PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he will appoint Aberdeen lawyer Rick Sommers to be a state circuit judge in an area covering northeastern and north-central South Dakota.

Sommers will fill a vacancy created by the pending retirement of Circuit Judge Jack Von Wald. The 5th Judicial Circuit includes Brown, Campbell, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Marshall, McPherson, Roberts, Spink and Walworth counties.

In addition to working in civil and criminal law, Sommers specializes in water law and serves as city attorney for several municipalities.

Sommers graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Law. He practiced in Britton and Brookings before working two years as Brown County's chief deputy state's attorney. He joined an Aberdeen law firm in 1989 and is now a partner in the firm.

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