I am contacting you today to recommend and endorse Elizabeth Best for the Eight Judicial District Court Judgeship being vacated by Judge Macek. Living in Great Falls for 40 plus years you get to meet a lot of exceptional people in the community. Elizabeth Best is one of those exceptional people. I have personnaly known Ms. Best for over 10 years. She is intelligent, energetic, has a balanced perspective and very articulate. Her professional experience and leadership are unquestionable. I’m confident Ms. Best is the best candidate for this position. Thank you for your consideration,
—Brian & Carlie Boland
I am writing tonight on behalf of Elizabeth Best for consideration for appointment to the Cascade County judgeship of Julie Macek, who recently announced that she will step down from her position due to personal medical issues. I am a 55-year resident of Montana and 33-year resident of Great Falls in Cascade County. I recently retired as the President of Benefis Hospitals, Montana’s second largest tertiary referral center serving all of Northcentral Montana. I was and am an ardent support of Judge Macek and the work she has done on the bench to serve Cascade County. I am saddened by her need to resign. But I am wholeheartedly endorsing Elizabeth Best as her most capable replacement. I’ve know Beth from “both sides” of legal proceedings and have found her to be fair, even-handed and committed to ensuring that the law is upheld and fairly administered, even when she was
opposing counsel to the Hospital. Her extensive background as a prosecutor and her knowledge of the law will serve her well. In return, she will serve Cascade County very well.
Please give Elizabeth your full and serious consideration for appointment to Judge Macek’s seat. Thank you.
—Laura L. Goldhahn, Retired President, Benefis Hospitals
Lois Menzies, I am pleased to offer this email in support of Elizabeth A. Best to replace Julie Macek as our District Court Judge in the Cascade County Eighth Judicial District Court. I have practiced , mostly in the area of family law, in this court for over 30 years. I have dealt with Elizabeth as a respected member of our legal community, and am confident that she is the person who can carry on the fine record of service to this community that has been established by Julie Macek.
I am writing to convey my support for Elizabeth Best and her possible appointment to Judge Macek’s seat. Ms. Best would be an asset to the citizens of Great Falls and the surrounding area. She is fair‐minded and a long time supporter of the Great Falls community. Beth is a leader, a servant leader and a professional. I lived in Great Falls, and worked at Benefis in several professional capacities for over 30 years. I have recently taken a national consulting position and remain in health care. I have worked with Beth and consider her to be one of the brightest professionals I have come into contact with. I am confident she would excel in that position and serve the community in the best way possible. Her experience, thoughtful decision making and insight will provide guidance to the position and she will serve well.
—Julie Hickethier, R.N., BSN, MAS, FACHE
Please accept this as a recommendation letter for Beth Best who has applied for the position of District Court Judge in Great Falls. I have had many years of interaction with Ms. Best through the Montana Trial Lawyers conferences and conversations about clients. I have made numerous referrals to her because she is an outstanding practitioner in the area of Employement Law. She is a very intelligent, hard working and honest person. She would be an excellent judge as she listens, reasons and follows the law in her practice. I have watched her present at several CLEs over the years and she is always well prepared and informative. She will respect and be fair to all who appear before her because that
is her personality. Cascade County would be well served by Beth should she be selected for this position.
—Rick Pyfer, Doubek, Pyfer & Fox, LLP
I am an attorney licensed to practice in Montana, in good standing. I have practiced in this jurisdiction for 35 years. In this capacity, I would like to endorse the candidacy of Elizabeth Best for the judicial vacancy which I understand will become available when Judge Macek finishes her term. I am professionally acquainted with Ms. Best, having consulted with her on a number of cases within my specialty of medical negligence litigation. She has always displayed competence in identifying the more obscure issues inherent in this genre of litigation and has never been afraid to seek assistance when she believed it would best serve her clients. Her tenacity as an advocate and her perseverance in moving her cases through the judicial process are strong assets. In my opinion, it is particularly important to have district judges who are thoroughly familiar and have worked with our rules of civil procedure, our rules of evidence and who are trial practitioners. In candor, it has been my experiences that new district court judges who lack this experience are all too often intimidated by the prospect of handling complex matters, have difficulty making decisions and, as a result, create unjustifiable delays in the progress of cases. Ms. Best is not one of them. I believe she would be ready to serve productively as soon as she takes the bench. For these reasons, I respectfully urge serious consideration of her candidacy.
—Randy K. Dix, Lewis, Slovak, Kovacich & Snipes, P.C.
I write in support of Elizabeth Best’s nomination for the vacancy left by Hon. Julie Macek in the Eighth Judicial District Court. I have known Elizabeth for nearly a decade and have had the opportunity to observe her work on complex litigation matters. Elizabeth’s record as an advocate is noteworthy. Most importantly, she has achieved success on behalf of her clients while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism. Elizabeth has always been very cerebral in her approach to the law. Her scholarship would be of great service to the practitioners and litigants of Cascade County. In an arena where efficiency and fortitude are required to address an impossibly crowded docket, there is no better choice than Elizabeth. Her work ethic is renowned and has long been one of her strongest attributes as a practitioner. I have no doubt she will provide the same level of detail and attention to her judicial caseload, if given the opportunity. In my personal dealings with Elizabeth, she has exhibited the highest standards of legal competence and ethical conduct. Being a member of the Cascade County judiciary is a demanding position. The docket can be imposing and many of the legal issues to be decided are impossibly complex. Elizabeth not only has the requisite intellect, but the experience, vitality, and spirit to get the job done. I thank you for your consideration of Elizabeth and for your service on the commission.
—Ben A. Snipes
I write in support of the application of Elizabeth Best for District Judge, 8th Judicial District. Ms. Best is a skilled and experienced attorney. Cascade County is fortunate to have someone of her skill and experience applying for this job. Elizabeth has spent most of her career representing the people of Cascade County. She has extensive courtroom experience and will be able to step into the job of making decisions expeditiously and with judgment immediately. I expect she would be a judge with competence and compassion, adamantly upholding the constitutions of the United States and of Montana. The office of district judge is of crucial importance to our state and to our citizens. When our best lawyers make themselves available to perform this service, they should be applauded. Ms. Best is the best person and best lawyer for the job.
—Norman L. Newhall, Esq.
