South Dakotan Lawyer In Brief Spring/Summer 2013 - page 2

Approval of Rural Practice and
Attorney Recruitment Bill Receives
High Praise from Legal Leaders
A “rural attorney recruitment bill” (HB 1096), which passed
late in the 2013 law-making session and was signed into law on
March 21 by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, is hailed as “huge news”
and a “signature accomplishment” in South Dakota. The state’s
Unified Judicial System (UJS) Web site proclaims South Da-
kota is “the first state in the nation to have legislation designed
specifically to assist recruitment of attorneys into rural areas.”
The law is the result of the serious attention and hard work of
those cognizant of the crucial legal needs of people in rural com-
munities. The idea and subsequent signing of HB 1096 drew the
attention of many, including the American Bar Association (see
resolution link below) and the
New York Times
ral-lawyers.html). This led to more interviews, reports, and quotes.
According to the UJS, 65 percent of South Dakota’s attorneys are
located in four counties: Minnehaha, Pennington, Hughes and
Brown. HB 1096 was designed to assist counties in the recruitment
of attorneys to their areas by providing incentive payments over a
five year period.
HB 1096 creates a four-year pilot program for counties with
a population of 10,000 or less that are determined eligible by the
Unified Judicial System. Participating counties must apply to the
UJS and are required to pay 35 percent of an incentive payment in
five equal annual installments. The State Bar Association will con-
tribute 15 percent of the annual installment and the State of South
Dakota will pay the remaining amount of the total installment pay-
ment amount for that year. Any qualifying and participating at-
torney must agree to practice law on a full-time basis in the eligible
county for at least five years. The incentive payment is equal to 90
percent of the resident tuition and fees for the University of South
Dakota School of Law and is divided over the five years the attorney
is obligated to practice in the rural county. The UJS will administer
the program. Any interested counties or attorneys may contact the
State Court Administrator’s Office at 605-773-3474 for more infor-
mation. The pilot program is authorized to begin on July 1, 2013.
Access the SD State Bar Association’s Project Rural Practice web-
site at
Susan Sabers Named to Bench
Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed Susan
Sabers as a circuit judge in South Dakota’s
Second Judicial Circuit. Sabers filled the
vacancy caused by Judge Kathleen Caldwell’s
retirement, which was effective at the end
of 2012. The Second Circuit includes Lincoln
and Minnehaha counties.
“Susan is a gifted attorney and a skilled litigator,” Gov. Daugaard
said. “She is known for working hard for her clients, and I know she
will work just as hard for the people of the Second Circuit.”
Sabers is a native of Sioux Falls, where she had been in the private
practice of law since 1997. She was a partner in the law firm of
Fuller & Sabers since 2006.
“I want to thank Governor Daugaard for this honor,” Sabers
said. “I have such respect for the judiciary, and look forward to
serving the citizens of South Dakota in this new role.”
Mike Day Appointed as
Fourth Circuit Judge
Gov. Dennis Daugaard in April appointed Mike Day of
Belle Fourche as a circuit judge in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.
Day’s appointment fills a vacancy by the retirement of Judge
John Bastian.
Day, a partner in the Day Morris Law Firm of Belle Fourche, has
practiced law in Belle Fourche since his 1983 graduation from the
USDSchool of Law. Day is the vice chair of the Belle Fourche School
Boardandamember of the stateBoardofMinerals andEnvironment.
“It is an honor to be appointed circuit judge,” Day said. “I am
looking forward to this opportunity to serve the people of my
community in this new role, and I appreciate Gov. Daugaard’s
Joni Clark Cutler, Magistrate
Presiding Judge Larry Long announced that the Supreme Court
of South Dakota has approved the appointment of Joni Clark
Cutler as magistrate judge for the Second Judicial Circuit. Attorney
Cutler will fill the vacancy left by the upcoming retirement of
Magistrate Judge Alan Dietrich.
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