USD to honor alumni on Supreme Court The University of South Dakota is proud to announce a special award for all five South Dakota Supreme Court Justices, all graduates of USD.
Chief Justice David Gilbertson and justices Richard Sabers, John Konenkamp, Judith Meierhenry, and Steven Zinter will be honored by USD at the annual USD Showcase event Feb. 8 at the Pierre Ramkota Hotel from 5 to 7 p.m. Remarks by President James W. Abbott and recognition of the Supreme Court justices will begin at 6 p.m. All alumni and friends are welcome.��
"It is a privilege to honor these five extraordinary alumni who perfectly exemplify the high academic standards at The U. Our school of law provides a legal education that serves as a solid foundation for the practice of law or other professional careers anywhere in the world. The fact that university alumni make up 70 percent of all lawyers in South Dakota and sit in every seat of the South Dakota Supreme Court proves that The U offers a valuable education that translates into highly successful careers," Abbott said.
Chief Gilbertson, a native of Sisseton, was elected to a four-year term as Chief Justice by the members of the Supreme Court in September 2001. He received juris doctorate from The University of South Dakota School of Law in 1975 and engaged in private practice from 1975 until his appointment to the circuit court bench in 1986.
Justice Sabers was born in Salem. He received his B.A. degree from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, in 1960 and after graduation served two years as a lieutenant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the United States and in Germany. He attended The University of South Dakota School of Law, where he was associate editor of the Law Review. He received his law degree in 1966 and enjoyed an active career as a trial lawyer in Sioux Falls for almost 20 years. He was a partner with the law firm of Moore, Rasmussen, Sabers and Kading at the time of his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1986. Justice Sabers was retained by the voters in the 1990 general election and again in the 1998 general election.
Justice Konenkamp represents the First Supreme Court District, which includes Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington counties. After serving in the United States Navy, he attended The University of South Dakota School of Law, graduating in 1974. He practiced in Rapid City as a deputy states attorney until 1977. He then engaged in private practice until 1984 when he was appointed a circuit judge. In May 1988, he became presiding judge of the seventh circuit. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1994 after 10 years on the trial bench and was retained by the voters in the 1998 general election.
Justice Zinter, of Pierre, was appointed to the Supreme Court on April 2, 2002. Justice Zinter received his B.S. degree from The University of South Dakota in 1972. He received his juris doctorate from The University of South Dakota School of Law in 1975. Upon graduation from law school, Justice Zinter practiced law as an assistant attorney general for the state of South Dakota. From 1978 to 1986 he was engaged in the private practice of law in Pierre. Justice Zinter also served as the Hughes County states attorney. He was appointed as a circuit judge in 1987 and served in that capacity until 1997. In 1997 he was appointed presiding judge of the sixth judicial circuit and served in that capacity until his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Justice Meierhenry received her B.S. degree in 1966, her M.A. in 1968, and her J.D. in 1977 � all from The University of South Dakota. She practiced law in Vermillion from 1977 to 1978 and was appointed by Governor Janklow in 1979 to the State Economic Opportunity Office. She was then appointed as Secretary of Labor in 1980 and Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs in 1983. She was a senior manager and assistant general counsel for Citibank South Dakota in Sioux Falls from 1985 to 1988. In 1988 she was appointed by the late Governor George S. Mickelson as a second circuit court judge and in 1997 was named presiding judge of the second judicial circuit. Justice Meierhenry was appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Janklow in November 2002. She is the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court in South Dakota.