Supreme Court of South Dakota
699 N.W.2d 865 (S.D. 2005)
David Reaser retained family friend and attorney Michael Ortner (defendant) to file a petition for divorce from his wife, Jami Reaser, who was not represented by counsel. Ortner prepared a property-settlement and child-custody agreement, which provided that David would receive custody of the children and relieved Jamie from paying child support. Jami waived the receipt of alimony. Ortner presented the proposed agreement for review by Judge Kern, who refused to grant the divorce unless the payment of child support was addressed in the agreement. Thereafter, Ortner revised the agreement, requiring Jami to pay $250 per month in child support. David and Jami signed the revised agreement, and Ortner presented the documents for Judge Kern’s review and approval. Concurrently and unbeknownst to Judge Kern, Ortner drafted a private agreement signed by David and Jami stipulating that, regardless of the court order requiring Jami to pay child support, she was not obligated to do so and David would simply tear up any checks he received. Later that year, David filed a child-support action against Jami. At a hearing on David’s motion, a different judge learned of the private agreement, vacated the settlement agreement based on Ortner’s fraud committed upon the court, and referred Ortner’s conduct to the Disciplinary Board of the State Bar of South Dakota (the Board). The Board investigated Ortner’s actions, concluded that he had merely violated several rules of professional conduct, and recommended that he be censured for his violation. The Board’s recommendation was reviewed by the Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gilbertson, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 223,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.