I am writing to encourage the Commission to move Elizabeth Best’s application to Governor Bullock. The purpose of the judiciary is to protect the civil and constitutional rights of human beings. Article II of Montana’s Constitution preserves unto individuals the most robust articulation of fundamental rights as any constitution in the world. Yet, those rights are meaningless without a judiciary willing to preserve them. In both the federal appointment process and the state appointment process, too often we have used criteria other than a judicial nominee’s fidelity to the protection of fundamental rights. Fortunately, with the appointment of Elizabeth Best, you and the governor have an opportunity to make an appointment that will live up to our framers’ ideals. Her practice has always been about representing the weakest and most dispossessed among us. She truly lives Mathew 25’s
gospel that society is judged by how it treats the weakest and most dispossessed among us. I have known and practiced with Elizabeth for nearly 30 years. No one I have practiced with or against has a stronger work ethic than Elizabeth. She is often e-mailing me at 2:00 in the morning with work. But more important than her work ethic is her core value system that has led her to work on behalf of the people who need legal representation the most. Her cases invariably involve a powerful interest taking advantage of the weakest among us. She enjoys enormous respect of her colleagues for taking cases that on first impression are not attractive to high dollar lawyers. But because she focuses the hypocrisy and dishonesty in the case, she invariably secures a just result for cases that many of her colleagues overlook. Elizabeth has had over 25 cases in the Montana Supreme Court. Each of those cases reflects the values noted above. There will be few nominees that you will consider that have the combination of experience, values, work ethic, and professionalism that Elizabeth possesses. I encourage you to move Elizabeth’s application to Governor Bullock’s desk.
—Lawrence A. Anderson
I am pleased to give my unqualified support for Elizabeth Best’s selection to fill the remaining term of Hon. Julie Macek in the Eighth Judicial District Court. I have known Ms. Best for the past thirty years. Over that time, I have had the privilege of working with her on cases and have observed the manner in which she has practiced, both in an out of court-
She has had more experience in a court room both at the district court and appellate Ievels than most practicing attorneys. She has worked tirelessly and effectively upholding the rights of Montana citizens. Her service on the Montana Supreme Court Commissions on Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence and her trial practice have given her a mastery of court room protocol unmatched by any attorney in the state. She is eminently qualified to sit on the Sft Judicial District bench and, if appointed, would hit the ground at full speed and be invaluable to the administration ofjustice in the district. Ms. Best’s greatest asset, though, is her integrity. I know few people, in or out of the profession as honest and forthright as Ms. Best. She has practiced in Montana for many years with passion, tenacity and steadfast attention to the best interests of her clients. I can think of no other attomey better suited to sit on the Eighth District bench.
—Peter Michael Meloy, Meloy Law Firm
I am writing on behalf of Elizabeth Best’s application to fill the District Judge position to be created by Judge Julie Macek’s impending retirement from the 8th Judicial District. I have known Beth for many years, both personally and professionally. I believe she has a great disposition to be a trial judge, and will treat all those who come before her with respect and the utmost fairness. Beth is an extremely capable and hard-working attorney. She will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Court, and will be well-ready to address the myriad of different legal issues she will face. I believe Beth has strong convictions and, even though most of my practice is on ‘the other side of the aisle,’ from hers, I have the utmost confidence that she will approach every case with an open mind. And I have no doubt that she will respect the U.S. and Montana Constitutions. Beth will make a fine judge.
—Gregory G. Smith, Smith Oblander, P.C.
I am writing to express my support for the appointment of Elizabeth Best to the 8th Judicial District vacancy. I have known Beth for many years and she has distinguished herself as a very hardworking, ethical and capable trial lawyer who has achieved success in numerous complex civil cases. She clearly possesses the motivation and broad legal experience that is necessary to assume the demanding caseload of the Eighth Judicial District. Beth has not simply dedicated herself to the law by excelling in the courtroom, she has also gone
to great lengths to share her knowledge and experience with other lawyers. In20l2, she traveled across the state of Montana to Flathead Lake to volunteer for several days as an instructor at the MTLA Trial Academy. Beth’s passion for helping others is clearly manifested by the results she has obtained for her clients, the generous support she lends her colleagues, and her presence in the community. Beth’s diverse legal experience in the U.S. army, as a law clerk and as a trial lawyer have prepared her to hit the ground running to ensure the residents of Cascade County receive prompt and fair adjudication of their disputes. I strongly urge you to recommend Beth Best to Governor Bullock to fill this vacancy.
—Anders Blewett, Hoyt & Blewett, PLLC
We would like to support Elizabeth Best for the District Court Judgeship 8th Judicial District of Montana. Elizabeth Best represented us in a complex case involving a human rights violation. She operates at a highly professional level with a fair and reasonable standard. Elizabeth Best knows the law well, is thorough in her research, and constructs thoughtful arguments based on the law and what is right. She is effective, efficient, prompt and on task, many times working ahead of deadlines. She is effective at utilizing resources while being responsive and focused on the task at hand. She worked diligently on our behalf 7 days a week to produce competent representation in the legal system. Elizabeth Best is a pleasant, confident yet ‘salt of the earth’ person. Although we would hate to see individuals in need of legal counsel lose access to a great lawyer, we feel the need for a competent judge in the 8th Judicial District as Elizabeth Best would be, outweighs the individual need. Everyone in the 8th Judicial District and across Montana would benefit from her capabilities.
—Alice Siebecker, Retired Law Enforcement Officer
—Brian Crandell, Retired Fire Fighter
Please accept this correspondence as a recommendation for the appointment of Elizabeth Best to the Montana Eighth Judicial District bench for the position being vacated by Judge Julie Macek. I have known Beth since we attended college together. There is no better choice to fill this position. I have practiced law in Montana since 1981, first in Helena and then, starting in 1987, in Great Falls. My practice has varied widely over the years and has included administrative law (securities, insurance, banking), criminal law (prosecution and defense), civil litigation (business, employment and personal injury) and workers’ compensation. Beth possesses an impressive and successful litigation resume. Her extensive
courtroom experience has prepared her well for the bench. Just as important, Beth is an intelligent, thoughtful and creative lawyer. She has taken cases other lawyers have rejected and performed very well for her clients. Beth has devoted substantial time to our profession. She was elected President of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and has served that Association in various positions during her career. She was elected to Super Lawyers, which is a national rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Martindale Hubbell rates her AV. Beth is fair and hard-working. She brings energy and enthusiasm to everything she does. She would be a great addition to the bench in Cascade County.
—J. Kim Schulke, Linnell, Newhall, Martin & Schulke, P.C.
I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Beth Best for appointment to the Eight Judicial District Court. I was born and raised in Great Falls and have now been practicing law here for over 14 years. During this time, I have come to know Beth as one of the hardest working, community minded and proactive attorneys in Montana. I have also had the opportunity to work with Beth in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Montana State Fund. Having worked with Beth in this capacity, I can honestly say Beth is uniquely qualified for this position because of her ability to work with various peoples and interests to achieve successful outcomes across the aisles. She is compassionate, openminded, articulate, and well-reasoned. I have always been impressed by her command of the law, familiarity with the issues and efforts to reach a just result. I also know Beth
to be fair and honest, making her a tremendous asset to the Court. I admire Beth’s personal and professional qualifications. She is extremely qualified for the appointment and would be an outstanding choice for the seat.
—Stacy Tempel-St. John, Linnell, Newhall, Martin & Schulke, P.C.
