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Judge Lovell, 93, dies after 36 years’ service on federal bench


Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles C. Lovell died on June 14 in Helena, the United States District Court for the District of Montana has announced. He was 93.
Judge Lovell had been on inactive senior status after 36 years of service on the federal bench in the District of Montana.
Judge Lovell was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on March 27, 1985, to a newly established third Article III judgeship in the District of Montana. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 3, 1985, and received his commission on April 4, 1985. Judge Lovell assumed senior status on June 14, 2000. He maintained a regular case load following his transition to senior status, resulting in 36 years of service as a federal judge. In 2017 the Court produced a biographical film depicting Judge Lovell’s career. The film can be viewed at www.mtd.uscourts.gov/district-montana-history.
Following his graduation from the University of Montana in 1952, Judge Lovell entered active duty for the U.S. Air Force as a weapons controller. He transferred to active reserve in 1954 and reached the rank of captain before he was released to honorary retired reserve in 1967.
Judge Lovell began his legal career in Great Falls following his graduation from the University of Montana School of Law in 1959. He was in private practice from 1959-1985. During that time, he served as the Chief Counsel for the Office of the Montana Attorney General in Helena from 1969-1972.
“Judge Lovell lived a remarkable American life. He was a child of the Great Depression, an airman in the Air Force, a successful practicing lawyer, and a fair and wise federal judge,” said U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in a statement. “He exemplified the very best traits of a trial judge — preparation, restraint, intelligence, curiosity, patience, and kindness to all who came before him. I’m grateful to have practiced before him and I’ll miss him as a colleague.”
The judges and staff of the District of Montana expressed their deep appreciation of Judge Lovell’s contribution to the administration of justice in Montana.