Mark Stermitz is Senior Counsel in Crowley Fleck’s Missoula, Montana office. Mark has many years of experience in litigation and project development for energy or natural resource matters touching on all state and federal environmental laws, and local land use regulations. Mark has litigated cases of national and regional importance in many jurisdictions. He is an experienced advisor on large projects such as mines, pipelines, manufacturing, energy transmission lines, and in wind, solar and hydropower projects.

Mark’s experience includes work in Los Angeles with the firm Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro, handling energy, environmental and commercial litigation. He was responsible for the energy and environmental issues in the development of MGM’s Project City Center in Las Vegas. Mark served earlier as Assistant General Counsel for the Port of Portland, Oregon, with responsibility for environmental and land use matters for the Port’s marine, aviation, and real estate development branches. Prior to that, Mr. Stermitz was a trial attorney for the U.S. Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resource Division, representing many federal agencies in cases all over the United States. Before joining the Justice Department, Mr. Stermitz practiced in Montana, from very rural to more populated areas, and was a prosecutor as well.

Mr. Stermitz is a frequent presenter and moderator at conferences and seminars, most recently chairing a comprehensive two-day conference on land use law.

Mark is proud to be a native Montanan. He is licensed and actively practices in Montana, North Dakota, California, and Oregon, and has been admitted pro hac vice in many other states.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

Federal and state courts:
Montana, California, Oregon, North Dakota
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Pro Hac Vice – multiple states


J.D., University of Montana School of Law
B.A., University of Montana

Prior Experience (Employment)

Mark Stermitz has more than 35 years of litigation and project development experience ranging from rural Montana to Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. He has tried a wide variety of civil and criminal cases to juries, cases of judicial review, and administrative proceedings. Mark has for many years been a valuable asset for risk assessment and permitting on project teams for industrial sites, redevelopment, transmission lines, pipelines, mines, and mixed use real estate development.

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law (2013- Present)
AV Preeminent Peer Rating
AV Preeminent Judicial Edition Rating
U.S. Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award
Montana Justice Foundation – Champion of Justice (2014)

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Montana
Oregon State Bar Association
California State Bar Association
North Dakota State Bar Association
American Bar Association

Presentations & Publications

November 2018 – Program Chair, “Land Use Law In Montana” (Missoula, MT)
March 2017 – Presentation, “Permitting Strategies for Large, Controversial Projects” (Seattle, WA)
March 2016 – Panel, “Legal Obstacles to Energy Development” (Billings, MT)
January 2013 – Presentation, “Eminent Domain Compensation in Western States” (Western Governors Assoc., Scottsdale, AZ)

Author, Paris Climate Accord, Best Lawyers, September 1, 2017

Reported Decisions / Cases

Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 730 Fed.Appx. 413, 2018 WL 1615962 (9th Cir. 2018)
Montanore Minerals Corp. v. Bakie, 867 F.3d 1160 (9th Cir. 2017)
Western Montana Community Partners, Inc. v. Austin, 696 Fed.Appx. 789, 2017 WL 2616951 (9th Cir. 2017)
National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service, (D. Ore.), 2017 WL 1829588
Indigenous Environmental Network V. U.S. Dept. of State, 317 F.Supp.3d 1118 (D. Mont. 2018)
Masters Group Intn’l, Inc. v. Comerica Bank, 380 Mont. 1, 352 P.3d 1101 (2015)
Mines Management Inc. v. Fus, 376 Mont. 375. 334 P.3d 929 (2014)
Northern Plains Resource Council v. Mont. Bd. Land Commn’rs, 366 Mont. 399, 288 P.3d 169 (2012)
United States v. ConocoPhillips Company, 2011 WL 4709887 (D. N.D. 2011)
Dembrowski v. City of West Hollywood, 2010 WL 1212411 (Cal. Court of Appeals, 2nd Dist.)
Grant School Dist. No. 3 v. Dombeck, 126 Fed.Appx. 823, 2005 WL 660677 (9th Cir. 2005)
Center for Biological Diversity v. Pirie, 191 F.Supp.2d 161 (D.D.C. 2002)
Carlton v. Babbitt, 147 F.Supp.2d 4 (D.D.C. 2001)