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Episode

8

8. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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Air date: 

July 19, 2022

Matt Skinner and Tyler Volesky are sons of prominent defense attorneys in South Dakota who honor their Native American heritage by fighting for justice. Matt takes us inside the Minnehaha County Public Defender’s office, where he argues in real court on behalf of a Native client. Tyler is following in his father's footsteps in both law and politics. But first, he must overcome some obstacles in the world of mock trial.

University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law

Hofstra University School of Law

American University Washington School of Law

Howard University School of Law

Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office

ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) information

Tribal Justice: 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice by Frank Pommersheim

Tribal Law Journal

National Native American Bar Association

The Legal Construction of Discriminatory Mass Surveilance by Gregrory Brazeal


Follow us on Twitter @ClassActionPod and Instagram @ClassActionPod

Visit our show page for transcripts and more details about the series at ClassActionPod.com

Follow host Katie Phang on Twitter @KatiePhang and Instagram @KatiePhang.


 

TRANSCRIPT


Katie Phang [narration]:

Class Action is a production of iHeartRadio and Sound Argument.

[audio from mock trial competition via Zoom]

Matt Skinner:

Thank you, your honor.

Matt Skinner:

Now, Detective [Figton 00:00:09], you were the lead investigator of this murder?

Detective Figton:

I was.

Matt Skinner:

And you'd agree that there are important parts of an investigation?

Detective Figton:

Of course.

Laura Rose:

Matt Skinner was in my trial ad class last spring. And when we got to cross examination weekend trial ad, he came in and said, "I know that I can push this, but I don't know how." And that was the first time that a student had come to me outside of class and said, "Hey, can you show me how to get to this higher level? I know there's something there, but what do I need to do?" And he came into class that night with this cross examination that just utterly devastated the witness and was brutal.

Matt Skinner:

Now let's talk about that. You measured the crime scene?

Detective Figton:

I did.

Matt Skinner:

The shooter was 65 yards away from the deceased?

Detective Figton:

Yes.

Matt Skinner:

You measured these distances with three-foot-wide steps?

Detective Figton:

I did.

Matt Skinner:

You didn't use a tape measure?

Detective Figton:

No.

Matt Skinner:

You didn't use a yard stick. You used nothing to provide a more accurate measurement.

Detective Figton:

I use my three feet gait to measure, and I think that's very accurate.

Matt Skinner:

Is it more accurate than a tape measure?

Detective Figton:

No.

Matt Skinner:

No further questions, your honor.

Katie Phang [narration]:

You're listening to Class Action. We're back in South Dakota. It's getting colder outside, and the mock trial season is rolling on. This is episode eight, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

[inside the office of Minnehaha County Public Defender]

Derek Hoffman:

Matt, give us your debrief.

Matt Skinner:

I felt good about it. I thought I did a good job. I think our argument works. I think it's in our favor.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Recently, we spent a day with Matt Skinner, who's a standout intern at the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office in Sioux Falls. Matt's a third-year law student, and is certified to conduct legal work in the state. Today, he's working with a client who claims that his rights were abused by the Sioux Falls police department during an arrest.

Client:

And I'm like, "What?" And I open the door, and then I go out and I say, "How did you guys get in here?" And it's just...

Matt Skinner:

I was going to say something about that. So-

Attorney:

Well you-

Matt Skinner:

... we can't take anything that he has to say with actual validity.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Matt is assigned to work with Derek Hoffman, himself a recent grad and a former mock trial competitor. The two of them walk their client over to the county courthouse, which is just two blocks away.

Derek Hoffman:

Matt is going to cross examine the cops today.

Client:

All right.

Derek Hoffman:

Okay. He's going to pretty much do the whole thing. He's more than qualified.

Client:

Right.

Derek Hoffman:

He's on trial team. It's the same thing. There's no difference. It's probably easier to cross examine a real cop than a fake cop because these real cops are dumber. Then we'll debrief afterwards.

Matt Skinner:

I've always wanted to do defense work. I applied to the public defender's office. And they gave me a chance, and I really liked it. My name is Matthew Skinner Jr, and I am a 3L. So I am from the Oglala Sioux tribe. My dad is Matthew Skinner Sr. He's got a practice out in Rapid City, and he has done criminal law since I was born. Got a trial coming up, and my mom and dad would sit in the front seat, talk about it. And I'd be in the back leaning forward, trying to listen as much as I could.

I'd say I'm defense-minded because of my dad. I love what he does. A lot of police officers that I've talked to have been like, "Well, you're just trying to get the bad guy away." And it's like, "No, I'm trying to make sure you do your job. If you missed a step in your investigation, that should not affect this person. You need to do your job to the best of your ability. And I'm holding you accountable to that."

Client:

I'll follow along.

Matt Skinner:

You going to do the first cop?

Derek Hoffman:

I think you got it, dude.

Matt Skinner:

I can't remember how to do the recollection.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Back inside the law school building in Vermillion, students are in between classes. They're work-shopping they're opening statements.

Tyler Volesky:

Should I turn my computer off? The volume?

Student:

Yeah.

Tyler Volesky:

Yeah. That's what I'm going to do.

Student:

Oh, wait. I can turn mine off. Sorry.

Tyler Volesky:

May it please the court, counsel, your honor. Today, you're going to see a contrast between fantasy and reality.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Tyler Volesky is a second-year law student. Today, he's practicing with his trial team for its first competition of the season.

Tyler Volesky:

The case is a fun fact pattern, and it's a wrongful death. You see, what tears families apart as they fight over money. And in this case, we got $125 million estate, and greed gets the best of people sometimes.

Tyler Volesky:

That's good advice on how to put that together.

Tyler Volesky:

This is something that excites me. It's a lot of work, can be stressful, but it's what I want to do. And when people think of lawyers, when they think of the profession, they think about the trials. That's what makes the lawyers. It's a little bit of theater involved, and you get to show off a little bit. The trial, that's the pinnacle of practicing law, I think. Some people just want to sit in an office all day and open probates and look at estates and never see a courtroom. I would get bored after a while.

[inside classroom with professor Greg Brazeal and his class of law students at USD]

Greg Brazeal:

As an overarching really important statistic for today's discussion, I think it is worthwhile to keep in mind the higher rate of police killings in the United States versus other countries. We don't have a lot of data on...

