Member Directory
Member Directory

Scott Heidepriem

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Scott Heidepriem
Sioux Falls,

Scott Heidepriem has been trying lawsuits in South Dakota for 43 years. Scott practices in all areas of civil litigation in both federal and state court.

He graduated from the University of South Dakota, School of Law in 1980, and from Harvard in 1992 with a Master's degree in Public Administration.

Scott is listed by Super Lawyers as one of the top 5 lawyers in South Dakota and has held that distinction for many years. 

Scott has been listed in Super Lawyers of the Midwest Top 25, as one of the top 25 lawyers in a three state area. He has been chosen as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2007. He holds an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

The National Trial Lawyers Association selected Scott in the nation's top 100 Trial Lawyers and as the only South Dakota lawyer to be designated the title of Diplomat. Membership to the Top 100 is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile.

Scott is a past president of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association. Scott is a member of American Association of Justice and the American Bar Association. He is a past president of the South Dakota Board of Trial Advocates. He received his ABOTA membership in 2000. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and ABOTA.

From 2012 to 2016, Heidepriem chaired the South Dakota Judicial Qualifications Commission, which recommends judicial candidates and provides a disciplinary process for the state's judges. 

Scott served in the South Dakota legislature for 12 years. He was chosen as Speaker of the House, Pro Tempore, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senate Minority Leader for four years. Heidepriem was chosen the Democratic Party's nominee for Governor of South Dakota in 2010.

Scott is married to Susan. They have two sons, Sam and Peter.


University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota

J.D. - 1980

Harvard University

M.P.A. - 1992

University of South Dakota

A.B. - 1978

University of South Dakota

M.A. - 1983

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • South Dakota

Published Works

  • Assisted teaching environmental litigation at the University of Michigan Law School Ann Arbor, Michigan, October, 2014
  • “Debating the Doctrine: Government Speech,” South Dakota Law Review 2012 Symposium – Vermillion, SD, March 1, 2012
  • “Criminal Defense Artistry: Proficiencies & Perspectives” State Bar of South Dakota - Sioux Falls, South Dakota, April 17, 2009
  • “The 2008 Legislative Session: A Work in Progress” State Bar of South Dakota Early Bird CLE – Rapid City, SD, June 19, 2008
  • "Reproductive Rights in South Dakota" Speech at Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, 2008
  • "Rainmaking" Young Lawyers Regional Conference - Deadwood, SD, September 29, 2007
  • "Taking a Medical Deposition that the Jury Can Understand," South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association - Rapid City, SD, September 11, 2007
  • "Preparing the Witness for a Deposition" Trial Academy – USD Law School, Vermillion, SD, July 9, 2007
  • "Overcoming Juror Bias: How it Affects Your Case" South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, April 10-11, 2003
  • "From Miller to Sioux Falls: Is There a Difference in Juries?" SDTLA Spring Seminar, Sioux Falls, SD, April 10, 2003
  • "Discovery Skills for Legal Staff in South Dakota" Lorman Education Services, Sioux Falls, SD, April 24, 2001
  • "Common Sense Rules to Guide Your Trial Practice" SDTLA Spring Seminar, Trial Strategies & Techniques, Sioux Falls, SD, April 14, 2000
  • “Successful Trial Strategies” Iowa Trial Lawyers Association CLE, Marina Inn, Sioux City, IA, August 1999
  • “The Million Dollar Case” SDTLA, Excellence in Advocacy, Practicing With the Best, Sioux Falls, SD, April 17, 1998
  • “Tort Reform in South Dakota: The Plaintiff’s Perspective” South Dakota Law Review, Volume 42, Issue 2 (1998) (with Nancy Turbak), 1998
  • “Going Up Against the Trial Lawyer of the Year, or the Case of the Smoking Belly Button: An Adversary’s Diary” Barrister, Sept./Oct. 1997
  • “Treatment Plans: Medicate or Amputate?” SDTLA Practice Made Easier, Anatomy of a Law Firm, Chamberlain, SD, November 14, 1996
  • "Subrogation Issues Involving the Government, Worker's Comp, and the Tort Setting" State Bar of South Dakota CLE, Subrogation Issues, Chair of Panel, June 21, 1987
  • "South Dakota's Competitive Advantage" Annual Meeting - Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Calgary, 1985
  • "Tax Consequences of Repossession and Developments for 1984" State Bar of South Dakota CLE, Mitchell, SD, December 7, 1984
  • "Age Discrimination in Employment" State Bar of South Dakota CLE, Advising Elderly Clients, Pierre, SD, September 18, 1981

