About Dan Holloway
Dan Holloway came to South Dakota the long way. He grew up in Indiana and spent 4 years in the Army, just in time for the first Iraq war (Desert Storm). His unit, 3rd Ranger Battalion, never went over, though. Dan's Army years were in Georgia and South Korea. After the Army, Dan went back to Indiana for college, at Indiana University. During college, he worked as a pizza delivery guy, a janitor, a bus driver, then a Burger King manager. He graduated with highest honors in both History and English.
Dan went to law school at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC. He graduated with honors there, and then spent a year as a law clerk for Judge John Bayly on the DC Superior Court. After that, he clerked for a year with Judge Myron Bright, on the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in Fargo, North Dakota.
While in Fargo, Dan and his wife, Linda, discovered the Black Hills. The beauty of this area struck Dan and Linda, and they daydreamed about making a life here after Fargo. Instead, though, Dan took a job with the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner in New York. Dan was able to learn from David Boies, one of the most accomplished lawyers of his generation - and to learn how Boies Schiller's large institutional clients work.
For 8 years in New York, Dan represented mostly banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. Dan was on the defense team for Ernst & Young, in an $8 billion accounting fraud lawsuit. On the plaintiff side, Dan was on the team for a $6 billion lawsuit on behalf of investors who bought mortgage-backed securities (that turned out to be junk) from WaMu. Dan worked on a variety of similar cases, mostly but not always for the defendants; some involving millions, some billions. Dan also spent a few years defending Pfizer against claims that some of their drugs carried unreasonable, undisclosed risks. He was on the defense team that resolved, in Pfizer's favor, incorrect accusations that the drug Neurontin causes suicide.
Dan enjoyed his work in New York. But it gave him insight into the way big institutions sometimes do wrong to people as the machine grinds along - and their reluctance to make it right. Dan is more interested in helping individual men and women who have been hurt and really need help, rather than big institutions that can take care of themselves.
We want companies to make money - but not at the cost of endangering or cheating us, our friends and neighbors, our moms and dads, our kids. Not every plaintiff's cause is just. Not every corporation is guilty. Not every bad thing that happens is cause for a lawsuit. But some are. If you take only valid cases, only cases that ought to win - there's nothing more satisfying than getting justice for a man or woman (or a boy or girl) who has been hurt and needs help.
Dan's most rewarding work in New York was a pro bono case for a woman with a serious neck injury that left her permanently disabled, limited her physical movement, and often caused her pain. Her insurance company denied her disability claim based on sloppy, biased claim handling. Dan was able to show the claim was valid, and the insurance company changed their mind. It took a lot of work, but it was enormously rewarding. The money in that case was dwarfed by Dan's other cases, but it was easily the most important case Dan worked on in New York. It made the difference between Dan's client being OK, or living in poverty the rest of her life, while disabled.
That's the kind of work Mike Abourezk and Alicia Garcia do. So in 2013, Dan came out to the Black Hills to join them. He also rides horses when he can, which turns out to be harder than it looks. Dan's wife, Linda, is a brilliant teacher, and she coaches at a speech and debate club for home-school students in Rapid City. Dan occasionally pitches in to help with his neighbor's cows - or tries to, anyway.