Thomas G. Fritz
Tom Fritz has a storied, 40-year career representing clients in professional liability, commercial, products liability, personal injury, construction cases, and insurance disputes. He has been a member of Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun since 1972. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in South Dakota, as well as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Tom attended the University of South Dakota, where he obtained three degrees – his undergraduate degree in 1968, his law degree in 1971, and a master’s degree in 1975. Tom clerked for the United States District Court following graduation. Tom has been with Lynn Jackson his entire career, and not only has amassed favorable outcomes in state and federal courts, but has also been an invaluable mentor to many attorneys.
Tom is an AV-rated attorney, and has been recognized and frequently honored by his colleagues, most recently by being awarded the prestigious McKusick Award. In addition, he has been named to the list of Great Plains Super Lawyers® since 2007, to the list of Best Lawyers in America® since 2011, and was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America® several times. Tom was also chosen as Trial Lawyer of the Year by the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association in 2007. Tom has tried over 100 jury trials and served as president of the State Bar of South Dakota, governor of the ABA Board of Governors, president of the Western States Bar Conference and president of the Jack Rabbit Bar Conference. He is also a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, ABOTA, the International Society of Barristers, South Dakota Defense Lawyers and South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of the South Dakota, Pennington County, and American Bar Associations.
Tom and his wife Pam enjoy skiing and spending time with their children and grandchildren.
- Bertelsen v. Allstate Insurance – Lead trial counsel to Allstate Insurance and its insureds for over 20 years. Tried bad faith case two times and took the appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court twice, which has become significant authority in insurance bad faith litigation.
- Hohm v. Rapid City -Lead counsel for young man brain-injured in an accident when the car in which he was a passenger plunged into a city water canal. The jury awarded $7,000,000 in damages. The verdict ranked among the largest personal injury verdicts in South Dakota history.
- French v. Black Hills Railroad –Trial counsel and lawyer to Black Hills Central Railroad. Defended negligence, slip and fall and property disputes for Black Hills tourist icon and attraction.
- Stalder v. Montana Dakota Utilities – Trial counsel to the utility companies Black Hills Electric or Black Hills Energy and Montana Dakota Utilities. Fritz defended many gas explosions, trench cave-in cases and forest fire claims, all to jury conclusions.
- Kuper v. Lincoln-Union Electric Company – Trial counsel to local rural electrics defending negligence claims. Kuper involved the unique claim of “stray voltage” as did Gorsuch v. Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc.
- University of South Dakota, School of Law, J.D., 1971
- University of South Dakota, M.A., 1975
- University of South Dakota, B.A., 1968
- State Bar of South Dakota (Bar Commissioner, 1980-1983; President, 1997-1998)
- American Bar Association (Member: House of Delegates, 1983-1998 Board of Governors, 1995-1998)
- Jack Rabbit Bar (Chancellor, 1993-1994)
- Western States Bar Conference (President 2007)
- South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association
- South Dakota Defense Lawyers
- International Association of Insurance Counsel
- Federation of Insurance Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- International Society of Barristers
- McKusick Award, 2016
- Litigation Counsel of America inductee, 2013
- South Dakota Trial Lawyer of the year, 2007
- Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV” Rated Lawyer
- Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Litigation: General Commercial
- Best Lawyers in America® (2011-2019):
- Bet-the-Company Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants
- Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs
- Administrative / Regulatory Law
- Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year”, Rapid City:
- Bet-the-Company Litigation (2011, 2014, 2016-2018)
- Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants (2016)
- Administrative / Regulatory Law (2013, 2015)
- Great Plains Super Lawyers (2007-2019)
- YMCA Board of Directors (15 years) President
- Make A Wish Foundation State Board of Directors
- Blessed Sacrament Parish Council (President)
- Western South Dakota Catholic Foundation Board of Directors
- Pennington County Democratic Party Chairman
- Kimberly Knowlton – Paralegal
- State of South Dakota
- United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit