The attorneys at Kalkstein, Johnson & Dye have more than 60 years' combined experience litigating and trying cases in Montana’s state and federal courts. Our three partners – Gary, C.J., and Travis – are rated AV-Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings sytem, meaning we've been individually peer-reviewed at the highest possible level for legal ability and ethics. We're experienced, and very happy, trial lawyers.
Experience. We've represented all shapes, sizes, and sides (and still do) – from individuals to small businesses to the largest insurance companies in the world. Because we've handled cases for both sides – plaintiffs and defendants – we know how to build your case up, and how a good defense attorney will try to knock it down. It is with that perspective that we assess, plan, and litigate our clients' cases. Very few firms can say the same.
Why we're happy doing it. What's not to like? Trial is great fun (between Gary, C.J., and Travis, we've tried more than 60 jury trials). Depositions are the next best thing, and they're great fun, too. The creative problem solving that goes into building cases from the ground up is very rewarding. We've found a balance of practice that means we don’t have to go to work, we get to go to work.
A little more about KJD and bigskytrial.com. We stand less on ceremony than most firms – suits to work and courthouse glamour-shots don't make lawyers smarter or better – but take our client and case responsibilities very seriously. The lawyer you choose is a quality-of-life decision. The best result is never about shortcuts or telling you what you want to hear; we find it by litigating honorably, giving frank and realistic advice, and playing it straight. So if you're in the market for minions, lackeys, toadies, flunkeys, or any other manner of lawyer who might do anything to get you yours, this crew's not for you.
Feel free to call or e-mail and we'd be happy to discuss your case.
Our Most Recent Blog Posts:
Working RE Magazine: Home Inspector Edition reports on KJD's Missoula jury verdict against a Montana home inspection service.
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Bad Faith: Misrepresentation & Failure to Investigate Claims Under the Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act.
“The essence of a claim under § 33-18-201, MCA, is that an insurer, given information available to it, has acted unreasonably in adjusting a claim, perhaps by failing to investigate, failing to communicate or failing to negotiate in good faith.” Peterson v. Doctors’ Co., 2007 MT 264, ¶ 43, 339 Mont. 354, 170 P.3d 459. The relevant issue is “almost universally” how the insurer acted given the information available to it at the time. Id.
a. Subsection (1) Claims.
Subsection (1) of § 33-18-201 forbids the misrepresentation of “pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue.” Lorang, ¶ 125. Though subsection (1) references “coverages,” it also forbids the misrepresentation of facts relating to the “claim” at issue. Jacobsen v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2009 MT 248, ¶ 47, 351 Mont. 464, 215 P.3d 649. Further, it does not require a showing of intent but rather categorically forbids misrepresentations: “[A] claim of misrepresentation under the UTPA is determined by an objective analysis of the substance of the representation at issue, without regard to whether it resulted from an intentional effort to mislead[.]” Lorang, ¶¶ 125-127.
b. Subsection (4) and (6) Claims.
Subsection (4) of § 33-18-201 prohibits an insurer from “refus[ing] to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available ...
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