Greg Brazeal:

My name is Greg Brazeal. I'm an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota Law School. And the name of the class is Selected Issues in Criminal Law. So today we're turning to policing, the rise of the warrior cop. I love teaching this class, even though it involves a lot of difficult conversations.

Greg Brazeal:

I recently did that ride along with the Vermillion Police Department. And it seemed like they are very much a community-based problem-solving department. That being said, the State of South Dakota did offer a grant to the South Dakota, DOC Midwest Gang Investigators Association to have this event that took place last year in Sioux Falls, featuring Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, the killology guy. Here is an extreme, but not a typical, quote from the kind of presentation that Dave Grossman makes. "We are at war, and our cops are the frontline troops in that war. You are the Delta Force. It's your job to put a piece of steel in your fist and kill those sons of bitches when they come to kill our kids."

Katie Phang [narration]:

The law students are confronting the rise in police militarization here in their own home communities. South Dakota has a strong tradition of politeness, respect, helping your neighbors. A lot of people don't even lock their doors at night, but these days the rhetoric says they're at war.

Greg Brazeal:

Final word?

Female Student:

I was in about seventh or eighth grade when I had the SWAT raid my home at 3:00 in the morning, looking for my brother who was already incarcerated. So you have seventh to eight people coming in with their flashlights, their extremely large guns. You know what I mean? Me and my little sister, my mom and my dad, and you're looking for my brother. How much research, how much did you have to do to look and see that he was already locked up? Why are you looking for him in our house in the middle of... You see what I'm saying? So that's where it's just that distrust, things like that, where there has to be this, I wouldn't say like a bright line rule, where in these instances, we need it. And in these, you can't. I just think it really, it creates a lot of distrust.

Greg Brazeal:

Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. This, and one more comment.

Male Student:

It's unreasonable. There are circumstances where we do need a strong police force, but there might get to a point, and this is not farfetched, where they are so powerful that we can't tell them no. Even if what they're doing is unjust.

Greg Brazeal:

Tyler.

Tyler Volesky:

If you don't like something like Burn, it's politicians that put it in the place. So if you think we're funding too much militarization in the police, who's put in that place? Oftentimes, it's the police officers who get blamed for carrying out these policies that are put in place by higher ups, and politicians make these decisions. So maybe, like you said, we can hold the politicians accountable.

Greg Brazeal:

Exactly. And that trust issue has such huge consequences for crime. So if you're concerned about reducing crime, you have to care about trust. We'll talk about that when we do the police legitimacy unit as well. All right. Thanks, everyone.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Back in Sioux Falls, Matt Skinner is inside Courtroom Number One, defending his client. This is an actual case, not a mock trial. Today's appearance is a suppression hearing. And the Minnehaha County DA's office objected to the presence of our microphones.

Matt is questioning the procedures taken by two Sioux Falls cops during the arrest of his client.

Matt Skinner:

... do this stuff every day.

Katie Phang [narration]:

It's a big assignment for an intern, a sign that the public defender's office has confidence in his abilities.

Matt Skinner:

I tell myself, for this suppression all week, I was nervous for it obviously and stressed, but the best way I can cope with that stress is telling myself, "All I have to do is my best because I am not the reason that this person is in court today. Whether they did it or not is of issue for a jury."

Katie Phang [narration]:

The suppression hearing lasts about an hour. Matt checks in with his client in the hallway afterwards.

Client:

I never been a part of any of that. So it was interesting to watch how that actually goes down. You can question the cops, and see the cops nervous for once.

Matt Skinner:

Yeah. Thanks for letting me take the reins on that, too. I appreciate it. It was a great learning experience. Spent a lot of time with it, texting Derek at random hours. "Hey, can you look this up for me?"

Client:

No, no. That's cool.

Matt Skinner:

But I appreciate it.

Client:

Yep. And I'll get with your office and find out my next-

Katie Phang [narration]:

It's going to be a busy day. So as soon as Matt gets a free minute, he calls his dad.

[Matt calling his dad in hallway of courthouse]

Matt Skinner:

Can you hear me?

Matt Skinner Sr:

I do.

Matt Skinner:

So it went well. They ended up calling two of the three officers.

Matt Skinner Sr:

Right.

Matt Skinner:

The one officer was newly a cop. So it felt like a showdown between the newbie lawyer and the newbie cop. But I got him to essentially admit that he never read Miranda, and that he should have.

Matt Skinner Sr:

Oh, really? He admitted that? But did he admit that he should have read them?

Matt Skinner:

Yeah. He's like I didn't, but I should have.

Matt Skinner Sr:

Ooh. That's a pretty good point for you. It's hard to win those suppression hearings, and you just got to go for it. Right? That's how you learn. That's how you get better. That's the fear, is you don't want to look stupid. But all of us as attorneys have been there. So now, I'm sure you're glad you did the whole thing, that you did both of the cops.

Matt Skinner:

Yeah.

Matt Skinner Sr:

You know what I mean?

Matt Skinner:

Oh yeah, for sure. I only did one stupid thing, too.

Matt Skinner Sr:

Well, who cares.

Matt Skinner:

I didn't know how to basically question the cop about the impaired driver report. So I'm standing there. I'm like, oh my God. I don't know what I'm doing. I had to call the attorney over to basically walk me through it while I was standing next to the cop.

Matt Skinner Sr:

And now that you've done that, you know how to do it.

Matt Skinner:

We'll talk more about it at the cabin week.

Matt Skinner Sr:

Right. I'll talk to later, maybe tonight too.

Matt Skinner:

All right. I'll talk to you later. Love you.

Matt Skinner Sr:

All right. Love you, too. Later.

Matt Skinner:

Later.

[outside home of Tyler Volesky, production team getting inside his car with him]

Producer:

So it's very trusting to keep the keys in the car.

Tyler Volesky:

Yeah. That's the thing in South Dakota. I don't lock the house. I keep my keys in the car.

[interior of car, driving around Vermillion, South Dakota]

Tyler Volesky:

So right here, this is what's famous in Vermillion. You have the Dakota Dome. This is where the football team plays. But yeah, this is the jewel of Vermillion right here.

Producer:

What's happening there?

