Governor Appoints Kutzman as Great Falls District Court Judge

John Kutzman learned on June 15 that Governor Bullock would be appointing him to replace retiring Great Falls District Court Judge Kenneth R. Neill. John was one of eight applicants who sought the job. The process included a detailed written application, a thirty-day public comment period, an interview with the Montana Judicial Nomination Commission, and finally, an interview with Governor Bullock and his staff. The Commission interviewed seven of the applicants on May 18, 2015. John was one of four finalists whose names the Commission forwarded to Governor Bullock that day. John and the other finalists then interviewed with the Governor on June 11, 2015. John is the second of David Paoli's law partners who have been appointed to serve as judges. In 2005, David's partner Jim Shea was appointed by Governor Schweitzer to serve as Workers' Compensation Judge. Jim served in that role with distinction from 2005 through 2014, when Governor Bullock appointed him to replace Justice Brian Morris on the Montana Supreme Court. Though our main office is in Missoula, John has lived and worked in Great Falls since joining the firm in September 2005. For the past ten years he has been the firm's presence in Great Falls, Havre, Billings, Forsyth, and Sheridan, Wyoming. John's appointment requires him to end the active practice of law. He is in the process of wrapping up some cases and preparing others to be finished by David and other lawyers. Following John's departure the firm will be known as the Paoli Law Firm. John's last day with the firm will be Friday, July 10, 2015. John's robing and swearing-in ceremony will be in Courtroom No. 1 at the Cascade County Courthouse at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2015. A reception will follow at the Celtic Cowboy Bar and Restaurant.

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