Dean, School of Law
School of Law 248
Phone: (605) 658-3508
Dean Fulton attended the University of Minnesota School of Law, graduating summa cum laude (first in his class) in 1997. He received the Devitt Award for excellence in trial advocacy courses and the Kaplan Award for overall academic excellence at graduation. He spent two summers working with the May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson law firm in Pierre during law school, trying his first jury trial in Fort Pierre between his second and third years. Fulton then went on to serve as a law clerk for Judge Diana Murphy of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals after graduating from law school. After his clerkship, he returned to May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson where he served as general counsel to the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance and the South Dakota Public Entity Pool for Liability, the South Dakota Bankers Association and the Office of the Governor. During this time, Fulton lobbied the South Dakota legislature for a variety of public and private clients. In 2007, Fulton became Gov. Rounds' chief of staff. In that capacity, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of state government, managed legislative and budgetary proposals for the Office of the Governor, drafted legislation on many issues and worked with public and private organizations across the state. In 2010, Fulton was chosen by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals as federal public defender for North Dakota and South Dakota. In this role, he oversaw a staff of 45 lawyers, investigators and support staff in five offices across both states. He has served on the Defender Sentencing Guideline Committee, the Performance Measurement Working Group and was co-chair of the Defender Legislative Committee. He has testified before the United States Sentencing Commission about tribal sentencing issues, violent offenses and child pornography; and has served on the Sentencing Commission's ad hoc and standing Tribal Issues Advisory Group. Fulton's appellate advocacy experience includes arguing almost 40 cases before the Eighth Circuit and more than 10 before the South Dakota Supreme Court.
- JD, University of Minnesota, 1997
- BA, Political Science, Yale University, 1994
Licensures and Certifications:
- Admission to Practice, United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
- Admission to Practice, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court
- Admission to Practice, United States Supreme Court
- Admission to Practice, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court
- Admission to Practice, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Admission to Practice, State of South Dakota
- Admission to Practice, United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
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.
- Fulton, Neil. Ten Questions for Unconventional Dean Candidates, 46 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 71 (2020)..
- Fulton, Neil. This is a Disaster! Ethically Planning for the Worst Case Scenario, St. Bar of S.D. Newsl., Mar. 2019, at 16..
- Fulton, Neil. All Things Considered: The Effect on Tribal Sovereignty of Using Tribal Court Convictions in United States Sentencing Guideline Calculations, 46 Am. J. Crim. L. 241 (2019)..
- Fulton, Neil. Monthly "Dean's List" Column, St. Bar of S.D. Newsl., 2019-..
- Fulton, Neil. Joint Dedication to Justice Lori S. Wilbur, 63 S.D. L. Rev. i (2018)..
- Fulton, Neil. Trial Lawyering in the Era of Fake News, S.D. Trial Law. Ass'n Barrister, July/Aug. 2018 (written text of keynote speech at S.D. Trial Law. Ass'n Annual Meeting)..
- Fulton, Neil, and Purdon, Tim. Marking the 50th Anniversary of Gideon, Bismarck Trib., Mar. 23, 2013..
- Fulton, Neil. Cell Phones Combined With Driving Becoming Major Source of Exposure to Liability, S.D. Banker, Jan. 2007, at 18..
- Fulton, Neil. Legal Cases Illustrate Lending Do's and Don'ts, S.D. Banker, Nov. 2006, at 10..
- Fulton, Neil. Amendment E: The Constitutional Dimensions of Unintended Consequences, 49 S.D. L. Rev. 781 (2004)..
- Fulton, Neil, and Gerdes, Dave. Brief of Appellees Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Northwestern Public Service, and Otter Tail Power Company, 49 S.D. L. Rev. 674 (2004)..
- Fulton, Neil. Wielding Ockham's Knitting Needles, 47 S.D. L. Rev. 385 (2002) (reviewing D. Graham Burnett, A Trial By Jury (2001))..
Awards and Honors:
- Devitt Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy Courses, University of Minnesota School of Law, 1997
- Kaplan Award for Overall Academic Experience, University of Minnesota School of Law, 1997
- Fulton, Neil. Written Testimony. Presented at the Public Hearing on Tribal Issues. (February 8, 2018)
- Fulton, Neil. Written/Oral Testimony. Presented at the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act Hearing, Minneapolis, MN. (May 16, 2016)
- Fulton, Neil. Written/Oral Testimony. Presented at the Public Hearing on Child Pornography Circuit Splits and Miscellaneous Proposed Amendments. (March 16, 2016)
- Fulton, Neil. Creative Approaches to Managing Office Processes. Presented at the National Federal Defender Conference. (February 27, 2015)
- Fulton, Neil. Written/Oral Testimony. Presented at the Committee Hearing, "Protecting the Constitutional Right to Counsel for Indigents Charged with Misdemeanors", Washington, D.C.. (2015)
- Fulton, Neil. Written/Oral Testimony. Presented at the Public Hearing on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. (February 13, 2014)
- Fulton, Neil. Workplace Behavior: Ethics, Liability, Law Suits. Presented at the PEPL Fund Risk Management Conference. (August 12, 2008)
- Fulton, Neil. Challenging Leadership. Presented at the Governor's Leadership Program Graduation . (May 2008)
- Fulton, Neil. Mitigating Damages. Presented at the PEPL Fund Risk Management Conference. (August 16, 2007)
- Fulton, Neil. Risk Planning Through Legal Vigilance; Litigation: A Mock Trial. Presented at the PEPL Fund Risk Management Conference. (August 22, 2006)