Governor chooses new judge for Third Circuit

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has chosen Magistrate Judge Dawn Elshere to be a circuit judge. Here is the Wednesday news release.

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that he will appoint Magistrate Judge Dawn M. Elshere as a circuit court judge in South Dakota’s Third Circuit Court in Brookings.

“I thank Judge Elshere for accepting this appointment,” said Gov. Daugaard. “As a magistrate judge, she already understands the important role that judges play in our society. I particularly appreciate her advocacy for alternative courts.”

Elshere will fill the vacancy created by the July retirement of Hon. Vince A. Foley. The Third Circuit includes Beadle, Brookings, Clark, Codington, Deuel, Kingsbury, Grant, Hamlin, Hand, Jerauld, Lake, Miner, Moody and Sanborn counties.

“I am very excited and honored to be given the opportunity by Gov. Daugaard to serve the Third Circuit as a Circuit Court Judge,” said Elshere. “I’ve enjoyed my work as the Magistrate Judge and the Beadle County Drug Court Judge and I look forward to serving in the capacity as circuit court judge.”

Elshere currently serves as a magistrate judge in the Third Circuit, a position she has held since 2015. Elshere was Codington County states’ attorney from 2007 to 2015. Prior to that service, she was a deputy states’ attorney in Codington and Brown counties, and was in private practice for five years. In 1994 and 1995, she was law clerk for Hon. Warren Johnson in the Eighth Circuit.

Elshere is a native of Hosmer, South Dakota. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota in 1991 and is a 1994 graduate of USD School of Law.

Elshere administers the Beadle County drug court. She has served on the Unified Judicial System’s Judicial Training Committee and SAVIN Advisory Committee, and has worked as a trainer for the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Elshere and her husband, Brad, have two children.

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