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Gov. Daugaard Names Rick Sommers As Fifth Circuit Judge


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that he will appoint Rick Sommers of Aberdeen as a circuit judge in South Dakota’s Fifth Judicial Circuit. 

Sommers will fill the upcoming vacancy created by the pending retirement of Judge Jack Von Wald. The Fifth Circuit includes Brown, Campbell, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Marshall, McPherson, Roberts, Spink and Walworth counties. 

“Rick is a widely-respected attorney who has decades of experience in the courtroom,” said Gov. Daugaard. “I appreciate that he is willing to serve the public as a circuit court judge.”

Sommers is a partner in the Bantz, Gosch & Cremer law firm in Aberdeen. In addition to civil and criminal law, Sommers specializes in water law and serves as city attorney for several municipalities. 

After practicing in Britton and Brookings, Sommers worked for two years as Brown County chief deputy state’s attorney, before joining his current firm in 1989. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota School of Law.

"I am honored and feel extremely privileged that Governor Daugaard has placed his trust in me by appointing me to this position. I look forward to starting my duties in January," said Sommers

Sommers is a member of the South Dakota Bar Association and the Brown County Bar Association, and is a past president of the Municipal Attorney’s Association.  He currently serves as a member of the State Legislature’s Watershed Task Force.

Sommers has been active in various organizations in the Aberdeen area including the Northeast Head Start Board of Directors and Area and Local Chairman of South Dakota Ducks Unlimited. He has also acted as a moderator for the annual South Dakota Boys State mock trials.

Sommers and his wife, Myra, have two children and are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church.