Since 2006, Fuller, Williamson, Nelsen & Preheim, LLP, has been representing clients in nearly all types of civil litigation. Our attorneys have comprehensive experience in their respective fields and are routinely recognized as leaders amongst South Dakota's civil litigators. This is, in part, because the attorneys at Fuller, Williamson, Nelsen & Preheim are uniquely committed to their clients and their clients' causes. This approach to litigation routinely requires collaboration across disciplines and practice areas to provide creative and innovative legal solutions, which results in better outcomes with less expense and less delay. Further, our firm has a demonstrated ability to try cases of varying complexity, nature, and stakes, which continues to set the attorneys at Fuller, Williamson, Nelsen & Preheim apart. But most importantly, our lawyers strive to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct, civility, and community involvement.
Bill Fuller began practicing law in South Dakota in 1973. Bill's family has a long history in South Dakota's legal community. His father, Howell Fuller, was one of the named partners of Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith P.C., and his great-grandfather, Howard G. Fuller, sat on the South Dakota Supreme Court.
Fuller, Williamson, Nelsen & Preheim, LLP is a continuation of a law practice that began in 2006. Since that time, Bill has worked tirelessly to continue the firm's legacy of providing clients with exceptional advocacy at every stage of representation.
After graduating from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, Bill attended Utah State University and the University of South Dakota as an undergraduate. He received his law degree from the University of South Dakota in 1973, and joined the law firm of Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith P.C. Bill became a partner at the Woods law firm in 1976 and practiced there until 2006 when he joined with Susan Sabers to form the firm of Fuller & Sabers, LLP.
Bill is AV rated in Martindale-Hubbell and is also listed in Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Bet-The-Company Litigation. Bill has tried over 150 jury trials. He has more than 35 reported South Dakota Supreme Court decisions and more than 50 reported federal court decisions. He has been appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of South Dakota to assist in the defense of state entities. Bill is a member of the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, the State Bar of South Dakota, South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research Institute, Second Judicial Circuit Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He served as a past governor of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, Chairman of the Evidence Committee for the State Bar of South Dakota, and presently serves as Chairman of the Civil Pattern Jury Instruction Committee for the State Bar of South Dakota. He is a member of the Federal Practice Committee for the District of South Dakota. Bill is named in USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business in General Commercial Litigation and was also a 2011-2012 selection by Super Lawyers. He is admitted to practice in South Dakota, Minnesota, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Court, Yankton Sioux Tribal Court, and Standing Rock Tribal Court. Bill also serves as a civil mediator and arbitrator.
Bill is a member of the Rotary Club of Sioux Falls and a past board member and president of the Alzheimer's Association (Siouxland Chapter) and currently serves as a board member of the South Dakota Skydivers and Director Emeritus on the Board of Directors of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.
Hilary graduated magna cum laude from the University of Sioux Falls in 2003 with a B.A. in criminal justice. During her undergraduate career, she was a Presidential Scholarship recipient for four years, was named the 2002 All-American Cross Country Scholar Athlete, and served as a Faculty Development Board Member.
Hilary received her Juris Doctor in May 2006 from the University of South Dakota School of Law, where she graduated in the top ten percent of her class and was a Sterling Honor Graduate. While in law school, Hilary was the Lead Articles Editor for the South Dakota Law Review and her article on parole revocation was published in the South Dakota Law Review in 2005. In 2004 and 2005, Hilary was a recipient of the USD Law School Foundation Scholarship and was named to the Dean’s List. Hilary was the Graduate Assistant to the South Dakota Board of Regents in 2005-06.
Following graduation, Hilary served as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice Judith Meierhenry of the South Dakota Supreme Court. As a law clerk, Hilary reviewed hundreds of briefs, heard dozens of oral arguments, and assisted the South Dakota Supreme Court in writing its decisions. She joined the firm upon completion of her clerkship.
Since joining the firm, Hilary has represented clients in diverse and complex civil litigation matters. She is experienced in all phases of the litigation process from motion hearings to trial. Her practice also includes guardianship, conservatorship, and probate matters. Hilary has been repeatedly recognized for her exceptional legal writing skills at both the trial and appellate levels. Even before being made one of the youngest partners in South Dakota in 2012, Hilary was already regarded as one of the State’s finest legal writers.
In addition to the State Bar of South Dakota, Hilary is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, American Bar Association, South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association, South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, Second Judicial Circuit Bar Association and Second Judicial Circuit Women in Law (President, 2010-2011; Vice President/Treasurer 2009-2010). She is admitted to practice in South Dakota, Minnesota, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Court.
Derek graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 2006. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2009. As a testament to his writing and oral advocacy skills, Derek was the only person to simultaneously be a Law Review Editor and Moot Court Board Member during law school. In addition to his accomplishments outside of the classroom, Derek graduated from law school as a Sterling Honor Graduate and was the recipient of the Law School’s prestigious Gavel Award.
