Montana Q&A by Practice Area

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Montana Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Montana on
Q: Can I just go to the nursing home and get my Brother
Kelli Y Allen
Kelli Y Allen answered on Jan 13, 2019

This depends on many circumstances. Is your Brother competent? If not, does he have a healthcare agent or guardian?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Montana on
Q: I have a more detailed question in regards to legalities to copyrighted photo use.

I'm involved with a company that has a large community of 41,000 members on a social site. The original founder Janet has passed away recently, and someone named Melissa who is involved with a person named Dave who would take photographs specifically for the social page has threatened to sue us if... Read more »

Griffin Klema
Griffin Klema answered on Dec 26, 2018

This is a difficult situation. The start of the analysis is that the original photographer owns the copyright unless transferred by agreement to someone else. Based on the facts you provide, there might be an implied contract between the photographer and the group, either by the conduct of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Construction Law for Montana on
Q: May congress pass a law that requires a person to pay a fine because congress believes they're guilty with no evidence?
Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Nov 14, 2018

No. The constitution prohibits bills of attainder..

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for Montana on
Q: I worked 2 jobs I got hurt and am rec. Temp partial disability but due to a domestic violence case quit the other job

I quit the other job the job that I got hurt at won't work with my restrictions so I am totally not working but only getting partial temp benefits. Shouldnt i be getting full temp disability benefits?

Bradley Jay Jones
Bradley Jay Jones answered on Sep 21, 2018

This depends on how your employment ended. I suggest you contact a workers' compensation attorney to discuss your case. We are glad to help.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury, Traffic Tickets and Civil Rights for Montana on
Q: I’m looking to obtain a lawyer to handle anything that might eventually come up.

I’m looking to obtain a lawyer to handle anything that might eventually come up. Basically a 24/7 personal protector of

My rights . I have no charges or cases pending . I would like to inquire about running an ongoing account just in case in the future something comes up . Anything from... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 22, 2018

What you want is an attorney on retainer. That means you pay him an up front fee and he will provide advice billed on an hourly basis. You need to figure out what the concerns you have are for which you need an attorney--criminal cases require criminal defense attorneys; land issues require someone... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Montana on
Q: Can IRS garnish shareholder's personal monies for corporation tax debt?

I received an IRS notice for penalties and interest for late filing of 2015 and 2016 corporate tax returns for a Montana close corporation. They incorrectly identified 2 shareholders so I wrote a letter explaining: there was 1 shareholder; I had erroneously been told by what I thought was a valid... Read more »

Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell answered on Jan 24, 2018

It sounds like you were charged a failure to file penalty. Sometimes the IRS will abate the penalties once you have filed the required returns. I suggest filing a penalty abatement request. If that does not bring the debt down to an amount you can afford then you can try and submit an Offer in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Traffic Tickets for Montana on
Q: My husband hit a car in a parking lot and left a note, but got a citation for not calling the police (damage minimal)???

The damage to the other car was minimal. We both thought it was an option, not a law, to call the police in a parking lot.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jan 17, 2018

On private property and if he left a note and reported to his insurance, plead not guilty.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Car Accidents for Montana on
Q: How high does a cement pole next to a fire hydrant for protection need to be in a parking lot in Billings, MT?

My dad could not see cement pole in parking lot at Billings, MT Toys R us, protecting fire hydrant, was around 31 inches tall, and hit it. Sitting in the Ram 2500, you could not see the pole. I could not get the length, but the pole is about the height of the fire hydrant, which is flat to the... Read more »

Eric E Holm
Eric E Holm answered on Dec 11, 2017

There may be an answer for this in the local city ordinances, you could try researching this online at the city's website containing the Billings City Code (google "Billings City Code") or hiring a local attorney to research this for you.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Intellectual Property, Trademark, Business Formation and Copyright for Montana on
Q: What are some ways I can check on the legal rights I have to a potential name for a developing small business?

I am interested in starting a freelance writing business. I recently learned that before I can proceed with the name I will need to confirm that the name is not at all infringing on any copyright laws. I am pretty new to this stuff and I'd really appreciate some advice for how to go about finding... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Dec 8, 2017

Short phrases and names are generally not protected by copyright law. What you're probably thinking of is trademark infringement - the key question being, will your name confuse consumers, that is, might consumers believe that your company is affiliated with or endorsed by E. B. White, Harper &... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for Montana on
Q: I own a 79 ford truck. I let a licensed driver borrow it. He let an unlicensed driver drive it and he rolled my truck.

Nobody was injured, thankfully. I only had liability insurance. My question is can I go after the driver for the loss of my truck? I don't know what to do or who to talk to about this. The value is/was $4000.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Dec 5, 2017

Go after both. Get the police report. Be prepared to show you didn't give permission for a relend as to the actual driver, so it's on driver #1, and that #2 was driving carelessly. Either way they both owe you. If they offer to pay get a judgment note, and especially get copy of their drivers... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Montana on
Q: Trying to federally trademark my brewery name, Montana Brewing. Would I be rejected due to trademarks on other names...

such as Montana Mountain Brewing, or say Big Montana Brewing, that already exist? Based on my research this seems to be a grey area in trademarks.

