May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP is a full service law firm committed to providing high quality, cost effective legal representation. Members of the firm are encouraged to pursue their individual interests in professional, political, and community involvement. The firm and its members have a long history of leadership and community involvement. Among its members can be found a president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, a member of the ABA Board of Governors, two presidents of the State Bar of South Dakota, two presidents of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, two presidents of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a president of the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, a long-time board member of the South Dakota Easter Seals Society, and a board member of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP offers superior legal representation from the region's foremost attorneys. Our clients can be assured their legal matters will be handled with expertise and the utmost professionalism. Our firm, as well as all of our senior attorneys, has consistently received an AV designation for its legal ability and integrity in the legal profession. In another recent publication, five members of the firm were recognized among the best lawyers in America. In addition, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and is recommended by Best's Directory and Hines Insurance Counsel.
The firm is likely the oldest law firm in the state. It was established in Pierre in 1881 as Wakefield & Horner. Since that time, it has been known successively as Horner & Stewart; Horner, Martens & Goldsmith; Martens & Goldsmith; Martens, Goldsmith & May; Martens, Goldsmith, May & Porter; Martens, Goldsmith, May, Porter & Adam; May, Porter, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson; and May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP. Glenn Martens (1881-1963) and Karl Goldsmith (1885-1966) practiced law in Pierre from just after the turn of the century to the middle 1960's. Mr. Martens was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. He also served in the State Senate from 1923-24 and as Chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party from 1938 to 1944. Karl Goldsmith served without compensation for many years as Executive Secretary of the State Bar of South Dakota. Martens and Goldsmith were fast friends and highly regarded practitioners whose individual professional skills complemented one another. Martens apprenticed and read the law to become a lawyer, while Goldsmith was a graduate of Yale.
Although we are a regional firm, country-wide access comes from our association with several state and national organizations, providing our clients with an extra dimension of service. Because of our representation of numerous state trade associations, their counterpart national trade associations provide national insight. We are a member of the State Capital Law Firm Group. This group is a national and highly selective organization founded initially by the nation's 50 leading law firms with offices in their state capitals. In recent years, the State Capital Law Firm Group has expanded to include firms in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
While the State Capital Law Firm Group focuses primarily on providing access to government relations and regulation in areas where the member firms are located, it also provides our clients a point of reference and a contact in all areas of legal representation in the United States and foreign countries. Member firms of the State Capital Law Firm Group practice independently and not in a relationship for the joint practice of law.
Located in Pierre, the state capital, the firm has a widely diversified law practice, due in large part to its location. Aside from state government, Pierre's economy is largely centered around agriculture. As a consequence, clients of the firm range from local farmers, ranchers, and businessmen to large multinational corporations.
The firm has an active litigation practice in both federal and state courts. U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Central Division, is located in Pierre. The federal Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Dakota sits in Pierre with a resident judge. Pierre is the county seat for Hughes County, and across the Missouri River, Fort Pierre is the county seat for Stanley County. Because of Pierre's central location and easy accessibility to the remainder of the state, members of the firm routinely handle litigation in the surrounding counties and the other major cities of the state, including Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen.
South Dakota has a significant Native American presence. Tribal courts are exercising jurisdiction over an increasing array of civil cases. Members of the firm maintain memberships in the courts of the Rosebud Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, and Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribes.
As a corollary to its active trial practice, the firm also has an active appellate practice before the South Dakota Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Four members of the firm are members of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.
A major aspect of the firm's practice is centered around state government. Administrative and regulatory law, as well as lobbying, are major components of the service mix which the firm can provide. Administrative practice includes utility and telecommunications regulation before the Public Utilities Commission, workers' compensation proceedings before the Division of Labor and Management, Department of Labor, insurance regulatory activities before the Division of Insurance, Department of Commerce, bank regulation and franchising before the South Dakota Banking Commission, enforcement and other tax-related matters before the Department of Revenue, and environmental, water rights and oil and gas proceedings before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The firm maintains a significant lobbying presence during the annual sessions of the state legislature for state and national clients.
The firm has broad experience defending governmental entities from a wide range of liability claims. These include defense of civil rights actions under 42 U.S.C. 1983, age discrimination, sexual harassment and other employment related claims. The firm's experience extends to the representation of officers and employees of state government, as well as officials and employees of counties, cities, and other governmental entities.