HomeLocationAttorney Links

Linda Lea M. Viken, Attorney



University of South Dakota, B.S. in
Business Education, with honors.
J.D. University of South Dakota School of Law

Court Admissions/Certifications:
Admitted to practice in all South Dakota courts, the Federal Courts of South Dakota, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court


AAML Certified Matrimonial Law Arbitrator, Since 2006


Taught senior and junior high in Yankton, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota 1967-75
Began practicing law in 1978, Finch & Viken
Part-time Magistrate Judge, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Rapid City, South Dakota 1983-84 (1 1/2 years)
Partner in law firm, Viken, Viken, Pechota, Leach & Dewell, until 2003
Principal in Viken Law Firm, June 1, 2003 to present

(items in italics are current activities)


FELLOW, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MATRIMONIAL LAWYERS, 1986-; Member, Racial and Ethnic Bias Committee; Member, Legislation Committee; Member, Economics of Law Practice; Member, Federalization of Family Law Committee; Chair, Federalization of Family Law Committee, 1998-2003; Member, Amicus Committee; Member, ABA Certification Review Committee; CLE Chair, 2006-2009; Secretary of the Academy, 2003-2004, Vice President of the Academy, 2004-2008; First Vice President of the Academy 2009;  President Elect of the Academy 2010; President of the Academy 2011; Immediate Past President 2012; Member, Bylaws Committee, 2008-2010; Chair, Bylaws Committee, 2012; Member, Policies Committee, 2008-2010; Member, 50th Anniversary Committee, 2008-; Chair, AAML/ABA-FLS Liaison Committee, 2008-2010; Chair, Nomination Committee, 2009-2010; Chair, Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, 2009-2010, Budget and Finance Committee 2009-2010; Member, Best Practices Committee 2011; Chair Best Practices Committe, 2012; Member, Executive Committee Structure Committee, 2012; Representative, Joint Editorial Board on Uniform Family Law, 2012; Member, Post Nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements Committee, 2012

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION: Joined 1977; member of various sections, including FAMILY LAW SECTION; Committee on Family Law, 1979-88, State Membership Chair, 1983-84 Custody Committee, 1983-84, 1994/95; Marriage and Cohabitation Committee 1987/88; 1990-; Family Law--Federal Legislation and Procedures Committee, 1987/88; 1991/92; 1994/95

; Law Related Education Committee, 1978-81; Young Lawyers Section; Coordinator for Rapid City Adult Education Program 1978-79; Mental Health Committee, Chair, 1978-80; Domestic Relations Committee 1981-82; Chair, Pamphlets Committee 1982-83, Pamphlets Committee member 1983-84; Chair, Family Law Committee, 1984-87, 88-89; Ethics Committee, 1992-96; Environmental Committee 1996-97; Member, Family Law Committee 98-2002; Bar-Media Liaison Committee 2002-;  Public Information Committee, 2004-; ADR Section, 2004-2005; Family Law Section, 2004-2007, Chair 2005-2007; Practice Rules Revision, 2005-2008; Family Law Committee 2008-

PENNINGTON COUNTY BAR: 1978-; Chair, Domestic Relations Committee 1983, Bar/Bench Liaison Committee 1984-86; Secretary, 2004; Vice Chair, 2005, President, 2006; Ask-A-Lawyer: Set up and coordinated the West River Ask-A-Lawyer Program for over 20 years.

SOUTH DAKOTA TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION: 1977-; member, Practice Made Easier Committee, 1997-98

NBTA Family Law Advisory Board 2008



FAMILY SERVICES OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA: Board of Directors 1978; Secretary 1978


RAPID CITY WOMEN'S CENTER: Advisory Committee 1978-80

WEST RIVER MENTAL HEALTH BOARD (Rapid City, South Dakota): 1979-80

BLACK HILLS LEGAL SERVICES, INC.: Board of Directors 1980-83; Treasurer 1981-83

RAPID CITY RED CROSS: Board of Directors, 1980-83; Secretary 1981-83

BLACK HILLS REGIONAL FOOD BANK: Initial Board of Directors, 1983; Advisory Committee, 1991-

