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State Bar operating with limited staffing, limited access to public
The State Bar of Montana is operating with limited public access to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The office remains open with limited staffing to maintain essential services. We ask all those with items they need to deliver to the bar to mail them rather than dropping them off at the office. Please mail to State Bar of Montana, P.O. Box 577, Helena, MT 59624.
Most staff members are working remotely during this emergency and the best way to reach them is via email. Please see our STAFF DIRECTORY, where you can find staff members' job duties and contact information.
Stay-at-Home Directive in place
On Thursday, March 26, Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive ordering Montanans to stay at home and all non-essential businesses and operations to cease.
On Wednesday, April 22, Gov. Bullock issued a directive calling for a phased reopening.
SBM COVID-19 RESOLUTION: The State Bar Board of Trustees passed an emergency resolution addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic in a special meeting on Monday, March 23. The resolution, among other things, addresses impending compliance deadlines in light of the pandemic restrictions, suspends requirements for in-person meetings in the bar's bylaws.
Guidance from the Montana Supreme Court:
State District Court orders:
Many state judicial districts in Montana have issued orders in response to the emergency. These local orders are listed on the Montana Judicial Branch website, which will be updated as new orders are received.
U.S. District Court orders
Resources for Lawyers
Lexis Practice Advisor Coronavirus Resource Kit: Lexis is offering this free resource kit which contains practical guidance on COVID-19 for numerous practice areas. (If you aren't currently a Lexis Practice Advisor customer you will need to fill out a registration form to download.)
Free Legal Professional Support Services: The LawSites blog has compiled a list of products and services offered by companies for free to support the work of legal professionals during the coronavirus crisis.
Keeping Sane While Sheltering in Place: The Indiana State Bar Association's Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program has compiled a list of ideas for lawyers and their families (and anyone else) to stay positive and keep busy while practicing "social distancing." It includes sections such as: Being Social; Staying Physically Active; Learning a New Skill; Trying a New Recipe; Asking for Help; and much more.
Podcasts & Webinars
COVID-19: Force Majeure, Impossibility and Frustration of Purpose: ABA Section of Litigation explores the contractual issues, in both real estate and generally, and whether parties can invoke them.
Coronavirus Looms – Can Technology Replace Travel?: Legal Talk Network discussion on the evolution of remote collaboration tools and offer tips for the best ways to use them.
Civil Rights, Human Rights & Poverty: Multi-part webinar series from the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice explores how the COVID-19 pandemic highlights these critical legal issues
Information from world, U.S., and state health organizations: