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WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 — David E. Gilbertson, chief justice of the Supreme Court of South Dakota, will receive the American Bar Association Grassroots Advocacy Award on April 8 for supporting the independence of the judiciary and expanding, in cooperation with the State Bar of South Dakota, access to justice for those in rural communities.
“Recognition is always appreciated. However, recognition of a partnership between the bench and bar of South Dakota, which have joined in the defense of, and improvement of, South Dakota’s legal system, is particularly appreciated,” Gilbertson said. “The ultimate beneficiaries of these joint efforts are the citizens of South Dakota, who are those the bench and bar exist to serve.”
Gilbertson received his undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University in 1972 and his juris doctor from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1975. He engaged in private practice from 1975 until his appointment to the circuit court bench in 1986. During this time, he also served as a deputy state’s attorney and as an attorney for several municipalities and school districts. He is a past president of the South Dakota Judges Association and a member of the Glacial Lakes Bar Association, the Brown County Bar Association and the South Dakota Bar Association. He is the first vice president of the Conference of Chief Justices and chairs its Task Force on Politics and Judicial Selection/Compensation.
“Chief Justice Gilbertson’s leadership on access to justice, in cooperation with the State Bar of South Dakota, has protected his state’s fair and impartial courts and given many rural South Dakotans a lifeline to our judiciary. We are proud to honor him with our ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award,” ABA President James R. Silkenat said.
Gilbertson will receive the ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award as part of the association’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2014 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to D.C. to discuss issues such as funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
The other recipients of the 2014 ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award are George Washington University law professor Stephen Saltzburg and Raleigh, N.C., attorney Mark E. Sullivan.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.