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...because good people need good counsel!

Welcome to Viken & Riggins Law Firm

We offer over 40 years of combined experience in Family Law, including divorce, custody, alimony, guardianships, adoption, premarital agreements, cohabitation agreements, child support, divorce mediation and arbitration.


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        (items in italics are current activities)


        1967 graduate of University of South Dakota, B.S. in Business Education, with honors
    December 1977, J.D. from University of South Dakota School of Law

    Court Admissions:
        South Dakota Supreme Court, 1978
        United States District Court for the District of South Dakota, 1978
        United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1981
        United States Supreme Court, 2005


        Board Certified Family Law Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1999

        American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Certified Matrimonial Law Arbitrator since 2006

        Completed 40 hours of Family Law Mediation training through the American     Bar Association, Family Law Section


    (items in italics are current activities)

        Partner in law firm, Finch and Miller (later Finch & Viken), Rapid City, South Dakota, 1978-1983
    Partner in law firm, Finch, Viken, Viken & Pechota, 1983-1991
    Part-time Magistrate Judge, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Rapid City, South Dakota,
    Partner in law firm, Viken, Viken, Pechota, Leach & Dewell, 1992 to 2003.
    Principal in Viken Law Firm, 2003-2014
    Adjunct Professor, Family Law Legal Drafting & Practice Course, 2013-2014
       University of South Dakota School of Law
    Partner, Viken & Riggins Law Firm, 2014 - Present



    Order of Women Legislators:  Member 1974-76; 1991-

    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, 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, 2012-2016; Member, Policies Committee, 2008-2010; Ex Officio, Policies Committee, 2014-2016; Member, 50th Anniversary Committee, 2008-2010; Chair, AAML/ABA-FLS Liaison Committee, 2008-2010; Chair, Nomination Committee, 2009-2010; Chair, Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, 2009-2010; Parliamentarian, 2014-2015; Budget & Finance Committee 2009-2010; Member, Best Practices Committee 2011; Chair, Best Practices Committee, 2012-2013; Member, Executive Committee Structure Committee, 2012-2013; Member, Post Nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements Committee, 2012-2013; Liaison, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 2012-2013; Member, Impact of Special Needs Children on Custody and Financial Determination, 2013-2015; Member, Domestic Tort Litigation Committee, 2014-2016; Member, Domestic Violence Committee; 2014-2015; Member, Domestic Violence Task Force, 2015-; Member, Council of Committee Chairs, 2013-; Member, Past Presidents Committee (formerly Best Practices Committee), 2013-; Representative, Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Family Law, 2012-; Observer Family Law Arbitration Drafting Committee, Third Party Child Custody and Visitation Study Committee, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement (Hague Convention) Drafting Committee, Uniformed Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act Drafting Committee, Premarital and Marital Agreements Drafting Committee, Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (formerly Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act) Drafting Committee

        Fellow, International  Academy of Family Lawyers, 2012-; Member, Publications Committee; Member, Expansion Committee; Bylaws Committee; Member, Long Range Planning Commission

    American Bar Association:  Joined 1977; member of various sections;
        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

      State Bar of South Dakota:  Admitted 1978; 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, 1998-2002; Bar Media Liaison Committee 2002-2011; Public Information Committee, 2004-2014; ADR Section, 2004-2005; Family Law Section, 2004-2007; Chair 2005-2007; Practice Rules Revision, 2005-2008; Strategic Plan Committee, 2013-2014; Family Law Committee, 2008-

    Pennington County Bar:  1978-; Chair, Domestic Relations Committee, 1983;
        Bar/Bench Liaison Committee 1984-86; Secretary, 2004; Vice President, 2005;         President, 2006

    Ask-A-Lawyer: Set up and coordinated  the West River Ask-A-Lawyer  Program for over 25 years.
        South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, member;  Practice Made Easier Committee, 1997-1998, 2010 -

    National Board of Trial Advocacy Family Law Advisory Board, 2008-2011

    National Board of Trial Advocacy Board of Directors, 2014

    Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers since 2009

    The American Law Institute, 2015

    Rapid City Chamber of Commerce: 1991-
        Governmental Affairs Committee 1993-

    Consumer Credit Counseling Service: Advisory Committee 1991

        South Dakota Coalition for Children, (Now called VOICES FOR CHILDREN) Vice Chair, 1995; Chair, 1999, Past Chair, 2001

