Paul W. Tschetter


Paul Tschetter brings a unique approach to client matters with his experience in both transactional work and litigation. Although Paul represents a wide array of clients in commercial transactions and disputes, the primary focus of his practice is the construction industry where Paul has been recognized for his work on behalf of owners, general contractors, design professionals, and subcontractors.

In addition to his broad construction-related practice, Paul maintains a connection to his family’s fourth generation farming operation and frequently represents producers and businesses in the agriculture industry. Paul takes pride in his community involvement and is active in a number of civic and professional organizations.




Paul W. Tschetter was raised in Brookings, South Dakota. Paul attended Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and after graduating with degrees in economics and finance, Paul earned his law degree and MBA from the University of South Dakota. He joined the firm in 2007 and is a member of both the firm’s Litigation Section and Business Section.

Paul focuses his practice on the areas of construction matters, creditor’s rights and commercial litigation. Paul has brought and defended claims involving a list of issues including construction contracts, construction defects, mechanics’ liens, public improvement liens, payment disputes, and zoning and ordinance compliance disputes. Paul also has invested a significant amount of his practice to drafting construction contracts, including documents released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the AGC’s ConsensusDOCS. As part of his practice, Paul regularly assists lenders in connection with loan work-outs, foreclosures, and collection matters. He has a wide variety of commercial litigation experience including disputes between shareholders and members of closely-held entities. Paul has experience in arbitration and has tried both jury and court trials. He has also been involved in appeals to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the South Dakota Supreme Court. Outside of the office, Paul is involved in a variety of community activities. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Carroll Institute in Sioux Falls, the board for Sioux Falls Rotary South and is an active volunteer judging high school speech and debate activities. In addition, Paul was a participant in both Leadership Sioux Falls (2010-2011) and Leadership South Dakota (2014-2015). Paul serves as President of the Young Lawyer Section of the State Bar of South Dakota for the 2016-2017 year.

Paul was recognized as a Great Plains Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the area of Construction Litigation.


J.D., University of South Dakota (2007)

  • Joseph N. Spencer III Award – Best Contribution to South Dakota Law Review, Volume 51 for article entitled Kelo v. New London: A Divided Court Affirms the Rational Basis Standard of Review in Evaluating Local Determinations of “Public Use.” 51 S.D. L. Rev. 193.
  • Editor, Volume 52, South Dakota Law Review.

M.B.A., University of South Dakota (2007).

B.A., Bethel College, St. Paul, MN (2004), with high honors with degrees in Finance/Economics and Political Science.

Admissions: State & Federal Courts in South Dakota

Professional and Community

State Bar of South Dakota

  • Business Law Committee
  • Young Lawyers Section (President 2016-2017)

American Bar Association: Construction Forum

  • Division 2: Construction Contracts – Steering Committee Member
  • Division 7: Insurance, Surety and Liens

Defense Research Institute (DRI) (Construction Law Committee); South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association Board Member

Second Circuit Bar Association; Sioux Falls Rotary South (President 2012-2013); Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Sioux Falls 2010-2011; Leadership South Dakota, Inaugural Class, 2014-2015; Carroll Institute Board Member

Reported Cases and Results

  • Dakota Fire Ins. Co. v. J & J McNeil, LLC, 2014 S.D. 37, 849 N.W.2d 648
  • Wichman v. Shabino, 2014 S.D. 45, 851 N.W.2d 202
  • East Side Lutheran Church of Sioux Falls v. NEXT, Inc., 2014 S.D. 59, 852 N.W.2d 434
  • J.L. Ward Associates, Inc. v. Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Bd. 842 F.Supp.2d 1163 (D.S.D. 2012), arbitration award confirmed at 2013 WL 5424954
  • Hass v. Wentzlaff, 2012 S.D. 50, 816 N.W.2d 96
  • NattyMac Capital, LLC vs. Pesek, 2010 SD 51, 784 NW 2d 156
  • Plamp v. Mitchell School Dist., 565 F. 3d 450 (8th Cir. 2009)