Chief Justice David Gilbertson was appointed to the South Dakota Supreme Court in April 1995, he was elected to a 4-year term as Chief Justice, by the Supreme Court, in September 2001 and has been re-elected to serve as Chief Justice for five consecutive terms, with the most recent 4-year term in 2017. Chief Justice Gilbertson received his undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University, in 1972, and his Juris Doctor from the University of South Dakota, School of Law, in 1975. Prior to serving as the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court he engaged in private practice and was appointed to the circuit court bench to serve the Fifth Judicial Circuit from 1986 to his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1995. Chief Justice Gilbertson has held many prestigious positions over the years, such as, President of the Conference of Chief Justices, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Center for State Courts, and as the state court representative of the Criminal Rules Committee of the United States Courts. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts, in 2006, and the “Grass Roots” Award by the American Bar Association, in 2014, for his defense of judicial independence.