Roger Alan Tellinghuisen

Roger Alan Tellinghuisen

Rapid City, South Dakota

Roger Tellinghuisen graduated from Black Hills State University with a degree in Business Administration in 1975 and obtained his juris doctorate from the University of South Dakota in 1978. Following graduation from law school, Roger joined the firm of Amundson and Fuller in Lead, South Dakota where he was engaged in private practice. In 1981, he left private practice to join the Lawrence County States Attorney's Office where he prosecuted felony and misdemeanor cases. In 1982, Roger was appointed the first full-time states attorney for Lawrence County where he was the chief legal counsel and criminal lawyer for the county providing legal counsel to the Board of County Commissioners, Planning and Zoning Commission and the other county offices. In 1986, he was elected in a statewide election to the office of Attorney General for the State of South Dakota. As the Attorney General, he was the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of South Dakota. His duties as Attorney General included providing legal counsel to the Governor, constitutional officers, and various boards and commissions. He was responsible for overseeing five legal divisions staffed by 23 attorneys. Following his service as Attorney General, Roger returned to private practice in 1991with an emphasis in civil litigation, business law; real estate law, gaming law and lobbying. Roger recently joined the DeMersseman, Jensen, Tellinghuisen & Huffman, LLP law firm as a partner in 2011.

He is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar (where he argued South Dakota v. Elizabeth Dole, 107 S. Ct. 2793 (1987)), the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, United States District Court and South Dakota Bar Association. He holds the highest peer review rating awarded by Martindale-Hubble Law Directory (AV ). Representative lobbying clients include: South Dakota Trial Lawyers Assoc.; Deadwood Gaming Assoc.; South Dakota County Officials Assoc.; South Dakota County Commissioners Association; College of American Pathologists; TracFone, Inc.; Deadwood Table Games, LLC; Aflac; and Liv Hospitality.

Roger is a member of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association and served as its president for the 2011- 2012 term. He was a member of the Black Hills State University Foundation for 23 years, serving as its president for 17 of those years; he is a past president and board member of the Spearfish Chamber of Commerce and on numerous other boards and commissions. He has received numerous honors including being named a Great Plains Super Lawyer 2012 thru 2016; "125 Accomplished Alumni Award", Black Hills State University, 2008; a "Special Achievement Award" from Black Hills State University in 1990; South Dakota "Centennial Alumnus Award" in 1988; and the Outstanding Alumnus Award- Division of Business, Black Hills State University in 1988.

Areas of Practice

  • 50% Civil Litigation
  • 10% Business / Contract Law
  • 10% Real Estate Transactions
  • 10% Family Law
  • 20% Lobbying

Litigation Percentage

  • 50% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • South Dakota, 1978
  • U.S. District Court District of South Dakota, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1984


  • University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota
    • J.D. - 1978
  • Black Hills State University
    • B.S. - 1975
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Business Administration
    • Minor: Political Science

Honors and Awards

  • "Toast of the Trial Lawyers", 2007
  • Great Plains Super Lawyers, 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • South Dakota State Bar Association, Member, 1978 - Present
  • South Dakota Trial Lawyers, President, 2011 - 2012
  • South Dakota Trial Lawyers, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • South Dakota Attorney General Off., Attorney General, 1987 - 1991
  • Fuller, Tellinghuisen, Gordon & Percy, Partner
  • Tellinghuisen & Gordon, Managing Partner
  • Lawrence County States Attorneys Off., States Attorney, 1982 - 1987

Ancillary Businesses

  • Lobbying for multiple clients


  • Tau Kappa Epsilon