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State Bar Sections
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Become a member of a section through the State Bar's online store (within the Membership category). Section members have access to private group pages that provide useful links, information, social interaction, discussion forums, blogs and more!

Bankruptcy Law

  • The Section is currently working on a pro bono program and a peer mentoring program. The Section also sponsors a writing contest giving an award to a graduating senior at the University of Montana School of Law for an outstanding paper written on the subject of bankruptcy.
  • Contact: Darcy Crum, Chair (406) 727-8400 -  dcrum@mcn.net

BETTR Law (Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax & Real Property)

  • The Section submits an annual report published in the State Bar's magazine, The Montana Lawyer and meets annually at the Tax Institute Seminar held in the Fall.
  • Contact: Dirk Williams, Chair (406) 523-3600 - dwilliams@crowleyfleck.com

Construction Law

  • The members of the Construction Law Section look forward to providing leadership in the development of this area of the law as more Montana practitioners become involved in the field of Construction law. The members of the Section also expressed an interest in the ethical implications of construction development in our state. The purpose of the Section shall be to foster and promote knowledge and skills of Montana practitioners of construction law.
  • Contact: Bridget LeFeber, Chair (406) 587-3181 - bridgetlefeber@berglawfirm.com

Criminal Law

  • The purposes of the Section shall be:To promote study and research in the field of criminal defense law and the related arts in the State of Montana. To disseminate by lecture, seminars and publications the advancement of the knowledge of the law as it relates to the field of criminal defense practice in the State of Montana. To promote the proper administration of criminal justice in the State of Montana. To foster, maintain and encourage the integrity, independence and expertise of the defense lawyer in criminal cases in the State of Montana. To foster periodic meetings of the criminal defense bar; to provide a forum for the material exchange of information regarding the administration of criminal justice; and thereby to protect individual rights and to improve criminal law, its practice and procedures in the State of Montana.
  • Contact: Brian Smith, Chair (406) 274-0087 - brian@briancarlsmithlaw.com

Family Law

  • The general purposes of the Section shall be the promotion of the objectives of the State Bar within the field of child, family and matrimonial law. The Section shall promote continuing legal education in this field and endeavor to upgrade the practice of child, family and matrimonial law in Montana. The Section may lobby for Section-approved or initiated legislation in the field of child, family and matrimonial law.
  • Contact: Sherine Fernando, Chair (406) 577-2145 - sherine@doddlawfirmpc.com

Federal Practice

  • The Federal Practice Section of the State Bar of Montana is comprised of members whose practices or personal interests include federal law. The primary goal of the section is to provide information and support for its members. The Section provides CLE programs for the benefit of members; Financial support for and communication with the Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, is a liaison with the Federal bench; and Educational and training assistance for law students.
  • Contact: Domenic Cossi, Chair (406) 587-1900 -  domenic@westernjusticelaw.com

Health Care Law

  • Works to provide opportunities for health care attorneys licensed in Montana to interact with one another through educational activities.
  • Contact: Erin MacLean, Chair (406) 431-8524 - emaclean@fandmpc.com

Indian Law

  • The purpose of the Section is to establish and maintain an organization comprised of Montana attorneys who are engaged in or interested in the practice of Indian law.  The Section will seek to provide a forum for the exchange of information relevant to the practice of Indian Law.
  • Contact: Eldena Bear Don't Walk, Chair (406) 529-8001 - eldenabdw@gmail.com

Intellectual Property Law

  • The purpose of the Section, alone or in conjunction with other sections of the State Bar of Montana, will strive to promote the participation of all interested members of the State Bar, and of local bar associations, in order to benefit the members, their clients and the general public.  
  • Contact: Sarah Rhoades, Chair (406) 721-2729  - sarahrrhoades@yahoo.com

Natural Resource, Energy & Environmental Law

  • The purpose of the Section is to provide educational opportunities for its members and the community about recent developments in Natural Resource, Energy and Environmental Law and to help provide funding for the Albert Stone Scholarship, awarded to deserving students at the University of Montana School of Law. Section membership helps support a CLE that brings in leading voices in the areas of natural resources, energy and environmental law. The Section also provides needed financial support to a deserving student with similar interests in the law.
  • Contact: Mac M. Smith, Chair (406) 443-2211 - msmith@doneylaw.com

New Lawyers

  • The State Bar of Montana-New Lawyers' Section has 100+ members all in their first 10 years of practice.  Therefore, the Section is known as: "the voice of Montana's new lawyers". Section membership benefits include social events & networking opportunities, discounted CLE admission, public service opportunities and the chance to help shape the future of the State Bar of Montana.
  • Contact: Meri Althauser, Chair (406) 356-6546  - meri@montanalegaljustice.com

Nonprofit Law

  • The Nonprofit Law Section of the State Bar of Montana is established to carry out the mandates in the Preamble of the Constitution of the State Bar: "to foster and maintain on the part of those engaged in the practice of law high standards of . . . public service, and conduct”  and "to provide a forum for the discussion of and effective action concerning subjects pertaining to the practice of law . . . and relations of the Bar to the public; and to insure that the responsibilities of the legal profession to the public are more effectively discharged.”
  • Contact: Christian Dietrich, Chair (406) 442-3690 - cdietrich@hksalaw.com

Paralegal

  • Demonstrate to your employer and your employer’s clients that you are qualified to call yourself a paralegal in Montana; that you abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct, and that you are serious enough about your job responsibilities to seek continuing education to become a better paralegal. By continuing to update their education, paralegals can better understand the professional standards that they are required to follow; Obtain professional recognition from the State Bar of Montana; Serve as a resource for the members of the State Bar, the Montana Supreme Court, the judiciary, the legislature and the public with regard the paralegal profession in Montana; Serve as a liaison to the State Bar; Develop an understanding of ethical issues faced by attorneys, thereby enabling paralegals to contribute to the resolution of those issues; Receive discounts on seminar fees for a CLE’s sponsored by the Paralegal Section or the State Bar; Notification of continuing legal education courses offered by the Paralegal Section and the State Bar of Montana; Non-voting membership in the State Bar of Montana; CLE tracking by the State Bar of Montana; Receipt of The Montana Lawyer, the official publication of the State Bar.
  • Contact: Shanni K. Barry, Chair (406) 431-8912 -  shannibarry71@gmail.com

Public Law

  • The purpose of the section is to represent the interests of attorneys who practice law as members of government agencies at all levels.
  • Contact: Steve Garrison, Chair (406) 461-7971 - turbo159@earthlink.net

School Law

  • The purpose of the Section shall be to establish and maintain an organization of Montana lawyers and educators with an interest in the field of school law. The Section will provide a forum for the material exchange of information relevant to the practice of school law.
  • Contact: Elizabeth Kaleva, Chair (406) 542-1300 - eakaleva@kalevalaw.com

Veterans Law

  • The Section’s purpose is to establish and maintain a group of Montana attorneys to identify, coordinate and help resolve legal issues affecting our military veterans, including pro bono assistance.  The Section will provide a forum to exchange information relevant to the practice of that area of the law.
  • Contact: Steve Garrison, Chair (406) 461-7971 - turbo159@earthlink.net

Women's Law

  • The purpose of the Section shall be to stimulate the interest and participation of lawyers and law students in legal and professional issues affecting women.
  • Contact: Cathleen Tutty, Chair (406) 498-5411 - tuttylawgroup@gmail.com