Tyler Volesky:

Let's see here. Let's go by here. Oh, oh, preseason scrimmage, maybe? I think that's the football team, the Coyotes. We're at Main Street. This is where I get my haircut, the Coyote Barber Shop. There's the Varsity Pub. My roommate, he's a lawyer. He practices right over there. Carey's, that's the scholarly bar. That's where we have all our socials. [laughter]

Tyler Volesky:

Okay. Here's our courthouse. They're talking about building a new one, but I don't think that's going to... Taxpayers aren't going to go for that, I don't think.

South Dakota has this notion of tough on crime, lock them up. Well, you got to take into account somebody's life story, their history, what they've been through, what's created them to be in that situation. And I definitely see myself in that role helping the underdog and just being as best advocate as I can for people that are underdogs to society that have a mistrust of the system.

So Vermilion's a unique location. So over past this river, then you're in Nebraska. I don't know what your stereotypes about South Dakota people are, but I've never hunted. I don't fish. I don't camp. I don't hike. Growing up, yeah, I came from an athlete family. So sports were important. And I know about politics, law-

[exiting car, walking onto gravel in parking lot of park and lakefront]

Let's get out here.

Tyler Volesky:

Like a lot of these politicians, I'll tell you how they do it. They can talk about the culture. I'm not going to put on a cowboy hat or shoot a gun just for votes. Well, I guess my situation in my hometown, everybody knows I'm Native American because my dad and everything. So traditionally, though, a lot of Native Americans, it's part of the old culture. They hunted the buffalo on the prairie for survival. I don't know. I never got into it because my thing was that, in the early part of November, the last thing I want to do is be in a field at seven o'clock in the morning when it's 32 degrees out. You know what I mean?

[Tyler exiting vehicle, car door, walking into office of Dennis Olson]

Dennis Olson:

Hi, good to see.

Tyler Volesky:

Hey, good to see you.

Dennis Olson:

Glad you came up. One of the calls I was on this week was recruiting candidates to run. I will tell you, Tyler's name was brought up. And I have no doubt that if there's any candidate that if they want to rise up in the party and give up some of themselves to help others, this is the person that'll do it.

Well, my name's Dennis Olson. I'm from Huron, South Dakota. I am the national committeeman for the South Dakota Democratic Party. Got the opportunity to join him and work with on his campaign.

Tyler Volesky:

I did a lot of parades, homecoming parades, a couple debates. And then a lot of campaigning door to door. So it's a lot of work.

Katie Phang [narration]:

In 2017, Tyler Volesky ran for state representative as a Democrat following in his dad's footsteps of public service.

Dennis Olson:

What Tyler had, where he was working for everybody, he will represent everybody and be a voice for everyone. There's individuals like Tyler, in his age, that are fired up. And like Barack Obama would say, "And ready to go." They have the enthusiasm that's been missing.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Dennis remembered to bring along some old campaign clips to play for Tyler.

Tyler Volesky:

So what speech is this from? Is this from one of my speeches? Or did we write this out? I don't know. So I got to do a speech?

Dennis Olson:

But if there's two, I can't remember. It looks like there's two versions. I know I did.

Tyler Volesky:

Oh, right. Right here. There's two of them.

Dennis Olson:

Well, there's two versions. My last version was the best, I think. But yeah.

Tyler Volesky:

Yeah.

Dennis Olson:

That's it. This is a good one.

[audio from Tyler Volesky campaign speech video]

Tyler Volesky:

Thank you for coming to be here today. I will say, running for office as a first-time candidate, I announced when I was 26 years old, and it's been a very, at time, stressful experience, but also very rewarding experience. It's been an honor and one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Well, the second. Number one is coaching my baseball team [audience laughter] because kids always come first. They're always in my heart, number one. But it's been a great journey, and we're going to finish off strong these next four days now. And we're going to get a big victory on November 6th, November 6th.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Tyler ran as a Democrat in a majority Republican district. He went door to door and pulled votes from the incumbents.

Tyler Volesky:

Even though we didn't win, we over-performed based on the voting registration. But when I got out of there, I said, "This isn't the end of it. We're just getting started here. It's just a matter of when we get that next opportunity."

Katie Phang [narration]:

Tyler Volesky still has that fire in the belly to get out and help the Democratic Party. The party of working people, of diversity, the party that tries to include everybody under its big tent.

[audio from Tyler Volesky campaign speech video]

Tyler Volesky:

Let's talk a little bit about running for office. It's been a very rewarding and a very humbling journey. I see some of all these beautiful letters that many of you have written about me, all the fond words that you've written about me. And I think to myself, who the hell are they talking about? But it's been a great journey, and we got to keep it going.

Dennis Olson:

If you ever think of running, you can get your dad's old district back. And so, like I said, I'm concerned about democracy and putting food on the table. We have people are working two and three jobs just trying to make it, okay? That's why is we got fire in the belly for Democrats to get involved and do the thing.

Tyler Volesky:

You don't know what's going to happen in the future. That's one thing that I've learned. Sometimes you take a detour. But if you have that goal, no matter what detour you take, the path will always lead you back there. If you want it.

[walking with Tyler before Hofstra remote competition]

Malia Lukomski:

How you feel wearing a suit?

Tyler Volesky:

Oh, I like it. I like dressing up. That's one of the things I enjoy about the legal profession. You get to look nice and wear a suit.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Tyler has finally arrived at his big moment. His first appearance at a mock trial.

Tyler Volesky:

It just gives you a little edge, a little confidence. And people treat you different. When I'm walking at the gas station today, everybody opens the door and says, "Hi, sir. How you doing?" Where normally I don't get that treatment.

Katie Phang [narration]:

But once inside the courtroom, that suave outward appearance starts to give way to nervous tension.

[footsteps walking, door opens into courtroom, team prepares for competition]

Tyler Volesky:

Okay. And you want to turn that down?

Student:

Oh wait. No, I can turn mine off. Sorry.

Tyler Volesky:

Like I said, I just want to hit the care for grandma, gambling. Try to get that search history in. If not, I'll finish with a few follow up questions, and then we'll move on. Jace, that should be pretty straightforward. And I guess where we're at on time might determine whether I redirect, although it's probably not going to be too long.

Coach:

So here's the mentality and redirect. If you think it was super damning that they brought something up that you need to address, in, out, four questions, right?

Bailiff [via Zoom]:

Mr. Miller and Mr. Volesky, we're ready whenever you are.

