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USD Law Grad Judge Salter Appointed to South Dakota Supreme Court

Judge Salter USD law graduate and adjunct professor Judge Mark Salter has been appointed to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota School of Law graduate, adjunct professor and current Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge Mark E. Salter has been appointed to serve on the South Dakota Supreme Court.

“I had the pleasure of having Judge Salter in class and working with him as an adjunct professor here at the law school,” said Tom Geu, dean of the USD School of Law. “He has been successful at everything he has tried to the benefit of justice and the public. We are proud that Judge Salter is one of our own and we are confident in his legal knowledge and solid judgment.”

Salter was appointed as a circuit judge in the Second Judicial Circuit Court in 2012, taking office in early 2013. He is the presiding judge for the Minnehaha County Veteran’s Treatment Court, and has sat as a temporary justice with the Supreme Court. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the USD School of Law, where he previously taught advanced criminal procedure and currently teaches advanced appellate advocacy.

“Judge Salter is a brilliant legal mind, and he will be an outstanding addition to our state’s highest court,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “I also appreciate Judge Salter’s leadership of the veteran’s treatment court, and his commitment to new approaches to addressing the problems of addiction.”

Completing his academic studies in 1993, Salter was a Thomas Sterling Honor Graduate of the USD School of Law for academic excellence. He earned his bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University.

After law school, Salter was commissioned in the United States Naval Reserve in 1993. While in the Navy, Salter served in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant commander in 2012.

After leaving active duty, Salter joined the Cutler & Donahoe law firm in Sioux Falls, where he became a partner and focused on civil and business law. While at Cutler & Donahoe, Salter also served for a year as Turner County deputy state’s attorney.

Salter joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2004, where he was the chief of the office’s appellate division from 2009 to 2013.

Salter will be the 51st justice in the history of the South Dakota Supreme Court. He will succeed another USD law graduate, Justice Glen A. Severson, who will retire in June after nine years on the Court.


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