Neil Westesen is a Litigation Partner in the firm’s Bozeman office. He 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 currently focuses on a major piece of environmental litigation arising out of the 2015 Gold King Blowout in Colorado. His construction practice involves the representation of 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. Finally, he has represented several attorneys in legal malpractice defense matters.

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
DC Circuit Court 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 again co-chaired the RMMLF Indian Law Special Institute in September of 2017 and was the Public Lands Section chair for the RMMLF 2017 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 RMMLF, the State Bar of Montana, the American Institute of Architects, the CNA Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys, the AEMA, and at the University of Vermont. He has appeared in numerous cases heard before the Montana Supreme Court, as well as federal courts in Montana, the 9th Circuit, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U. S. Supreme Court. A complete listing of reported decisions is available upon request.

Honors & Awards

“AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America for Construction Law, Litigation – Construction, and Native American Law (2007-Present)
Mountain States Super Lawyers for Construction Litigation (2013-2019)
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Trustee at Large, (2011-2014)
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Board of Directors (2017-2019)

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

American Law Institute, Member
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
American Bar Association
Montana Defense Trial Lawyers
State Bar of Montana
Gallatin County Bar Association

Presentations & Publications

Neil has authored or co-authored numerous papers on Indian law and Construction law and spoken to various groups on those topics. A complete list of publications and presentations is available on request.

Reported Decisions / Cases

A complete list of reported decisions is available upon request.