Jeffrey L. Viken

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The Honorable
Jeffrey Viken
Jeffrey L. Viken.jpeg
Portrait of Jeffrey L. Viken
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
Incumbent
Assumed office
2013
Preceded by Karen Schreier
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 30, 2009
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Lawrence Piersol
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 61–62)
Huron, South Dakota, U.S.
Alma mater University of South Dakota School of Law

Jeffrey Lynn Viken (born 1952) is the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. He previously was the federal public defender for North Dakota and South Dakota.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Huron, South Dakota, Viken earned a bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota in May 1974 and a law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law in May 1977.

Professional career[edit]

From 1977 until 1981, Viken served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota and in 1981 became the Acting United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota.[1] From 1981 until 1982, Viken was a partner in the Rapid City, South Dakota law firm of Finch, Viken & Viken, and then from 1981 until 1992, Viken was a partner in the Rapid City firm of Finch, Viken, Viken & Pechota. From 1992 until 2003, Viken served as a partner in the Rapid City law firm of Viken, Viken, Pechota, Leach & Dewell, LLP.[1]

In 2003, Viken was appointed federal public defender for the District of South Dakota by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.[1] In 2005, the Eighth Circuit appointed Viken the federal public defender for the District of North Dakota as well to lead a combined-district organization for both North Dakota and South Dakota.

Federal judicial service[edit]

On June 25, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Viken to a vacant seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota that was created when Judge Lawrence L. Piersol took senior status.[1] The United States Senate confirmed Viken in a 99-0 vote on September 29, 2009.[2] He received his commission the following day.[3] He has served as Chief Judge since 2013.

References[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Lawrence Piersol
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
2009–present
Incumbent