After graduating, Derek clerked for the Honorable Justice Judith Meierhenry of the South Dakota Supreme Court from 2009 until 2011. As a law clerk, Derek reviewed over 1,000 appellate briefs, heard approximately 100 oral arguments, and assisted the South Dakota Supreme Court in writing its decisions. He joined the firm after his clerkship ended.
Since joining the firm, Derek has developed a comprehensive litigation practice with a focus on insurance-based and insurance bad faith cases. Derek has tried jury trials across South Dakota, given oral arguments before the South Dakota Supreme Court, and has appeared regularly in South Dakota’s Federal Courts. Derek’s advocacy skills have earned him a reputation for excellence, which has resulted in his retention by other attorneys to assist with high-value and high-stakes cases at trial and on appeal. Derek is admitted to practice in South Dakota, Minnesota, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Court. Derek is a member of the American Bar Association, South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association, South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, Second Judicial Circuit Bar Association, and Defense Research Institute. Derek is AV-Preeminent rated for high professional ethics and legal abilities.
Eric graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in 2006. Eric went on to receive his Juris Doctorate in 2009 from the University of South Dakota School of Law. In law school, he was a Moot Court Board Member and received the top grade in Insurance, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Appellate Advocacy, Commercial Law, Contracts, and several other classes. Eric graduated law school with Sterling Honors and was selected as the Lexis Award recipient by the law school faculty.
After law school, Eric clerked for the Honorable Karen Schreier, the Chief Judge of the Federal District Court of South Dakota, from 2009 to 2011. As a law clerk, Eric researched legal issues and drafted numerous memoranda for the Judge’s consideration. As a result of his time as a law clerk, Eric obtained an enhanced understanding of bad faith insurance law, Title VII employment discrimination law, federal civil procedure, and the federal rules of evidence. After completing his clerkship, Eric worked at the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office where he appeared in court daily. As a criminal defense lawyer, Eric represented hundreds of individuals and successfully defended his clients in numerous trials and contested hearings.
Eric joined the firm in 2013 and became a partner in 2018. He has also served as the South Dakota Evidence Committee Chairperson. His practice centers on high stakes legal matters, including insurance-based litigation involving bad faith claims, high value personal injury claims, product and construction defect claims, government liability claims, complex business litigation, and trade secret claims. Eric provides advice to his clients based on an acute understanding of complicated legal matters and long-term strategic considerations. Public examples of his representation can be found at McKenzie v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 260 F.3d 1150 (D.S.D. 2017), Haney v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 223 F. Supp.3d 921 (D.S.D. 2017), Axness v. Aqreva, LLC, 118 F.Supp.3d 1144 (D.S.D. 2015), Barth v. Rounds, No. 4:14-MC-00118-KES (D.S.D. Feb. 19, 2015), and Keating v. University of South Dakota, 569 Fed.Appx. 469 (8th Cir. 2014). Eric is admitted to practice law in South Dakota, Iowa and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Molly is a native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 2010, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. During her undergraduate career, Molly worked with companies in the music industry where she learned the practical aspects of running a business.
After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Molly returned to South Dakota to attend law school at the University of South Dakota. She received her Juris Doctor in May 2014 and graduated with Sterling Honors. While in law school, Molly was a member of the school’s trial team and interned at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, Raven Industries, and Fuller & Williamson.
After law school, Molly was selected as the law clerk for the First Judicial Circuit in Yankton, South Dakota. As a law clerk, Molly reviewed hundreds of briefs, observed jury trials, and drafted research memorandums and memorandum decisions for various judges. Molly joined the firm in August 2015 following her clerkship. Molly uses her experience described above to effectively represent clients through all stages of litigation.
Andy graduated as a University Honors Scholar from the University of South Dakota in 2012. Andy majored in Criminal Justice, English, and Political Science. During his undergraduate studies, Andy was a Presidential Alumni Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, Andy attended the University of South Dakota School of Law. In law school, Andy was an editor for the South Dakota Law Review and was recognized at graduation as the top student in his class. Following law school, Andy served as a law clerk for two years for the Honorable Karen Schreier of South Dakota’s Federal District Court for the Southern Division. Andy was then chosen to clerk for the Honorable Roger Wollman of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for an additional year. Andy joined Fuller & Williamson immediately following his clerkships.
Andy is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota.
Laura obtained her Paralegal degree from Nettleton College in Sioux Falls in 1995 and started her legal career as a legal assistant with the Brende & Schroeder Law Firm. Over the years she worked as a paralegal at the Johnson, Heidepriem, Miner, Marlow & Janklow Law Firm, the Tobin Law Office and the Janklow Law Firm. Laura has worked in a wide range of legal areas from personal injury to family law to products liability to criminal law. Laura joined the firm part time in the Spring of 2007. She then went full time October 2010. Laura’s excellent organizational skills and attention to detail are a great asset to the firm.