I am writing this letter in support of Elizabeth Best’s application for the position of District Court Judge for the Montana Eighth Judicial District Court. I have known Elizabeth for almost 30 years. She is intelligent, dedicated, and hardworking. Elizabeth truly cares about her clients and shows an intense detennination in her efforts to help them. She has demonstrated her integrity time and again throughout her career. I have seen her in and out of the courtroom, and at all times she never loses sight of her pursuit of justice for the
people she represents. I believe Elizabeth would serve as an exemplary District Court Judge and ask that you give great consideration to her application. Thank you.
—Kitty Agostinelli, Legal Assistant, Conner & Marr, PLLP
I am privileged to write a letter of support on behalf of Beth Best. I urge the Commission to recommend Beth for appointment to the Eighth Judicial District Court. I have known Beth personally and professionally for many years. During that time, I have observed Beth’s work product and temperament. Beth is an extremely intelligent and ambitious individual, with a tremendous work ethic. Beth possesses the professional competence and personal compassion which we all strive for. She is fair-minded to the core and a staunch guardian of our justice system. In short, she adheres to the highest of professional and ethical standards. It goes without saying that Beth’s attributes would be a positive asset to the Eighth Judicial District Court and the Montana judicial system as a whole. While I am certain Beth’s clients will miss her advocacy on their behalf, Beth’s appointment to the bench would be a tremendous gain for Cascade County and the practicing bar. Beth has generously contributed to our Great Falls community for many years. Beth’s willingness to serve on the Eighth Judicial District Court is another example of her community-minded selflessness. I urge the committee to recommend Beth for the appointment so she can continue to tirelessly serve our community. I am happy to speak with you further about Beth’s qualifications should you wish to do so. Thank you.
—Keith D. Marr, Conner & Marr, PLLP
I am writing to express my strong support for Elizabeth Best for the 8th Judicial District judgeship. I believe Beth is by far the strongest and most qualified candidate for the position of District Judge. She is passionate about the law and the pursuit of justice and will treat everyone fairly. She is a staunch advocate of the jury system and will represent the
community with integrity. If Beth has any detractors, it is because of her desire to expose wrongdoing and her desire to do the right thing. Those are qualities which should be admired in a judge, not denigrated. I strongly urge you to recommend Beth for District Judge in Great Falls.
—Kurt M Jackson, Hoyt & Blewett, PLLC
I confidently and strongly recommend Elizabeth Best for the Judicial vacancy you are filling in the 8th Judicial District. I have practiced as a trial attorney in Montana for nearly 40
years. My experience has been in both criminal and civil law and I have represented both Plaintiffs and Defendants. I graduated from the University of Montana Law School in 1976, served as a clerk for the Montana Supreme Court, Chief Justice for 1 year, worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Montana for one year, worked 3 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Montana, and then as a private trial attorney for the remainder of the time. During the majority of my practice I have known Beth Best, followed her legal work and career, and have always found her to be an intelligent, hard working trial attorney who passionately, professionally, ethically, and effectively represented her clients in all sorts of legal matters. I consulted with Beth on many cases and always respected her advice and counsel. She has handled a multitude of cases of all kinds and complexity. A District Court Judge needs an abundance of trial experience to be a fair and effective District Court Judge, and Beth’s trial experience is exactly what the 8th Judicial District Court needs. Beth has always been honest, intelligent, ethical, and professional in her practice of law and she knows what happens in a courtroom, what litigation, both civil and criminal, means to the parties involved, and I am confident she will be an outstanding Judge. You will not have a better chance to appoint a well qualified District Court Judge for the 8th District than Elizabeth Best.
—Rick Anderson, Anderson Law PLLC
My endorsement is of Beth Best. She will make an outstanding District Court Judge. Her record of achievement as a trial lawyer in both State and Federal Courts speaks for itself.
I am unaware of any other lawyer in the state of Montana better suited to step onto the bench. I witnessed her experience in her race for the Montana Supreme Court, and concluded that the result was a great loss for the Judiciary in Montana. She is supremely qualified for this appointment. My professional experience with Beth is that we both served on the Montana Supreme Court Advisory Commission on the Rules of Civil Procedure. The Commission spent an extraordinary effort recommending improvements to those rules, and Beth’s participation in that effort made a big impression on me, because she was looking out for the ordinary people who find themselves in State Court, including those who really don’t want to be there. Her critical analysis, and ability to express it succinctly was a huge benefit to that Commission, and it will carry over in her service as a Judge. That’s why I endorse Beth Best for this appointment. She will serve Cascade County well. Since I have no expectation as a western Montana lawyer, of practicing in her Court, there Is no personal benefit to me from this endorsement. She just deserves it.
—Philip J. Grainey, French & Grainey
I write this letter in support of Beth Best for appointment as a District Court Judge in Cascade County. Beth is an extremely talented attorney with the highest integrity and
dedication to the practice of law. I have known Beth for over eight years. In my view, Beth has the requisite legal competence, appellate experience, personal integrity and commitment to an independent judiciary to make her an outstanding District Court Judge. Beth is also committed to volunteering her time in the greater Montana community. For
example, Beth recently drove to Bozeman from Great Falls to give a lecture to Constitutional Law students at Montana State University for a class I was teaching. Her presentation on due process was one of my student’s favorite classes all semester. I am impressed with Beth’s willingness to help out young lawyers, such as myself, as we encounter difficult legal issues. She has a reputation for being professional and courteous. Simply put, Beth is a role model for me and other young, female attorneys in the legal profession. Beth steadfastly represents the average Montana citizen seeking to protect the rights of individuals. She has demonstrated her legal competence in the cases she has tried before juries,
judges and in her appellate work. I have read her legal briefs and am impressed with what a skilled legal scholar than Beth is. Beth is known among her colleagues as an outstanding
scholar of the law. She has a tenacious and diligent work ethic. I am confident she will apply the law fairly and preserve the rule of law. Beth deserves the appointment to the District Court seat in Cascade County.
—Lindsay Beck, Esq.
