Universal healthcare, the second amendment, and a dignified burial. A law school graduate in the 2018 governor’s race lays out his platform.

I had mentioned it some time ago, but besides Attorney General Marty Jackley, there’s another law school graduate in the Republican race for Governor:

Over the past couple of weeks, a dark horse contender is emerging and announcing his intention to seek the highest of South Dakota’s State Offices. No, it’s not a name you’ve likely heard up to this point. But if he has his way, Minnehaha County Republican Terry LaFleur is working to get on the radar for 2018.


I asked him what his reason for running was and he explained he has a “strong platform” that’s a little different for a Republican, calling himself both “progressive and aggressive,” as well as “compassionate and strict.” He explained his constitutional beliefs could be termed along the lines of “original intent,” without going into detail on what exactly that entailed.

Read that here.

And recently, Mr. LaFleur has laid out his platform on his beliefs, and what he intends to do as Governor. At great length:

* Personal Profile – education and life experiences.
​* Support the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
​* Civil Service is not a career opportunity.
​* Repeal of the South Dakota Bar Examination requirements.
​* No one is above the law.
* Repealing the death penalty, and why.
* Rebuilding our infrastructure.
​* Repealing sales taxes on necessities.
* If your old enough to pay taxes, your old enough to vote.
​* We need to explore reusable energy resources.
* Universal healthcare, not “Obama Care.”
​* Right to a dignified burial.
​* Repeal of the wheel tax and implementing vehicle safety inspections.
​* Creating a State Flat Rate Income Tax plan.
* Graduated assessed property tax reduction plan.
​* Revising Worker’s Compensation Laws.
​* Government can be small and very effective at the same time.
​* Call to donate and disclaimer.

​ To the People of the State of South Dakota. My name is Dr.Terry LaFleur D.O.L.. I have been known to be wrong from time-to-time, but I always admit my mistakes and own them. But today, I announce my intention to run for the office of governor of the State of South Dakota in the 2018 Gubernatorial election. As my wife likes to remind me, “this is a mistake.” It very well may be!
​ However, I believe that I am qualified and ready, willing and able to perform the duties of the office of governor for this state. I’ve been a successful entrepreneur most of my life; and I certainly can’t do any worse of a job then those who have gone before me! To coin a phrase from Donald Trump, “what the hell do you have to lose!”

​ I believe I’m qualified for the following reasons. First, I am 61 years old this September 7, 2016. Secondly, I’m a December, 1997 graduate of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. Thirdly, I am a May, 2002 graduate of Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, Michigan.

​ Throughout my educational history I strived to learn and grow to become a better person, citizen, father and husband. Like many non-traditional students, I had to balance my educational career with my familial responsibilities, which were many. I’m no one special in this regard, but I made a promise to my family and myself to never accept defeat. To never say “I can’t do it!” In fact I have set and met every goal I’ve placed before me except one. That goal was to take and pass the South Dakota state bar exam. This story is better left for another day. Let’s just say for now, that I vehemently believe that I actually passed the bar exam on my last attempt, but uncontrollable forces were at play that prevented me from achieving this one final goal.


* Repeal of The South Dakota Bar Examination Requirements!
​* The MBE does not test your true legal knowledge for the most part. It’s designed to be an exclusionary exam, not an inclusionary exam! For example: the January exam – sets a stage at the Baseball Hall of Fame, “A” is being inducted, “B” pulls the chair out from under “A”, “A” is on global TV and is extremely embarrassed, under tort law what’s “A’s” remedies? Answer: IIED! July Exam – same set of facts! Answer: Battery! These are known as trick questions! Bar examiners’ love to play games. But the examinee is seriously trying to comply to the letter of the law and begin their career. There’s no time for their games! There are other remedies available for plaintiff’s and defendant’s when their attorney screws up. Other professions like medical doctors are tested on their actual knowledge; their examiners’ don’t use trick questions!
​* The MPE does most closely reflect what practicing law can be like. Because this is exactly what a senior partner might ask a rookie attorney to do for the firm.
​* The MEE is designed to test your knowledge of the 12 comprehensive state law courses. However, they choose 7 areas to test, and throw out one area randomly just minutes prior to beginning the exam. You have no idea which 7 will be in, or which one of the 7 will be excluded. Therefore, every examinee must be comprehensively prepared for all 12 state law areas! It takes 50 – 60 hours of study time for every hour of actual examination time! That effort takes great levels of commitment, and tremendous! amounts of sacrifice. Just watch “Pope Fiction” and you will understand!
​* Because the bar exam is exclusionary not inclusionary, it’s not fair to charge grad students’ money for admission fees, when the system expects 75% of all examinees’ to fail. Additional cost are accrued by purchases of prep materials. It can cost over $4,000 on average to sit for just one exam; imagine having to retake the exam the three times as of right under state law? Even when they waive the application fee after the first attempt it is still very costly! After that, the right to sit is by motion before the State Supreme Court.
​* Prior to the bar examination requirement, any law school graduate was allowed to practice under the degree exception! This meant all the graduate needed to practice was a Juris Doctrine degree from an ABA Accredited Law School!
* Law school graduates have spent large sums of money on their legal degrees. The costs are far more expensive then they once were 50 – 60 years ago! Credit hours cost $800 – $1,200 per hour today!
​* Bar exams don’t make an attorney competent, they just mean that their good at passing an exam. People can be book smart, but fall far short of competency in actual practice! That includes most every “gate keeper” holding the key to the law practice gate!
​* Law school graduates have achieved great success because they stood up and made the grades. Today’s graduates are no less competent then the graduates who got in under the degree exception. State’s like Wisconsin allow the degree exception as long as the graduate student matriculated at a ABA accredited Wisconsin Law School.
​* Wherefore, I will repeal the State Bar Examination requirements because they are unfair and prejudicial to hard working law graduate students!
​* Our plan will require the Board of Regents to adopt higher entry level GPA’s for admission to South Dakota Law Schools! This is not because I am opposed to allowing everyone the opportunity to reach for the brass ring, it’s just unconscionable to set people up for a disappointment. Our plan offers reciprocity to other ABA accredited law schools, if they allow South Dakota graduates to practice under the degree exception too!
​* An average of 75 out of 100 examinees’ are turned away after every examination and that’s unethical in my opinion!
​A total of 75 examinee’s @ $1,200 in application fees = $90,000 every six months if first time examinee’s sit for the bar! Additionally, another 50 examinee’s @ $1,200 reap the state bar association an additional $60,000. For a grand (i.e. no pun intended) total of $240,000 each year! Does anyone besides me see the motive here! These figures are examples!

