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News & Press: Montana Lawyer

Member News for June 2020

Thursday, June 18, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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Turner joins Ries Law Group as attorney, project manager

Ries Law Group, P.C., welcomes Robin Turner to the team as attorney and project manager.
Turner brings over 10 years of client representation, policy advocacy, and training experience to Ries Law Group. She was the Public Policy and Legal Director at the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence for the last five years, where she led a statewide legal services project focused on serving survivors of sexual violence in civil legal cases. She also provided policy strategic leadership for the organization and directed statewide trainings on expert witness testimony, mandatory reporting of child abuse, survivor privacy and advocate confidentiality, ethical obligations of attorneys serving survivors.

Turner currently serves on the Montana Attorney General Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Task Force and is a past co-chair of the Justice Initiatives Committee of the State Bar of Montana. She is a current member of the American Bar Association’s Steering Committee on Supervision Best Practices for Domestic & Sexual Violence Attorneys.

Formed in 2016, Ries Law Group provides civil legal assistance to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Western Montana, with a special focus on trauma-informed family law. Attorneys Brandi Ries and Emily Lucas have a combined 18 years of legal experience in family law, mediation, and other holistic civil legal services for survivors of violence. The firm helped to originate and currently supervises the Domestic Violence legal clinic at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.

Lyndes joins Jackson, Murdo & Grant

Jackson, Murdo & Grant, P.C is proud to welcome Erin M. Lyndes.

Lyndes joins the firm as an associate attorney focused on general civil litigation and business and criminal law. She graduated from the University of Montana in May of 2019. During law school, she was a member of the National Moot Court Team, interned at the Missoula-based firm Boone Karlberg, P.C., and completed a year-long clinic with the Missoula County Attorney’s Office.

Lyndes was born and raised in Helena and looks forward to working in her hometown community.

Moore opens family law, criminal defense, civil litigation firm

Megan M. Moore (formerly Melvin) is pleased to announce the opening of her new solo practice, Megan Moore Law, PLLC, in Bozeman.

Moore graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 2017. During law school she interned at Datsopoulos, MacDonald & Lind and upon graduation, practiced at Schulte Law Firm and Cotner Law in Missoula. During law school, she was a member of the National Moot Court team and completed her clinical internship at the Federal Defenders of Montana. She received the Montana Trial Lawyers Association scholarship for her excellence in trial advocacy. She recently made the move to Bozeman, where her husband owns an engineering firm and she gets to be closer to her family.

Megan Moore Law, PLLC, will focus on family law, criminal defense, and general civil litigation. Moore is a proud member of the CJA panel for the Billings district and serves as conflict counsel for the Montana Office of the Public Defender. She is excited to get to know her new community and put her experience to work serving clients on a personal level. For more information, please visit

Missoula’s Cotner Law welcomes Geist to firm

Thorin Geist has joined Cotner Law, PLLC, law office in Missoula.

Geist graduated from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, with dual degrees in psychology and criminal justice in 2005. In 2007 he earned his law degree from the University of Montana School of Law, where he received the Carol Mitchell Award for excellence in Alternate Dispute Resolution.
Geist’s practice is focused on civil and tort litigation, where he represents clients in a wide range of matters. He is also an experienced mediator and is routinely called on to serve as a special prosecutor for counties in Western Montana.

He previously was a deputy county attorney in Ravalli County.

Haynes becomes partner at Joyce & MacDonald

Joyce & MacDonald, PLLP, is pleased to announce that Michael W. Haynes has been named a partner of the personal injury law firm as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Haynes, a Butte High School graduate, continued his education at Montana Tech of the University of Montana, graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business and information technology. In 2013, he graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. After passing the Montana bar exam, he began practicing law at Joyce, Johnston & MacDonald, PLLP, now known as Joyce & MacDonald, PLLP.

Haynes and his wife, Jessi, are excited to be in Butte raising their 3-year-old daughter, Isla and their 6-month-old son, Enys.

Haynes and the legal team at Joyce & MacDonald represent those who have been injured, abused, or hurt in any way due to the fault of someone else. They take pride in getting fair treatment and compensation for their clients.

Haynes can be reached at 406-723-8700 or by appointment at his office located on the main floor of the historic Finlen Hotel at 100 E. Broadway in Butte.

Gerstner Adam Law opens in Billings

Colin Gerstner, formerly of Gerstner Law, and Paul Adam, formerly of Odegaard Miller Law, announce that they have joined to open Gerstner Adam Law in Billings. The firm will focus on representing plaintiffs in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.