Governmental Affairs Committee 1993 -

SOUTH DAKOTA COALITION FOR CHILDREN, Vice Chair, 1995; Chair, 1999, Past Chair, 2001

PARALEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE, Western Dakota Technical Institute 1994 -


GIRL SCOUTS OF THE BLACK HILLS COUNCIL, INC., Personnel Committee, 1998; Policies & Standards Committee, 1999-2000; Nominating Committee, 2000-2001; Bylaws Committee, 2002; CEO-University Finance & Sponsorship Committee 2002; CEO-University Steering Committee 2002

SOUTH DAKOTA VOICES FOR CHILDREN - Endowment Trustees Committee 2007

Rapid City 2020 Strategic Plan:  Beautification Strategic Goal #2 Implementation Committee, Chair 2010


AAUW: (Joined in 1969) National Topics Committee; Member--Redefining the Goals of Education, 1976-78; President, Sioux Falls, South Dakota Branch, 1972-74; State 2nd Vice President 1974-76 and 1986-88; State Board of Director's Parliamentarian 1976-78 and 1986-88; Bylaws Chair 1988-89 and 1995- Legislative Chair, Rapid City Branch 1985-87; President 1994-96; National Bylaws Committee 1996-98; Board Member at Large 1997-98; Co-Chair, Sister to Sister Planning Committee 1997-98, Marguerite Rawalt Legal Defense Fund Board of Trustees 1998-2005

ZONTA CLUB: 1980-; Recording secretary 1982-84; Chair, Public Relations Committee; Member, Status of Women Committee; Parliamentarian; Bylaws Chair 1995-2003; Board of Directors, 1997-2002; DISTRICT 12 Regional Parliamentarian 1995-98; Vice President 2000; President Elect 2001; President 2002


Outstanding Graduate in Business Education 1967

Elected to South Dakota House of Representatives, 1972 and 1974, District 27, Minnehaha County, Member of Judiciary and Commerce Committees 1973-76, Member of Special Committee on Mental Health Law, 1974; Chair of special Committee on Medical Malpractice, 1975; Member of Subcommittee on Court Reorganization, 1973; Member of Criminal Procedure Study Committee; Vice Chair, Criminal Procedure Study Committee 1976 (summer); Vice Chair Health and Welfare Study Committee on Alcohol and Drug Dependency, 1976 (summer)

Elected to South Dakota House of Representatives, District 33, Pennington County, 1988 and 1990; Member of the Judiciary and Commerce Committees, 1988-; Member, Corrections and Mental Health Oversight Committee, 1988-89; Member of the Governor's Committee on Tax Fairness and Government Cost Effectiveness, 1988-90; Member, Human Services Oversight Committee, 1990; Member, Special Committee on Statute Review, Mental Health, 1990; Executive Board, LRC, 1991; Member, Redistricting Committee 1991; Member, Ethics Committee 1992

Have been listed in the following during various years:

Who’s Who of American Women
Who's Who in Government
Women's Organizations & Leaders
International Who's Who in Community Service
Who's Who in South Dakota
Who's Who in American Politics
The Who's Who of Women
Dictionary of International Biography
Outstanding Young Women of America

Marquis Who's Who in America 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Marquis Who’s Who  of American Women 2010, 2011


Member of South Dakota Constitutional Revision Commission, 1973-76

Winner of USD School of Law Client Counseling Competition, 1977

AAUW named Gift Honoree, Sioux Falls Branch, 1978

AAUW named Gift Honoree, Rapid City Branch, 1997

Appointed to SD Commission on the Status of Women, 1978; Secretary 1980

Chair, South Dakota Commission on Child Support 1985 and 1988; Member 1996; Vice Chair 2000; Member 2004, Member 2008

South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners, 1987-88

South Dakota's Woman Lawyer of the year for South Dakota, 1987

Unified Judicial System Visitation Task Force, 1997-

Girls Scouts’ Woman of Distinction Award, May, 1998

Award Winner: "Failure Is Impossible" given at Women’s Equality Day, August 1998

South Dakota Board of Elections, 1999-;

Member - Help America Vote Act Task Force, 2003

AAML Fellow of the Year 2008

Listed in Best Lawyers in America in Family Law, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011