Read it all here.

I will give it to Mr. LaFleur. I’ll bet Marty isn’t going to propose to eliminate the bar exam. (Free the opressed law school students!)

Universal healthcare, the second amendment, and a dignified burial. If he doesn’t win the Republican primary for governor in 2018, he might have the start of a script for a Bernie Sanders Western movie.

8 Replies to “Universal healthcare, the second amendment, and a dignified burial. A law school graduate in the 2018 governor’s race lays out his platform.”

    1. Anonymous

      I want a competent lawyer to represent me if I need one. I don’t want someone who has passed because they lowered the standard to pass or done away with the bar exam. There is not a shortage of lawyers in this state as there might be for some other professions.

      How about doing away with real estate exams, or for doctors, teachers, electricians, and even drivers licenses? The exams are to make sure the person is qualified for the position. We don’t need to dumb it down so more can pass.

    2. SD Atty

      You act as if that is a BAD thing. The purpose of the bar exam is to ensure all members of the Bar have some minimal level of legal knowledge and comprehension. Bar exams, much like the exams in law school, are meant to provide the test taker with an opportunity to show their legal thinking. The point isn’t to find the “right” answer, but to show you understand how to reason through a legal situation to come to a conclusion. Someone doesn’t fail the bar exam because they came to a conclusion of battery instead of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), as in Mr. LaFleur’s example.

      Clients trust attorneys with their complicated legal matters and requiring a certain minimum standard for someone to join the profession and become an attorney is good thing. I would be more concerned if the Board of Bar Examiners lowered the standards than I am about the pass/fail rate.

  1. Gen X

    He has the J.D. I don’t know what D.O.L. means (unless he means an LL.M.). A J.D. is considered a professional doctorate in the US, equivalent to the Ph.D. He needs to put his education to good use instead of whining about not being able to practice law. There are a lot of J.D.s in this country and not all of them are practicing law. Go use your education! quit looking back and whining. Stop practicing the art of windmill tilting.

  2. Anon

    Cooley law has the worst reputation of any law school in the country. They created their own ranking system which weights the number of seats in the library the same as job prospects for graduates. They did this doctoring so they can rank themselves above schools like Stanford, Yale, etc. Their entering class for 2015 had a sub 3 GPA and LSAT scores hovering around 141. It is, perhaps, unsurprising that a person who would attend such a dumpster institution would want to remove a measuring stick for would-be legal practitioners. Metrics bad! GENERAL FEELINGS ABOUT DOING GOOD, GREAT!

  3. Rex

    See In Re Terry LeFleur

    ¶8 LaFleur’s submission indicated that he had “difficulty following written
    and oral directions, disorganization, inattention, distractibility, and hyperfocusing adversely impact[ing] verbal processing under time tested conditions.” LaFleur also submitted Mr. Fendt’s psychological evaluation report, which indicated that LaFleur had “difficulty sustaining attention in academic tasks, conversations with people, and problems staying focused at work.” The report further indicated that LaFleur had “difficulties following through on instructions at home, work, and at school, and failing to complete his responsibilities in these environments” and that LaFleur “would easily be distracted by external and internal stimuli, and . . . [had] great difficulty organizing tasks

  4. Springer

    Well, to start off with as I am a stickler when it come to proper spelling, especially in a document meant for public consumption, your should be you’re or preferably you are. But, otherwise, good luck with more than 1% of the vote with his stances on all but #2, 3, 5, and next to last. It was an interesting read for an otherwise dull day!!