2022 South Dakota Defense Lawyers

Annual Seminar

Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

November 3-4, 2022


Location Information

  • November 3, 2022, 5:30pm - 8:00pm: Minerva's Restaurant, Lower Level - SDDLA Social, Board Meeting, Business/Awards Meeting & Social
  • 301 S Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD, 57104 US

Location Information

  • November 4th 2022 from 7:30 AM to 12:15 PM CDT
  • SDDLA Annual Seminar - Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center
  • 1211 N West Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD, 57104 US

2022 SDDLA Meeting Schedule

THURS, Nov. 3, 2022MINERVA'S RESTAURANT - Lower Level

4:30 PM - 5:30 PMMinerva's Restaurant - Lower Level

SDDLA Board Meeting

5:30 PM - 6:15 PMMinerva's Restaurant- Lower Level


6:30 PM - 8:00 PMMinerva's Restaurant - Lower Level

SDDLA Business Meeeting & Awards


7:30 AMSheraton Sioux Falls

Registration Begins

7:55 AMFontanelle B

Welcome - Doug Abraham, President

8:00 AMFontanelle B

"What to Do in the Early Stages of a Crash" - Colin Wein, P.E.

8:30 AMFontanelle B

"Tripartite Relationships Between Attorneys, Clients and Insurance Companies" - James Hehner

9:15 AMFontanelle B

Vendor Introductions

9:45 AM


10:15 AMFontanelle B

"The Supreme Court: Big Cases, a New Justice, and What It All Might Mean for October Term 2022" - Thomas Dupree, Jr.

11:15 AMFontanelle B

"Governmental & Public Liability" - Rob Anderson, David Pfeifle, and James Moore

12:15 PM



Douglas Abraham President, SDDLA

Doug Abraham obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Drake University School of Law in December of 2008 and joined May Adam Gerdes & Thompson in Pierre, SD in 2009. He has a substantial background in civil litigation which makes him well qualified to assist clients in a broad spectrum of situations. He has represented clients on a wide range of complex issues and argued their cases to final disposition before the South Dakota Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Doug is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota, the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association (current President), the Defense Research Institute (DRI), and is licensed to practice before the Federal District Court for the District of South Dakota, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Doug also has a significant Indian Law practice and is licensed to practice before the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Oglala Lakota Tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He is involved in the Pierre community and has previously served as President of the Pierre Economic Development Corporation and has been a Board member and Executive Committee member for PEDCO for a number of years. Doug and his wife, Julia, are the proud parents of three children. Doug enjoys hunting, fishing, softball, and taking advantage of the recreation that Pierre has to offer.

Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson was born in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He attended and graduated from the University of South Dakota Law School and, since that time, has practiced law at May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson in Pierre. He has a broad-based experience in both civil and criminal litigation and has argued numerous cases before the South Dakota Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In recent years, his practice has focused on governmental liability, representing the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance and its members, as well as the State PEPL Fund and state employees. He is a member of DRI, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He would rather hunt than work, but gas and shotgun shells are not free.

Thomas Dupree, Jr.

Tom Dupree is Co-Partner-in-Charge of the Washington DC office of Gibson Dunn. He has argued more than 90 appeals in the federal courts, including in all thirteen circuits as well as the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Dupree previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. While in private practice, Mr. Dupree has represented President George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in challenging his Deflategate suspension. Mr. Dupree is nationally ranked by Chambers as one of the nation’s top appellate litigators and regularly appears as a legal analyst on Fox News and MSNBC.

James Hehner

Jim Hehner is the North Central Regional Director for DRI and currently serves on the Board of Directors of DRI. He is also past President of the Indiana Defense Trial Lawyers Association. He loves trying cases and has conducted many jury trials throughout his career. His practice focuses on wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, construction injuries, construction defects, product liability, and general liability disputes. He is a partner in the firm of Clendening, Johnson & Bohrer with offices in Indiananpolis and Bloomington, Indiana.

James Moore

James Moore, who joined the Woods Fuller law team in 1991, handles trial work involving government liability, eminent domain, insurance disputes, and business litigation, and minority-shareholder claims. While in law school, James was an articles editor for the South Dakota Law Review. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable C. Arlen Beam with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. James is listed in "The Best Lawyers in America," and "Chamber's USA." He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a member of the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association and Defense Research Institute. He serves on the South Dakota State Bar Law School Committee. James is a past board chair of the Volunteers of America, Dakotas; First Lutheran Church; and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. He was also a member of the Civil Service Board for the City of Sioux Falls.

Zachary Peterson

Zachary W. Peterson was born in Albia, Iowa, and raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota. After graduating from Aberdeen Roncalli High School, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Zach then attended law school at the University of Nebraska College of Law, where he graduated with distinction. Prior to joining the Richardson Law Firm in Aberdeen, SD in 2006, Zach served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles B. Kornmann, Federal District Judge for the District of South Dakota. Zach has been a partner at Richardson Law Firm since 2009. Zach and his wife Katie have two sons, Matthew and Joseph, and four daughters, Greta, Clare, Virginia, and Maryn.

David Pfeifle

Dave Pfeifle is the Executive Director of the SD Public Assurance Alliance (SDPAA), a public entity pool providing liability and property coverages to 436 local governments in South Dakota. Prior to joining the SDPAA in 2017, he spent twenty-three years representing local governments and other insureds of many insurance companies. He has served as a City Attorney for Pierre and Sioux Falls, a State’s Attorney for Stanley County, and a Public Defender for Lincoln County. He currently is on the board of directors for a reinsurance company serving public entities in 38 states and is active in several national associations addressing governmental liability issues. He is a past member of the SDDLA.

Colin Wein

Mr. Wein specializes in the analysis and reconstruction of motor vehicle accidents at the highest level throughout the United States. He has analyzed and reconstructed hundreds of motor vehicle crashes including rollovers, multi-vehicle impacts, motorcycles, heavy trucks and pedestrian impacts. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Colorado and California and an ACTAR Accredited Traffic Accident Reconstructionist. He performs scene and vehicle inspections including 3-D scans and/or drone flights to collect and quantify physical evidence, photogrammetry to reconstruct destroyed physical evidence, mathematical analysis to calculate vehicle speeds and Delta-V and prepare technical reports and trial exhibits for litigation.

2022 SDDLA Annual Seminar Planning Committee

Zacharay Peterson

Vice-President, SDDLA

Chair, Program Planning Committee

Douglas Abraham

President, SDDLA

Nathan Chicoine

Treasurer, SDDLA

Kris Rahm

Executive Director, SDDLA

Hotel Accommodations

Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center

SDDLA has a block of rooms at the Sheraton Sioux Falls for November 3, 2022: Please click the link below to make your reservations, or call the reservations line at 605-331-0100 and mention SDDLA to receive the group rate of $118/night. Please make your reservations PRIOR TO FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2022, as the room block will be released then.

Please click Here to make online reservations at the Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center, Sioux Falls, SD.

Registration Form

Meals - RSVP

Please indicate by placing a "1"  in any of the boxes below the entree you would like at the Awards Banquet: 


SDDLA members may elect to make a non-charitable voluntary contribution to the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association below:


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