I am pleased to write this letter in support of the application of Great Falls attorney Elizabeth Best for a judgeship in the Eighth Judicial District in Great Falls. I have followed
Ms. Best’s career and community involvement for approximately 15 years and have been consistently impressed. I first came to know Beth in a less than optimal way: She was the attorney for two former employees of mine who were claiming that they had been constructively discharged from the institution of which I was CEO. Even though we were on opposite sides on that issue, I couldn’t help but be impressed by Ms. Best’s intelligence, thoroughness, and professionalism. She knew the case, knew the law, and knew how to elicit the testimony she needed from her own witnesses, as well as ours. Nothing threw her. She was quick on her feet and argued her points persuasively and without petulance. In short, she was a commanding presence in the courtroom. I thought to myself, “This is a woman to watch,” and from that time to this, I have. Beth’s application speaks for itself in terms of her engagement with the legal profession and her achievements in it. In spite of a very active law practice in a small firm, she has routinely helped in the preparation and continuing legal education of fellow lawyers; assumed leadership positions for the Montana Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA), the District Court, and the Montana Supreme Court; and provided leadership to the development activities of the University of Montana Law School. She has been recognized as MTLA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year and as one of the Mountain States Super Lawyers for the past several years. Beth has also been active in public service, having served for 6 years on a local school board, 4 years on the extremely demanding Montana Board of Labor Appeals, and another 4 years on the even more demanding Montana State Fund, chairing both of the latter during her board service. Apart from these formal acts of civic engagement, she is just the kind of person who goes out of her way in unexpected ways to help others. I have never even had a cup of coffee with her, yet she has reached out to me when I needed support or encouragement on several occasions. I know many people in the community who have had the same experience. Elizabeth Best will be an outstanding judge. Her legal experience, especially in the courtroom setting, is deep and wide. She has an abiding respect for the rule of law and the role of the courts in our society. But perhaps most importantly, her years in rural as well as urban Cascade County and her many years of practice advocating for those who otherwise might not have a voice have prepared her to deal with compassion and grace with all the varied people and situations that she will encounter in the Eighth Judicial District. As a guardian ad litem, I advocated for the needs of children in Judge Macek’s court for several years. I had great admiration for her and am sorely disappointed that her personal situation makes it impossible for her to continue on. I can think of no better replacement for her than another good Great Falls woman: Elizabeth Best.
—Mary Sheehy Moe
I am writing today in support of Ms. Elizabeth Best being placed as District Court Judge, due to the retirement of Judge Julie Macek. I have been a small business owner, community activist, hospital board member and healthcare professional in Great Falls and the surrounding area since 1977. I have worked personally and professionally with Ms Best over the years and know her to be of the highest professional and ethical caliber. As a small business owner, I counted much of the legal community among my customers and know many lawyers and judges in our area very well. I know the high regard that Ms. Best is held in by her colleagues. I believe the respect and trust held for her by her community, as well as her colleagues, speaks and bodes well for the appropriateness of the appointment to District Judge. She is a Montana Native and as such has a keen grasp of the socio-economic environment that today’s law system functions in and would be a fair, focused and trusted officer of the Court. I strongly encourage her appointment to assume the seat of District Judge in Cascade County. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further need of information.
—Jack W. King, JWKing Healthcare Consulting, LLC
I strongly support the appointment of Beth Best to the Eighth Judicial District Court. I have known Beth for more than 30 years and can attest to her unique qualifications and skill set for this very demanding position. Whether I was working with her or against her, Beth has, without exception, displayed the highest integrity, character, and skill. She is an excellent courtroom attorney and legal scholar. She not only knows and follows the Rules of Evidence, Rules of Civil Procedure, and our Rules of Professional Conduct, but elevates the practice of her colleagues in this regard. Beth has served on both the Montana Supreme Court’s Commissions on Evidence and Civil Procedure and frequently lectures
in this important area of law. This experience together with her extensive courtroom experience, is a valuable asset that distinguishes her from others. The bottom line, is that Beth has all of the requisites to be an excellent District Court Judge. The citizens of Cascade County and the State of Montana could do no better. Should you have any questions regarding Beth’s qualifications, please contact me.
—J. David Slovak, Lewis, Slovak, Kovacich & Snipes, P.C.
I write to recommend Elizabeth Best as a nominee for Governor Bullock’s consideration, when filling the seat vacated on the Eighth Judicial District Court by Judge Julie Macek’s recent resignation. For the past several years, I have worked as a lawyer in the same community as Beth Best. Throughout that time, I have observed much of the work she has performed on behalf of her clients. I have also interacted with Beth on many occasions, consulting on legal issues common to our clients. Aided by her intellect, tireless work ethic, and determination, Beth has proven time and again to be a top notch advocate for her clients, and a role model for other lawyers in Great Falls and throughout Montana. I have served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA) for the past several years. During my tenure on the Board, Beth has been a leader in the organization, volunteering valuable time, personal resources, and insight. Beth has proven she is truly committed to justice, and improving the legal profession in Montana. In all of my dealings with Beth, I have found her to be honest and fair. She cares about Montana, and understands the importance of the law in protecting the rights of Montanans. I am thankful that Beth has expressed interest in serving my home State in the judiciary. I urge you to nominate Beth Best for Governor Bullock’s consideration when choosing the next District Court Judge in Cascade County.
—Mark M. Kovacich, Lewis, Slovak, Kovacich & Snipes, P.C.
I write with the most enthusiastic support for Elizabeth Best’s appointment to replace Judge Macek in the 8th Judicial District in Cascade County. I have known Beth since 2005 when she first appeared before the Montana Human Rights Commission and I served as Chair of the Commission. I appreciated the chance to get to know her better during her primary campaign for the Montana Supreme Court in 2011-12. I have always regarded her as someone whose breadth of legal experience, commitment, temperament, and wisdom are perfectly suited to judicial office. Over the years, I came to value her advice and engagement enormously in many personal legal discussions as I worked to complete an introductory textbook on the subject of “International Human Rights.” I am confident that she would be an exemplar of public and judicial service to the profession and community and hope you will act positively on her nomination.
—Franke Wilmer, Ph.D., Department of Political Science, Montana State University
I am writing in support of Beth Best’s appointment to the seat of the Hon. Julie Macek. I have known Beth since we entered law school together in 1978. Though I do not see Beth often and have not tried cases with or against her, my opinion of her as a person, and what I know of her legal career, leave no doubt in my mind that she has the potential to be an excellent judge. We would be lucky to have her on the bench.
—Addison Sessions, Attorney at Law
We are writing in support of Elizabeth Best for the Eighth Judicial District Court Judgeship seat, a critical appointment for Great Falls and Montana, especially in these extremely complex times. We have known Elizabeth for well over 15 years and have the highest regard for her professional credentials, her integrity and skills. She has tried numerous civil and criminal cases in the Montana Federal Courts, and has been at the helm as well in many non-trial cases. She believes, first and foremost, in justice for all people, and has dedicated her professional life to the rights of all citizens—rich or poor, educated or uneducated–to access the courts, to jury trials, and to fair and impartial treatment in our judicial system. Ms. Best has a strong history of working as a trial lawyer, and has operated her own law practice for over 25 years. Her exemplary reputation is such that her peers and colleagues selected her as Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2008. Furthermore, her service as a Captain in the U.S. Army JAGC equips her with a unique perspective on military and related issues. Above all else, she would make a knowledgeable, strong, no-nonsense, hardworking, honest Judge who would conduct all proceedings to the very letter of the law.
Elizabeth is also a native Montanan and knows the State and the diversities of its peoples and institutions as well anyone. She has taught trial advocacy courses at the University of Montana, has addressed the Montana Legislature, and has served on both Supreme Court and U.S. District Court committees. We have been fortunate to have had both a professional and personal relationship with Elizabeth and her family throughout the years and have the highest regard for her as a steward of the law, as a mother, and as virtuous human being of the highest moral and judicial principles. She would uphold the integrity of the District Court Judgeship seat to the utmost magnitude and we, therefore, urge you to seriously consider her for the position.
