Robert B. Anderson

Robert B. Anderson was born in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, and raised there on a family farm. He graduated from the University of Minnesota (B.A., Magna Cum Laude) and attended law school at the University of South Dakota, graduating with a Juris Doctor Degree. He was a member of the Sterling Honor Society while in law school. Mr. Anderson is currently admitted to the bar in the State of South Dakota and also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. He also is admitted to practice in several tribal courts as well.

Mr. Anderson is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota and served on the Negligence and Tort Law Committee (Chairman, 1984-86) and on the Disciplinary Board (1990-1996), the last year serving as chairman. He is a member of the American Bar Association and belongs to the Litigation Section. He is also a member of The Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, the International Association of Defense Counsel, and the Defense Research Institute. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, serving as Chapter President 1996-97, as well as a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association. Mr. Anderson has prepared papers and spoken at five Continuing Legal Education seminars sponsored by the State Bar of South Dakota on the topics of workers' compensation and subrogation, employment law overview, federal civil procedure update, Indian law for the general practitioner, and pre and post trial practice.


Mr. Anderson pursues a general civil practice with emphasis on governmental liability, employment law including workers’ compensation, insurance defense and coverage issues. He has significant experience, both at the trial court and appellate court level with 42 U.S.C §1983 actions, litigation involving explosion and fire, livestock health disorders, and a wide range of products liability and motor vehicle litigation.


  • State counsel for Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds in regard to various products liability cases commenced in Indian tribal courts by Indian tribal organizations or Native American individuals.
  • Represented the employer and defendant in the often cited decisions on defamation in the employment context. See Petersen vs. Dacy, 1996 SD 72, 550 NW2d 91; and Uken vs. Sloat, 296 NW2d 540 (SD 1980
  • Represented a court-appointed receiver in a contentious dispute between two divisions of a religious sect in: Hutterville Hutterian Bretheren, Inc. v. Sveen, et al 776 F 3d 547 (8th Cir. 2015)
  • Successfully defended the Adjutant General of the South Dakota National Guard, and State National Guard officers in a claim involving whether a dual status National Guard technician could assert claims incident to her military service under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Nancy J. Weatherill v. John McHugh, Secretary of the Army; The Army National Guard; Steven R. Doohan, Brigadier General, in his official capacity as Adjutant General of the South Dakota National Guard; Theodore Johnson, Brigadier General, in his official capacity; and the South Dakota Army National Guard. US Supreme Court No. 10-638.
  • Successfully defended the defendant Bank of Hoven in the lender liability case known as Darrell Rausch, et al vs. Bank of Hoven, et al.
  • Represented the plaintiff in a significant and often cited opinion relating to covenants not to compete and trade secrets. Overholt Crop Insurance Service Company vs. Travis, 941 F2d 1361 (8th Cir 1991).
  • Represented the claimant in one of the definitive cases on the effect of releases and settlement agreements in workers' compensation proceedings. Mills vs. Spink Electric Cooperative, 442 NW2d 243 (SD 1989).
  • Represented the employer and insurer in one of the leading cases on a claimant's entitlement or lack of entitlement to lump sum payments in workers' compensation actions. Thomas vs. Custer State Hospital, 511 NW2d 576 (SD 1994).