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Law School alum to deliver 2012 Charles H Dillon Lecture at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Secretary Leroy “JR” LaPlante of the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations will deliver the University of South Dakota School of Law’s annual Dillon Lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 12.

LaPlante, a 2009 graduate of the USD School of Law, will share “Revisiting Reconciliation in South Dakota” in the law school courtroom. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, LaPlante is a practicing attorney in Vermillion and serves as the Chief Judge and Court Administrator for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in Fort Thompson, S.D. LaPlante, who was born at Eagle Butte, is a member of the first cohort of Native Nation Rebuilders selected by the Bush Foundation in 2010 and served as an Equal Justice Works, AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with South Dakota Access to Justice in 2009. He was the former Administrative Officer for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and has an extensive background working for Native American human service organizations.

The 2012 Dillon Lecture is presented in conjunction with the biennial Indian Law Symposium, the longest-running Indian law symposium in the nation. “Tribal-State Relations: A Symposium” begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 13 and features national and regional speakers, and panelists to share their expertise on various aspects of Indian law issues, including Indian Child Welfare Act, intergovernmental relations, criminal jurisdiction and civil jurisdiction.

The Dillon Lecture is named for Charles Hall Dillon (1853-1928), a pioneer South Dakota lawyer, legislator, jurist and statesman. Presentation of this lecture alternates between the School of Law and the Department of Political Science. The lectureship in law and political science was established in a bequest to the University of South Dakota by his wife, Mrs. Frances D. Jolley Dillon of Vermillion, S.D. Charles Hall Dillon settled in the Mitchell, S.D., area in 1881, drawn to Dakota Territory from Indiana. He practiced law in Mitchell for about two years before moving to Yankton, where he resided until his retirement from the State Supreme Court in 1926. The last years of his life were spent in Vermillion. He died Sept. 15, 1929 at the age of 75.


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 202 undergraduate and 78 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News