Tyler Volesky:

May it please the court, counsel, members of the jury. The case before you today comes down to fact versus fiction. The factual reality that Jace Billington experienced every single day that he lived with his grandmother, caring for. And the fictional fantasy of his younger sister Parker. Members of the jury, my name is Tyler Volesky, along with my co-counsel Mr. Miller, Dylan Miller. Over the course of this trial-

Katie Phang [narration]:

The team battles for position in the case, but calling of exhibits online, it's a technological nightmare.

Tyler Volesky:

I have to put exhibits on there through the computer. And I just learned how to share that last night.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Then, under the judge's watchful eye, one of the witnesses throws them a curve ball.

Tyler Volesky:

Hello, Ms. Billington, can you please introduce yourself to the jury?

[pause]

Tyler Volesky:

I don't know if we have...

Bailiff [via Zoom]:

Are we missing someone?

Tyler Volesky:

I don't know if we have our witness. She was our assigned witness. She's from Hofstra.

Bailiff [via Zoom]:

She was your assigned witness. Okay.

Tyler Volesky:

Yes.

Bailiff [via Zoom]:

Hang on.

Tyler Volesky:

Our witness did not show up right away. So I was supposed to do a direct examination right away during our case-in-chief. And I called the witness, and our witness was not there. So we had to move ahead and do Dylan's part first. And I was like, uh-oh. This could be bad. We don't have our witness here. That's going to look really bad for the school.

Bailiff:

You're fine.

Judge:

This is fine. Hey, good job.

Judge:

Good job, guys.

Judge:

Thanks for your time, Alex. Really appreciate the feedback.

Katie Phang [narration]:

As soon as the trial comes to a close, Tyler calls his dad for some perspective.

[door opens, footsteps, phone rings]

Ron Volesky:

Hey buddy. Hey, how's it going?

Tyler Volesky:

Good. I wanted to talk to you about what went down today. I had the trial, and I absolutely killed it. And I got the best opening award. No, I'm just kidding. Actually, it was disappointing today anyway. We were set to go at one o'clock and they switched the bracket up on us. We don't know exactly how it was going. We were supposed to go twice, and then the top teams advanced to the finals, but I don't know. Either they switched up the bracket. But regardless, we're not going today. What was your first trial like? What was your experience like with that?

Ron Volesky:

Oh, I had a good experience. I was well prepared. It's like anything in life. If you're prepared, you can have one. See, this is good experience for you for the real world. Because you're preparing for trial right now.

Tyler Volesky:

Hopefully we go. If not, any other last words of advice?

Ron Volesky:

No advice. Just to say, Tyler, I love you. You have that natural gift of communication. You don't learn that in books. It's just something you're born with. And you were born with it. And you always strive for you it, and you've got it. You got the it factor, buddy.

Tyler Volesky:

All right. Talk to you later.

Ron Volesky:

God bless you. Bye-bye.

[audio inside classroom with professor Ann Tweedy and her class of law students at USD]

Ann Tweedy:

So let's look at Adoptive Couple versus Baby Girl, which seems like it's in serious tension with Holyfield in a couple of different ways. So we'll pull that apart a bit. So-

Katie Phang [narration]:

Professor Ann Tweedy teaches the Indian Law Class. South Dakota was one of the first states to put an Indian Law question on its Bar exam.

Ann Tweedy:

... whether it's seen differently by many people. But ICWA certainly is for the benefit of tribes. And so ambiguities are to be resolved in favor of the tribe. Statutes are to be liberally consumed-

Katie Phang [narration]:

Today, they're tackling a major controversy, a case that's actually headed to the United States Supreme Court.

[archival audio from South Dakota Public Broadcasting Radio report]

Victoria Wicks:

Earlier this week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released an extensive opinion on the Indian Child Welfare Act. Lawyers immediately started to examine its potential effect on legal processes in place for more than 40 years. An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union says much of the law still stands, but some important protections have been found unconstitutional.

Ann Tweedy:

The Indian Child Welfare Act, which we also referred to as ICWA, was passed in 1978. Native children were being removed by state social service workers and placed with non-Indian families. And there were some studies that revealed these hugely disparate problems with native children being removed. And so ICWA was supposed to remedy that. And so it put in protections so that the child would stay with the family, and there were also placement preferences so that if a child was removed, they would go to a family that was within the tribe, an extended family member, before they would go to a non-Indian family.

[inside classroom with students]

Ann Tweedy:

Right. That's a big part of it, is that they're saying the family's not being broken up if there never was a family, according to the court. So we have 1912...

Ann Tweedy:

Native families are in danger of losing their children. So that's a huge problem. ICWA's trying to undo these centuries of oppression, where tribal governments and tribal cultures were the target of these destructive policies. And if we end those remedial policies, we'll instantiate more injustice for tribal families and tribal cultures, too. Because there's also a concern, well, tribes will die out if so many of their children are taken away. How can they even sustain themselves?

Ann Tweedy:

It goes to show just how complicated it is. Tyler.

Tyler Volesky:

Oh, can I share a personal story? My father was born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. He grew up in poverty, came from a home of alcoholism and violence and abuse. And all of a sudden, the Department of Social Services showed up with no notice, and they just took him from the home and put him in foster care four hours away in Huron, to a white family. And throughout his childhood, there was a huge battle. He went back and forth to the res. Then his mom would go down a bad road. Then he would go back to the foster home, and there was a big custody battle. And eventually he was adopted.

[sounds of streets of Huron, light traffic, birds chirping; inside law office of Ron Volesky]

Ron Volesky:

I just have to make sure my dog Snow's out of the office because sometimes she has the tendency to bark when people come in the front door. So just excuse me. Snow, where are you? Snow, snow. Come here.

I don't have to comb my hair? I don't have to put any mousse in my hair or anything like that?

Producer [via phone]:

No, mm-mm (negative).

Ron Volesky:

We're okay? Okay.

Ron Volesky:

My name is Ron Volesky. I'm an attorney here in South Dakota, and I just usually go by Ron Volesky, Attorney-at-law. I have been told by my relatives, I've been advised that we are in the lineage of Sitting Bull. How many generations back that goes, I'm not certain. But I have been told by my family that we are in the ancestral line of Chief Sitting Bull. Makes me feel humbled, and makes me feel very glad about who I am.

