Norm Newhall, Retired


norm-newhallRETIRED January 1, 2017.  Norm (Dodger) Newhall was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 18, 1946. He graduated with a BA in History, with honors, from Williams College in 1968 and received his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1971. Norm and his wife, Sally, have 3 adult children.

Norm was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army in 1971; trained as a Field Artillery Officer; and was honorably discharged from the Army Reserve as a Captain in 1978.

Norm actively engaged in private law practice beginning in 1972 and also served as a Deputy County Attorney for Cascade County, Great Falls, Montana, from 1972 to 1975. Norm was a regular appointee as a U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee from 1972 to 1978. He was an owner or shareholder of the law firm, or its predecessors, from 1975 to his retirement in 2017.

Norm served on the Boards of the Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home (President 1975); Great Falls Park and Recreation (Vice-Chair 1976); and Paris Gibson Square Museum of Arts (2004-2007). In 1994-95, he was President of the Northern Division of the United States Skiing Association. He is a charter member of the Island Range Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association and served as Chapter President in 1993. His hobbies include golf, skiing, hiking, fishing, piano, and bridge.

He served as president of the Cascade County Bar in 1995. In a varied practice spanning more than 40 years, he has tried cases in district courts, Workers’ Compensation Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District Court and has appeared before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

He appeared as lead counsel before the Montana Supreme Court in more than 25 cases, including:

  • Klinker v Pearson et al, 2013 MT 128N (Substitution of judge; adversity of parties)
  • Ratliff v Pearson et al, 2011 MT 241 (Substitution of judge; advertisy of parties)
  • Nelson v. State, 2008 MT 336, 246 Mont 206, 195 P.3d 293
    (quasi-judicial immunity; public duty doctrine)
  • Thompson v. State, 2007 MT 185, 338 Mont. 511, 167 P3d 867
    (Workers’ Compensation Court jurisdiction)
  • Armstrong v. Gondeiro, 2000 MT 326
    (favorable personal injury verdict against one defendant affirmed; unfavorable verdict for separate defendant reversed; indivisible injury rule; peremptory challenge)
  • Cusenbary v. Mortensen, 1999 MT 221, 987 P.2d 351
    ($750,000 jury verdict affirmed; dram shop liability; BAC evidence)
  • Spoonheim v. Norwest Bank, (1996) 277 Mont. 417, 922 P.3d 528
    (bench ruling affirmed; venue of action against federally chartered bank; fees and costs for frivolous appeal)
  • Eisenmenger v. Ethicon, (1994) 264 Mont. 393, 871 P.2d 13; cert. den. 10/3/94 U.S. Supreme Ct., Dkt. #94-87
    ($2,300,000 personal injury [hemiplegia] verdict affirmed; discovery abuse; product liability; medical malpractice)
  • Pence v. Fox, (1991) 248 Mont. 521, 813 P.2d 429
    (landmark decision allowing minor children to recover loss of consortium damages as a result of catastrophic [quadriplegia] injury to parent)
  • Tynes v. Bankers Life, (1986) 244 Mont. 350, 730 P.2d 1115
    (insurance bad faith; punitive damages)
  • E.C.A. v. Toenyes, (1984) 208 Mont. 336, 679 P.2d 213
    (piercing corporate veil; usury; usury penalty; attorney fees; calculation of breach of contract damages)
  • Woodahl v. Matthews, (1982) 196 Mont. 445, 639 P.2d 1165
    (breach of warranty/contract rescission in sale of used house)

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