Lon J. Kouri

About Lon

Lon joined May & Johnson in 1980.  While a member of the Litigation Section, his practice was devoted to civil litigation, with an emphasis on insurance defense, insurance litigation, and professional liability defense. His clients included several major insurance companies in the United States. Lon is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is the past President of the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association and served as the South Dakota Representative to DRI.

In addition to his litigation practice, Lon has mediated over 1,900 civil disputes. He now devotes his practice exclusively to ADR and mediates nearly 250 disputes per year. He has successfully mediated a wide variety of civil claims, including class action lawsuits, wrongful death actions, catastrophic injury actions, medical malpractice and professional negligence claims, complex multiparty construction claims, employment/discharge claims, commercial and business disputes, including shareholder claims and first party insurance bad faith claims. As part of his neutral practice, Lon also has arbitrated numerous civil claims in various areas including nursing home liability, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, labor contracts and construction disputes.

Lon is South Dakota's charter member in the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, an invitation-only organization of attorneys recognized by their peers as outstanding mediators. He was named as a Great Plains Super Lawyer, as a Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation, and was also selected for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America" in the area of mediation.  In 2017, he was recognized by US News Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year for mediation.   He is also a member of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution and is past chairman of the South Dakota Bar Association Committee on ADR.



  • University of South Dakota School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota

  • Augustana College, With Honors


  • South Dakota

  • U.S. District Court District of South Dakota

  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit


  • Second Judicial Circuit Bar Association, 1990-1991 President

  • State Bar of South Dakota

  • American Board of Trial Advocates

  • South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association, 1996-1997 President

  • South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association, 1994-2001 Board of Governors

  • Defense Research Institute, 1999-2002 South Dakota Representative

  • International Association of Defense Counsel

  • International Academy of Dispute Resolution

  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals - SD Charter Member


  • Best Lawyers in America

  • Great Plains Super Lawyers

  • Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory -- A.V. Rated

  • Defense Research Institute Exceptional Performance Citation

  • Defense Research Institute State Leadership Award

  • Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation

Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Mediation

  • Arbitration