Skip to main content

Eighth Circuit to Listen to Oral Arguments at USD Law School

VERMILLION, S.D. – A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will listen to oral arguments from three high-profile cases in the University of South Dakota School of Law Courtroom on Oct. 25. A full schedule and breakdown of each case is below.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit employs security methods to ensure the well-being of all who attend its proceedings. All people attending the arguments will need to enter through the southeast door of the Law School. Book bags, backpacks and other packages are subject to search and may not come into the courtroom during arguments. Anyone who brings a phone will be asked to ensure that it has been turned off. Attendees are encouraged to bring a minimal amount of outside items to keep the entrance process smooth and without delays.

Thursday, October 25 – 9-10:30 a.m. – USD Law School Courtroom

United States v. Jon Bryant, Sr. - Jon Henri Bryant, Sr., was charged with Kidnapping, Carjacking, and Interstate Domestic Violence. He plead guilty to Kidnapping and was sentenced to 360 months imprisonment. He is appealing his sentence, claiming (1) that the district court procedurally erred in calculating his Guidelines range, and (2) that the district court’s sentence was substantively unreasonable.

United States v. Keith Hagen - A jury convicted Keith Hagen of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and four counts of mail fraud. He was sentenced to 46 months of imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the total amount of $236,000, and a $100 special assessment on each count. On appeal, Hagen claims that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he acted with intent to defraud.

United States v. Calmer Cottier - Calmer Cottier was convicted of Second-Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Assault and he is appealing his jury conviction. On appeal, he claims (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction, (2) the district court erred in instructing the jury, (3) the prosecutor improperly vouched for the credibility of witnesses, (4) testimony about an unrelated sexual act was incorrectly admitted, and (5) the district court procedurally erred in calculating his Guidelines range. 


USD’s Knudson 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 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News