Biographical Information

Scott Abdallah is the managing partner of Johnson Abdallah, LLP. His practice is focused almost exclusively in the area of trial work and civil litigation, including business litigation, personal injury, wrongful death and products liability.

Scott has been recognized extensively for his litigation skills. He is a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which recognizes only the top 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States. He has been continuously selected for inclusion in the national publication,The Best Lawyers in America, and is one of only fifteen lawyers in South Dakota to receive the highest ranking possible by Benchmark Litigation – Plaintiffs, a national publication of America’s leading litigation attorneys. In addition, he has been repeatedly recognized in Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for his business litigation work and outstanding presentation skills in the courtroom.  Scott has also been continuously selected for inclusion in Great Plains Super Lawyers which includes only 5% of the attorneys in the state. In 2010, Scott received the Toast of the Trial Lawyers Award  which is an award given annually by the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association to those attorneys who merit special recognition for their work.

Scott was born in Sioux Falls, SD. He received a degree in Business Management from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis . He then graduated with honors from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN . Following law school, he joined the downtown Minneapolis law firm of Moss & Barnett, one of the largest firms in Minnesota . He worked in the litigation department, focusing on insurance defense and commercial litigation.

In January of 1995, Scott returned home to South Dakota when he was appointed to the position of State’s Attorney for Lincoln County . When he took office at age 27, he was the youngest full-time State’s Attorney in South Dakota . In 1996, he was elected to a four-year term as State’s Attorney, and elected again to another four-year term in 2000. As a prosecutor, he helped decrease felony crime by almost 50 percent in what was the fastest growing county in South Dakota . At the age of 29, Scott successfully prosecuted Donald Moeller for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old Sioux Falls girl named Becky O’Connell. The Moeller jury was only the third jury to return a death sentence in South Dakota since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1979.

In 1999, Scott was appointed by Governor William Janklow to serve on the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles, making him one of the youngest members ever appointed to that board.

In 2001, Scott was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as South Dakota’s 36th United States Attorney. He was appointed as Interim United States Attorney in 2001 by the Hon. Lawrence L. Piersol, Chief Judge of the District of South Dakota, and served briefly in that position before leaving to join Johnson Abdallah, LLP, in 2002.

Scott and his wife Patti have two children, John and Grace.

Areas of Practice

  • Age Discrimination
  • Americans with Disabilities Act — Employee
  • Bad Faith
  • Class Actions
  • Complex Litigation
  • Disability & Illness Discrimination
  • Discrimination
  • Employment Discrimination — Employee
  • Insurance Subrogation
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Premises Liability — Plaintiff
  • Railroad
  • Slip and Fall — Plaintiff
  • State Appellate Practice
  • State Trial Practice
  • Wrongful Death — Plaintiff
  • Wrongful Termination — Employee

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Admission Dates & Jurisdictions

  • Minnesota, 1993
  • South Dakota, 1994
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1994
  • U.S. District Court District of South Dakota, 1995


  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. cum laude – 1993
    • Honors: Silver Gavel Honor Society
    • Law Review: Hamline University Law Review, Editor, 1992 – 1993
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • B.S. – 1990
    • Honors: Dean’s List, 1986 – 1990
    • Major: Business Management

Professional Experience

  • United States Department of Justice, United State’s Attorney, 2001 – 2002
  • Lincoln County, South Dakota, State’s Attorney, 1995 – 2001
  • Moss & Barnett Law Firm, Associate Attorney, 1993 – 1995

Professional Associations

  • South Dakota Bar Association, 1994 – Present
  • South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association, Board of Directors, 1996 – 2001
  • South Dakota Board of Pardons & Paroles, 1999 – 2001
  • Canton Rotary, Board of Directors, 2000 – 2001
  • Lincoln County Republican Party, Chairman, 1997 – 2001
  • Liberty National Bank, Advisory Board, 2011 – Present
  • Sioux Falls Cyclones Baseball, Board of Directors, 2014 – Present
  • Sioux Falls Seals Swim Team, Board of Directors, 2014 – Present
  • Sioux Falls Safety & Crime Prevention Task Force
  • Methamphetamine Task Force
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • Mike Miller Foundation Board of Directors, 2013 – Present


  • Pi Kappa Alpha