Jeff Cole grew up on a farm a few miles north of Madison, South Dakota, where his parents still live, and where he loves to visit. Jeff and his wife Kim now live in Sioux Falls, but he still longs to live on the farm. His wife Kim is not so sure about that, but may be persuaded someday. Jeff does own his own tractor that he keeps on the farm, which allows him to drive around and at least feel like he is a farmer for short periods of time.
Jeff graduated from Madison High School in 1979, South Dakota State University in 1988, and the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1992.
Jeff joined a prominent Sioux Falls law firm as an associate in 1992 and became a partner in 1996. He co-founded Northern Plains Justice with attorney Bill Sims in January 2018.
A Committed South Dakota Lawyer Focused on Your Case
Jeff's legal career has been diverse but is now primarily focused on trials and litigation. Jeff has been lead counsel or co-counsel on several major litigation matters in the past several years. He has been in private practice since 1992, and was also a part-time prosecutor, having been appointed Turner County State's Attorney in 1995. He won election to that office in 1996 and re-election in 2000. Jeff did not run for re-election in 2004.
Jeff has tried to verdict over 30 jury trials and has tried hundreds of court trials. Jeff has also briefed and argued seven reported cases to the South Dakota Supreme Court and one reported case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, including:
- Ward v. Lange, 553 N.W.2d 246 (S.D. 1996)
- Engelhart v. Kramer, 570 N.W.2d 550 (S.D. 1997)
- Estate of Walter O'Keefe, 583 N.W.2d 138 (S.D. 1998)
- Even v. City of Parker, 597 N.W.2d 670 (S.D. 1999)
- City of Marion v. Schoenwald, 631 N.W.2d 213 (S.D. 2001)
- Fink v. Dakotacare, 324 F.3d 685 (8th Cir. 2003)
- Bienash v. Moller, 721 N.W.2d 431 (S.D. 2006)
- Estate of Duebendorfer, 721 N.W.2d 438 (S.D. 2006)
Jeff was trial counsel for clients who intervened in another noteworthy reported case, Livestock Marketing v. U.S Dept. of Agriculture, 207 F.Supp.2d 992 (D.S.D. 2002), a case that ended up in the United States Supreme Court, with Mr. Cole's client ultimately prevailing.
Jeff is a member of the American Association for Justice, South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, and South Dakota Bar Association.