Gerstner graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with honors in 2012. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to Judge Susan Watters in both state and federal courts. When his term as a law clerk expired, Colin worked with some of the best attorneys in the state at Bishop, Heenan & Davies. In August 2017, he formed Gerstner Law.

Adam graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 2013. He then clerked at the state court level in Yellowstone County for Judge Gregory Todd. After that, he prosecuted misdemeanor and felony crimes as a deputy county attorney with the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office. He then came to the civil side and represented injured workers in Montana at both Russ Plath Law and Odegaard Miller.

Silverman Law Office welcomes Paul to its Bozeman office

Silverman Law Office has announced that Valerie Wyman Paul has joined the firm as an associate at its Bozeman office.

Paul will be offering services to Montana’s business sector as part of the firm’s virtual in-house counsel program, advising on common legal issues affecting business: commercial transactions, contracts, real estate transactions, labor and employment matters, intellectual property issues, and legal operations. Paul believes legal services should be predictable, reliable, and available “on demand” to help businesses with all the challenges they regularly confront.

With 15 years in the practice of law, Paul has developed a passion for working closely with business clients and individuals to achieve their objectives. She worked for a Bozeman law firm before transitioning to in-house counsel work at Montana owned and operated Town Pump, Inc., where she was able to provide tailored advice to one of the state’s largest corporations.

While earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, Paul worked with lawmakers at the state and federal level, triggering a lifelong interest in the rule of law. She went on to earn her Juris Doctorate at the University of Montana School of Law, graduating in 2005.
When she’s not working, she enjoys exploring the wilds of Montana by foot, ski, and boat.

Heutmaker joins Gravis Law’s Montana office

Jeffrey M. Heutmaker of Whitefish announced that he has joined Gravis Law.

Heutmaker, who founded Heutmaker Law in 2004, has 31 years of experience practicing in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property licensing and general business law. He works with entrepreneurs and early- and later-stage businesses in a variety of industries, including software development, biotechnology, medical and dental devices, manufacturing, power sports, agriculture, internet commerce and infrastructure, retail services and energy. He will continue his work in corporate finance and transactional law with Gravis, and add services in litigation, family law and estate planning.

Gravis Law has grown from one location in Richland, Washington, at its founding in 2013 to 15 locations nationwide. It was recently recognized in the Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 5000” as the fastest growing law firm in the nation.

“We believe having attorneys with Jeff’s experience and expertise in fast-growing and dynamic areas such as Whitefish will allow us to grow with the entrepreneurial infrastructures that are being established outside of the traditional coastal regions,” said Brett Spooner, CEO of Gravis Law. “As Jeff’s practice is national in scope, bringing his Business and Transactional law practice into the Gravis Law fold will help us to better serve our business and startup clients both in the Flathead Valley and throughout the rest of the country.”


Drummond Receives Professionalism Award from The Academy

Robert G. Drummond of Great Falls was awarded the 2019 Don Torgenrud Professionalism Award by The Academy of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees.

This award is made in memory of Don Torgenrud to a member of the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Montana recognizing an individual who exemplifies the highest standards of professional conduct in their everyday practice. He was nominated by Doug James of Moulton Bellingham in Billings.

“Bob plays a unique role in Montana as the sole Chapter 13 Trustee in our state,” James said. “By focusing his practice on Chapter 13, Bob has become an expert; on Chapter 13 and on bankruptcy generally. Bob has not used his expertise to disadvantage others. To the contrary, he has used his expertise to elevate bankruptcy practice throughout the state. Bob has become a critical resource for all bankruptcy practitioners in Montana. He has given freely of his time, his knowledge, and his advice to assist lawyers in providing the best possible representation of their clients.”

James also noted that Drummond publishes the Montana Bankruptcy Reporter, a website that keeps track of and publishes Montana bankruptcy court decisions., and that he has taken on an additional role as a Chapter 12 Trustee for a significant portion of Montana.

In addition to publishing the Montana Bankruptcy Reporter, Drummond is the editor of the NACTT Quarterly. He has been a member of NACTT since 1992 and served as its president from 2012 – 2013. He has twice chaired the Montana Bankruptcy Section. He has published numerous articles dealing with Chapter 13 bankruptcy in several national publications. (See page 16 for his article on the federal CARES Act and Small Business Reorganization Act.)

Tanner appointed as Appellate Lawyer Rep  for 9th Circuit

Randy J. Tanner of Boone Karlberg P.C. in Missoula has been appointed as an Appellate Lawyer Representative for the Ninth Circuit. There are 22 representatives across the Ninth Circuit, and Tanner is the sole representative from Montana. In this role, appellate lawyers work closely with the Ninth Circuit judges to liaison various initiatives, etc., with attorneys that regularly practice in the Ninth.