Listed in Minnesota Law & Politics as a Super Lawyer, 2007, 2009

Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, since 2009

AV Preeminent - The Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ablility & Ethical Standards by Martindale - Hubbell / Lexis Nexis, 2010, 2011, 2012

AV Preeminent -  Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell / Lexis Nexis, 2011 Inaugural Edition

Listed in Great Plains Super Lawyers 2011

FIrst-Tier Ranking in the 2011-2012 US News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"


"An Inevitable Clash of Power: Determining the Proper Role of the Legislature in the Administration of Justice," SD Law Review, Volume 22, No. 2, page 387, 1977;

"Hearsay and the Child," Family Advocate, Summer 1987, Volume 10, Number 1

"Mediation and Investigation: An Experience Worth Trying" American Journal of Family Law, Volume 2, Issue Number 1, 1988;

"Recognition of Homemaker Career Opportunity Cost in Marital Dissolution Cases," South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 35 Issue 1, 1990, (co-authored with Ralph J. Brown);

"Step Into a Case Without Stumbling Into Trouble," Family Advocate, ABA Family Law Section, Vol. 13, No. 4, Spring 1991;

"Calling in the Feds: The Need for an Impartial Referee in Interstate Child Custody Disputes," SD Law Review, Volume 39, Issue 3, page 469, 1994

"Child Support in South Dakota From Obligor Only To Shared Responsibility, An Overview," SD Law Review, Volume 48, Issue 3, page 443, 2003

"Evaluating the Relocation Case," Family Advocate, Spring 2006, Volume 1, Number 4


South Dakota Humanities, 1980

South Dakota Trial Lawyers Seminar, "Fee Agreements," 1984

South Dakota Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Programs:

"Divorce Taxation," 1984
"Custody Issues", 1985
"New Developments in Child Support Enforcement", 1986
"Administrative Law", 1987
"Labor Law Lawyers School", 1988

Professional Legal Secretaries Convention 1985

Community Education Series: Women and the Law, 1985

Business Update Seminar, 1986, "Personnel-Labor Law"

Rural Women's Conference, 1987

"The Use of Mediation and Investigation in Custody Cases," 1988 -Law Education Institute, Vail, Colorado

"In The Spirit Of Professionalism - The Lawyer's Responsibility For Public Service," USD Law School, 1988

"The Military Family", 1988 - Law Education Institute, Vail, Colorado

"Mental Health Code Revisions," 1991 AMNI Convention

"Documentary Presentation of Evidence in a Contested Divorce Trial," South Dakota Trial Lawyers Court Trial Seminar 1991

"The Legal Protections--and Problems--For Women Administrators," SDWEL Spring Conference 1994

"Basic Divorce Laws, Forms & Procedures," South Dakota Trial Lawyers Family & Divorce Law Seminar, May 1997

"Child Custody, Visitation & Support Issues," South Dakota Trial Lawyers Family & Divorce Law Seminar, May 1997

"Painless Discovery from a Plaintiff and Defense Viewpoint," South Dakota Trial Lawyers Pre & Post Trial Essentials Seminar, October 1997

"Federalism of Family Law," AAML Annual Meeting, November 1997

"Parliamentary Procedures," Zonta International Area 1 Meeting, May 2, 1998

"New Directions in Youth Services - Legislative/Governmental Advocacy," SDCC Annual Meeting, April 24, 1999

"Jurisdictional Issues - Child Support Jurisdiction," AAML Mid-Year Meeting, March

"Alimony Guidelines - A Plus or Minus?" South Dakota Trial Lawyers Spring Seminar, April 2002

"Alimony and Child Support: The Unholy Alliance", 2004 Law Education Institute, Aspen, Colarado

"Ethical Dilemmas for Counselors When Testifying in Court" Counselors / Ethics / Law West River Counseling Association, October 29, 2005

"Dividing the Perks of Employment" State Bar of South Dakota and Committe on Continuing Legal Education Family Law CLE April 28, 2006 and May 1, 2006

"Ethical Conundrums" AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce, May 8-9, 2008

Linda Lea M. Viken,