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Are the Rules Different when the Government is a Party? CLE
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This CLE brings together attorneys who sue government entities and attorneys who represent government entities to discuss emerging tends in § 1983 law, balancing the right to know and the right to privacy, the public duty doctrine, and attorney’s fees. A panel of judges will address the issues of civility in the courtroom—with an emphasis on cases involving self -represented litigants.

When: May 6, 2016
7:45a - 4:45p
Where: Great Northern Hotel
835 Great Northern Blvd.
Helena, Montana  59601
United States
Contact: Meagan Caprara
(406) 447-2206

Online registration is closed.
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Are the Rules Different when the Government is a Party?

A Perspective from Judges and Lawyers who Represent Both Sides

 -Approved for 7.0 (including 1.5 Ethics) Live Montana CLE Credits 




Registration (Continental Breakfast Included)


Welcome and Introductions


Professional Ethics and Dealing with Self—Represented Litigants

Justice Jim Shea, Hon. Sam Haddon,

Hon. DeeAnn Cooney & Hon. David M. Ortley


5 Point Test for Vexatious Litigation

Maggie Sampsel




Balancing the Right to Know and the Right to Privacy Under the Montana Constitution

Anthony Johnstone, Mike Manion & Mike Meloy

12:00 Lunch Provided



A Whirlwind Tour of § 1983

Michelle Badaruddin, Ron Waterman &

Sarah Clerget


Public Duty Doctrine—Still Alive and Well in Montana?

Mark Higgins




Attorney’s Fees—Is the “American Rule” Still the Rule in Montana—Even When Seeking Fees Against a Government Entity?

Justice Beth Baker, Ben Alke & Mark Higgins

Who are the speakers?


· Justice Beth Baker, Montana Supreme Court

· Justice Jim Shea, Montana Supreme Court

· Honorable Judge DeeAnn Cooney,1st Judicial District

· Honorable Judge Sam Haddon,United State District Court for the District of Montana (Helena Division)

· Honorable Judge David M. Ortley, Eleventh Judicial District

· Ben Alke, Esq. Goetz, Baldwin & Geddes,Bozeman

· Michelle Badaruddin, Esq. Pro se law clerk, United States District Court, Missoula

· Sarah Clerget, Esq. Agency Legal Services, Montana Department of Justice

· Mark Higgins, Esq. Ugrin, Alexander, Zadick & Higgins, PC, Great Falls

· Anthony Johnstone, Esq. Alexander Blewett III, School of Law

· Mike Manion, Esq. Chief Legal Counsel, State of Montana, Dep’t of Administration

· Mike Meloy, Freedom of Information Hotline, Helena

· Margaret Sampsel, Law Clerk, Eleventh Judicial District Court

· Ron Waterman, Gough Shanahan Johnson & Waterman, PLLP, Helena


· Rebekah French, Esq. Risk Management & Tort Defense Division, State of Montana

· Susan Gobbs, Esq. Executive Director, Peoples Law Center


Where is it?

The seminar is at the Great Northern Hotel, 835 Great Northern Blvd. Helena, MT 59601.  A very limited number of rooms have been blocked; please make your RESERVATIONS BEFORE April 5, 2016 to get the discount price of $141 + tax. You may call the hotel at 1-(406)-457-5500 and reference State Bar of Montana.  


Registration and Pricing

PRICE A         for attorneys practicing five years or more and all

                          other non-attorney registrants.

PRICE B         for attorneys practicing under five years and

                          members of the State Bar Paralegal Section.

PRICE C         for attorneys practicing in the public sector,

                          government or non-profit

                                       Price A      Price B     Price C

Paid before April 13:            $275       $250       $250

Paid after April 13:              $300       $275       $275

REFUND POLICY: Refunds are 75% if cancellation is 7 days or more before the seminar. Refunds are 50% if cancellation is less than 7 days. No refunds for cancellations on or after the date of the seminar. Cancellations or substitutions may be made by calling 406-447-2206.