Division Director - Deputy Attorney General Sherri Sundem Wald

The Appellate Division consists of a Deputy Attorney General and 11 Assistant Attorneys General.
Responsibilities:
  • Represent the state in all criminal appeals before the South Dakota Supreme Court
  • Defend state and federal habeas corpus cases
    • Habeas corpus is a lawsuit brought by a prisoner to test the legality of detention. It is, in effect, a second appeal. State habeas corpus petitions are generally defended by local state's attorneys at the trial court level, while the Appellate Division defends such actions before the South Dakota Supreme Court, the United States District Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
  • Represent state agencies, officers, or employees in administrative hearings and litigation
    • Appellate attorneys represent state agencies, officers, or employees in administrative hearings and litigation, either as agency counsel or as hearing examiner.
  • Provide legal advice and counsel to state agencies
Statistics:
  • In 2009, the Appellate Division briefed 81 cases before the state Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The Division also presented the following numbers of oral arguments:
    • 12 cases in the South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 7 cases in the United States District Court
    • 6 cases in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
    • 12 cases in the South Dakota Circuit Courts
  • The Division defended 24 federal habeas corpus requests in 2009.
  • In 2008, the Appellate Division briefed 88 cases before the state Supreme Court and presented oral arguments in 12 cases.
  • In 2007, the Appellate Division briefed 87 cases before the state Supreme Court and presented oral arguments in 15 cases.