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Member News for June-July 2023


CAREER MOVES
Brown Law Firm welcomes Thorsgard to Billings office

Brown Law Firm, P.C., with offices in Billings and Missoula, has announced that Kai B. Thorsgard has joined the firm in Billings.  
Prior to attending law school, Thorsgard worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger and firefighter.  He left the agency in 2019 to attend the University of Montana – Alexander Blewett III School of Law.  During law school, he spent significant time dedicating himself to internships, learning litigation practice and developing the legal skills he applies in the areas he emphasizes today.  
After graduating, Thorsgard moved from Missoula to Billings with his wife and son.  Thorsgard is admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts of Montana and is also licensed to practice in North Dakota. His areas of practice include civil litigation, including construction and construction defects, property and casualty, products liability, and insurance defense.   
In his free time, Thorsgard can be found mountain biking, hunting, and spending time with his family.  

Hoyt & Blewett in Great Falls welcomes Murphy to firm
Hoyt & Blewett PLLC is pleased to announce Connor Murphy has joined the firm in Great Falls. 
 Murphy joins the firm with over a decade of experience in State and Federal Courts.  He was previously a partner with the law firm of Taleff & Murphy, P.C. representing Montana individuals and businesses in complex commercial litigation, insurance issues, finance and banking, real property and estate disputes.  
Murphy was born and raised in Great Falls, earned his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Montana State University- Bozeman and his juris doctorate from the University of Montana - Alexander Blewett III School of Law.   At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, Murphy’s practice now focuses entirely on representing injured individuals and families.

Smith launches firm focusing on property, natural resources
Earlier this year, Helena attorney Mac Smith founded a new law firm, Vista Law, PLLC.   
Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wake Forest University, a law degree from the University of Montana, and a Master of Law degree in Environmental Law from Lewis & Clark University.  
Smith’s law practice focuses on property/real estate law, environmental/natural resources law, and small water utility law.  The firm provides legal assistance with a variety of real estate transactions; environmental compliance and remediation issues; contract preparation and negotiation; and small water utility rate-making and regulatory compliance.  To learn more about Smith or Vista Law, please visit the website at www.vistamt.law. 
Miller joins as shareholder at FairClaim in Great Falls
FairClaim/Linnell, Newhall, Martin & Schulke, P.C., in Great Falls, is pleased to announce Megan Miller joined as a shareholder on January 1, 2023.  Miller worked for seven years as a paralegal at FairClaim before leaving to attend law school, and then returned as an attorney in September 2018.
Miller is a Jefferson County native, graduating from Whitehall High School. She earned her A.A.S., with honors, from Montana State University-Great Falls and her B.A., cum laude, from Arizona State University. Miller graduated from the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law in 2018.  She and her husband Derrick have three children. 
Miller serves on the board of directors for Kairos Youth Services and as the secretary for the Cascade County Bar Association. She received the Judge Robert P. Goff Pro Bono Award in February 2021.
Representing hundreds of injured workers state-wide, Miller’s practice focuses on workers’ compensation and personal injury.  mmiller@fairclaimlaw.com.

Western Justice Associates opens Missoula office and announces 2 new attorneys
Western Justice Associates, PLLC, based in Bozeman, has opened a Missoula office and welcomes two new attorneys.
Adam Shaw, a graduate of the University of Montana School of Law in 2010 joins as a partner. Before joining Western Justice Associates, Shaw was a shareholder with the Brown Law Firm. For the past nine years Shaw handled the defense of insureds in cases involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death, insurance coverage, bad faith, products liability, property claims, and agricultural loss claims. He is looking forward to using his knowledge of the insurance industry and experience with the defense of claims to help plaintiffs in Montana navigate the legal and insurance process.
Shaw has the highest possible rating of both legal ability and ethical standards of AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell. He has also been listed in Mountain States Super Lawyers as a Rising Star since 2016. He has successfully tried and litigated cases in Montana state district courts as well as Montana federal courts. He has handled appeals to the Montana Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  
Andrew Person, a graduate of the University of Montana’s Blewett School of Law in 2015, joins as an associate attorney. Person specializes in litigation, including representing plaintiffs in class action and insurance coverage cases. Person was born and raised in Helena, previously served as an Army paratrooper in combat and represented House District 96 in the Montana State Legislature.
With the opening of its office in Missoula, Western Justice Associates brings its full-service, personal approach to assisting plaintiffs across western Montana.


Felt Martin PC welcomes Greer as new attorney
Felt Martin PC welcomes Nyles G. Greer as an associate attorney.
Greer was raised in Hardin, Montana, and went on to receive his undergraduate degree in environmental studies from Montana State University. In 2020, Greer graduated from the University of Montana School of Law and was admitted to practice in Montana. During law school, Greer was a staff member of the Public Lands and Resources Law Review and had the privilege of being a summer law clerk for the Honorable Mary Jane Knisely.
Greer has a general civil practice and will focus primarily on education law, labor and employment law, and civil litigation.
A lifelong Montanan, Greer enjoys being able to practice near his hometown and partake in its fishing, hunting, and camping. He resides in Billings with his fianc√©, Abbie, and their dog, Wayne.