MTLA Winter Seminar

Back to the Basics: Using Fundamental
Principles of Tort Law to Shape Your Case
6.5 CLE Credits – including 1.5 ethics credits


February 24, 2017

Great Northern Hotel
835 Great Northern Blvd.
Helena, Montana 



Seminar Co-chairs:  Sarah Mazanec and Keif Storrar, Helena

Register Now - pay by credit card 
PDF Form - mail in check


Speaker Bios

Revised Schedule


Live Interactive OPTION - Problems with driving winter roads, hotel costs, time away from office? MTLA and Fisher Video Conferencing have a solution.

If you plan to attend by live remote from the Fisher location in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Kalispell or Missoula - you must register on line.


During online registration use the COMMENTS box to enter the remote location site nearest to you.


FISHER - Video Conferencing | Court Reporting | Video Services | Trial Presentation Consultation



7:15 Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:10 Introduction & Welcome Keif Storrar, Helena

Focus Groups – Doing Them Yourself and Shaping Your Case

  Lucas Foust, Bozeman
10:15 BREAK
10:30 Purpose of Tort Law and Evidence of Forseeability
  Justin Starin, Missoula
12:00 LUNCH (on your own)
1:15 Legislative Update
  Tim Bechtold, Missoula
1:45 Gender Diversity in Our Profession: Ethical Issues and Practice Perspectives from the Bench and Bar (1.5 ethics credit)
  ♦ Hon. Elizabeth A. Best, Eighth Judicial District
♦ Hon. Amy Poehling Eddy, Eleventh Judicial District
♦ Hon. Kathy Seeley, First Judicial District
♦ Colette B. Davies, Billings
♦ Andrée Larose, Helena
Moderator:  Sarah Mazanec, Helena
3:15 BREAK
3:30 Preparing Your Case for Trial from Day One
   Pat Fox, Helena
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Timothy Bechtold is a sole practitioner with an office in Missoula and the current President of MTLA.  He holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard, as well as an MS and JD (with high honors) from the University of Montana. He clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula prior to entering private practice. Tim practiced with the Rossbach firm in Missoula from 2002-2007 before opening his solo firm. His practice emphases are in toxic tort, environmental, products liability, negligence, and constitutional law. Tim serves on the MTLA amicus and Trial Trends committees in addition to his officer duties. 


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Hon. Elizabeth A. Best, Eighth Judicial District, was appointed to the bench in March 2016 to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Hon. Julie Macek and won election (to retain) in November 2016. After earning her law degree from the University of Montana School of Law, Judge Best served in the U.S. Army JAGC. Upon return to Montana, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Paul Hatfield and then entered private practice. Judge Best is a past president of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and was named MTLA Trial Lawer of the Year in 2008.


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Colette B. Davies is a partner in the firm of Bishop, Heenan & Davies. She is a fourth-generation Montanan and has practiced law in Billings since 1997.  She focuses on civil plaintiff’s trial work with an emphasis on personal injury and insurance law.  Over the course of her career, Ms. Davies has had a solo practice, served as a municipal judge in Billings,  worked with the Crowley Law Firm, Cozzens Warren and Harris, and Nelson and Dahle.  Colette also taught as an adjunct professor at MSU-Billings in the Sociology/Criminology Department from 2007-2011.  She regularly lectures on constitutional criminal rights at Rocky Mountain College, and in the course of her law practice, she has lectured frequently to employers and other attorneys on the FMLA, ADA, and harassment in the workplace. 

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Hon. Amy Poehling Eddy was appointed District Court Judge by Governor Steve Bullock and was sworn in on November 18, 2015; she was elected to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Judge Lympus on November 8, 2016.  As an undergraduate she attended Cal Poly University, graduating cum laude in 1997 with a social science degree.  Judge Eddy spent the next year working on issues before the Idaho State Land Board before attending the University of Montana School of Law, graduating in 2001.  She has served as an MTLA President and on AAJ’s Board of Governors. 

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Lucas J. Foust is an attorney with Foust Law Office in Bozeman, Montana.  He grew up in Columbia Falls, Montana, and graduated from Gonzaga University in 1992 and the University of Montana School of Law in 1996.  He clerked for Hon. W. William Leaphart of the Montana Supreme Court in 1997.  His practice focuses on personal injury litigation with an emphasis on industrial accidents and traumatic brain injury.  He is Past-President of the Brain Injury Association of Montana and served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Traumatic Brain Injury.


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Pat Fox was raised in Hardin, Montana. Pat graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 2005 and is a partner at the law firm of Doubek Pyfer & Fox, where he specializes in plaintiff litigation. Pat is the chair of the Montana Trial Lawyer Association’s Membership Committee and also serves on the MTLA’s Board. Pat lives in Helena with his wife, Holly, and their three children.


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Andrée Larose specializes in Special Education and Civil Rights and Discrimination at the law firm Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson and Deola in Helena.  Ms. Larose has a long track record of successfully obtaining appropriate educational services for students with disabilities, both through settlement and litigation at administrative, district court and appellate court levels. Andrée serves on MTLA’s Board of Directors. 


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Hon. Kathy Seeley was raised in White Sulphur Springs, Montana.  She graduated from Carroll College, and received her J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in 1983.  After a stint as a law clerk for a state district judge, she was an Assistant Attorney General from 1985 – 2008 (nine years as an appellate attorney and thirteen years as a trial prosecutor in the Prosecution Services Bureau).  She has been a district judge in the First Judicial District since 2009.  


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Lucas Foust, Bozeman