—Elizabeth A. Dear
I am submitting a letter of support for Elizabeth Best to be appointed to Judge Julie Macek’s district court seat. I will not reiterate Beth’s impressive employment history (including service in the US military) nor her impressive education. Those are set forth in her application. What strikes me most is her desire to serve everyone, including the least of us. It says to me that everyone has the right to a fair shake (trial if you will) in life and will make a difference in that individual’s life. I believe that her commitment to “all” is summed up in her statement “I believe that public involvement and community service is a privilege, and that it is also a duty. Our Constitution guarantees citizens the right to meaningfully participate in decisions made by our government. This right is meaningless if not exercised by all of us. I have always believed that I do not have a right to complain about decisions and acts of my government if I do not participate. The magic of this “join before complaining” attitude is that when we participate, we learn that it is harder to do it right than it appears from the outside. We also learn to value transparency and to welcome help from fellow citizens.” A statement such as this tells me that this woman is not above the general citizenry, despite her lofty education and employment. She understands the plight of the average citizen, at the same time realizing that all citizens must be involved in the rights, privileges and obligations of that citizenship. No one is exempt from participation, even the least of us. I do hope you will favorably consider Elizabeth’s application for this important judicial position.
Please accept this letter as my strong recommendation for the submission of Beth Best’s name to Governor Bullock for appointment to the Montana Eighth Judicial District Court to fill the vacant seat being created by the retirement of the Honorable Judge Julie Macek. Beth’s background is diverse and would serve her very well as a Judge. Beth served in the U.S. Army as a lawyer in the Judge Advocate General Corps, and then served as law clerk to the late Federal Judge Hatfield. For more than twenty years, she then engaged in the private practice of law in Great Falls, handling everything from wills and probate, to divorces, and all manner of civil litigation. She represented insurance companies and injured
Montanans, and is most respected for her work as a trial lawyer. She and her husband Mike have raised two children on their ranch near Great Falls. Beth is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocacy, and she was the first woman to receive the Montana Trial Lawyer of the Year award. These achievements are reserved for very few and only the best trial attorneys. Beth has also given back to the profession where many do not – she worked over the years as a member of the Montana Supreme Court Commission on Civil and Appellate Procedure, the Commission on Rules of Evidence, and the Federal Local Rules Committee for Montana. I have worked with Beth on a number of cases over the years. She has a keen legal mind, great analytical skills, and is an accomplished legal Judicial Nomination Commission researcher and writer. She is dynamic, disciplined, and exceptionally hard-working. We need more judges who are hard-working and who will dig in on all cases, no matter how difficult or time-consuming. I have never seen Beth throw in the towel – no matter how difficult the circumstances may be. While I am very sad to see Judge Macek retire, Beth’s application is an opportunity for this Commission to recommend the appointment of someone who can do the difficult job of replacing Judge Macek. I strongly recommend Beth for this position.
—Timothy B. Strauch, Eiselein Law Firm, PLLC
I’ve known Beth Best for over 30 years. I have worked closely with Beth in State and Federal Court. I have observed the quality of both her work and her character. I have seen firsthand the unstinting dedication to her clients. Beth understands the Rules of Evidence and the Rules of Civil Procedure and is well acquainted with the Montana Constitution and the important Montana Supreme Court cases that define the rules of law and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in our State. Her broad knowledge of the law and her willingness to dive into the research on any legal, technical, medical or scientific question has been a tremendous asset to me as her co-counsel. Her analytical and writing skills are top notch. Her work ethic is remarkable. I’ve gotten numerous e-mails from Beth at 5:00 or 6:00 o’clock in the morning regarding issues in a case that she has obviously been pondering since long before the crack of dawn. I have never seen her procrastinate. What needs to get done, gets done, and it gets done on time. Beth is good with people of all walks of life. She treats witnesses, parties, court personnel and counsel with dignity and respect even in situations when they seem to be begging not to. She would have the ideal temperament and the patience to deal with pro se litigants or to handle the sometimes high emotions of domestic relations cases. Her expert knowledge of the Rules of Evidence would serve her well as judge-presiding in any civil or a criminal case. While in the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s office she prosecuted criminal cases. She provided legal assistance to soldiers and their families in Judicial Nominating Commission matters such as separations and will writing. She defended citizens charged with crimes as appointed counsel in the federal system here in Montana for three years after her stint in the US Army. She provided pro bono services to juvenile offenders in State Court early in her career. Her involvement in the criminal justice system may not be as recent as some, but her experience is broad and she has not forgotten its lessons. I know, because she has shared many with me. You could not find a lawyer better suited by training, experience, dedication, legal knowledge or temperament to take this job in one of the busiest district courts in our
State. My last comments are these. Beth has tried enough cases in enough courts to know how the courtroom has to work in order to afford litigants on both sides of a case, criminal or civil, the fair trial they are entitled to. And, she has shown that she knows and is willing to undertake the hard work of running for the office of elected judge. She has proven that
if the Governor appoints her, she will run hard to be elected when that time comes. Thank you for the opportunity to recommend Beth Best for district judge in the Eighth Judicial District.
—Michael G. Eiselein, State of Montana 11th Judicial District
I am writing this letter in support of Elizabeth Best’s application to be appointed District Court Judge for the Eighth Judicial District in Cascade County. I have known Ms. Best for 15 years, and can attest to her professionalism, compassion, and work ethic. A review of the all applications demonstrates Ms. Best is certainly the most qualified candidate for this position, and has the demeanor necessary to be an effective and respected judge. Ms. Best has a statewide reputation for effectively representing her clients in the courtroom, being a tenacious advocate, and persevering in moving her cases through the judicial system. She has handled cases in district courts all across Montana, giving her special insight into the different ways district court judges manage their courtrooms and dockets. She is efficient and tireless—essential attributes for being a district court judge in one of the busiest
judicial districts in Montana. Her extensive trial practice shows her inside and out knowledge of the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence, which district court judges rely on every day in any number of proceedings. Her proven work in the areas of discrimination and civil rights demonstrates sensitivity to the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic challenges many litigants in front of the courts face. This is particularly true for Cascade County, which has an aging population, many veterans, one of the largest populations of minorities, and many people (13.5%) live below the poverty line. This background will be beneficial beyond belief when assisting pro se litigants confronted with the complexity of the legal system. When you have been giving legal advice to clients, examining witnesses, and taking depositions your entire career, working with pro se litigants is not as much as a challenge as it could be. We are lucky to have an attorney of Ms. Best’s caliber choose to dedicate the rest of her career to the judiciary. We are even luckier to have a person of such generosity, compassion and fairness choose this path. She has my full and sincere endorsement for this position, and I hope you recommend her to the Governor for appointment.