I was born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, as my siblings all were. We were born into poverty. We were born into family dysfunction. We were born into alcoholism, and there was some physical abuse, et cetera.

I loved my mother, but she was an alcoholic. And there were times when the welfare agency, they would come and take us children and put us in foster homes and foster care, different places.

My brother was about three. Maybe I was five, and he was four. We were just young kids. And that went on for a number of years until finally the Welfare Department said, "Well, that's enough." I ended up being adopted by the Voleskys. And my mom said, "Yeah, you showed up. The head of the Welfare Department, brought you to the house. You had a t-shirt on with a hole in it. You had some little shorts on. You had tenor shoes with a hole in both toes, and a shoebox. And that was all your belongings." [crying] And they took me in. They loved me, and they raised me. And I'm here today as an example of love and courage by a white family that adopted a little Indian child from the reservation.

My father was the custodian at Lincoln School. And every day after school, I would go down to where he was working at the school, and I'd play basketball hour after hour in the gym. [sounds of basketball game in a gym] And also played some football, ran track, played baseball, all those things. I wasn't Jim Thorpe, but I was a pretty decent all-round athlete.

You always got some war hoops in basketball from different fans around the state, but I took that as a compliment because I was a good player. And when the other side was trying to do chants and war hoops when I was shooting free throws, I took that as a badge of honor. Maybe even a sign of respect towards me.

My father that adopted me, he died when I was a freshman in high school. So I often say I became a juvenile delinquent, which I did for a year or two. But I ran into a guidance counselor named Donna Brown, who called me down to her office one day. And she said, "I don't know what you're doing. You're flunking this and you're flunking that. But," she said, "your test scores are very high." And she said, "How would you like to go to Harvard?"

And I said, "Well, I don't know anything about Harvard. Don't know that I've ever heard of it, except I know they played the Carlisle Indians back in 1912 and got beat. But not even sure where it is." She said, "Well, it's in Cambridge, Massachusetts." So I did my part, and she did her part. And I got an opportunity to go to Harvard, and spent four years there in college. And I went to the University of South Dakota Law School. And I was very interested in politics at that point in time.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Ron Volesky was elected to the state legislature as a Republican in 1980. The only Native American lawmaker at the time.

[archival audio from campaign speech of Ron Volesky]

Ron Volesky:

[inaudible 00:33:24] say, where's Native American representation in state government? How many cabinet members in state government are Native America? How many Native Americans on the circuit court bench throughout the State of South Dakota? When are we going to get representation in this government like we should have, and like we need to have? I say to the power structures, listen to what's happening out there, and let's make state government and the judicial system more representative of the population as a whole. Can I have an amen?

Crowd:

Amen.

Ron Volesky:

And I'm just going to say this in closing...

[interior car, driving]

Tyler Volesky:

He was a barrier breaker in the sense that I think he was the first Native American to run for governor for a major party at the time in the United States. I used to go to the Standing Rock. I remember, when my dad was running for governor, we went to the reservation.

Yeah, I met some of my uncles and family that I didn't even know personally. My dad's represented a lot of Native Americans throughout the state because he's well known in Indian territory. And being one of the few Native American attorneys, they know you, and they might not know too many lawyers. So they give him a call. He tries to help people from where he came from as much as he can.

Ron Volesky:

In tribal court, things are much more informal, but family structures are much more different among native people than they are among the white dominant society. So when you're in those areas of practicing law in tribal court, you have to understand those nuances. We don't have a lot of Native American attorneys in South Dakota.

I think we need more Native American attorneys on the reservations. We don't have enough. Native Americans are rather reserved people. They aren't the types of people that are real aggressive, but yet they are strong people. And they know that. And I think that helps them at times to be able to rise above racism, bigotry, and prejudice and really become what they want to become. And here's the deal, what they want to become isn't always what the dominant white society would think that they should want to become. They have their own sense of wellbeing. And that wellbeing sometimes isn't in harmony with the society outside them.

[inside classroom of Greg Brazeal with law students at USD]

Greg Brazeal:

We'll be talking about Native Americans and criminal justice. Please coming up and welcome professor Frank Pommersheim. In case any of you do not-

Katie Phang [narration]:

Back in professor Greg Brazeal's class, Tyler meets the man who wrote the tribal court handbook, a 60s radical who drove out to the prairie in a battered Chevy Nova and didn't look back. He ended up teaching Tribal Law at USD.

Frank Pommersheim:

Historically, there have been very few figures in state politics in particular that show respect to Indian people. What we say to me, "Frank, until people show us respect, we're not going to be able to go forward."

In one of my last couple years in Indian law, I had students read a book by Louise Erdrich or other Indian authors. And my assignment went something like this: write a three-page book review of this. As students were saying, it just really confronted stuff, or Indian people saying that they found it tough fitting into law school because they didn't feel that law school really had enough space for them.

I guarantee you, you cannot be a good prosecutor unless you have some understanding that racism actually exists, and it's a possibility in every case that you have. And certainly, from the defense side, of course you have to, I believe, entertain it. If you just pretend that it doesn't exist "because you're a good person". No, you can't be a good lawyer. You definitely cannot.

Greg Brazeal:

Let me get a round of applause for Professor Pommersheim. Thank you. [applause]

Frank Pommersheim:

Thanks so much. I really enjoyed it.

Katie Phang [narration]:

In Sioux Falls, Matt Skinner's internship at the public defender's office is coming to a close. He and Derek are meeting with a new client.

Derek Hoffman:

Matt, why don't you run through the charge?

Matt Skinner:

Okay. So yeah, DUI first and speeding. The location of the traffic stop was on Interstate 90, mile marker 398, Minnehaha County. When the officer arrived on the scene, spoke with Trooper Jensen, who informed him that the driver who was stopped for traveling 102 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour speed zone. Does that sound right so far?

Client:

Yes.

Matt Skinner:

While in the patrol vehicle, the officer detected the odor of alcoholic beverage. Is that right?

Client:

That's right.

Matt Skinner:

A breath test was administered. The reading was 0.13 breath alcohol content. You were placed under arrest for driving under the influence, first offense, transported to jail.

Client:

Yes.

Matt Skinner:

And this was at 3:30?

Client:

Yes. I was traveling from central South Dakota, in lower rural, the Indian reservation.

