MTLA Annual Convention
August 8-9, 2019
University of Montana
University Center
Missoula, Montana

 

11.0 CLE Credits – including 1 ethics credit

 

Thank You Convention Sponsors

 

 

 

 Register NOW

 
PDF Registration Form (mail in with check)

Social Hour Sponsor 
Bechtold Law Firm
Awards Dinner Sponsors

McKenna & Starin

Rossbach Law PC

Speaker bios

Topics & Speakers - Schedule
Brochure
 
     

 

 

 
Thursday – August 8, 2019
      
7:30   Registration & Breakfast hosted by UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law
8:25   Welcome & Introduction
    Anthony Jackson, Bozeman
8:30   Preparing the Expert Witness
    Andrea Lyon, Chicago, IL
9:30   Judicial Panel: Perspectives From the Bench
    Chief Justice Mike McGrath
    Justice James Jeremiah Shea
    Montana Supreme Court
10:30   BREAK
10:45   Gender Equality in the Legal Field:  Obligation or Economic Opportunity?
    Beth Terrell, Seattle, WA
11:45   LUNCH
    UC Ballroom
1:00   Washington Update:  Congress and Your Practice
    Linda Lipsen, Washington, DC
2:00   Developing Intangible Damages With Your Client
    Elizabeth Larrick, Austin, TX
3:00   BREAK
3:15   Developing Intangible Damages With Your Client (continued)
    Elizabeth Larrick, Austin, TX
4:15   The Trial Lawyers and the Montana Constitution
    Prof. Anthony Johnstone
Alexander Blewett III School of Law, Missoula, MT
5:15   Program Concludes for the Day
5:30   Social Hour & Awards Dinner
    Law School Courtyard
     
Friday – August 9, 2019
     
7:00   Registration & Continental Breakfast
7:55   Welcome & Introduction
    Matt Dodd, Bozeman
8:00   Montana Insurance Law Update: July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
    Prof. Gregory S. Munro, Alexander Blewett III School of Law, Missoula
9:00   From "Why Consumer Law?" to "Why - Consumer Law!"
    Prof. Ted Mermin, Berkeley, CA
10:00   BREAK
10:15   Changes to the Rules of Ethics
    Betsy Brandberg, Helena, MT
11:15   Depositions:  Tips for Young Lawyers
    Justin P. Stalpes, Bozeman, MT
12:15   Annual Membershp Luncheon
    UC Ballroom
1:15   Program Concludes
   

 

 

Faculty Bios

 


Betsy Brandborg became the State Bar of Montana’s first bar counsel in 1995. Betsy came to this position by way of a two-and-a half year stint as a U.S. Senate staff assistant in Washington, D.C., a clerkship with the Montana Supreme Court, and eight years’ employment as an assistant attorney general in Montana handling both criminal and civil litigation. She is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Law and holds a B.A. from the American University in Washington, D.C.

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Anthony Johnstone is a Professor at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law. He teaches and writes about Federal and State Constitutional Law, Legislation, Election Law, and related subjects. Professor Johnstone has testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and the Montana Legislature, and spoken at academic, professional, and popular events across Montana and the United States. His legal work has been featured in the state and national press, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Law Journal, which named him its Appellate Lawyer of the Week in May 2012. Before joining the School of Law, Professor Johnstone served as the Solicitor for the State of Montana, practiced litigation as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, New York, and clerked for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.

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Elizabeth Larrick is a trial lawyer in Austin, Texas and handles cases involving commercial vehicle, wrongful death, premises liability, medical malpractice, and car wrecks. Since September 2012, Elizabeth has been a part of the Welcome to The Plaintiff’s Revolution family. She attended an early Keenan Trial Institute seminar on Depositions and found a new passion for witness preparation. Elizabeth has taken her passion in witness preparation to a level of mastery.  Elizabeth is a frequent contributor to the Keenan Trial Blog on the topics of witness preparation and focus groups. She is faculty for classes on Witness Preparation, Deposition, and Focus Groups. She is frequently asked to assist other lawyers in preparation of their clients for deposition and trial and asked to speak at seminars on the topic.  Elizabeth has prepared clients in a myriad of cases with a range of physical impairments.  The preparation gives the client confidence in the deposition, allowing the client to give their full story of physical impairment, mental struggles, using real examples of pain and havoc.

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Linda Lipsen was named Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), in April 2010. She joined the organization in 1993 to direct AAJ’s Public Affairs department. Ms. Lipsen has led the trial lawyers’ highly regarded Washington lobby team and successfully fought back efforts that would limit access to America’s courts and make it impossible for the victims of negligence or willful wrongdoing to be fairly compensated for harm. She has directed countless legislative campaigns on behalf of a host of issues including patient, worker, and investor protections.  Following the tragedy of September 11th, she led the fight for enactment of a compensation program for the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  The September 11th Victims Compensation Fund established by Congress allowed thousands of families to recover compensation for the loss of their loved ones.  Following enactment of the Fund, Ms. Lipsen’s leadership helped ATLA establish, Trial Lawyers Care, the nation’s largest-ever pro-bono legal representation program.

