News Alert, Press Release|

HELENA- The Montana Chamber presents its 2020 Judicial Review of more than 50 Montana Supreme Court decisions from 2018 and 2019 that impacted business and the economy.

You can read the Judicial Review here.

“The Montana Chamber is one of the only organizations that reviews court decisions with special attention to their long-term impacts on doing business in Montana,” said Bridger Mahlum, government relations director for the Montana Chamber.  “As the third branch of our state government, it’s just as important to evaluate the activity of the judiciary as it is to engage in its legislative and executive counterparts.”

Each justice received a rating based on their participation and position in each case. Overall, the Court received a 74 percent rating for its decisions on crucial business cases – a slight improvement from its 72 percent rating on the 2018 review. Receiving the highest individual rating for the second consecutive cycle was Justice Laurie McKinnon at 83 percent (Career Judicial Score of 87 percent). Other ratings of justices included:

  • 68 percent for Chief Justice Mike McGrath (57 percent Career Judicial Score);
  • 78 percent for Justice Beth Baker (67 percent);
  • 64 percent for Justice Ingrid Gustafson (64 percent);
  • 80 percent for Justice Jim Rice (78 percent);
  • 71 percent for Justice Dirk Sandefur (71 percent); and
  • 72 percent for Justice Jim Shea (67 percent).

As a part of our continued focus on worker’s compensation, the Montana Chamber included a review of the Worker’s Compensation Court’s performance from 2018 and 2019. Twenty-six cases were reviewed, with Judge David Sandler ruling on all those cases. His rating was 62 percent, bringing his career score to 66 percent.

The Montana Chamber of Commerce tracks all activities related to business in Montana. With legal reform as part of its Envision 2026 business climate objective, the Chamber facilitates the Montana Justice Coalition and produces the Judicial Review under the auspices of that coalition.  The Coalition brings together business leaders, attorneys, association directors, and other stakeholders to track Montana’s legal climate, monitor important cases, and develop legal reform measures.



July 10, 2020

CONTACT: Kimberly Casey, (406) 465-0027;

[email protected]

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