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News & Press: Montana News

Cavan selected as U.S. magistrate judge in Billings

Thursday, September 29, 2016  
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Timothy J. Cavan of Billings has been selected to serve as the next United States magistrate judge in the Billings Division.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana announced Cavan’s selection On Sept. 29.

Cavan was selected from among a group of finalists compiled by a court-appointed merit selection panel. He is currently an assistant United States Attorney in Billings.

A lifelong Montanan, Cavan earned a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University-Billings in 1981, and graduated with honors from the University of Montana School of Law in 1984. He began his legal career practicing civil trial law with the Billings firm of Sandall, Cavan & Smith, where he became a partner in 1988. From 1996 to 2002, he served as assistant federal defender with the Federal Defenders of Montana, representing indigent defendants charged with federal crimes.

Cavan has worked in his current position in the United States Attorney’s Office since 2002, serving as defense counsel in cases involving civil claims against federal defendants. He has been active in various community organizations and is a member of the Yellowstone County Bar Association, the Billings YMCA, Zoo Montana, Yellowstone Art Museum, and Yellowstone Public Radio. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children.

The District of Montana has three full-time magistrate judge positions, located in Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls.

Cavan will become the fourth magistrate judge to serve on a full-time basis in the Billings Division. His appointment takes effect on Dec. 2. He will succeed current United States Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, who has announced plans to resign on Dec. 1.