Sheila’s practice includes estate planning, business law, real estate, and education law. She enjoys helping small business owners – including farmers and ranchers – transition their business to the next generation. Sheila often represents trustees and personal representatives with probate and trust administration issues. Sheila also handles personal, commercial, and agricultural real estate transactions, including contracts for deed and leases. Sheila is general counsel for Mount Marty University.
Membership & Activities
Like her colleagues, Sheila is committed to making Yankton a great place to live. Over the past two decades, Sheila has served on numerous non-profit boards, including River City Domestic Violence Center, Heartland Humane Society, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Bush Foundation South Dakota Advisory Council, Yankton Special Olympics, and the Yankton Area Community Foundation. Sheila also served on the South Dakota Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 2014 to 2017.
Sheila graduated summa cum laude from Augustana College in Sioux Falls with a degree in economics and government. She attended the University of Iowa College of Law, graduating with the highest distinction and being named a member of the Order of the Coif. After clerking for the late Honorable Thomas M. Shanahan in United States District Court, Sheila started working for the firm. She has been a partner since 2003. Sheila has an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® for the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
Sheila is admitted to practice in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. She is also licensed to practice in the United States District Courts in South Dakota and Nebraska, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law and Business Law Sections of the South Dakota State Bar.
Sheila and her spouse Chris Sonne enjoy traveling, sampling craft beer, and cheering on the Augie Vikings, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Washington State Cougars. Sheila’s favorite hobby is beating her fellow law partner Steve Huff in fantasy football.