Neil Westesen is a Litigation Partner in the firm’s Bozeman office. He has also served on the Firm’s three person Executive Committee for several years, and was the firm’s Managing Partner from 2011 through 2016. Neil’s litigation practice focuses on construction law where he represents architects, engineers, owners, contractors, and sureties. In addition, he has a significant Indian law practice representing industry clients in negotiations with and litigation against Indian tribes. He has also represented various product manufacturers in both product liability litigation and dealer defense cases. He has also represented several attorneys in legal malpractice defense matters. He is currently working extensively on a major piece of environmental litigation.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

Montana 1991
U.S. District Court, District of Montana 1991
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
9th Circuit of Appeals

Education

1991 – J.D. with Highest Honors, University of Colorado, Order of the Coif
1988 – B.A. with Highest Honors, University of Montana

Prior Experience (Employment)

Neil co-chaired the Rocky Mountain Law Foundation Special Institute on Natural Resources Development on Indian Land in 2006 and spoke on tribal jurisdiction at the RMMLF Special Institute in 2011. He is currently co-chairing the RMMLF Special Institute on Indian Law scheduled for September of 2017 and is the Public Lands Section chair for the RMMLF Annual Institute. Over the years, he has spoken to various meetings of attorneys and industry professionals on construction law and Indian law matters, including the State Bar of Montana, the American Institute of Architects, the CNA Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys, and at the University of Vermont. He has appeared in numerous cases heard before the Montana Supreme Court, as well as the federal courts in Montana, the 9th Circuit, and the U. S. Supreme Court. A complete listing of reported decisions is available upon request.

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America for Construction Law, Litigation – Construction, and Native American Law (2007-Present)
Mountain States Super Lawyers for Construction Litigation (2013-2017)
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Trustee at Large, (2011-2014)

Community Involvement

Bridger Ski Foundation Board Member and Vice President (2005-2013)
Bridger Ski Foundation Nordic Committee chair (2005-2009)
Youth soccer and youth ski coach (1995-2009)
“Chief of Course” for various local ski races

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Montana
Gallatin County Bar Association
Montana Defense Trial Lawyers
Defense Research Institute
American Bar Association
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
State Law Resources, Board of Directors

Presentations & Publications

Neil has authored or co-authored numerous papers including, “Coal Mining on Indian Lands: A Study in Permits, Plans and Paperwork” presented at the 1992 ABA conference on Natural Resources Management and Environmental Enforcement on Indian Lands, co-authored with Mike Webster as well as several RMMLF papers.