Matt Skinner:

So is that where you had the drinks?

Client:

Yes. That morning, early morning hours from 0300.

Matt Skinner:

Okay.

Matt Skinner:

Are you in the military?

Client:

I was in the military. Yes.

Matt Skinner:

Marines?

Speaker 26:

Client:

Matt Skinner:

Where were you going?

Client:

I have something I need to disclose to you guys right now. I'm on a suspended imposition right now for reckless driving charge.

Matt Skinner:

For reckless?

Client:

Yeah.

Matt Skinner:

Okay.

Client:

And that was actually a DUI. I was dealing with a suicide of one of my brothers-in-arms at the time, and I was mourning that death. And that's why I lost control of myself at that point. This incident was mourning a cousin of mine. That's why I was back in the reservation and traveling back here through Sioux Falls.

Matt Skinner:

Okay.

Client:

So I think it's a little bit of a pattern there. I don't know if that matters.

Matt Skinner:

That definitely matters.

Client:

Is there going to be like jail time because it's suspended imposition?

Matt Skinner:

On this case, the offer right out of the gate is just a standard first DUI. Does that make sense?

Client:

Yeah, that's probably a good thing then? Okay.

Matt Skinner:

All right. So what we'll do today is we can ask for the delay on your behalf, so you can leave if you want. I know you've been here a while.

Client:

I'll stay and go up.

Matt Skinner:

Okay. Okay.

Client:

Accept responsibilities for my actions.

Matt Skinner:

All right. Thanks.

[in office, Matt talking with Derek]

Matt Skinner:

That was, honestly, nice that he did that. Because I would guess that most clients wouldn't be like, "Hey, I already have a suspended imposition." He was like, "I got to tell you right now I have this," which was really nice to actually have.

Laura Rose:

When I'm looking for a trial lawyer, I am looking for somebody who, at the end of the day, do you have a capacity to look at another human being, who is separate and apart from you, to empathize with their situation and to recognize when an injustice has occurred under the rules, and then zealously argue. I want them all day long and twice on Sunday.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Coach Laura Rose runs the trial team and teaches classes. On top of all that, this year she submitted the documents for tenure review.

[inside home of Laura Rose, on phone call with her father]

Laura Rose:

Dad, you got the email that I forwarded you last night, right?

Katie Phang [narration]:

Wanting some father/daughter time. She calls her dad, who happens to be Professor Charles Rose III, Dean of the College of Law at Ohio Northern University.

Charles Rose [via phone]:

Oh yeah. The one about the course syllabi?

Laura Rose:

No, not the course syllabi one. Not that one. Well, hang on. I didn't even send you the one that I wanted to send you. Let me send you this one.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Charles Rose spent 20 years on active duty in the United States Army and was on the faculty at Stetson University, where he led the trial team to the number one ranking for 12 years. He also wrote the book, actually lots of books, on trial advocacy, including one he co-authored with his daughter, Laura.

Laura Rose:

How's the end of your semester wrapping up?

Charles Rose [via phone]:

We're all busier than we have any right to be, particularly the trial team. Because we're now done with competitions, except for National Trial League, which we've got going on.

Laura Rose:

I love my dad a great deal. He's my hero. He's who I want to be when I grow up. I've modeled my career after him. I have very fond memories of when daddy started law school, I started kindergarten. So a daddy and daughter used to get up in the morning and go to school together. Right? He would drop me off at school. And my whole life, it's been like that. He's provided me with unending opportunities.

Laura Rose:

Well, and you see that habit in some of the competitions where people are picking one fact, or two facts, and overdramatizing it. And relying on that. I just, I don't know how to square that with the obligation that we have to educate lawyers. Right?

Laura Rose:

I'm not going to teach my students how to act. That's not my job. My job is to teach them how to advocate.

Charles Rose [via phone]:

I get that. But if you'll think about it for a minute, you have to train them to deal with the person who's all show and no go, so that when they run into that in the real world, they know how to take them apart.

Laura Rose:

So how do I fix it for next semester? My instinct is to keep teaching the way that I have been teaching, and have the conversations with the students that I've been having in terms of this works. This doesn't. This is why.

Charles Rose [via phone]:

We have to pull the emotion out of these Midwestern kids at a greater level so that it comes through the camera. Because what's happening is that they tend to be self-effacing, standing upright, polite young men and women, right?

Laura Rose:

Yeah.

Charles Rose [via phone]:

And then you put the lens of the camera on top of that. The camera creates this barrier to communication.

[Producer with Tyler, walking to the courtroom before the Capitol City Challenge competition]

Tyler Volesky:

Well, I got a navy-blue suit with a nice blue Charvet tie. So I think I'm looking pretty presidential.

Katie Phang [narration]:

To give Tyler another shot at mock trial, coach Laura Rose has put him on a team of 2Ls for the Capitol City Callenge hosted by American University in Washington, DC, and held this year online.

Tyler Volesky:

There's a lot of schools in it, schools from the east that we saw last semester in the Hofstra Competition. Some pretty big-time schools. So we're going to give them our best, but we're representing the Midwest here in South Dakota.

Katie Phang [narration]:

The case is set in the fictional city of Washingtonia, and it gives Tyler another workout with medical details. The USD team is defending Dr. Pierre Lagrand. The doctor's crime, he impregnated a patient with his own semen instead of her husband's, which meant their new baby was not a bone marrow match for their older child who was dying of leukemia.

[inside courtroom as the team prepares for the competition]

Tyler Volesky:

I will be doing a cross examination of the state's witness, the mother or father in this case. And then I'll be doing a direct examination of Pierre Lagrand. He's the doctor that's on trial, being charged with second degree murder and fraud. So hopefully, he comes across as human or empathetic, but this guy's a real tough character, very high on himself. And didn't think he did anything wrong. In our practice, they said I have to tone it down a little bit because I'm crossing a mother that just lost her daughter, and they're blaming the doctor. So I have to show some empathy today, and I can't hit her too hard.

Damian Vason:

Hey, when you get up here, man... God, we look good.

Tyler Volesky:

Yes, we do.

Damian Vason:

I guess turn this on.

Damian Vason:

Good evening, your honor. My name is Damien Vason, and I, along my co-counsel Tyler Volesky, represent the defendant, Dr. Pierre Lagrand in today's case.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Howard University challenged South Dakota.