    Paralegal Advisory Committee, Western Dakota Technical Institute 1994-

    Pennington County Council on Aging


    American Association of University Women (AAUW):  Since 1969

    SD Advocacy Network for Women, 1986-2000; Executive Committee 1988-89

    Zonta Club:  Since 1980.  President 2002; DISTRICT 12 Regional Parliamentarian, 1995-98; Bylaws Chair, 1995-2003


    Elected to South Dakota House of Representatives, 1972 and 1974, District 27,
        Minnehaha County.  Served on the following Committees: Judiciary and Commerce Committees, Special Committee on Mental Health Law, Special Committee on Medical Malpractice (Chair), Subcommittee on Court Reorganization, Criminal Procedure Study Committee, Criminal Procedure Study Committee (Vice Chair), Health and Welfare Study Committee on Alcohol and Drug Dependency (Vice Chair)

    Elected to South Dakota House of Representatives, District 33, Pennington County,
        1988 and 1990.  Served on the following Committees:  Judiciary and Commerce Committees, Corrections and Mental Health Oversight Committee, Governor's Committee on Tax Fairness and Government Cost Effectiveness, Human Services Oversight Committee, Special Committee on Statute Review, Mental Health, Executive Board, LRC, Redistricting Committee, Ethics Committee

    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 in Women
        Dictionary of International Biography
        Outstanding Young Women of America
        Marquis Who’s Who in America 
        Marquis Who’s Who of American Women

    Member of South Dakota Constitutional Revision Commission, 1973-76

    South Dakota Federal Judgeship Merit Selection Panel, Chair 1980

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

    South Dakota's Woman Lawyer of the Year for South Dakota 1987

    Unified Judicial System Visitation Task Force 1997-2010

    South Dakota Board of Elections, 1999-

    Member, Joint Committee To Study Elective Community Property-Bankers, Lawyers, and Governor’s Task Force on Trust Law, 2002

    Member, Education- Divorcing Parents and Visitation/Custody Study Task Force  2006

    American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Fellow of the Year 2008

    Listed in Best Lawyers in America in Family Law since 2007

    Listed in Minnesota Law & Politics (Great Plains) as a Super Lawyer in Family Law since 2007

    AV Preeminent - The Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards by Martindale-Hubbell / Lexis Nexis since 2010

    AV Preeminent - Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell / Lexis Nexis, 2011 Inaugural Edition, 2012, 2013, 2014

    First-Tier Ranking in the 2011-2012 US News - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

    South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association “Toast of the Trial Lawyers Award” 2012

    Best of Business Rapid City Family Law 2013—Business Community Association   
    2013 Top Rated Lawyer by Martindale -Hubbell
    Special Recognition Award by the Pennington County Bar Association for many years of contribution to the success of the annual Ask-A-Lawyer Program, 2014

    South Dakota Trial Lawyers “Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award, 2013-2014

    Worldwide Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement (2015) inductee representing outstanding professional dedication and career longevity

    Superb Avvo Rating for superb professional conduct and experience (2015)


    "An Inevitable Clash of Power: Determining the Proper Role of the Legislature in the Administration of Justice," SD Law Review, Volume 22, No. 2, 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 Economist Ralph J. Brown)

    "Step Into a Case Without Stumbling Into Trouble," Family Advocate, 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, 1994

    “Child Support in South Dakota, From Obligor Only to Shared Responsibility, An Overview,” SD Law Review, Volume 48, Issue 3, 2003   

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


    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

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

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

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

    “Basic Divorce Laws, Forms & Procedures,” South Dakota Trial Lawyers Family & Divorce Law Seminar, 1997

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

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

    “Federalism of Family Law,” AAML Annual Meeting, 1997

    “Jurisdictional Issues - Child Support Jurisdiction,” AAML Mid-Year Meeting, 2001

    “Alimony Guidelines - A Plus or Minus?” South Dakota Trial Lawyers Spring Seminar, 2002
    “Alimony and Child Support, The Unholy Alliance?”  2004 National CLE Conference on Family Law in Snowmass/Aspen Colorado

    “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 Committee on Continuing Legal Education Family Law CLE, 2006

    “Ethical Conundrums” American Institute of Certified Public Accountants / American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers National Conference on Divorce, Las Vegas, Nevada 2008

    “Higher & Higher - Trial Preparation,” Nevada State Bar Family Law Conference, Ely, Nevada, 2011

    “Ethical Conundrums,” Kentucky Chapter of the AAML and Louisville Bar Association Annual Family Law Seminar, 2011

    “Custody Evaluations: What Are We Looking At?” National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Conference on Juvenile and Family Law, 2012

    “Hot Topic for Family Law....the Emerging Issues,” South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, 2014