks and Eagles clubs. Sauviac’s hobbies include, spending time with family and friends, cooking, boating, hunting and fishing (fly, ice and open water).