Christopher C. Stoneback

Christopher C. Stoneback


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Representative Matters

  • Chris has represented national and international mining companies in conducting environmental due diligence for mining transactions and acquisitions - including for transactions involving world class gold; copper; and molybdenum deposits.
  • He has represented clients in permitting natural resource projects or with permitting issues - including in the copper; garnet; and coal sphere and has navigated NEPA; Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act and various other mining or environmental statute issues.
  • Chris has litigated cases involving various environmental statutes - including CERCLA; NEPA; the Clean Water Act and Montana’s constitutional environmental provisions; mineral leases; contractual and tort claims regarding mining ventures and condemnation and easement disputes.

Christopher (Chris) C. Stoneback is a Partner in the Firm’s Litigation and Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Departments. Chris co-chairs the Firm’s Natural Resources and Environmental Litigation Practice Group, and is a past Director of the Firm’s intern program. Chris’ practice focuses on civil litigation, particularly environmental, natural resources, and commercial litigation, and also on environmental due diligence and permitting. Chris has tried numerous cases from inception through jury verdict and appeal, and has considerable experience in conducting environmental due diligence for mining transactions and managing the legal aspects of permitting mining operations, including mining permits, water discharge permits, and air quality permits. Chris has litigated in both State and Federal courts and in administrative agencies, and he has presented legal education seminars on electronic discovery, the legal challenges expected for natural resource permittees, and Montana’s constitutional environmental provisions. Chris has also drafted, lobbied for, and seen enactment of environmental legislation aimed at achieving client needs. He is licensed to practice in Montana and North Dakota State and Federal courts.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

Montana, 2006
North Dakota, 2012
Colorado, 2020
Wyoming, 2020
U.S. District Court, District of Montana, 2006
U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota, 2012
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2007
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2012
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 2016


J.D. University of Montana School of Law, 2006
M.Sc. London School of Economics, 2003
B.S. Texas A&M University, 2002

Community Involvement

Habitat for Humanity
Special Olympics
Relay for Life

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association
State Bar of Montana
North Dakota Bar Association
Yellowstone Area Bar Association
Montana Defense Trial Lawyers

Presentations & Publications

When Historic Resources and Hazardous Substances Collide, ABA Natural Resources & Environment (Winter 2020, Vol. 34, No. 3)
Real Property, Probate & Trusts Seminar (Dec. 2, 2016): Presenter on Environmental Due Diligence and CERCLA Liability
Natural Resources and the Law (Nov. 21, 2014): Presenter on Permitting Natural Resource Projects
Oil and Gas Development in Montana (October 2, 2013): Co-Chaired Continuing Legal Education Program Addressing Oil and Gas Development in Montana and Moderated Panel
Montana Hospital Association Annual Convention and Trade Show (September 19, 2012): Presenter on Conducting Electronic Discovery
Montana Energy 2012 (April 3, 2012): Presenter on Montana’s Constitutional Right to a Clean and Healthful Environment
Associated Employers, Employment Law Seminar (April 2010 and April 2011): Presenter on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment
Recent Decisions Affecting the Montana Practitioner, Richardson v. State, 67 Mont. L. Rev. 397 (Summer 2006)
Recent Decisions Affecting the Montana Practitioner, State v. Anyan, 66 Mont. L. Rev. 475 (Summer 2005)