South Dakota Supreme Court Holds October Session at USD School of Law

Image SD Supreme Court South Dakota Supreme Court Justices Steven Zinger, Glen Severson, Chief David Gilbertson, Lori Wilbur and Janine Kern

The five justices of the South Dakota Supreme Court are holding their October session at the University of South Dakota School of Law courtroom in this week.

It is the first time Justice Janine Kern, of Rapid City, is on the bench in Vermillion as a member of the court with fellow Justices Steven Zinter, Glen Severson, Lori Wilbur as well as Chief Justice David Gilbertson. Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed Kern last November. She represents Custer, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington counties.

"The South Dakota Supreme Court's term of court, held at the law school, provides the community and the law students with a wonderful opportunity to observe the oral arguments of some of the best lawyers in the state as they present challenging and difficult issues for the courts resolution," Kern said.
"I especially enjoyed the interactions with the students that this location provides. Thanks to Dean (Tom) Geu and the faculty for the warm welcome."

The justices are hearing oral arguments on nine cases Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in the courtroom, which gives area college and high school classes the chance to see the state Supreme Court in person.

Case synopses are available each morning for the audience. A complete schedule and summaries of the oral arguments to be heard are available online:

  • Monday, Oct. 5: 9 a.m., Nylen v. Nylen; 10 a.m., State v. Smith; 11 a.m., Zerfas v. AMCO;
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6: 9 a.m., State v. Pasltow; 10 a.m., O’Neill v. O’Neill; 11 a.m., Good Lance v. Black Hills Dialysis;
  • Wednesday, Oct. 7: 9 a.m., High Plains Resources v. Fall River County Board of Commissioners; 10 a.m., State v. Running Shield; 11 a.m., Smizer v. Drey.

The South Dakota Supreme Court employs security methods to ensure the well-being of all who attend its proceedings. All people attending the morning arguments will need to enter through the southeast door of the Law School. Book bags, backpacks, and other packages are subject to search. Attendees are encouraged to bring a minimal amount of outside items to keep the entrance process smooth and without delays. Individuals requiring assistance should contact the State Court Administrator’s Office at (605) 773-3474 at least 48 hours before the session to make any arrangements.


USD’s School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Michael Ewald
USD News