—Amy Eddy, District Court Judge, State of Montana 11th Judicial District
Elizabeth Best would be an excellent choice to replace the Honorable Julie Macek in the Eighth Judicial District Court. She has the expertise and experience required and would be an asset to the justice system in Montana. I have been concerned about a fair and equitable justice system in Montana for all its citizens and we need judges who will strive to ensure that justice for all is a part of their courtroom and Elizabeth Best would do so. She has represented citizens in Montana from all walks of life, many cultures and backgrounds and is
familiar with the diversity of our community and state. I understand that she is well respected among her peers. I believe that Elizabeth will work seriously and vigorously to ensure that all citizens who appear in her Court have equal access to the Court and to fair treatment. I urge you to recommend to Governor Bullock that he appoint Elizabeth Best to the seat Judge Julie Macek is leaving.
—Carol C. Juneau
We are writing in support of Elizabeth Best to replace District Judge Julie Macek who is retiring. We got to know Beth through our case, Connelley v. Central Valley Fire District. Although we already had an excellent attorney in Tara DePuy, Beth had recently dealt with similar case with another former employee of Central Valley Fire, and knew pretty intimately what we were up against with them. Because Bryan had been deposed in the previous case, and from her impression of the responses in his deposition, she felt that the cases were similar enough and that we had a strong enough case, that she agreed to co-counsel with Tara. They made a great team for us and were a force to be reckoned with. I’m only glad they were on our side. We realize that she did not have to take on our case, but are very thankful that she agreed to do so. Beth brought a strong knowledge of the law, a passion for fairness and great patience to our case. While we were often frustrated at the time it took to get things accomplished, she often assured us that we were on the right path and that things would eventually work out, which thankfully, they did. Throughout the 14 hour long day that was mediation, she was with us the entire time. While it was one of the longest days of our lives, it was evident that she was well accustomed to such days. While the whole ordeal was very taxing for us, Elizabeth took it in stride. It was obvious that this was not her “first rodeo.” We feel that Elizabeth would be a great judge. She is patient, fair and very knowledgeable about the law and other judgements, past and present, that impact her cases. We are very grateful for everything that Elizabeth did for us. I hope that this reaches you in time and that you give careful consideration to her for the District Judge position.
—Bryan and Jenny Connelley
I write to enthusiastically encourage you to favorably pass to Governor Bullock Elizabeth Best’s application to become the next judge of the Montana Eighth Judicial District Court.
I have known Beth Best for all of my legal career and can state unequivocally that she possesses all of the most valuable attributes of a District Court Judge: fairness, integrity, keen intellect, indefatigable work ethic and a humble way amidst all of her success. I’ve had the pleasure of observing and working with Beth in litigated cases and can say without question that if I needed legal counsel I would call upon Beth Best to represent me. She embodies all that is good in a tireless advocate and unflinchingly pursues the zealous representation of her clients, as all lawyers should. Similarly, she understands the rights of every litigant to be heard and have their case decided fairly and with equal measure. As the next District Court Judge in the Eighth Judicial District, Beth will well execute these responsibilities of this most important position. Beth will bring a valuable perspective and deep understanding of the Constitution if she is selected to be judge. Beth will also bring kindness and a wonderful sense of humor to the position. In comparing his town to others (mostly cities) Charlie Russell penned in one of his colorful letters: ” … give me the camp where I savvy the people.” Beth savvies the people of Cascade County and the State of Montana. I hope you view Beth Best’s application with a favorable recommendation to Governor Bullock.
—David R. Paoli, Paoli Law Firm
I am writing in support of Elizabeth A. Best who is seeking the appointment to replace Judge Macek. I have had the pleasure of working for Beth for the past six years at Best Law Offices as her legal assistant. In those years, I have seen her passion and her dedication to the judicial system to help people from all different backgrounds, as well as her pro bono
work for the Cascade County Law Clinic. She works endlessly and harder than anyone I know. She listens attentively, communicates effectively and respectfully, and most
importantly, she cares about people. Whether a previous client is calling with a question or an attorney is calling for advice about a case, she is never too busy to help them. She has dedicated her career to the judicial system and protecting our constitutional rights, including access to the courts for I have enjoyed working for her, and I know she has the demeanor, experience, and drive to serve on the bench. Cascade County would be lucky to have Beth as a judge. You should know that Beth did not know I intended to write this letter, and she did not ask me to write.
It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of support for Elizabeth Best for the District judge judicial seat. Elizabeth represented me in a case. The case was handled professionally, judicially, and quickly. I found her to be one of the most fair and equitable attorneys I have ever worked with. As a school superintendent I have worked with many
attorneys associated with the Montana School Boards Association, Montana Rural Education Association and many other private attorneys. She is plain and simple the best. I can without hesitation recommend Mrs. Elizabeth Best for the judicial seat of District Judge.
—Dennis Gerke, Superintendent, Hardin Public Schools / President, Montana Rural Education Association / Federal Relations Coordinator, School Administrators of Montana
I am a young attorney licensed to practice in Montana, as well as several other jurisdictions. Over the past five years practicing in Montana, I have had the good fortune and pleasure to know Elizabeth “Beth” Best, and receive invaluable mentoring and advice from her in support of my trial practice and professional growth. Both through personal experience and knowledge, Beth has always sought to further the abilities, competence, and expertise of trial practice in Montana. Her devotion includes donating significant amounts of time to speak and present at CLE seminars, serve on commissions, and set aside significant time to assist law students and new attorneys gain and hone the necessary skills for effectively representing their clients at trial. In addition Beth’s devotion to the evolution of trial practice Montana, she has made a career effort to serve the public good and protect consumers and citizens from corporate and government overreach and malfeasance. Beth’s efforts demonstrate her commitment to fairness and justice, regardless of a person’s background or state in life. I am certain that Beth will exhibit the same commitment to fairness and justice for all the citizens of Cascade County and any other persons or entities that appear in the 8th Judicial District Court. Beth’s knowledge and expertise with rules of procedure, rules of evidence, and courtroom procedure is par excellence. I believe Beth’s knowledge, as well as her vast courtroom experience is necessary to be a fair, productive, and efficient District Court Judge. I also believe that Beth’s devotion to sharing her knowledge and experience with the bar makes her well suited to preside on the 8th Judicial District Bench. If she is ultimately appointed, I expect her courtroom will be just and informative to individuals appearing before her, the bar, and the general public. This will be true of simple and complex civil litigation, as well as criminal prosecutions, whether issuing orders orally or in writing. In short, I believe Elizabeth Best is the best applicant seeking the appointment of the judgeship the Hon. Julie Macek is vacating. I trust my statements in support of Elizabeth will lead you to that conclusion as you consider her application.
