UM Alums Find Their Spots on the Bench

Through the winter months and into spring, a number of graduates of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law have stepped forward into prominent leadership roles within Montana’s legal community.

On March 31, 2017, John Parker ’99 was sworn in as the Cascade County district court judge, a seat formerly held by Dirk Sandefur who was elected to the Montana Supreme Court. Parker was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock and formerly held the role of Cascade County attorney.

Luke Berger, a 2008 graduate, became Montana’s Fifth Judicial District judge as appointed by Governor Steve Bullock. The former Lewis and Clark County deputy attorney was sworn in on February 3, 2017, replacing Hon. Loren Tucker who retired at the end of January. Berger, at 35 years-old, is the youngest district court judge in the State of Montana.

Ben Hursh ’03 was appointed by Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to serve as the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in Montana. Hursh began his term as of February 1 and replaced Chief Bankruptcy Judge Ralph B. Kirscher, who had served on the court since 1999.

Luke Savage ’05 was named Richland County Justice of the peace by the Richland County Commission. Formerly a practicing attorney in Sidney, Montana, Savage replaced longtime Judge Gregory Mohr who retired at the end of December.

Eric Hummel ’96 was named Flathead County justice of the peace by the Flathead County Commission this past fall. The former Kalispell attorney and substitute judge replaced Dan Wilson who was elected to the Flathead County District Court.