Representative Cases

  • Lagler v. Menard, Inc. & Zurich American Insurance Co., 2018 S.D. 53, 915 N.W.2d 707.
  • FB & Bldg. Products, Inc. v. Superior Truss & Components, A Division of Banks Lumber, Inc., 2007 S.D. 13, 727 N.W.2d 474.
  • Bair v. Callahan, 775 F. Supp.2d 1163 (D.S.D. 2011)
  • Stockwell v.Stockwell, 2010 S.D. 79, 790 N.W.2d 52
  • Haar v. Callahan, 2009 WL 1408671 (D.S.D. 2009)
  • Papke v. Harbert, 2007 SD 87, 738 N.W.2d 510 Bird Hotel Corp. v. Super 8 Motels, Inc., 246 F.R.D. 603, 605 (D.S.D.2007)
  • Johanns v. Livestock Marking Association et a;l., 544 U.S. 550, 125 S.Ct. 2055 (2005)
  • Olson v. Equitable Life Assur. Co., 681 N.W.2d 471 (S.D. 2004)
  • In re Arendt, 684 N.W.2d 79 (S.D. 2004)
  • Kwongyuen Hangkee Co., Ltd. v. Starr Fireworks, Inc., 634 N.W.2d 95 (S.D. 2001)
  • Maryott v. First National Bank of Eden, 2001 S.D 43, 624 N.W.2d 96
  • Sorrels v. Queen of Peace Hosp., 575 N.W.2d 240 (S.D. 1998)
  • Cramer v. Smith, 572 N.W.2d 445 (S.D. 1997)
  • Himrich v. Carpenter, 569 N.W.2d 568 (S.D. 1997)
  • Bruske v. Hille, 567 N.W.2d 872 (S.D. 1997)
  • Dakota Cheese, Inc. v. Taylor, 525 N.W.2d 713 (S.D. 1995)
  • Bell Paper Box, Inc. v. Trans Western Polymers, Inc., 53 F.3d 920 (8th Cir. 1995)
  • Cournoyer v. Montana, 512 N.W.2d 479 (S.D. 1994)
  • U.S. v. Hacker, 883 F.Supp. 444 (D.S.D. 1994)
  • Mueller v. Zelmer, 525 N.W.2d 49 (S.D. 1994)
  • State v. Sondreal, 459 N.W.2d 435 (S.D. 1990)
  • Prentice v. Classen, 355 N.W.2d 352 (S.D. 1984)
  • Olson v. Cass, 349 N.W.2d 435 (S.D. 1984)
  • Gross v. Gross, 355 N.W.2d 4 (S.D. 1984)
  • Northwest Realty Co. v. Carter, 338 N.W.2d 669 (S.D. 1983)
  • U.S. v. Oakie, 709 F.2d 506 (8th Cir. 1983)


  • One of the Best Lawyers in America, 2007 - Present
  • “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Super Lawyers of the Midwest Top 25, as one of the top 25 lawyers, one of the top 5 in South Dakota
  • Selected as nation’s top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Association

Classes & Seminars

"Negotiations and Settlement" USD School of Law, Adjunct Professor with Martha Davis & Cris Palmer, May 1995

"Pretrial Process" USD School of Law, Adjunct Professor with Jonathan Van Patten, 1996-1999

Professional Associations

  • South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, Past President
  • American Association of Justice, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • South Dakota Board of Trial Advocates Association, Past President, Member since 2000
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • ABOTA, Senior Life Fellow
  • S.D. Judicial Qualifications Commission, Chair, 2012 to 2016

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