Tami Hurley first entered the legal profession as a word processor at Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith in 1986. Over the years, she worked as a legal secretary for Hoy & Hoy Law Firm and Thompson Law, P.C., eventually becoming an administrative Assistant at Thompson Law. She was employed briefly at a non-law related job, but missed the challenge presented by working as a legal professional and joined the firm in August 2007. She is a welcome addition to the firm.
Sara began her legal career in 2007 in Pierre, South Dakota, working in a diverse range of practice areas, from estate planning and corporate matters to energy and telecommunications regulatory law, before moving with her family to the Sioux Falls area. She also has experience in other legal areas such as personal injury, criminal law and conservatorships and guardianships. Sara joined the firm in 2010. She brings a fresh perspective and great organizational skills to the firm.
A South Dakota native, Abby started her legal career as a scheduling clerk for the circuit court judges in Minnehaha County. She worked as an office manager for a litigation firm while attending the University of South Dakota. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. After graduating, she took a position as a legal assistant with the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office in Fargo, North Dakota. Abby joined our firm in 2018 and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as an office assistant.
At Fuller & Williamson, our focus is on trial work, but we also know that judgment at trial does not always mean that a case is over. An effective trial lawyer must be well-versed in appellate practice, from identifying and preserving potential appellate issues at trial, to assessing the likelihood of an appeal's success, to advocating before the appellate court. We have extensive experience before both the federal and state appellate courts and can offer knowledgeable service at every step of the process.
Our lawyers have focused on civil litigation throughout their careers and are familiar with the judges, laws, and lawyers in the South Dakota legal community. We have represented plaintiffs and defendants alike, and are experienced in all areas of civil litigation. Civil litigation takes many forms, and can cover a myriad of disputes including personal injury, contracts, corporations, real estate, insurance, banking and lending, employment, and civil rights, to name but a few. We have experience in a wide range of business, insurance, government, and personal disputes, and practice regularly in both state and federal court. Whether our client is a sophisticated purchaser of litigation services, a small company involved in its first lawsuit, or an individual financially and emotionally involved in a dispute, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with personal attention and high-quality, cost-effective representation.
As part of our trial practice we have helped large and small businesses navigate a broad range of legal challenges, including trademark litigation, qui tam actions, employment disputes, antitrust litigation, shareholder lawsuits, insurance altercations, professional liability claims, and trade secrets infringement. Bill Fuller has been named by The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of commercial litigation.
Successful commercial litigation typically requires carefully sifting through complex information, and then translating it into an understandable and persuasive story for the judge or jury. We provide our clients with responsive representation, thorough preparation and attention to detail, all at "small firm" pricing.
As part of our comprehensive employment litigation practice, we have appeared before state and federal courts and administrative agencies such as the Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and have handled claims involving restrictive covenants, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, confidentiality provisions, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The attorneys at Fuller & Williamson have defended claims against a variety of governmental agencies, in both state and federal courts. We have defended civil rights lawsuits initiated by citizens for, among other things, wrongful discharge, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, violation of due process, and racial discrimination. In addition, we have represented the State of South Dakota in constitutional takings (eminent domain) cases, and have pursued claims on behalf of the State to enforce duties of the federal government.
A substantial focus of our practice is representation of insurance carriers and their insured’s. We handle all forms of tort litigation arising under automobile, comprehensive general liability, professional malpractice, errors and omissions, fire and casualty and homeowner’s policies. Our experience ranges over a wide variety of personal injury and property damage cases. With abundant experience in both federal and state court insurance litigation, we have represented insurance carriers in a variety of insurance law and coverage matters, and have defended claims involving the validity of policy language, bad faith litigation, and denials of coverage.
Our lawyers have undertaken and defended significant and challenging litigation involving products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful discharge, errors and omissions, wrongful death, and motor vehicle accidents.
The lawyers at Fuller & Williamson have handled product liability litigation from all angles, both defending and prosecuting claims involving serious injuries, in cases involving such diverse products as operating room tables, forklifts, automobile tires, and printing presses.
Professionals can face allegations of professional misconduct and malpractice even after taking every possible care to see that things are done correctly. The attorneys at Fuller & Williamson have successfully defended a variety of professional malpractice claims including legal, accounting, and medical malpractice. As in all areas of our practice, we pride ourselves on our aggressive representation, quality legal work and sensitivity to client's needs and expectations.
If you find yourself in disputes involving your property or someone else's, chances are that the lawyers at Fuller & Williamson have already helped clients in similar settings. We have experience with a broad range of property rights disputes, including eminent domain, inverse condemnation, liens, easements and landlord-tenant issues.
If you are in a dispute regarding the administration of an existing trust, you need experienced attorneys that excel at litigation, inside and outside of the courtroom. Fuller & Williamson can assist you with trust litigation involving claims for breach of fiduciary duties, self-dealing, conflicts of interests, or breach of the trust agreement itself. Our attorneys can also assist in obtaining and defending against trust modifications or reformations.
7521 S. Louise Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57108