The appellate division was formed in 2009 and is responsible for the supervision and coordination of appellate litigation in which the South Dakota US Attorney’s office represents the federal government. These appeals involved a wide variety of legal issues and different types of substantive law.
In many cases, the appellate division represents the Government in appeals filed by criminal defendants who are seeking appellate review of their convictions or sentences. Roughly half of these cases involve violent crimes committed in Indian country. The remainder of the criminal appeals deal with other federal offenses such as large-scale drug conspiracies, immigration and firearms offenses, and child pornography cases.
The appellate division also handles civil appeals which arise when the US Attorney’s office represents the United States in claims brought by the Government or against it. These appellate cases include defending against tort claims filed by individuals or representing federal agencies in challenges to their administrative actions. Civil appeals can also feature the United States’ affirmative advancement of its interests in a variety of federal cases.
Mark Salter, Chief, Appellate Division, US Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota