Michael F. Tobin


With a passion for trying cases and helping clients resolve litigation, Michael Tobin has represented numerous professionals and their insurers in state and federal court throughout his career. Michael represents professionals in all types of litigation, especially design professionals and contractors. Michael also represents insurance companies in bad faith litigation, as well as defending individuals and businesses in general liability claims.

In addition to litigation, Michael also excels in appellate advocacy, having handled numerous appeals to the South Dakota Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Michael’s zeal, intellect, experience and common sense provide successful results and outcomes that his clients expect and respect as he helps them navigate the entire litigation process.


Michael F. Tobin was raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His father, Tom, practiced law in Aberdeen for decades, instilling in Michael from his earliest years a passion for education and the law.  Michael graduated from Roncalli High School in 1994 and spent much of his youth playing hockey, tennis and football.

Michael attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated with honors with degrees in American History and Government. Michael returned to South Dakota and attended the University of South Dakota School of Law, graduating in 2001 with a variety of honors and awards, including Sterling Honor Graduate and the Lexis/Nexus Award for the highest GPA in the graduating class. Michael also received the Order of Barristers for oral argument and advocacy in Moot Court competitions.

Following his graduation, Michael served as Law Clerk for the Honorable Charles B. Kornmann, United States District Judge for the District of South Dakota. During that two year clerkship, Michael witnessed and assisted Judge Kornmann with dozens of jury trials, providing an invaluable extension of his legal education.

Michael joined the firm in 2003 and is a member of the firm’s Litigation Section. Michael’s practice is in civil litigation, and focuses upon representing professionals in litigation, especially engineers, architects and contractors. He also represents teachers, schools, lawyers, physicians, and nursing homes. He also represents insurance companies in bad faith litigation and insurance agents and producers in litigation. He also represents trusts and estates in a variety of probate litigation.

Throughout his career, Michael has successfully tried many cases in both state and federal court. He has appeared numerous times before the South Dakota Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Appellate advocacy is a component of his practice that he especially enjoys.

Outside of the office, Michael and his wife Katie focus much of their time on their five children and the variety of activities that they enjoy. On any given evening, you can find Michael at the hockey rink, softball field, soccer field, or basketball court, just to name a few. Michael is a board member of the St. Francis House in Sioux Falls, and is dedicated to their mission of housing and assistance to those in need. Michael also faithfully follows his beloved Fighting Irish, taking too seriously the joys of victory and the agony of defeat. In the rare quiet times that remain, Michael enjoys reading about American history, especially World War II and the American Civil War.



  • J.D., University of South Dakota (2001)
    • Sterling Honor Graduate
    • Recipient of the Lexis/Nexus Award for highest GPA in graduating class
    • Member of The Order of Barristers for oral argument and advocacy in Moot Court competitions
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame (1998)
    • Graduated with Honors with degrees in American History and Government
    • Student manager for the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department


  • State and Federal Courts in South Dakota, including the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional and Community


  • South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI) (Construction Law, Architects and Engineers Subcommittee, Professional Liability Committee, and Commercial Law Committee)
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF) (Architect/Engineer Claims Group, Insurance Agent/Broker Claims Group, Medical Malpractice Claims Group)
  • State Bar of South Dakota
  • American Bar Association
  • Second Circuit Bar Association

Awards and Recognitions

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in Litigation – Construction
  • Named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® for Litigation – Construction, Sioux Falls (2022)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated
  • Great Plains Super Lawyer