Ron Parsons is the former United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota. He now heads the firm’s strongly developed Appellate Department and manages a broad range of civil litigation matters in federal and state courts. He has argued or handled more than one hundred appeals, primarily in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and South Dakota Supreme Court. During his career, two of the cases in which he appeared as counsel of record were heard by the United States Supreme Court.
Ron accepts cases at the trial and appellate levels, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, and frequently serves as local counsel for corporations and other clients in federal and state court. A list of representative cases is provided below.
His appellate and summary judgment arguments have included cases involving the separation of powers, private property rights, religious freedom, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Due Process Clause, the Commerce Clause, federal Indian law, federal and state criminal law, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), federal jurisdiction, business and commercial law, contract law, insurance law, administrative law, trust and estate litigation, taxation, water law, international comity and many other federal and state constitutional and statutory questions.
Ron served as the 42nd United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota following his unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate. As U.S. Attorney, Ron was the chief federal law enforcement officer for a district comprising the entire State of South Dakota, including nine Indian Reservations. The district serves almost 900,000 residents with 32 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and more than 60 employees located in three offices in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Rapid City. During his term, Ron served on the Attorney General Advisory Committee’s Terrorism and National Security, Native American Issues, and Elder Justice Subcommittees.
Ron has received a variety of recognitions for his legal work, including:
Ron is rated “AV - Preeminent,” the highest possible rating, by Martindale-Hubbell. He was selected for inclusion by his peers in The Best Lawyers in America. He has been recognized for his appellate work in Chambers USA's America's Leading Lawyers for Business. Benchmark Litigation named him a “Litigation Star” in South Dakota. And he has been honored as a Great Plains Super Lawyer and in Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition.
After graduating first in his law school class, Ron served as a law clerk for the Hon. Roger L. Wollman, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He is a frequent guest lecturer at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota School of Law. His legal scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits, as well as several United States District Courts.
Ron and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Sioux Falls with their two children.
University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota
University of Minnesota
• THANKS TO THE HEROES IN BLUE, Rapid City Journal (May 17, 2018)
• Dedication to Justice Steven L. Zinter, 65 S.D. L. Rev 1, (2020)
• Appellate Practice Compendium (American Bar Association) (Author of South Dakota Chapter) (2012)
• Ex Parte Contacts Revisited, 58 S.D. L. Rev. 273 (2013)
• Cattle on a Thousand Hills: Reflections on the Beef Checkoff Litigation, 57 S.D. L. Rev. 427 (2012)
• Appellate Practice in the South Dakota Supreme Court, 56 S.D. L. Rev. 1, (2011)
• Being There: Constructive Denial of Counsel at a Mental Competency Hearing as Structural Error under the Sixth Amendment, 56 S.D. L. Rev. 238 (2011)
• Should the Eighth Circuit Recognize Procedural Misjoinder?, 53 S.D. L. Rev. 52 (2008)
• Pierre Pressure: Legislative Elections, the State Constitution, and the Supreme Court of South Dakota, 50 S.D. L. Rev. 218 (2005)
• The Heart of the Matter: Substantive Due Process in the South Dakota Courts, 47 S.D. L. Rev. 185 (2002)
• Dedication to Chief Judge Roger L. Wollman, 46 S.D. L. Rev. 1 (2001)
• The Wrongful Death of Common Sense, 45 S.D. L. Rev. 283 (2000)
• That Which Governs: An Essay on the Nature of Law and Its Relation to Justice, 43 S.D. L. Rev. 172 (1998)
Ron’s legal scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits, as well as several United States District Courts.
It is great to work with the attorneys at Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah. They always provide excellent advice and service that is second to none.
The lawyers at Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah are consistently ranked as the top business lawyers in the state. Our business can always count on them to aggressively fight for our rights and provide straight-forward advice on complex issues.
Lawyers from Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah regularly participate in legal education by judging intramural student skills competitions; helping prepare our nationally competitive litigation skills teams; serving or leading the South Dakota State Bar's Law School Committee; and, from time to time , providing guest lecturers. The Law School is grateful for the generous participation of lawyers like those from Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah.