An associate professor, Tom concentrates on trusts, estate administration, and the
estate 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 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), Indian Law Committee,
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).
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 the federal
estate tax, guardianships, Medicaid, legal malpractice, and fiduciary administration.
But for a few years in Canada and Nebraska (and one in Japan), he is a lifelong South
Current courses: Estate Planning, Professional Responsibility, Trusts & Wills, Tribal
Wills Pro Bono Lab, and Remedies in Law & Equity. Past courses: Business Organizations
I, Business Organizations II, Comparative Estates Law, Comparative [In]tangible Property,
Constitutional History (non-USD undergraduate course), Elder Law, Holocaust Law (seminar),
Tom's scholarship has explicated robot law, space law, and even zombie law, but his
research focuses on trusts, tax, elder law, and fiduciaries. His work has been published
in leading scholarly journals including the Elder Law Journal, Missouri 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.. Book Review, 36 Shofar: Interdisc. J. Jewish Stud., no. 3, 2018, at 190 (reviewing
Johann Chapoutot, The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting as a Nazi (2018))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 52 Law Tchr. 236 (2018) (reviewing Michael J. Bazyler & Robert M. Jarvis,
Law and The Holocaust: U.S. Cases And Materials (2017))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Privacy and Surveillance in Nursing Homes, Jotwell (Oct. 8, 2018) (reviewing Karen
Levy, Lauren Kilgour, & Clara Berridge, Regulating Privacy in Public/Private Space:
The Case of Nursing Home Monitoring Laws, 26 Elder Law J. __ (2018)), available at
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 9 ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, no. 3, 2018, http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v9_3/simmons/
(reviewing Humans and Paragons: Essays On Super-Hero Justice (Ian Boucher ed., 2017))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 9 J. Graphic Novels & Comics 1 (May 29, 2018) (reviewing Hillary L. Chute,
Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere (2017))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. A Will for Willa Cather, 83 Mo. L. Rev. 642 (2018)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 14 L. Culture & Human. 533 (2018) (reviewing Nazi Law: From Nuremberg
to Nuremberg (John J. Michalczyk, ed., 2018))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, Film & Hist., Summer 2018, at 61 (reviewing Axel Bangert, The Nazi Past
In Contemporary German Film: Viewing Experience Of Intimacy And Immersion (2014))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Dispensing (With) Electronic Wills, Jotwell (Apr. 5, 2018) (reviewing John H. Langbein,
Absorbing South Australia's Wills Act Dispensing Power in the United States: Emulation,
Resistance, Expansion, 38 Adelaide L. Rev. 1 (2017), available at SSRN), https://lex.jotwell.com/dispensing-with-electronic-wills/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Homestead: A (New) Hope, 63 S.D. L. Rev. 75 (2018)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Unmasked Lex Text, 8 Comics Grid: J. Comics Scholarship 17 (2018) (reviewing Thomas
Giddens, On Comics and Legal Aesthetics - Multimodality and the Haunted Mask of Knowing
- Simmons, Tom E.. A Chinese Inheritance, 30 Quinnipiac Prob. L.J. 124 (2017)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Actuarial Soundness, the Meaning of "Commensurate" and a "Sniff Test", 13 NAELA J.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 5 Korean J. Int'l & Comp. L. 245 (2017) (reviewing Eminent Domain: A
Comparative Perspective (Iljooing Kim, Hojun Lee & Ilya Somin, eds., 2017))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Court Columns, Rapid City Journal and Yankton Press & Dakotan (2017)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Future Interests? Meet Chattels!, Jotwell (February 10, 2017) (reviewing John Chipman
Gray, Future Interests in Personal Property, 14 Harvard L. Rev. 397 (1901)), http://classic.jotwell.com/future-interests-meet-chattels/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Leach v. Hyatt: Recasting Indefiniteness, 43 ACTEC L. J. 121 (2017)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Of Kings and Queens and Their Wills, 45 History: Reviews of New Books 109 (2017) (reviewing
Suzannah Lipscomb, The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII (2016)
and Michael L. Nash, Royal Wills in Britain from 1509 to 2008 (2017))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Post-obit ADA Claims, S.D. Rep., Nov. 2017, at 11..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Prequel to Homestead, 62 S.D. L. Rev. 327 (2017)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. To Authorize Sex with Oneself via Proxy or Advance Directive, Jotwell (Sept. 13, 2017)
(reviewing Alexander A. Boni-Saenz, Sexual Advance Directives, 68 Ala. L. Rev. 1 (2016),
- Simmons, Tom E.. Westerns: A Women's History, 40 J. Amer. Culture 301 (2017) (reviewing Victoria Lamont,
Westerns: A Women's History (2017))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. When Robots Trespass, Space Rev. (Jan. 16, 2017), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3146/1..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Wrongful Death Conflicts for Plaintiffs' Attorneys, Barrister, Nov./Dec. 2017, at
- Simmons, Tom E.. "Granny Goes to Jail" Redux, NAELA News, Apr./May/June 2016, at 27..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 12 NAELA J. 159 (2016) (reviewing International and Comparative Law on
the Rights of Older Persons (Ralph Ruebner, Teresa Do & Amy Taylor eds., 2015))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 46 S.D. Hist. 364 (2016) (reviewing James D. McLaird, Hugh Glass: Grizzly
