Awarded annually by The University of South Dakota Student Bar Association (SBA), the McKusick Award is presented to an outstanding member of the South Dakota Bar for contributions to the legal profession. Sabers, appointed to the South Dakota Supreme Court in 1986, is a 1966 graduate of the USD School of Law where he also served as associate editor of the Law Review. Prior to his appointment to the state’s highest court, Sabers was an active trial lawyer in Sioux Falls, S.D., for nearly 20 years. He has been retained as a South Dakota Supreme Court Justice by voters three times during the 1990, 1998 and 2006 general elections.

A member of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers’ Association and the American Bar Association, Sabers was president of the Second Judicial Circuit Bar in 1982-83. He and his late wife, Colleen, have three children, Steven, Susan and Michael. In June 2000, he married Ellie Schmitz, who has three children; Jason, Joseph and Ann. Together, he and Ellie reside in Sioux Falls and have 12 grandchildren.

McKusick Award recipients are chosen by the SBA from nominations by members of the South Dakota Bar. Marshall M. McKusick (1879-1950) was a professor at the USD Law School beginning in 1902. In 1911, he became the law school’s second dean, and served the University and the legal profession for nearly five decades. Aaron Roseland, president of the USD School of Law’s Student Bar Association, will present Sabers with the 57th Marshall McKusick Award at 11 a.m. on June 20 during the state bar association’s annual meeting in Aberdeen.

More information about Sabers is available at

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