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Nov 29, 2017

Given the industry is the same and the similarity of the names, there is a fair chance it could be rejected. However, a trademark attorney would need to review each registration and know more about each business to give a definitive answer. The type of registration also matters, eg. is it a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for Montana on
Q: A new car burns up with 800 miles & my children are traumatized, can you do something to the manufacture?

My car started on fire and burnt to the ground. My daughter was locked in and did get out. My 5 year old is traumitzed by this. I lost a car and the factory warranty is taking for ever. also I do have coverage for car rental, they expect me to pay out of pocket and be reimb. bi-weekly or monthly. I... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 22, 2017

Contact a member of the Montana Trial Lawyers Assn. Generally, courts don't favor emotional issues. On a personal level suggest you look into a form of therapy called EMDR for your kids. They may be old enough now or in a year or so. Google : Psychology Today EMDR ___________________(name of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for Montana on
Q: i cut my finger at my old job and was taken to Urgent Care to be seen on may 16, 2015.

i received a call at work yesterday, march 9, 2017 from collections saying i had a debt in my name from this visit. when i got my injury report from the doctor, it says in the first line of text that this was to be a workmans comp situation. my former boss was aware of this being a comp claim,... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 12, 2017

Tell the urgent care billing then the collections that you had comp. You should have the workers comp claim number.

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Constitutional Law for Montana on
Q: I'm work in a school district and i'm looking for the montana school laws on due process. I'm completely new to this.

I had an incident happen at school and i was to know if Due process was followed?

Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman answered on Jan 30, 2017

You would need to provide more information on what happened. Due process and its requirement can play out in a number of ways depending on what happened and who was involved.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Libel & Slander, Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Montana on
Q: Can I collect damages with a Tort suit filed on resident false allegations to evict me from HUD/Sec. 8 Montana Housing?

I am a twenty-eight (28) year disabled resident being bullied by management harassment, intimidation and abusive threats.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 24, 2016

You might, but as they have little money or they wouldn't be section 8 you won't get it from them. Suggest you look at if there is a grievance procedure--contact your local legal services/legal aid office.

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice for Montana on
Q: Hi my name is Steven. I'm looking for some advice on Medical Malpractice

My father had an infiltrated vein and died 6 hrs later. He was getting prepared for dialysis when the nurse infiltrated his vein. He was at the hospital preparing for a kidney transplant, which was denied. They kept him in the hospital for 6 days. He also got an infection which caused a fever... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 25, 2016

Sounds like suboptimal care but given his compromised condition it wold be difficult to show that the errors were outside the boundaries of the normal standard of care. I suggest you contact a member of the Montana Assn for Justice--they give free consults.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Montana on
Q: I've been evicted. How do I request more time to move all the non-profit belongings and animals?

I was staying for free, so I don't owe any money, in fact she owes me back pay of $35,300.00. There was never a tenant landlord relationship, and someone else now owns the property, and has given me the time "sooner than later" to move off. I am disabled and 64 years old woth no help. There was... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 20, 2016

First you need to contact a member of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association who handles employment issues NOW!

Not sure what non profit belongings and animals are. If they belong to a not for profit organization, tell the organization to move them. If not, it's on you--new owner doesn't...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for Montana on
Q: If someone broke into my storage unit and took my belongings can I file a Civil Suite?

This person was going around Butte Montana breaking into storage units. His girl friend pawned some of my jewelry. He is now in jail for doing some of the same. Can I file a civil suite on both people?

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Mar 15, 2016

Yes, you can. Problem is collecting, as people in jail often do not have money to pay judgments from the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Montana on
Q: Who is the authorized person for a Coverdell ESA?

My son's grandmother setup a Coverdell ESA for my son. My understanding was that anyone can setup Coverdell ESA but a parent or legal guardian is the responsible person till child turns 18 or 21 (depending on the state laws). But, when I tried to take a distribution from the account, I was told... Read more »

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson answered on Mar 8, 2016

It probably depends upon how the account was set up. You should try writing the company and providing the information.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Montana on
Q: We got a legal divorce six years ago that was simply a financial move, but we stayed together.

Now we are actually divorcing. The only thing we share is the house. He doesn't want to sell it and I don't want him to have it, even if he pays me 1/2 the value. We own it as tenants in common. We were unable to settle with a mediator. Will the court force him to sell or will they make me accept... Read more »

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson answered on Mar 8, 2016

You are better off to work it out in mediation. The court might order a sale if the property cannot be divided. At least in mediation, you know what you will get.

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