Montana Public Radio

Montana Trial Lawyers Association

Rep. Bill Mercer (R) - HD46
Montana Legislature

Montana lawmakers have advanced a second bill aimed at protecting entities from civil liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers gave initial approval to the policy, which would protect government organizations, including public school systems and private health care providers from coronavirus-related lawsuits unless they exhibit gross negligence in preventing the spread of the virus.

Bill Could Strip Worker’s Compensation For Failure To Disclose Medical Conditions

Mar 21, 2017
The Capitol dome in Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers heard a bill today that would add another aspect to worker’s compensation cases. Senate Bill 116 could strip employees of worker’s comp eligibility if they knowingly or willfully failed to disclose a medical condition pertinent to a job in any pre-employment questionnaires.

Senate Republicans Seek To Push Motl Out As Commissioner

Jan 3, 2017
Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl testifies in his lawsuit against Republican Rep. Art Wittich, March 31, 2016.
Kimberly Reed

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Senate Republicans who oppose giving Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl a full six-year term in office want to intervene in a lawsuit that aims to do just that.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, told his GOP caucus Tuesday that a resolution will be introduced as early as Wednesday defending the Senate's confirmation process, which set Jan. 1 as the expiration of Motl's term.

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s proposed rules for political campaigns need rewriting. That was the opinion of several public interest groups that testified during two days of public hearings Wednesday and Thursday at the state capitol. The rules proposed by Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, define when a public interest group qualifies as a "political committee".

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The issue of health care was in play again today in the Montana Legislature. On the day when three Republican health-care proposals were voted down on the floor of the Montana House, yet another proposal got its first hearing in the Senate Health Committee.

Mike Wheat Fends Off Outside Money To Keep Supreme Court Seat

Nov 4, 2014

In a race that saw more than $700,000 in outside money spent to influence voters, Justice Mike Wheat fended off a challenge from former Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke.

“I think it’s a testament to the voters in Montana recognizing that their votes can’t be bought,” Wheat said Tuesday night. “In my race, voters looked at the fact that I’ve been in Montana, I’ve been practicing law here and I have experience.”

Outside Money Puts Spotlight On High Court Race

Nov 3, 2014
Jessie Mazur

Campaigns for the Montana’s Supreme Court may be nonpartisan by law, but record spending and aggressive ads by independent groups is making one high court race look anything but.

Corporate Religion

Jul 2, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term yesterday with a bang, again. We've just seen the Hobby Lobby case that grants some corporate entities the right to religious freedom under the First Amendment. I'm not sure the many people who decried the Court's granting personhood rights to corporate entities for political campaign spending in Citizens United saw this one coming – you could kind of understand a corporation speaking through its wallet, but a corporation gaining personhood to express a religious tenet based on the beliefs of its majority owners?

Gun Safety - Get Your Remington 700 Repaired

Oct 1, 2013

For me, these crisp autumn mornings mean the big game hunting season is near.  Right now hunters are out sighting in their rifles.  The general rifle season for elk, deer, and antelope opens next month.  Hunting is a family tradition in Montana, a higher percentage of our population hunts than in any other state, and it is common to see hunting parties of two or three generations in the woods and on the prairies throughout Montana.  Unfortunately, a Montana family may lose a loved one to a hunting accident.  While any loss of life is tragic, we are doing better with safety training and safe

Work Comp on Right Road? Not for Workers

Aug 28, 2013

Last week, the Missoulian Editorial Board proclaimed, “State on right road with workers’ comp.” As an attorney who represents injured workers, I could not disagree more. From my perspective, if you are injured on the job in Montana, and relegated to the “meat grinder” of the workers’ compensation system, you are often on the Road to Ruin.

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