Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun joins the State Bar of South Dakota in recognizing Thomas G. Fritz for 50 years in the practice of law

Tom has not only had a significant influence on the success and development of Lynn Jackson, but he has also greatly impacted jurisprudence in South Dakota.

Tom graduated law school in 1971 and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Andrew W. Bogue, U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota, Western Division, from 1971 to 1972. Judge Bogue was appointed to the bench in April of 1970, making Tom one of Judge Bogue’s first law clerks. Tom credits his time working for Judge Bogue in developing his skills as a trial lawyer.

Tom joined Lynn Jackson in 1972 and remains a valued and trusted member of the firm. Tom is generous with his time and talents, with a focus on making each member of the firm a better lawyer and a better person. Tom has as guiding principles, personal and professional ethics, and civility. Tom recognizes that lawyers must serve clients with dedication, professionalism, and dignity. He practices those qualities on a daily basis. Tom once wrote about the importance of mentoring, and observed that every lawyer has an obligation to be a model, an exemplar to those that follow.

Tom actively promotes service to the legal profession, the legal system, and the law, tirelessly giving of his time. Listing all the organizations benefitting from Tom’s service would be daunting, but the following are just a few of his highlights. In addition to his leadership within the firm, Tom served as a State Bar Commissioner from 1980 to1983. Tom then expanded his influence on the legal profession by representing South Dakota in the American Bar Association, as a Member of the House of Delegates, from 1983 to 1998, and on the Board of Governors from 1995to 1998. From 1997 to 1998, Tom served all of the lawyers in the State as President of the South Dakota Bar Association. In 2007, Tom was named South Dakota Trial Lawyer of the Year. This esteemed honor was awarded by Tom’s peers.

Lynn Jackson is proud to call Thomas G. Fritz a treasured and trusted friend, mentor, and colleague, and the firm congratulates Tom on his 50 years of service and influence on the legal profession.

Insurance Coverage Considerations

We have experienced some unusual weather this year, resulting in damage to property. Insurance coverage for that damage can raise questions.

All determinations on whether certain damage is “covered” by insurance start with the terms and conditions of the particular policy you purchased. Keeping insurance documents to track what changes may have occurred with renewals or rewriting coverage is an important step. While your insurance agent is a great source of help in understanding the policy, if you purchased your policy on-line, you may not have a local person to contact when you have questions.

If you have a homeowners insurance policy, you may have different “buckets” of coverage available. You may have insurance addressing personal property, and you may have debris removal coverage in addition to the insurance available for any structural damage. These different types of coverage may have different limits, which is the dollar amount you have available to address a loss. Keeping track of what expenses are allocated against what type of coverage may provide you with greater benefits.

Because insurance policies are different, just because your neighbor got a new roof will not mean you have that same coverage. Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun, P.C. has several lawyers well-versed in reading policies and understanding the questions about coverage that may be involved. Call our insurance coverage experts at 605-342-2592.

Read More

July 1st marks the date that laws passed by the South Dakota legislature take effect

July 1st marks the date that laws passed by the South Dakota legislature take effect. Some of the changes, such as those impacting conceal carry issues, are reported by news sources, but there are other changes that may have additional impacts. While the scope of the changes is too large to address here, and the effects of the statutory changes are dependent on specific situations, this blog post highlights a few of those changes. Please check with a lawyer for a specific analysis of the impact of these statutes on your situation.

If you are associated with a company bidding on public improvement contracts, you may be affected by the amendments to SDCL § 5-18B-9. That statute was amended to address the process for handling of bonds, certified checks or cashier’s checks for successful bidders and those unsuccessful bidders.

As we approach new school terms, SDCL § 13-53-24 and SDCL § 13-53-29.2, addressing the residency requirements for university students may be relevant. SDCL ch. 13-55 was also amended to include a new section addressing eligibility for the opportunity scholarship.

Changes that impact family law include a new section to SDCL ch. 13-28, concerning school enrollment for children of military members subject to military relocation. A new section was added to SDCL ch. 34-12F, which addresses required parental notification involving certain medical care.

Amendments were also made to SDCL § 12-4-5, regarding voter registration, and to SDCL § 16-13-4, which addresses certain provisions on jury lists. Plumbing do-it- yourselfers should review SDCL § 36-25-17, which addresses the scope of work that can be done and fees for plumbing inspections.

A comprehensive list of the bills signed by the Governor is available through the South Dakota Legislative Research council. How these changes impact you is best addressed by obtaining legal advice from the professionals at Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun.

Read More