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 aided natural resource clients in environmental compliance and mitigating liability in Superfund sites. 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 Energy and Environment Practice Group. Chris’ practice centers on civil litigation, particularly environmental, natural resources, and commercial litigation, and also on environmental due diligence, permitting, compliance, and remediation. Chris has tried numerous cases from inception through jury verdict and appeal, and has considerable experience in conducting environmental due diligence for natural resource transactions and managing the legal aspects of permitting natural resource operations, including mining permits, water discharge permits, and air quality permits, and in navigating environmental compliance and remediation issues. Chris has litigated in both State and Federal courts and in administrative agencies, and he has presented legal education seminars on current environmental issues, 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, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and North Dakota.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

Montana, 2006
North Dakota, 2012
Colorado, 2020
Wyoming, 2020
New Mexico, 2022
U.S. District Court, District of Montana, 2006
U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota, 2012
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2021
U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico, 2022
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

American Exploration & Mining Association’s 127th Annual Meeting, Exposition, & Short Courses (Dec. 2021): Presenter on Hot Legal Topics Affecting the Mining Industry and How to Harness Them

Montana Mine Design and Closure Conference (August, 24 2021): Presenter on Current Environmental Legal and Policy Developments Affecting the Mining Industry

When Historic Resources and Hazardous Substances Collide, ABA Natural Resources & Environment (Winter 2020, Vol. 34, No. 3)

Montana 2019 Environmental Law CLE (March 21, 2019): Presenter on Current Environmental Laws, Regulations, and the Regulatory Climate

Montana Energy Summit 2018 (May 30, 2018): Presenter on Current Legal Issues for Non-Renewable Energy Projects

Chevron Collapses a CERCLA Artifice: Owner Means Owner Even for the United States
ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee Newsletter, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan. 2018)

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)