Howard Student [via Zoom]:

We have a few stipulations that we would like to bring to the course attention that is also in the case files. Stipulation-

Katie Phang [narration]:

The Howard team, it's a formidable opponent.

Howard Student [via Zoom]:

Miss Duboise, can you tell us a little bit about your daughter, Emma?

Katie Phang [narration]:

They do the direct exam of the mother in the case. She lost a daughter.

Miss Duboise [via Zoom]:

Of course. Emma, she was a golden child. Just look at her, the way her hair goes down in her bow. And she brought so much happiness to our lives, but now that she's gone, it's just a feeling of being incomplete.

Howard Student [via Zoom]:

And why is Emma gone, that you've just stated?

Miss Duboise [via Zoom]:

She unfortunately passed away when she was eight years old, and she had leukemia and didn't get a transplant that she needed.

Howard Student [via Zoom]:

How long had Emma suffered-

Tyler Volesky:

Boy, I got to be soft with her.

Tyler Volesky:

Hello, Miss Duboise. I know these are difficult circumstances, but I need you to bear with me so we can get through this together to find the truth today. He delivered you a baby.

Miss Duboise [via Zoom]:

Yes. My beautiful baby boy Marcus.

Tyler Volesky:

Take your time, Miss Duboise. Now, you blame Dr. Lagrand for this. Is that correct?

Miss Duboise [via Zoom]:

I'm not blaming. I just bringing light to the situation. We deserve justice.

Tyler Volesky:

So you're assuming that had Dr. Lagrand used Martin's sperm, Emma would be alive?

Miss Duboise [via Zoom]:

Just based on what other doctors had told me.

Tyler Volesky:

I want to talk about you found out Marcus was not a match-

Katie Phang [narration]:

Soon, the prosecution has them on the edge of their seats with the closing.

Howard Student [via Zoom]:

Yes, the Duboise family wanted a baby, but they did not want the defendant's baby. They wanted a baby that could help Emma. A baby who could have been born if he had used Martin's sperm. This doctor's deadly disregard is why we are asking you to find the only verdict that the evidence supports and that justice demands. Find Pierre Lagrand guilty of first-degree fraud and second-degree depraved heart murder for the death of eight-year-old Emma Duboise. Thank you.

Judge [via Zoom]::

Thank you, prosecution. Does the defense have a closing argument?

Tyler Volesky:

Yes, your honor.

Tyler Volesky:

Members of the jury, the Duboise family came to Dr. Lagrand hoping for a miracle. They knew there was no guarantee, but they had a plan. The state just told you that Dr. Lagrand is not a miracle worker. That is correct. He is not a miracle worker. Dr. Lagrand cannot create magic out of dust. What he did by choosing to use his own sperm, was he provided a chance for Emma. A chance that, had he used Martin Duboise's sperm, would've been highly unlikely. But oftentimes, members of the jury, when tragedy comes upon us, when we lose a child, when our dreams and expectations are not met, oftentimes in our grief, in our pain, and our suffering, we look for somebody to blame. We look for a scapegoat because that is the easy route. And today the state has chosen to keep-

Katie Phang [narration]:

While the 2Ls battle it out at the Capital City Challenge, graduating 3L, Matt Skinner, is cleaning out his desk at the public defender's office.

[inside office building with Matt and the staff at Minnehaha Public Defender]

Derek Hoffman:

This should tide me over.

Matt Skinner:

Should we do our tradition for the last time?

Derek Hoffman:

Oh, over to The Source?

Matt Skinner:

The Source.

Derek Hoffman:

Yeah. We can go over to The Source.

[doors open and close, footsteps in hallway, walking into office]

Derek Hoffman:

I'll buy coffees for everybody since I made Matthew a partner. It's like a newborn bird who just has these wet, stubbly little feathers, but you think he can fly. Just kick him out of the nest.

Derek Hoffman:

Kevin wanted a day in the life of...

Derek Hoffman:

Well, I suppose it's about that time. Huh? I'll keep you posted on that suppression. And then if it does get appealed or whatever, or if it does have a trial, we'll probably peel you in and have you come second chair and cross some more cops.

Matt Skinner:

All right. Hopefully, I'll be an actual attorney by then.

Derek Hoffman:

Yeah. Right. All right, man. Well, walk you out here.

Matt Skinner:

I'm sure I'll stop by. I got to turn this in to Tracy.

Derek Hoffman:

Yep. The old time sheets?

Matt Skinner:

Yeah. Last one.

Tracy:

You still here?

Matt Skinner:

We did a coffee run, but I'm out.

Tracy:

Awesome.

Matt Skinner:

Thank you for the semester and everything. PDO over the past two summers was great.

Tracy:

Yeah.

Matt Skinner:

Learned a lot.

Tracy:

Well, you did a great job today.

Matt Skinner:

Thank you.

Tracy:

So we appreciate everything.

Matt Skinner:

Thanks for everything. I appreciate it. We'll see you later.

Derek Hoffman:

All right, man.

Matt Skinner:

So we'll see ya.

Derek Hoffman:

Yeah.

Matt Skinner:

I forgot my bag in your...

Derek Hoffman:

Oh, right on.

[inside courtroom after the Capitol City Challenge round]

Coach:

We going to jump on a Zoom meeting with Rose.

Damien:

I'm trying to get us on there right now.

Coach:

Okay. Mattie just told me to let you know.

Damien

Is she about ready to rip us apart? I thought we did good.

Tyler Volesky:

Watch, she's going to yell at me. Well, at least this guy's not going to jail because it's not a real case.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Back on campus, the South Dakota team had good responses from the judges.

Judge [via Zoom]:

And then, Mr. Volesky.

Tyler Volesky:

Yes, ma'am.

Judge [via Zoom]:

You have a really great natural presence. And I don't know if it's improvisation, but it feels like. Especially over Zoom, it's so hard not to feel like everyone's just like, "Hello. My name is Kate Benallen." And I thought you had a really great way of being able to show a natural presence and responding to witnesses in a great way. And great job, and good luck for the rest of the rounds. Thank you.

Tyler Volesky:

Thank you. Thank you.

Katie Phang [narration]:

But they are anxiously awaiting feedback from their toughest critic, Coach Rose.

