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Member News for October-November 2022

Murphy joins Moore, Cockrell, Goicoechea & Johnson, P.C.

Moore, Cockrell, Goicoechea & Johnson, P.C., is pleased to announce that Braden S. Murphy has joined the firm in Kalispell as an associate attorney. 
Murphy attended Montana State University, where he received a degree in chemical engineering. Murphy earned his law degree from Notre Dame Law School. While there, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Notre Dame Law Review and was a Dean’s Circle Fellow. 
After law school, Murphy returned to Montana and practiced in Bozeman for two years before relocating to the Flathead Valley. He has represented clients in a variety of civil matters, including property and easement disputes, insurance coverage and bad faith, and business and contract disputes.

5 attorneys join Garlington, Lohn & Robinson
Garlington, Lohn & Robinson is happy to announce the addition of five attorneys to our team. 
Michael D. Bybee, Britton J. Fraser, Holly A. Seymour, Molly P. Davis and Ryan W. Frank have joined the firm in 2022.  
Bybee is admitted to practice in Montana and Idaho state courts and has been practicing law in Missoula for approximately 10 years. His practice comprises both litigation and transactional work. He has experience advising clients prospectively on issues such as estate planning, land use, and contract drafting and review. He also has diverse experience in litigation matters including full jury and bench trials and appellate briefing.  
Fraser brings experience to the position that he gained working as clerk at the Montana Supreme Court for two years.  He earned his undergraduate degree in political science at Marquette University in Milwaukee.  After college, he moved to Montana to obtain his Juris Doctor from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.  His practice areas include civil litigation and insurance defense.   

Seymour was born and raised in Livingston. She attended the University of Montana and graduated with degrees in political science and Spanish. After undergraduate school, she worked for an environmental nonprofit in Montana for a few years before returning to the University of Montana to earn a Master of Science in environmental studies alongside her J.D. As a law student, she fostered a passion for public interest law while she interned with Montana Trout Unlimited and Cottonwood Environmental Law Center. She also served as an editor of the Public Lands and Resources Law Review.  Her practice areas include civil litigation, insurance defense, environmental and water law. 

Davis was raised in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  She attended the University of Florida and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in sustainable design.  Upon graduation, she made her way out west to the great state of Montana, where she attended law school at the University of Montana School of Law.  While in law school, she served as the President of the Women’s Law Caucus.  She also worked as a legal intern at Garlington, Lohn & Robinson and as a research assistant. Garlington is thrilled to welcome her back to join the firm as an associate attorney.

Frank was born and raised in Billings. He graduated with a degree in economics from Montana State University and received a law degree from the University of Montana School of Law. Prior to law school, he worked a variety of jobs which included home construction, ski guiding, washing dishes, and digital marketing. During law school, he completed internships with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, and a well-respected Missoula law firm. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Public Land and Resources Law Review and completed his clinical externship with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. He is admitted to practice in Montana state courts and the United States District Court for the District of Montana.

Spoon Law welcomes Hansen, Pitcher as associates
Spoon Law is pleased to announce that Megan Hansen and Karl Pitcher have joined the firm as associate attorneys.

Pitcher is an Anaconda native who attended the University of Montana, where he received a degree in finance. Pitcher earned his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 2013. After law school, he worked for Oracle Corporation as a contract negotiator. 

Pitcher returned to Missoula in 2018 to practice law with the Office of the Public Defender. He has represented indigent clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony offenses and served as lead counsel in numerous jury and judge trials. He now specializes in insurance defense and personal injury law.

Hansen, a 2017 graduate of the University of Montana Law School, is the newest associate to join the Spoon Law Firm family. She comes to the firm with a background in both civil and criminal law, making her a well-rounded addition to their already solid team. Megan is jumping in and taking on a variety of new cases in the practice areas of insurance defense as well as personal injury. She wholeheartedly believes that understanding how to navigate the process on both sides of an issue will put her in the strongest position to obtain a favorable resolution for her clients – including taking a case to trial.

Hansen is a fourth-generation Montanan. She and her husband both grew up in the Missoula area where they now raise their daughter and two German shepherds. When she isn’t working, you can find her hanging out with her family, doing home improvement projects, or relaxing at the family cabin in Trout Creek.

Farmer joins as associate with Judnich Law Office in Bozeman
The Judnich Law Office has announced the expansion of a Bozeman, Montana office in addition to their Missoula office and are pleased to announce that attorney Marta Farmer has joined the firm as an associate attorney in the Bozeman office. 

Farmer’s practice will focus on family law and family law mediation in the Bozeman and Billings areas.  Farmer attended Montana State University and has over 13 years of experience in family and criminal law as both a former prosecutor as well as defense attorney.

Zupanic joins as staff attorney at Upper Seven Law
Upper Seven Law is pleased to announce that Niki Zupanic has joined its team as a Staff Attorney.

Zupanic moved to Montana in 2008 to become Public Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana. In that role, she successfully contributed to civil rights victories for Montanans, advancing LGBTQ-inclusive laws and policies, criminal justice reform, and voting rights. Zupanic most recently served as Executive Director of the Montana Justice Foundation, where she oversaw Montana’s IOLTA program and worked to improve access to justice. Zupanic earned her J.D. from McGeorge School of Law in 2007 with distinction.

Upper Seven Law, Montana’s generalist nonprofit firm, is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. U7L takes smart risks and invests the time necessary to build foundations for long-term accountability work, based on its belief that creativity and innovation in law are essential to advancing social justice and public interest objectives. To advance its mission, U7L engages in litigation and education, often partnering with other firms and organizations.

Lund speaks at property rights conference at William & Mary

Late in September, Bozeman attorney Hertha Lund traveled to William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia upon invitation to give a talk at the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference. The conference provides a forum for scholarly debate on property rights issues and for bringing legal practitioners and law professors together.

Lund spoke on a panel regarding water rights and how these rights are maintained during times of scarcity. She explained, “Our Montana legislature had a tremendous foresight to pass the 1972 Water Rights Act, which led to our state adjudicating water rights claims.” Another panelist talked about water rights in California and it became very apparent how much better Montana is in implementing the prior appropriation doctrine, Lund explained. 
Law education began at William and Mary in 1779 at the urging of Thomas Jefferson, and it is the oldest law school in the United States. The evening before the conference the participants gathered in the Wren Building, which was originally constructed in 1695. Lund said it gave her shivers to experience sitting in the room where early presidents of the country studied law. 

Lund was invited to speak at the Conference based on her 27-year experience, scholarly writing, and speaking about the property interests in western water rights.