About Our Attorneys
Nicholson Tschetter Adams & Nicholson in Sioux Falls, SD is a licensed law firm and our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience. Their brief biographies are provided below.
Attorney Kenneth M. Tschetter
Ken is a South Dakota native who was raised in Rapid City and moved to Sioux Falls in 1999. Ken earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and subsequently graduated from law school at KU in 1994. During law school, he was selected for the Law Review, won several American Jurisprudence academic awards and finished in the top ten percent of his class, earning membership in the Order of the Coif.
After graduation, Ken obtained valuable experience as a research attorney for the Kansas Court of Appeals, and served as the research attorney for the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals. Ken returned to South Dakota, and began practicing criminal defense at the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office. After two years, he entered private practice by joining Rhonda Lockwood's office in Sioux Falls as an associate attorney. In 2003, Ken opened his own law office and focused on criminal defense and family law. Now, after eighteen years of working as an attorney, Ken has significant experience in handling many types of legal matters.
Today Ken's practice remains primarily criminal defense and family law. As part of his family law practice, Ken also handles cases involving adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ARTs). He has assisted in gestational surrogacy matters, including drafting surrogacy contracts and helping intended parents establish legal parentage for children born through surrogacy. Ken is a member of the ARTs Committee of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, and is Of Counsel for two national ARTs groups, the Reproductive Law Center and the International Fertility Law Center.
Ken is licensed to practice in state and federal courts in South Dakota, and holds licenses in both Kansas and Utah. He is a member of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, the Second Circuit Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ken also serves on the Family Law Committee for the State Bar of South Dakota, and was recently appointed to the Supreme Court's Committee to Study the Use of Interpreters and Translators in the South Dakota Court System.
Ken and his wife Lisa are the proud parents of four young daughters.
Attorney Jason R. Adams
Jason is a native of Janesville, Minnesota. He grew up on a small farm outside of Janesville. He graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota with a degree in political science and minor in business administration in 1994. Jason attended law school in Vermillion, South Dakota and graduated from the University Of South Dakota School Of Law in 1997.
Following law school, Jason practiced law in Elk Point, South Dakota at Stickney & Groe Law Office. After three years in Elk Point he joined the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office and was there for seven years before joining Ken Tschetter to form Tschetter & Adams Law Office, P.C. While at the Public Defender's Office, Jason gained valuable experience defending cases from DUI's to robbery, attempted murder, and capital murder cases. Jason continued to gain valuable experience in criminal law while partnering with Ken Tschetter, and also gained experience in family law and personal injury law. In August of 2011, Jason and Ken Tschetter joined Tom and Melissa Nicholson to form Nicholson, Tschetter, Adams & Nicholson.
Jason has over 14 years of experience in handling criminal cases, family law cases and personal injury cases. His experience includes numerous jury trials and appellate work.
Jason is licensed to practice in state and federal courts in South Dakota. He is a member of the South Dakota Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Second Circuit Bar Association. Jason serves on the South Dakota State Bar's Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions Committee.
Jason and his wife, Kami, have two sons and a daughter.
Attorney Thomas J. Nicholson
Tom was born and raised in Winner, South Dakota, received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota, and also graduated from the USD School of Law in 1978.
Since 1979, he has been in private practice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is a partner in the law firm of Nicholson, Tschetter, Adams & Nicholson. He has the top designation of an AV peer rated lawyer in Martindale-Hubbell. Tom believes in a logical, practical approach to solving problems; he looks at the circumstances and works with clients to find common sense solutions. Unnecessary expense and posturing do not help the client. He enjoys practicing with his daughter, Melissa, and other firm lawyers and they work well together. That relationship allows them to use a team approach when practical. Tom has worked hard since 1979 to develop positive relationships with clients, other attorneys and judges. He has experience in numerous types of lawsuits dealing with fraud, franchises, trusts, business disputes, land disputes and divorce with substantial assets. He also has extensive experience in business related matters.
Tom Nicholson Specializes in the Following Areas:
- Business / Corporation / Real Estate Law / Contracts
- Construction Law
- Divorce With Considerable Assets
- Estate / Probate / Wills
- Substantial Injuries / Wrongful Death
Licensed to Practice Before:
- 8th Circuit Court Of Appeals
- South Dakota Trial Courts And Agencies
- Supreme Court Of South Dakota
- U.S. District Court
- United States Supreme Court
Professional and Community Involvement (Current and Previous):
- American Bar Association
- American Board Of Trial Advocates (Abota)
- American Indian Services (Original Board Member)
- Board Of Directors Of Dow-Rummel Retirement Home (President 4 Terms)
- Chairman Of The Civil Service Board For The City Of Sioux Falls
- Competency Committee
- Governor's Criminal Justice Initiative (2012)
- Judicial Compensation Committee
- Judicial-Bar Liaison Committee
- Law School Speaker On Character And Fitness
- Mentor At Sioux Falls Lincoln High School
- President Of The State Bar Of South Dakota 2012 – 2013
- Search Committee USD Law School Dean (2012)
- Seminar Presenter On Personal Injury For The South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association
- Sioux Council Boy Scouts Of America Board Member
- Sioux Falls Inns Of Court
- Sioux Falls Literacy Council (Original Board Member)
- South Dakota Bar Examiners (1988 – 2002)
- South Dakota Humanities Foundation Board Member
- South Dakota Trial Lawyers' Association
- State Bar Disciplinary Board (Co-Chair 2007-2008)
- State Bar Of South Dakota (Member)
- Tort & Insurance Practice Section Of The Aba
- Unauthorized Practice Of Law Committee
- Westward Ho Country Club Board Member (President In 1991)
- Youth Soccer And Basketball Volunteer Coach For Approximately 10 Years
- Several Other School And Church Boards And Committees
Attorney Melissa B. Nicholson
After growing up in Sioux Falls, Melissa went to college in Indiana at DePauw University, where she majored in Math and played college basketball. She returned to South Dakota to go to law school at the University of South Dakota, primarily with the intent to practice with her father, who has been a mentor to her, both in the practice of law and life in general. Melissa has practiced in Sioux Falls for more than 13 years and is a partner in the firm of Nicholson, Tschetter, Adams & Nicholson. Her father, Tom Nicholson, has practiced in the state for over 30 years and is the South Dakota State Bar President, 2012-2013. Together, they handle a variety of litigation and business related legal work. They strive to offer an effective resolution of their clients' cases in a straightforward, personal way with an emphasis on common sense.
Melissa Specializes in:
- Civil Litigation
- Divorce/Family Law
- Knowledge Of/Emphasis On Business, Family Law And Litigation Related Issues
- Prenuptial Agreements
Professional and Community Memberships and Associations:
- Bar Media Liaison, State Bar Committee Chairperson
- Evidence Committee, State Bar
- Family Law Committee, South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association
- Leadership Sioux Falls Graduate 2002
- Past South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association Board of Governors
- South Dakota Bar Association
- South Dakota Senator Daschle's Leader's Retreat 2000
- South Dakota Trial Lawyers
Courts Admitted to Practice In:
- All South Dakota Courts
- Most South Dakota Agencies
- United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
- United States District Court
- United States Supreme Court