Laura Rose [via Zoom]:

Okay, wonder twins. I think the round overall went particularly well. I thought both were deadly on cross examination. In terms of overall skills, the one thing that I want to talk about in particular, Tyler, your closing, the line, "Dr. Lagrand is not a miracle worker. He cannot create magic out of dust." That was a beautiful line. That was beautifully, beautifully done. But what I need from you, you've got to get organized, and you've got to pick where you're sticking your ending tomorrow.

Tyler Volesky:

We'll get it, we'll get it. If I get to go tomorrow, it's going to be even so much better.

Laura Rose:

Tonight, when you're not going to sleep, because you're not going to sleep no matter what I tell you, perhaps you should pick the path. You got to pick the three things that you're going to spend your time on. And then you got to plot out that last paragraph with that American flag behind you. I should see it start waving in non-existent South Dakota wind. I should see it blowing like it's out on the damn prairie in the middle of the winter, Tyler. Just-

Tyler Volesky:

I'll get it. I'll get it. I'll get it.

Laura Rose:

Good. Good. Because you can. Because, guys, there was moments of true brilliance throughout this entire trial for both of you in all of the skills. Okay, look. You walked into the room and you said, "Yeah, we can do this too." And you refused to be denied. The fact that you got complimented on your evidentiary arguments is a big deal at these competitions. Shake off whatever it is that you're beating yourself up about in your head. Because I can see it on both of your faces. Knock it off.

Damian:

Well, we thought this was going to be a butt chewing, Professor Rose.

Laura Rose:

Look, you want me to do the part where I chew you out, I can chew you out on [inaudible 00:54:40].

Damian:

Go ahead.

Laura Rose:

You know what the format for objection is. Objection, legal basis. That issue rule analysis conclusion.

Damian:

Okay.

Laura Rose:

You know what that is. You spent all last semester doing it in evidence. It's like there's a method to madness, gentlemen. It's like there's a reason that we argue things in class the way that we do. I want you to focus on the high points. I want you to focus on the great things that you did. This is a learning experience. We are learning, and we are growing. You held your own against Howard. You should be proud of that.

Laura Rose:

Now, what do y'all need to do? You need to go to the hell of bed because you got to hell of around tomorrow against Georgia. But for tonight, you should be proud. You should be proud of the effort, and you should be proud of wow, you pushed. The work that you all put into this is clear.

Damian Vason:

Thank you.

Laura Rose:

None of us gets through life solo. Everybody is standing on the shoulders of the people that came before them.

Katie Phang [narration]:

I caught up with coach Rose a little later that day.

Katie Phang:

You and I both know anybody can be an advocate, but not everybody can be a trial lawyer.

Laura Rose:

Fair. You have to learn to be able to spot what's going on in your case, and hear that moment when the jury shifts. And you can feel that moment where they've made a decision about something, and lean into that thing that they've made a decision about because it's working for you. That's advocacy, the ability to adjust and to communicate on this very human level about these very human subjects so that we can continue to speak truth to power and protect democracy. My students always laugh at me because they say that I like to get on a soapbox about that. But it's the truth. The American trial system is the thing that stands in the way of the government and corporations being able to run ram shod over people.

Katie Phang [narration]:

As Tyler and the team pack up for the day, they realize this may be their last tournament of the year.

Tyler Volesky:

She wasn't too bad. I knew she was going to come with some criticism there. It was well-deserved, but-

Damian:

I thought-

Tyler Volesky:

... she said we had moments of brilliance. So I'll take it.

Damian Vason:

Yeah. I'm always going to wonder, always look back and think of what I could have done better, but I'm exhausted right now. I feel like I gave it everything.

Tyler Volesky:

We're all 2Ls as well.

Damian:

But even with that, the one thing I think everyone has said is we held our own with a very good team. And Howard basically said, "Hey, we want to go up against USD. The real reason they challenged us was because they thought they could push us around. And I think we showed-

Tyler Volesky:

Because we're the underdog.

Damian Vason:

Hey, if you're going to call out the University of South Dakota, we're going to stand our ground. We're going to hold our ground against anybody.

Katie Phang [narration]:

Coach Rose talks about South Dakota nice. Out on the prairie, folks will play hardball if they have to. Years ago, before leaving for Harvard, the young Ron Volesky decided to go for a bike ride.

Ron Volesky:

I don't travel as much as I used to. I don't know if I'll ever have the opportunity to put that foot on the sacred soil of the Standing Rock. We'll see.

I had the goofy idea of riding my bicycle from here on to the Black Hills. And a good friend of mine, whom I played football and basketball against in high school, we decided we'd get 10-speed bicycles and leave from Huron, South Dakota and ride our bikes to Rapid City. And we did. We made it in four days, and we toured around out there. He got a little tired of biking. So he decided to take a bus home. I decided to ride my bike home. But before I rode my bike home, I decided that I'd go on a little hitchhiking tour. And I did hitchhike up to the reservation, and I visited my mother. And we spent some time together before I came back and left for college. So I did reconnect with my mother in that respect. And that was the first time I also saw my father. 16, I guess 17, when I saw my father, first met him. That's another whole story. We don't have time for all that.

[audio teaser for Episode 9]

Lajeanne Shelton:

Okay. Just repeat after me. It's very simple. Repeat after me. This team-

Dillard Team:

This team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

Best team.

Dillard Team:

Best team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

This team.

Dillard Team:

This team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

Best team.

Dillard Team:

Best team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

This team.

Dillard Team:

This team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

Strong team.

Dillard Team:

Strong team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

This team.

Dillard Team:

This team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

Strong team.

Dillard Team:

Strong team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team.

Dillard Team:

I love my team.

Lajeanne Shelton:

I love my team!

Dillard Team:

I love my team!

[cheers and applause]

Amaya Ronczyk:

You're all making me cry.

Katie Phang [narration]:

That's next time on Class Action. Class Action is a production of iHeartRadio and Sound Argument. Created, produced, and edited by Kevin Huffman and Lisa Gray. This episode was written by Wendy Nardy. Executive producers are Taylor Chicoine and Katrina Norvel. Sound design, editing, and mixing by Evan Tyre and Taylor Chicoine. This episode had additional field production by Paul Ebsen and Malia Lukomski. Additional editing by Carl K. Robinson. Archival audio provided by Victoria Wicks and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your favorite shows.

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