—Eric B. Biehl
I am writing this letter of support on behalf of Elizabeth Best. I contacted her 2 years ago after consulting a friend (Polly Pearson) on who she thought could best give advice and consult. I am a Lt Col in the Montana Air National Guard and was facing loss of my job due to age discrimination and gender bias. I called Elizabeth who immediately responded and advised me on how to proceed. I took her counsel and basically had her help me write a letter of rebuttal that I submitted to leadership. I successfully defended myself and as a result, I am still working here, enjoying what I do for a living and most importantly have the respect of leadership. I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be here today if not for Elizabeth’s counsel. I cannot think of anyone who could better serve as District Judge. She is forthright, outstanding at what she does, and a joy to work with. Thank you for opportunity to support Elizabeth Best.
—Deidra K. Fuller
I am writing with deep in conviction in my support for the appointment of Elizabeth Best for the Eighth Judicial Judgeship Vacancy in Cascade County. Obviously, Elizabeth’s professional qualifications are above reproach. Her legal background and expertise is exemplary. That said, I want to share a different qualification that truly sets her apart from the other applicants, and that is her commitment to her fellow attorneys and to the practice of law in Montana. During the last session of the Montana Legislature, my husband was diagnosed with Stage III testicular cancer. I was alone in Helena with our 13 month old baby and he had our other two boys at home with him in Missoula. Within short order, I needed to assist with enormous medical costs, and I was thrust post-legislative session and a long maternity leave, back into the practice of law. Without hesitation, Elizabeth took my calls. She encouraged me to hang a shingle. She mentored me back into the saddle. Elizabeth cares deeply for justice and for the other lawyers who seek it, and she is always willing to extend a hand to her colleagues, without hesitation. We need judges in Montana who are willing to go the extra mile to encourage collegiality in our profession and who are eager to “teach” and mentor other attorneys. Elizabeth exemplifies the kind of lawyering that we want all lawyers in Montana to practice, each and every day. As a District Court Judge, I have no doubt Elizabeth’s legacy of professionalism, education, and “giving back”, will continue. Moreover, as an elected national board member for AAUW (American Association of University Women), the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls in this country, representing 170,000 members and 800 universities nationwide, including all our colleges and universities in the State of Montana, I strongly encourage you to nominate a qualified woman for this position. Judge Julie Macek served with distinction and Elizabeth Best will do the same.
—Ellie Boldman (Hill) Smith, Representative, House District 90
I am writing this letter in support of Elizabeth A. Best who is seeking the appointment to replace Honorable Julie Macek. I am a police officer for the City of Great Falls, and have been involved in law enforcement for almost 20 years. I reached out to Ms. Best almost three years ago when I was suddenly faced with a family law matter with my ex-wife regarding my two children. Not only did Beth immediately agree to help me in my situation, but she also agreed to do so on a pro bono basis. She informed me about the law regarding my case, was patient with me, and explained the process every step of the way. She was straightforward and discussed the hurdles we would face during the process. I was engrossed by her intelligence and knowledge of the law. She showed me compassion and worked tirelessly for my case, when just minutes before she didn’t even know who I was. I will forever be grateful for the hard work and promptness that she dedicated to helping me. Since then, I have gotten to know Beth more and I have no doubt that she will be an asset to the community. She will be a great addition to the Eighth Judicial District. I am confident that Beth will apply the law fairly in both criminal and civil cases, for defendants and plaintiffs. She is very knowledgeable and very respected. Thank you for the opportunity to support Elizabeth Best.
I write to ask for your consideration and recommendation to Governor Bullock of the application of Elizabeth Best for appointment to the judicial position being vacated by the Hon. Julie Macek of the Eighth Judicial District. I have known Beth for a number of years and can attest to her high ethical standards, her work ethic and her legal abilities. Beth has a work ethic that is unsurpassed and has legal experience in a vast array of areas. Beth has been active in the Montana Trial Lawyers Association for a number of years. However that should and does not indicate a bias on her part against someone one on the other side of the aisle. She is a very reasonable person and is always considerate of the party opponent’s position. In my 26+ years on the bench I have never encountered anyone more prepared in both the law and the facts of the matter she is involved with. Oftentimes, someone thinks that a plaintiff’s attorney just pounds on the table, argues and is closed to any difference of opinion. Beth Best is one of the best examples of putting such theories to rest. She is always considerate, prepared and reasonable with the opposing party. Beth is not only intelligent, but understanding and compassionate about the dilemma presented in a
difficult situation. Her writing excels in presenting the facts and law in a concise and understanding manner. Beth Best has the experience to handle a difficult caseload and the personal experience through her successful law practice to both handle the caseload and do so with the understanding of the need for expediency in having matters handled and resolved so the parties may get on with their lives. Her commitment and dedication to the practice and field of law is truly remarkable, but then so is she.
—Ed McLean, District Judge, Retired
I have known Elizabeth (Beth) Best since she was a student of mine at Charles M. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana. That was over 30 years ago and, in my mind, she continues to be an outstanding student as well as an exemplary citizen. Among the traits Beth exemplified in high school continue to this day. That is, her intelligence, commitment to the tasks at hand, her integrity (the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness),1 and her resolve to do the very best that she is capable of doing. I believe that Beth’s application for the Eighth District Court Judgeship speaks for itself. She has offered a well-defined history of her practice as an attorney, a summary of her personal and family life, and her commitment to being a good citizen. I am biased, of course, but I cannot imagine what more anyone could ask for as they deliberate the attorney who shall fill the vacancy of this particular court. I urge the appointment of Elizabeth (Beth) Best to the Eighth District Court Judgeship.
—John C. Board
While I have infrequently appeared in the 8th Judicial District Courts, I have over the last 25 years had the opportunity to be professionally associated with Elizabeth Allaire Best. I have knowledge of several of the other nominees as well. I have profound professional respect for the skills that Elizabeth Best has to offer to the judiciary. Elizabeth is hard working, thoughtful, analytically skilled, superior in litigation and above all has been able to maintain her professionalism when pushed beyond limits that would require the same.
Please forward Elizabeth Allaire Best to the Governor for appointment to this judicial position.
—Susan B. Swimley, Attorney and Counselor at Law
I write to commend Elizabeth Best for your consideration in the matter of appointment to the District Court of the 8th Judicial District. I have practiced law in Montana since 1979, and, in that regard, I have been well acquainted with Ms. Best for many years. I have worked with her both as an attorney and in non-legal matters. I know her to be a legal scholar, a skilled trial attorney, and a conscientious and highly principled person. Importantly, based on many exchanges with her, I believe that she would have an excellent judicial
temperament. In short, without reservation I endorse Elizabeth Best for the position of District Judge of the 8th Judicial district.
