Steven (Steve) P. Ruffatto

Steven (Steve) P. Ruffatto


Contact Me

Representative Matters

  • Managed the legal work for a multisite - multijurisdictional mining related Superfund matter involving several judicial and administrative proceedings.
  • Managed the legal work for development of world class coal - copper - silver and gold mining projects.
  • Represented clients in merger - acquisition - divestiture and financing transactions- many with nine figure values involving hard rock minerals- oil and gas-coal-oil refining- hydro generation- coal generation- and railroad properties.
  • Managed or conducted due diligence for the acquisition or financing of numerous projects-some with ten figure values. Including oil and gas- coal-gold-trona- copper- silver- industrial minerals-platinum group minerals and wind power.
  • Extensive experience in rendering title opinions and conducting title curative for numerous extractive industry projects.
  • Served as an expert witness in mining and oil and gas matters.

Steven P. (Steve) Ruffatto is Of Counsel in the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department. He has been with the firm since 1976 and has served as Chair of the firm’s Executive Committee, Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Department, and Energy Projects and Transaction Practice Group. Steve has represented clients in the acquisition, development, financing and divestiture of numerous properties, including oil and gas fields, coal and hardrock mines, energy transportation, refining and processing facilities, and hydro, gas and wind generation facilities. Peers in the legal profession give Steve the highest ratings and honors in publications such as Martindale-Hubbell, Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Counsel and Super Lawyers. Steve has published works dealing with mineral and royalty interests, environmental and reclamation regulation of mining, federal oil and gas leasing and mining in wilderness areas. He has served on the Executive Committee and as a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Steve is a member of the Montana Mining Association and American Exploration and Mining Association, and a member and former officer of the Montana Association of Professional Landmen. He has served as reporter for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Mineral Law Newsletter, update author for American Law of Mining, and Mining Section Chair and 2002 Annual Institute Program Chair for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Steve is trained and has experience as a Peacemaker Ministries Certified Christian Conciliator.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

Montana, 1976
U.S. Federal District Court of Montana, 1976


1976 – J.D. with High Honors, University of Montana School of Law
1971 – B.S. with distinction, Engineering, Montana State University

Honors & Awards

AV Preeminent Rating in Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America for Energy Law, Mining Law,
Natural Resources Law, and Oil & Gas Law (1995-present)
Mountain States Super Lawyers in Energy and Natural Resources
Best Lawyers’ 2016 Ed. Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” for Billings
Best Lawyers’ 2012 Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year” for Billings
Chambers USA – Leading Lawyers in Natural Resources & Environment
International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers
American College of Real Estate Lawyers
Outstanding Service Award, Mountain States Legal Foundation
Top Rated Lawyer in Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources, The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel Magazine
InterContinental Finance Magazine’s 500 Leading Lawyers in the World
Marquis Who’s Who – Legal

Community Involvement

Faith Chapel, Billings Montana Foursquare Church, Church Council 1997-2010
Peacemaker Ministries

Professional Affiliations

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Montana Mining Association
Montana Coal Council
American Exploration & Mining Association
Montana Petroleum Association
American Association of Professional Landmen
Montana Association of Professional Landmen
Mountain States Legal Foundation, Board of Litigation
American Bar Association
State Bar of Montana
Yellowstone County Area Bar Association