Richard E Huffman

Richard E Huffman

Rapid City, South Dakota

Rich grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota as the older child of an entrepreneurial family, and at a young age he had a rare coin business and did various contract jobs for the family business. Rich got his undergraduate B.S. degree in Business Administration at University of South Dakota in 1969 and went on to attend law school, graduating in 1972. Upon passing the bar exam he moved to Rapid City to begin his legal career, where he immediately went to work with John Vucurevich in one of his United National Bank branches. His business leaning and a chance to practice law allowed him move into private practice as an associate of the late Franklyn J. Wallahan where he tired cases for 6 years and started growing his business practice. He prospered to the point where he had to hire an associate and in 1984 both he and his associate joined Banks & Johnson and he practiced there until 1991 where they reorganized as Johnson Huffman, P.C.  In 2002 he joined DeMersseman Jensen where he has been responsible for most of the office management and continued serving his business clients.

For the last 40 years he has concentrated his practice on commercial and real estate sales, purchases, land development and ancillary matters in addition to an active business/corporate and municipal law practice. He was selected to Super Lawyers in 2011 and was named a top rated real estate attorney in Rapid City in 2015. This year he was again chosen, for the 21st straight year, to be in Best Lawyers in America and for the 23rd edition Rich is listed in the practice areas of Corporate Law, Litigation-Real Estate, Real Estate Law and Trusts and Estates. Rich has enjoyed for over 30 years a Martindale-Hubbell rating of AV Lawyer and is also listed in Great Plains Super Lawyers for real estate.

Always believing in community service he remains active in multiple community organizations serving on such diverse boards and the Black Hills Dance Theater, DARB, Arrowhead Country Club and the Rapid City Fine Arts Council.  He was a founding member of the Rushmore Rotary Club in 1980 and in 1981 was the youngest member ever appointed to the RC Civic Center Board of Directors serving two 3 year terms and was the Chairman when the Civic Center Hotel was put to a public vote. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Arrowhead Country Club nearly every year after serving as its President in 1991-2.
In 2013 he successfully undertook the representation of a client dealing with the IRS and their Voluntary Offshore Disclosure Initiative although it was a learning experience and no one in this trade area had ever been involved in one and he achieved a successful result in a reasonable amount of time.

His primary focus however is real estate transactions of all kinds and represents buyers, sellers, developers and investors at every stage of the transaction. He has a South Dakota real estate brokers license and handles acquisition transaction for good clients. He estimates that he has participated in over $250,000,000 of transactions over the years. When General Growth Properties owned both the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls and the Rushmore Mall in Rapid City he handled all of their local matters and succeeded in getting a six-figure sales and use tax refund at the administrative level.
Rich’s professional memberships include:
South Dakota State Bar 1972
United States District Court, South Dakota 1972
U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit 1972
United States District Court, Denver, Colorado 2006
As a partner in the DeMersseman Jensen Tellinghuisen & Huffman, LLP firm he continues working full time to assist his client's needs.


Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Corporate and Business Transactions
  • Municipal Regulation
  • Banking Law
  • Trusts and Estates

Litigation Percentage

  • 25% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • South Dakota, 1972
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1972
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2006
  • U.S. District Court District of South Dakota, 1972


  • University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1972
  • University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1969

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Rushmore Rotary, Founding Member, 1987
  • International Sports, Incorporated, Founding Member, 1980
  • Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, 1989 - Present
  • Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, 1983 - 1989; Chairman, 1988 - 1989
  • Black Hills Dance Theatre, 1983 - 1984
  • University of South Dakota Law School Foundation, 1987 - 1989
  • Arrowhead Country Club, President, 1992


  • Delta Theta Phi