An associate professor, Tom concentrates on trusts, estate administration, and federal
estate and gift tax. Prior to joining the legal academy, he was a partner with the
law firm of Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP and clerked for the Honorable
Andrew W. Bogue, senior federal district court judge.
He has taught at every educational level, from pre-K (as a volunteer at a Head Start
program), elementary (fourth grade), secondary (junior high school in Miki-shi, Japan),
and undergraduate (in a paralegal program) to graduate (i.e., law school).
Tom is an active member of trust and elder law reform. He serves on the South Dakota
State Bar's Ethics Committee, Elder Law Committee (founder/chair), and Lawyer's Committee
on Diversity of Inclusion. He is a member of the South Dakota Bar Association's Section
of Real Property Probate and Trust (twice past chair) as well as its Digital Assets,
Trust (chair), and Guardianship Training Materials (reporter) Committees. He is a
longtime member of the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trust
and Estate Law.
Tom created and managed the first qualifying "(d)(4)(C)" pooled trust for individuals
with disabilities in South Dakota (the "PATI Trust").
He serves regularly as a consultant and expert in litigation involving federal estate
and gift tax matters, guardianship issues, Medicaid eligibility, testamentary capacity,
and fiduciary administration.
He is a lifelong South Dakotan.
Current courses taught: Estate Planning, Professional Responsibility, Property, and
Trusts & Wills. Past courses taught: Business Organizations I-II, Comparative Estates
Law, Comparative [In]tangible Property, Constitutional History (non-USD undergraduate
course), Elder Law, and Holocaust Law (seminar).
Estates, trusts, and legal history.
Tom's scholarship has explicated robot law, space law, and even zombie law, but his
research focuses on trusts, tax, elder law, and fiduciary law. His work has been
published in leading scholarly journals including the Elder Law Journal, Mercer Law
Review, John Marshall Law Review, and Gonzaga Law Review. He regularly publishes
scholarship on South Dakota legal issues in the South Dakota Law Review.
Citations listed below are presented in a standardized, modified format for
display purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect the preferred style and conventions
of the faculty member or discipline.
- Simmons, Tom E.. A Chinese Inheritance, 124. Vol. 30. Quinnipiac Probate Law Journal, 2017.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Future Interests? Meet Chattels. JOTWELL, 2017.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States: Death Taxes on Restricted Indian Personalty, 47. Vol. 42, Iss. 1. ACTEC Law Journal, 2017.
- Simmons, Tom E.. "Court Columns" (a monthly newspaper column). Rapid City Journal and Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2017.
- Simmons, Tom E.. When Robots Trespass. The Space Review, 2017.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Hugh Glass: Grizzly Survivor, 364. Vol. 46. Pierre, SD: South Dakota History, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Pregnancy, 12. Vol. 32, Iss. 1. Pierre, SD: South Dakota Report, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. International and Comparative Law on the Rights of Older Persons, 159. Vol. 12. NAELA Journal, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Intersectionality Problems with Gendered Disability Discrimination, 8. Vol. 31, Iss. 3. South Dakota Report, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. How to Die: Biomarker Adjuncts to Death Accelerants. JOTWELL, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Intersection of Agency Doctrine and Elder Law: Attorney-in-Fact Authority to Arbitrate
Nursing Home Claims, 39. Vol. 49, Iss. 1. John Marshall Law Review, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. "Granny Goes to Jail" Redux, 27. Vol. 28, Iss. April-June 2016. NAELA News, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Wrongheadedness of the POMS Pooled Trust Rules and an Unfortunate but Recently
Noted Chinese Parallel, 117. Vol. 43. Rutgers Law Record, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Sexbots; an Obloquy, 45. Vol. 2016. Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Law Review Forward, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Killer Robots; an Apologia. Common Law, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Wills Above Ground, 343. Vol. 24. Elder Law Journal, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Mapping Chinese Trusts with a Patrimony Compass. JOTWELL, 2016.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Deploying the Common Law to Quasi-Marxist Property on Mars, 101. Vol. 51. Gonzaga Law Review, 2015.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Disability Discrimination in the Form of Ad Hoc Examinations, 2. Vol. 6. Nebraska Law Review Bulletin, 2015.
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Law in Nazi Germany, 145. Vol. 34. West Lafayette, Indiana: Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 2015.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Testamentary Incapacity, Undue Influence and Insane Delusions, 101. Vol. 60. South Dakota Law Review, 2015.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Medicaid as Coverture, 275. Vol. 26. Hastings Women's Law Journal, 2015.
- Simmons, Tom E.. What Zombies Can Teach Law Students: Popular Text Inclusion in Law and Literature, 729. Vol. 66. Mercer Law Review, 2015.
- Simmons, Tom E.. The 'Evil Child' in Literature, Film and Popular Culture, 899. Vol. 47. Journal of Popular Culture, 2014.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Understanding the Challenges and Limitations of Guardianship Proceedings. In Establishing a Guardianship for Elder Law Clients (Inside the Minds series), 105-124. Thompson Reuters/Aspatore, 2013.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Judicial Memoirs. Vol. 16, Iss. 1. The Nebraska Lawyer, 2013.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Pooled Trusts. Vol. 27, Iss. 3. South Dakota Report, 2012.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Integrating SNTs with IRAs. Vol. 8. NAELA Special Needs Law Section Newsletter, 2010.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Decanting and its Alternatives: Remodeling and Revamping Irrevocable Trusts, 253. Vol. 55, Iss. 2. South Dakota Law Review, 2010.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Using Trusts to Settle Lawsuits, 6. Vol. 19. Probate and Property, 2005.
- Simmons, Tom E.. When Gift Planning Goes Awry, 23. Vol. 27. National Law Journal, 2005.
- Simmons, Tom E.. A Guide to South Dakota's Disability Discrimination Laws: Limits and Vantages, 389. Vol. 47. South Dakota Law Review, 2002.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Territorial Justice Under Fire: The Trials of Peter Wintermute, 1873-1875, 91. Vol. 31. South Dakota History, 2001.
- Simmons, Tom E.. 'Working' with the ADA's 'Regarded As' Definition of a Disability, 27. Vol. 5. Texas Forum on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, 2000.
- Simmons, Tom E.. How Medication Affects the Existence of an ADA Disability, 6. Vol. 16. South Dakota Report, 2000.
- Simmons, Tom E.. State Immunity from Federal Disability Discrimination Laws: Provisions of the ADA
and Rehabilitation Act Declared Unconstitutional, 8. Vol. 15. South Dakota Report, 1999.
- Simmons, Tom E.. The ADA Prima Facie Plaintiff: A Critical Overview of Eighth Circuit Case Law, 761. Vol. 47. Drake Law Review, 1999.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Comment, Highways, Hunters and Section Lines: Tension Between Public Access and Private
Rights, 240. Vol. 2. Great Plains Natural Resources Journal, 1997.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Note, Twisted Interests: People in Interest of S.A.H. and the State of Open Adoptions
in South Dakota, 537. Vol. 47. South Dakota Law Review, 1997.