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Leadership

Officers

The State Bar elected officers are President and President Elect. Only Active Members may be elected to either of these offices. The President will install the President Elect as President before the Annual Meeting adjourns each year. The Active Members at the Annual Meeting will then, by majority vote, elect the next President Elect. The President will serve a one-year term. The President Elect will serve in that capacity until installed as President the following year.

President
The President may (1) preside at all State Bar and Bar Commission meetings; (2) execute contracts and instruments as authorized by the Bar Commission; (3) appoint Members to committees; (4) be an ex-officio, non-voting Member of committees; (5) perform all duties incident to the office of President and such other duties as may be assigned by the Bar Commission; and, (6) perform the duties of the Executive Director in the event the Executive Director is unable to perform. The President may appoint someone to serve as the Executive Director if the President is unwilling or unable to perform those duties.

President Elect
The President Elect will perform and be vested with all the powers and duties of the President in the event the President is absent or otherwise unwilling or unable to perform. The President Elect may perform such duties as may be assigned by the President and Bar Commission.

Executive Director & Secretary/Treasurer
The Executive Director will have general charge and control of day-to-day State Bar affairs subject to Bar Commission and State Bar Officer direction and Supreme Court rule. The Executive Director is the State Bar's Secretary/Treasurer.

Bar Commission

An elected Board of Bar Commissioners will govern and manage the business and affairs of the State Bar. The Board has all the power and authority necessary or appropriate for the administration of State Bar affairs consistent with Supreme Court rule, South Dakota Law, and these Bylaws. The Board may adopt rules, regulations, policies, and directives necessary for efficient State Bar operation. The Bar Commission will perform the acts necessary to locate and hire the Executive Director and determine the Executive Director's salary and benefits.

Board Composition
The Bar Commission is composed of one Active Member from each of South Dakota's judicial circuits and six at-large Active Members. The Bar Commission also includes the State Bar President and President Elect. A Commissioner candidate must be an Active Member at the time of election and reside in the judicial circuit that the candidate is seeking to represent. No two at-large Commissioners may reside within the same judicial circuit.

Commission Election Cycle
Active Members will elect Commissioners to represent each judicial circuit and the at-large positions according to the following election cycle:

  • Circuits 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. 2022, 2025, 2028, and every third year thereafter.
  • Circuits 4 and 5 and two At Large. 2023, 2026, 2029, and every third year thereafter.
  • Four At Large. 2024, 2027, 2030, and every third year thereafter.

Commission Petition or Nomination
To qualify as a Commissioner candidate, the Member must either complete a nominating petition containing the requisite number of signatures or be orally nominated by an Active member from the floor at the Business Meeting, provided the nominee's name and position sought was submitted to the Executive Director or other State Bar employee at least 40 hours before the beginning of the Business Meeting.

Nominating petitions for bar commission should be submitted to the State Bar Office by May 1st, for printing in the Annual Meeting Program.

At Large Petition - 15 signatures required

Circuit Petition - 5 signatures required

Commissioner Term
Upon election, Commissioners will hold office for a three-year term beginning at the close of the Annual Meeting in the year of election. No Commissioner may hold office for successive terms.

If you have questions about what the Bar Commission does, contact your local Commissioner for more information.

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