- Simmons, Tom E.. How to Die: Biomarker Adjuncts to Death Accelerants, Jotwell (July 8, 2016) (reviewing
Rebecca Dresser, A Fate Worse than Death? How Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease Could
Affect End-of-Life Choices, 12 Ind. Health L. Rev. 651 (2015)), http://lex.jotwell.com/how-to-die-biomarker-adjuncts-to-death-accelerants/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Intersectionality Problems with Gendered Disability Discrimination, S.D. Rep., July
2016, at 8..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Killer Robots: An Apologia, Wake Forest Common L. (March 30, 2016), http://wakeforestlawreview.com/2016/03/killer-robots-an-apologia/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Mapping Chinese Trusts with a Patrimony Compass, Jotwell (Jan. 28, 2016) (reviewing
Kai Lyu, Re-Clarifying China's Trust Law: Characteristics and New Conceptual Basis,
36 Loy. L. A. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 447 (2015)), http://trustest.jotwell.com/mapping-chinese-trusts-with-a-patrimony-compass/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States: Death Taxes on Restricted Indian Personalty,
42 ACTEC L.J. 47 (2016)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Pregnancy, S.D. Rep., Nov. 2016, at 12..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Sexbots; An Obloquy, Wisc. L. Rev. Forward 45 (2016), http://wisconsinlawreview.org/sexbots-an-obloquy/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Unfortunate Provincialism of the Space Resources Act, Space Rev. (January 25,
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Wrongheadedness of the POMS Pooled Trust Rules and an Unfortunate But Recently
Noted Chinese Parallel, 43 Rutgers L. Rec. 117 (2016), http://lawrecord.com/2016/05/17/the-wrongheadedess-of-the-poms-pooled-trust-rules-and-an-unfortunate-but-recently-noted-chinese-parallel/..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Wills Above Ground, 23 Elder L.J. 343 (2016)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, Shofar: Interdisc. J. Jewish Stud., Fall 2015, at 145 (reviewing The
Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunities and the Perversion of Justice (Alan E.
Steinweis & Robert D. Rachlin eds., 2013))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Deploying the Common Law to Quasi-Marxist Property on Mars, 51 Gonzaga L. Rev. 101
- Simmons, Tom E.. Disability Discrimination in the Form of Ad Hoc Examinations, 6 Neb. L. Rev. Bull.
- Simmons, Tom E.. Medicaid as Coverture, 26 Hastings Women's L.J. 275 (2015)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Testamentary Incapacity, Undue Influence, and Insane Delusions, 60 S.D. L. Rev. 101
- Simmons, Tom E.. The Intersection of Agency Doctrine and Elder Law: Attorney-in-Fact Authority to Arbitrate
Nursing Home Claims, 49 J. Marshall L. Rev. 39 (2015)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. What Zombies Can Teach Law Students: Popular Text Inclusion in Law and Literature,
66 Mercer L. Rev. 729 (2015)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Book Review, 47 J. Popular Culture 899 (2014) (reviewing The 'Evil Child' in Literature,
Film and Popular Culture (Karen J. Renner ed., 2013))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Judicial Memoirs, Neb. Law., Jan./Feb. 2013, at 13 (reviewing Warren K. Urbom, Called
to Justice: The Life of a Federal Trial Judge (2012) & Warren L. Dwyer, Ipse Dixit:
How the World Looks to a Federal Judge (2007))..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Understanding the Challenges and Limitations of Guardianship Proceedings, in Establishing
a Guardianship for Elder Law Clients 105 (Aspatore, Inc. ed., 2013)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Pooled Trusts, S.D. Rep., July 2012, at 9..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Decanting and its Alternatives: Remodeling and Revamping Irrevocable Trusts, 55 S.D.
L. Rev. 253 (2010)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Integrating IRAs with SNTs, NAELA Special Needs Law Sec. Newsl., Fall 2010, at 8..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Using Trusts to Settle Lawsuits, 19 Prob. & Prop., Nov./Dec. 2005, at 52..
- Simmons, Tom E.. When Gift Planning Goes Awry, Nat'l L.J., Feb. 14, 2005, at 13..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Rights of Access to the Courts by Individuals with Disabilities, S.D. Rep., July 2004,
- Simmons, Tom E.. A Guide to South Dakota's Disability Discrimination Laws: Limits and Vantages, 47
S.D. L. Rev. 389 (2002)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Territorial Justice Under Fire: The Trials of Peter Wintermute, 1873-1875, 31 S.D.
Hist. 91 (2001)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. "Working" With the ADA's "Regarded As" Definition of a Disability, 5 Tex. F. C.L.
& C.R. 27 (2000)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. How Medication Affects the Existence of an ADA Disability, S.D. Rep., Nov. 2000, at
- Simmons, Tom E.. State Immunity from Federal Disability Discrimination Laws: Provisions of the ADA
and Rehabilitation Act Declared Unconstitutional, S.D. Rep., Nov. 1999, at 8..
- Simmons, Tom E.. The ADA Prima Facie Plaintiff: A Critical Overview of Eighth Circuit Case Law, 47
Drake L. Rev. 761 (1999)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Case Survey: A Brief Survey of Selected South Dakota Supreme Court Cases Decided in
1997, 43 S.D. L. Rev. 261 (1998)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Highways, Hunters and Section Lines: Tension Between Public Access and Private Rights,
2 Great Plains Nat. Resources J. 240 (1997)..
- Simmons, Tom E.. Note, Twisted Interests: People in Interest of S.A.H. and the State of Open Adoptions
in South Dakota, 42 S.D. L. Rev. 537 (1997)..