An an associate professor at the School of Law, 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), Lawyer's Committee
on Diversity of Inclusion (ad hoc), and Section of Real Property Probate and Trust
(twice past chair) as well as that section's Digital Assets, Trust (chair), and Guardianship
Training Materials 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 regularly serves 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.
Past courses taught: Business Organizations I-II, Comparative Estates Law, Constitutional
History (non-USD undergraduate course), Elder Law, and Holocaust Law (seminar).
Current courses taught: Comparative [In]tangible Property, Estate Planning, Professional
Responsibility, Property, and Trusts & Wills.
Agency, Asset Protection, Comparative Law, Diminished Capacity, Elder Law, Ethics,
Estate and Gift Tax, Fiduciaries, Future Interests, Guardianships, Legal History,
Medicaid, Popular Culture, Probate, Property, the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities,
Tom's scholarship has explicated robot law, space law, and even zombie law, but his
research focuses on trusts, tax, elder law, and estate administration. 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.. "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.. "Court Columns" (a monthly newspaper column). Rapid City Journal and Yankton Press and Dakotan, 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.
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Intersection of Agency Doctrine and Elder Law: Attorney-in-Fact Authority to Arbitrate
Nursing Home Claims. Iss. 49. John Marshall Law Review.