The attorneys at Kalkstein & Dye have more than 60 years' combined experience litigating and trying cases in Montana’s state and federal courts. Our partners – Gary 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 and Travis, we've tried more than 50 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:
Attorney’s fee provisions are often deployed within agreements to intimidate renters into not pursuing claims. The cost/benefit analysis goes something like this: “Is it worth suing to get $150 of my deposit if I’m also risking hundreds, if not thousands in attorney’s fees to the other side? No way, I can’t even afford to get an attorney for myself.”
Under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1977, the Lease may include any provision not specifically prohibited under the Act. MCA § 70-24-201(1). So, if a term isn’t illegal under the Act, it can be included in your Lease. For instance, the Act does doesn’t’ prohibit a Lease term forbidding pets (yes it’s a double negative, and yes you understood it). However, the Act specifically contemplates attorney’s fees -- “In an action on a rental agreement or arising under this chapter, reasonable attorney’s fees, together with costs and necessary disbursements, may be awarded to the prevailing party notwithstanding an agreement to the contrary. MCA § 70-24-442(1). Translation: A judge…may award fees and costs…to the prevailing party. They key concept is “may.” Almost all leases contain “must” or “shall” language, but the law says “may,” so the law controls. The Act goes even further by specifically prohibiting Lease provisions attempting “to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter” or “to indemnify the other party for ...
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We are pleased to report that KJD attorneys have obtained more than $100,000 in settlements on behalf of our pro bono clients in 2016. Matters included landlord-tenant disputes, litigation over residential property contamination, and an action on behalf of elderly clients for negligence and fraud against building contractors. We're hopeful that 2016 will see us exceed the 300-plus hours of pro bono time donated by KJD attorneys in 2015.
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