Lawsuits Rotting In The Courts In South Dakota
April 09, 2013, 03:50 PM
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We constantly hear about how there's a shortage of foreign unskilled workers that threatens to leave crops rotting in the fields if Big Ag doesn't get to employ more illegal aliens. Hence, solving the stoop laborer shortage through a larger guest worker program has been a high priority of the Gang of Eight in the Senate.

For some reason, though, politicians are less enthusiastic about importing foreign lawyers to keep lawsuits from rotting in the courts. Instead, in South Dakota where lawyers are scarce in rural areas, politicians have come up with an incredible theoretical breakthrough in how to deal with a shortage of workers: pay them more!

No Lawyer for 100 Country Miles, So One Rural State Offers Pay 

By ETHAN BRONNER 

MARTIN, S.D. — Rural Americans are increasingly without lawyers even as law school graduates are increasingly without jobs. Just 2 percent of small law practices are in rural areas, where nearly a fifth of the country lives, recent data show.... 

Last summer, the American Bar Association called on federal, state and local governments to stem the decline of lawyers in rural areas.

Last month, South Dakota became the first state to heed the call. It passed a law that offers lawyers an annual subsidy to live and work in rural areas ...

The new law, which will go into effect in June, requires a five-year commitment from the applicant and sets up a pilot program of up to 16 participants. They will receive an annual subsidy of $12,000, 90 percent of the cost of a year at the University of South Dakota Law School.