This year, the competition ended in a first place tie. Tom Cota wrote a paper on the federal government's schizophrenic policies toward Indian property ownership, specifically fractionation of Indian-owned land, and the consequences that have resulted. Stacy Huss, the other first place winner, wrote on the Melendez-Diaz v. Mass. decision which resulted in the ineffective and unsubstantiated application of the Confrontation Clause to certificates of analysis—both products of neutral and unbiased forensic testing. Third place was awarded to Nathan Oviatt who wrote on the rarely used Tonnage Clause analysis in Polar Tankers v. City of Valdez.

The writing competition is sponsored and supported by May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, which not only provides financial support for this competition but also oversees the judging of the papers. David Gerdes served as chair of the judging committee. Additional judges and their professional affiliations are as follows:

  • Timothy M. Gebhart, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP — Sioux Falls
  • Tara L. Glasford, Adj. Prof., Bus. Admin., University Center/DSU — Sioux Falls
  • Melissa E. Neville, Bantz, Gosch & Cremer, LLC — Aberdeen
  • Doug Hoffman, Judge, 2nd Judicial Circuit — Sioux Falls
  • Jane Pfeifle, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun, PC — Rapid City
  • Justin Bell, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP — Pierre
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