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Mike Abourezk - Trial Lawyer of the Year

SDTLA Barrister - July/August 2004

Mike Abourezk was proudly chosen as South Dakota Trial Lawyer of the Year at the SDTLA Annual Meeting in Pierre on June 17, 2004. Mike accepted the award from last year's recipient, Bill Day, with great surprise and humility.

Mike graduated from USD Law School in 1982. He practiced law in Gregory, South Dakota for thirteen years with the law firm of Johnson, Eklund and Abourezk. During 1995, Mike moved to Rapid City and continued his practice concentrating on personal injury, medical malpractice, and insurance bad faith.

Mike is both innovative and hardworking. He has put an emphasis on continuing legal education both as a participant and lecturer. In 1996, he was invited to participate at the Trial Lawyers College held each summer at Gerry Spence's ranch in Wyoming. In the last several years, Mike has been on the faculty of subsequent Trial Lawyers College programs in California, as well as a lecturer before trial lawyer organizations and State Bar gatherings in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Over the last few years, Mike has hosted his own invitation-only plaintiff's seminar in the northern Black Hills. It is attended by attorneys throughout the United States and is of exceptional quality.

On the days that Mike is in his office, you will find him in blue jeans and a T-shirt (sweat shirt in cold weather) visiting with clients or preparing their cases. He willingly takes on "cause cases" and does more than his share of pro bono representation. Mike has tried over 100 cases. He never bashes opposing counsel. He is respectful of the Court. His communication skills are outstanding with the jury. He manages to combine humbleness and conviction in communicating with the jury. His presentation at trial has a solid base of thorough discovery and well-researched and documented pretrial briefs. Mike is generous with his time with other lawyers seeking justice for their clients.

For his past and continuing advocacy for his clients, the South Dakota Trial Lawyers have awarded the 2004 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to Mike Abourezk.

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