The purpose of the Section is to enhance recognition of the importance of Animal Law to the state of Montana and to the legal profession.
Contact: Zachary Strong, Chair
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: Maggie Stein, Chair
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: Molly Considine, Chair
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
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: Colin Stephens, Chair
The purpose of the section is to:
(a) Provide a forum for Montana attorneys and eligible non-attorneys to discuss significant, specific and general developments in legislative, administrative and judicial fields affecting aspects of their practice involving Dispute Resolution;
(b) Provide opportunity for scrutiny, discussion and review of administrative agencies' powers, affairs, practices and procedures, including rules and rule making, policy making, enforcement and adjudicatory functions;
(c) Contribute to the continuing education of the attorney who practices in this field;
(d) Encourage publication of legal writings on Dispute Resolution questions among the members of the Association;
(e) Assist members of the legal profession and the public in the understanding of laws, regulations, and court decisions dealing with legal issues involving Dispute Resolution;
(f) Foster relationships between members of the profession working with various Dispute Resolution methods (i.e., Arbitration, Mediation, Mini-Trial, Settlement Conference, Etc.); and
(g) Support the mission, vision, and goals of the Bar.
Contacts: Alain Burrese and Patrick Quinn, Co-Chairs
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: Amy Lord, Chair
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: Jordan Crosby, Chair
Health Care Law
Works to provide opportunities for health care attorneys licensed in Montana to interact with one another through educational activities.
Contact: Tom Donohoe, Chair
The purpose of the Section is to establish and maintain an organization comprised of Montana attorneys, law students, and tribal court practitioners who are engaged in or interested in the practice of Indian or Tribal Law. The Section will seek to provide a forum for the exchange of information relevant to the practice of Indian or Tribal Law.
Contact: Lillian Alvernaz, Chair
Join the Indian Law Section as an Associate Member HERE
The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Montana promotes the education, training, and networking opportunities of attorneys who practice in the area of Intellectual Property Law. The IPL Section’s Council meetings are open to everyone and occur every other month via Zoom. The IPL Member meeting occurs during the SBM Annual Meeting in September. The Section offers CLE webinars that are free to members and co-hosts IP Day in Montana at the University of Montana. Please contact Sarah J. Rhoades firstname.lastname@example.org for upcoming meeting and event details.
Contact: Sarah Rhoades, Chair
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: John Meyer, Chair
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: Katie Smithgall, Chair
Join the New Lawyers' Section as a Law Student Associate Member HERE
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
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 and free access to Fastcase Legal Research.
Contact: Jennifer Allen, Chair
The purpose of the section is to represent the interests of attorneys who practice law as members of government agencies at all levels.
Contact: Michael A. Kakuk, Chair
Public Utilities Law
Provide a forum for Montana attorneys and eligible non-attorneys to discuss significant, specific and general developments in legislative, administrative and judicial fields affecting aspects of their practice involving state and federal public utilities law;
Contact: Shannon M. Heim, Chair
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
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: Bruce Fain, Chair
This Section's purpose, objectives and activities, while complimentary, are distinguishable from those of the existing Natural Resources Section, and therefore merit having a Water section apart from the Natural Resource Section. The reason for this is that Montana Water Law is unique in and of itself as evident by the fact that water has its own Court. This section is designed to focus on facilitating the member's understanding the activities of not only the Water Court, but also the Water Resource Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, but also the legislature in order to enable members to more effectively advocate before these bodies. The depth and breadth of water law across the different bodies make it essential for a section of the bar exist so members can more narrowly focus on the issue in this field.
Contact: John Tietz, Chair
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: Courtney Lawellin, Chair