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Andrea Lyon is the principal at Lyon Law. She is a renowned lawyer, author, speaker, professor and former Dean of the Valparaiso University Law School, who has been featured on national news and media outlets. Dubbed “The Angel of Death Row” by the Chicago Tribune, she was the first woman to serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case, and she holds an unparalleled 19 wins in 19 capital cases. Ms. Lyon has dedicated her career to advocating and upholding justice for all. She received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and her law degree from Antioch School of Law. Her publications include over fifty law review articles, over ten practice manuals and books, including The Feminine Sixth: Women in Criminal Defense, The Death Penalty: What’s Keeping it Alive , Team Defense in Criminal Cases with Mortimer Smith, and Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer. Her civil litigation practice concentrates on the prosecution of personal injury matters occurring through accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, police misbehavior and products liability.

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Chief Justice Mike McGrath was raised in Butte, Montana. He earned a degree in business administration from the University of Montana in 1970. He served in the United States Air Force from 1970 until an honorable discharge in 1972. McGrath graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1975. Following graduation from law school, he worked as a Reginald Heber Smith Community lawyer fellow in Reno, Nevada, providing legal services to low-income clients. He was a Montana Assistant Attorney General from 1977 to 1982. He was elected to five terms as Lewis and Clark County Attorney beginning in 1983. He was elected to two terms as Montana Attorney General. As Attorney General he served from 2000 to 2008, oversaw a staff of more than 700 employees and focused on methamphetamine prevention and natural resource and consumer protection issues. Mike McGrath was elected to an eight-year term as Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court in November 2008 and was re-elected in November 2016.

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Prof. Ted Mermin directs the Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice at the UC Berkeley law school, where he teaches Consumer Protection Law and Comparative Consumer Law and serves as pro bono counsel to the Consumer Justice Clinic and adviser to the student Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society. Ted also directs the Public Good Law Center, which provides support to state and local governments fighting constitutional challenges to pathbreaking consumer and public health legislation, and the California Low-Income Consumer Coalition, a partnership of legal aid organizations dedicated to furthering the rights of vulnerable consumers through state and local policy advocacy. A graduate of Berkeley and Yale, Ted previously served as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice and worked in private practice. His first career was as an elementary and middle school teacher.

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Greg Munro is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law having recently retired after a career that involved teaching Torts, Insurance Law and Regulation, Pretrial Advocacy, and Trial Advocacy. Munro is a past president and board member of MTLA, and the recipient of MTLA's Appellate Advocacy and Career Achevement awards. He has researched and written the Insurance Consumer Counsel’s Column for Trial Trends. Professor Munro has published articles, a book and book chapters on topics of insurance, torts, medical-legal and legal education and is co-author of The Lawsuit Guide, a book for plaintiff clients, published by Trial Guides. He co-coached the law school’s national championship Trial Team in ATLA competition from 1989 until 1999. He practiced plaintiff’s civil litigation in Billings for thirteen years before joining the UM School of Law in 1988. In his 30 years at the law school, he continued to handle tort and insurance cases and also maintained a thriving pro bono practice.

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Justice James Jeremiah Shea attended the University of Montana, where he earned his law degree; he then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul G. Hatfield of the United States District Court in Great Falls. After completing his clerkship, he moved to Portland, Oregon where he worked as a trial attorney with the Metropolitan Public Defender and then practiced civil law in the private sector. Justice Shea returned to Montana in 1996, and practiced in Missoula until 2005, when he was appointed Judge of the Workers’ Compensation Court, until 2014, when Governor Steve Bullock appointed him to the Montana Supreme Court. He was sworn in as an Associate Justice on June 2, 2014.

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Justin P. Stalpes  is a partner at Beck, Amsden & Stalpes, PLLC in Bozeman, MT. He is a graduate of the UM School of Law, where he served on the Montana Law Review. Justin was the recipient of MTLA’s Outstanding New Lawyer Award in 2014 and its Appellate Advocacy Award in 2016. Justin is an MTLA Board member and an active member of MTLA’s amicus committee. His practice focuses on insurance disputes, environmental contamination, minority shareholder litigation and serious personal injury. 

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Beth E. Terrell, a founding member of Terrell Marshall Law Group, concentrates her practice in complex litigation, including the prosecution of consumer, defective product, and wage and hour class actions.  Ms. Terrell has served as co-lead counsel on numerous multi-state and nationwide class actions.  Ms. Terrell received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Gonzaga University in 1990.  In 1995, she received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law, Order of the Coif.  She has been listed in Washington Super Lawyers®, Top 100 Super Lawyers®, and Top 50 Women Washington Super Lawyers® for many years. Ms. Terrell is a member of the State Bar of California and the Washington State Bar Association. Ms. Terrell frequently speaks at CLEs on a wide variety of topics, including employment litigation, class actions, securities litigation, and electronic discovery. Ms. Terrell is actively involved in the legal community and serves on several non-profit boards, including the Public Justice Foundation, the Northwest Consumer Law Center and the Washington Employment Lawyers Association.

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