The justices of the Supreme Court of Montana hold a hearing on campus each year at the invitation of the School of Law.
The hearing is open to students and the public. The case is introduced by a member of the law faculty.
April 12, 2013
George and Jane Dennison Theatre (formerly University Theatre)
Case introduction by Associate Professor Maylinn Smith
Citizens for Balanced Use; Sen. Rick Ripley; Valley County Commissioners, Dustin Hofeldt; Vicki Hofeldt; Ken Hansen; Jason Holt; Sierra Stoneberg Holt; Rose Stoneberg; United Property Owners of Montana; and Missouri River Stewards, Plaintiffs and Appellees, v. Joseph Maurier; Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission, and Defenders of Wildlife and National Wildlife Federation, Defendant Intervenors and Appellants.
The Montana Supreme Court Docket and related information click here.
April 13, 2012
Case introduction by Professor Anthony Johnstone
Donaldson & Guggenheim, et al. vs. State of Montana
Jan Donaldson and Mary Anne Guggenheim, and five other same-sex couples, bring a constitutional challenge against a variety of Montana laws under which same-sex couples cannot obtain the same public and private benefits provided to opposite-sex couples who marry.
The Montana Supreme Court's Docket and related documents and information (click here)
April 17, 2009
Michelle Kulstad vs. Barbara L. Maniaci
Ms. Maniaci and Ms. Kulstad lived together as a couple for ten years, during which time Ms. Maniaci legally adopted two children. When the relationship between Ms. Maniaci and Ms. Kulstad dissolved, Ms. Kulstad sought joint custody of the children. The district court awarded Ms. Kulstad a parental interest in the children, with joint decision-making authority and regular visitation.
The Montana Supreme Court will review this decision of the district court as well as a district court decision to award Ms. Kulstad a portion of Ms. Maniaci’s property.
April 11, 2008
State of Montana vs. Rusty Lee-Ray Russell
Rusty Lee-Ray Russell and a co-defendant, during a night of excessive drinking, assaulted two homeless men, one of whom, John Gewanski, died from his injuries. Russell was convicted in Yellowstone County of four felony counts including Deliberate Homicide and Aggravated Assault.
The Montana Supreme Court will be deciding whether the conviction of Russell for both the homicide and the underlying aggravated assault violated the constitutional protections against double jeopardy.
April 20, 2007
Lori Oberson, Legal Guardian for Brian Musselman, et al. vs. United States of America, et al.
Brian Musselman suffered a catastrophic brain injury after being struck by a snowmobile coming over a hill in West Yellowstone. He sued the Forest Service for failing to correct or warn of the dangerous trail condition, and two fellow snowmobilers for driving too fast while drunk.
The Montana Supreme Court will be deciding which standard of care snowmobile area operators owe to users of their trails — "gross negligence," "willful or wanton misconduct" or "ordinary negligence" — by examining the Montana Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection" under the law.