Flaherty, Kost take oath as newest CNMI Bar members
Former chief prosecutor Brian Flaherty and Office of the Public Auditor legal counsel Ashley Kost went to law school together at the University of Iowa College of Law. The two came to Saipan about the same time in 2012.
On Friday, Flaherty and Kost took their oath before CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro after passing the CNMI Bar examination last July.
Kost said she feels good taking oath as CNMI Bar member.
Kost said for a lot of people getting sworn in the CNMI means that they are going to stay and are invested in the community.
“So I feel good to take that next step,” said Kost, who has been working as legal counsel for OPA for three years now.
Kost, of Minnesota, arrived on Saipan in October 2012 to work as OPA legal counsel, her first job outside law school.
She went to the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, where she got her bachelor’s degree in political science.
She attended the University of Iowa College of Law, and received her law degree in 2012.
Kost said she saw a posting for a position at OPA on Saipan so she thought it sounded fun and exciting.
She said the OPA job sounded like something different.
She said it is something different to do with one’s legal degree in another jurisdiction because normally with a legal degree “you’re kind of confined to where you took the Bar exam right away.”
“So I saw this as an adventure,” she said.
Kost believes that she originally came out here for the adventure and that she stayed because of how much she enjoys working at OPA and how much she enjoys the community and the friends that she made out in the Commonwealth.
“I’m staying at OPA. I love OPA,” she said when asked about her plans after passing the Bar.
For Flaherty, his plan right now is to engage in private practice.
“I’m looking forward to practicing law in the CNMI. I’m looking forward to get into work,” said Flaherty, who left the Office of the Attorney General last April.
For personal reasons, Flaherty decided to stay in the CNMI after he already left the OAG.
On the Bar examination, Flaherty said it was tough and “takes a lot of studying and a lot of work.”
Flaherty’s father, Edd Flaherty, came to Saipan last Jan. 17 from Iowa for vacation and to attend the swearing in ceremony held on Friday at the CNMI Supreme Court.
Flaherty served a total of two years and a half at OAG. He joined OAG in July 2012 as an assistant attorney general, then as chief prosecutor of the OAG’s Criminal Division for a year.
He had stated that the Commonwealth has been a great place for him to enjoy the outdoors, enjoy recreational facilities and opportunities, and marvel the beauty of the island.