I have known and worked with Beth Best since she and her husband, Mike, opened a law office in the Strain Building next to mine in the mid-1980s. Her father is a well-known Great Falls doctor who practiced with the Great Falls Clinic and has been active in community service for years. Beth likewise is community minded. She went into private practice after working in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and clerking for Federal District Court Judge Paul Hatfield. She was ready to hit the ground running and a big help to me professionally. I was proud to welcome Beth into the American Board of Trial Advocates, a select group of plaintiffs’ and defendants’ lawyers which emphasizes professionalism and collegiality and selects its members by invitation only. Beth has had a great career. With Judge Julie Macek retiring, it would be wonderful to have a highly-qualified female lawyer like Beth take her place. A fair and impartial search for truth and justice is what our court system needs and what Beth will deliver, while adhering to the highest of professional and ethical standards. I urge the Commission to recommend Beth for appointment. I know many in the community along with farmers and ranchers who strongly support her application. Thank you for your consideration.
—Dennis Patrick Conner, Conner & Marr, PLLP
I write as a citizen, member of the Montana Bar and as an elected city council member for the City of Whitefish (though not representing an official position of the City) in support of Elizabeth Best’s application for appointment as District Judge in the Eighth Judicial District, in particular the position currently held by District Judge Julie Macek, who is retiring because of a head injury. I have come to know Elizabeth as a both a trial attorney representing clients from juveniles to elderly, in all areas of the law from criminal matters to very complex civil litigation. Additionally, I had direct experience with her as member of the Montana Board of Labor appeals. She and the panel did not rule in favor of my client but she did impress me with her temperament, preparation and ability to listen and understand my client’s position. Elizabeth has demonstrated her commitment to the law and the profession throughout her career. She is an active trial attorney, teacher and acted in a judicial capacity at the Board of Labor appeals and State Fund. She has been involved in rule making on the Supreme Court Commissions on Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure, and on the US District Court’s District of Montana Local Rules Committee. We as a Bar, and as citizens, are very fortunate to have someone of Elizabeth’s character and capacity, willing and able to serve as District Judge. Thank you for your consideration and selection of Elizabeth as District Judge in the Eighth Judicial District.
—Francis J. Sweeney
I write to recommend Elizabeth Best for retiring Judge Macek’s District Court bench. It is uncommon to have a judicial candidate with such sterling credentials. Ms. Best has a rare
combination of trial experience, management skills and legal expertise. As a former president of our local chapter of ABOTA and a 30 plus year trial lawyer, I have appeared in front of trial judges in jurisdictions all over the country. Truly the difference between justice and disorganized fiasco comes down to one component: the judge, and his or her experience and temperament. Ms. Best has both, and would be a spectacular addition to the bench. I heartily endorse her for the post.
—Paula Sweeney, Slack & Davis
I am writing this letter in support of the application of Elizabeth Best for the 8th Judicial District Court Judge. I have served with Great Falls Fire/ Rescue since 1989 and have been a Captain for over 16 years, and have represented all of Montana’s Fire Fighters at the State Legislature since 1999. I have known all of the current and past, Cascade County’s
District Court Judges for over twenty years now in some capacity or another, and I believe Elizabeth would do a fine job in fulfilling the unexpired term of Judge Julie Macek.
—Douglas H. Neil, Captain, Gt. Falls Fire/Rescue
I am pleased to be writing this letter on behalf of Elizabeth Best and her interest in being appointed to fill the Honorable Judge Julie Macek’s position when she retires. I have known Elizabeth for approximately 12 years. My experiences with Beth have been positive and she has shown me a woman of great character in both her professional and personal lives. I know she is well respected by her peers and citizens alike from all over the State of Montana. I also admire her for her ethics and her commitment to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Montana. Elizabeth has a passion for the law and the ethics to be fair. As the Sheriff of Cascade County, it is my opinion that
Elizabeth Best would add to an already strong and ethical 8th Judicial Court. Please consider Elizabeth Best as the next District Court Judge for the 8th Judicial Court of Montana.
—Bob Edwards, Sheriff Coroner, Cascade County, Montana
Since 1985, when I was admitted to practice law in Montana, I have paid attention to the cases tried in our state and noticed early on that Elizabeth Best had the courage and ability to tackle difficult cases that typically involved alleged violations of the U.S. and Montana Constitutions. Since 2002, when I was elected to the position of District Judge for the Seventh Judicial District, Department 2, I paid even closer attention to pending and completed Montana cases and had occasion to preside over a case with constitutional claims in which Elizabeth Best was the attorney for a litigant. Presiding over that litigation gave me the opportunity to assess directly the qualities and traits Elizabeth Best has developed that would make her an excellent judge. Even when the written and oral presentation became heated, Elizabeth Best demonstrated she has the temperament necessary for a good judge. She was patient, tactful, courteous, but firm and direct. When I critiqued her summary of the holding of a case, she revealed both open-mindedness in listening to a contrary view of a holding and keen analytical ability in explaining her differing view. Never once did I observe Elizabeth Best act pompous; instead, she appeared to be genuinely humble. She was consistently punctual with submitting briefs and proposed orders and appearing for hearings. You could tell she listened to her clients and had compassion for them but could control them well even in an emotional setting. Most of all, Elizabeth Best displayed great courage. Few attorneys in our state have the guts to assume the risks and do the legwork to uphold the rights our U.S. and Montana Constitutions afford us. Elizabeth has proven she has the courage, and I have no doubt that she would rely upon that courage as a judge to make the difficult decisions that we judges regularly face. She would consider the law rather than bow down to pressures to follow popular opinion. It is my honor to support the nomination of Elizabeth Allaire Best to fill the vacancy in the Eighth Judicial District. She would be a great judge.
—Katherine M. Bidegaray
I am writing this letter in support of Elizabeth Best to be appointed to the vacated position of District Court Judge Julie Macek. I have been a Police Officer wi h the City of Great Falls for 35 years. Twenty of those 35 years I served in the position of Police Chief. During that tenure I was able to observe her compassion, knowledge, experience and commitment. I believe Elizabeth Best is an excellent individual that can be an assist to the position. She will bring experience in both criminal and civil law and the highest degree of personal integrity. I strongly support her nomination to be the next Eighth Judicial District Judge.
—Robert G. Jones, Great Falls Chief of Police (retired)
I am writing to recommend Mrs. Elizabeth Best for the Eighth Judicial District Court seat being vacated by Julie Macek. I have known Beth for over 25 years. There is no one who has greater integrity, honesty and dedication. Beth has been a friend of education as long as I have known her. She has donated generously to Mountain View School where I am the principal. She served on the school board in Centerville and has supported public education in many ways over the years. I know Beth will do an excellent job as a judge. She is fair, honest, hard-working and level headed. Beth has common sense! I urge you to give Beth your full and serious consideration for appointment to Judge Macek’s seat.
I am contacting you in support of Elizabeth Best for the current vacancy for district judge in the Eighth Judicial District. I have known Ms. Best since graduation from UM Law in 1994. She has been an extraordinary mentor and friend to me over the years. Ms. Best’s ethical standards are beyond reproach and her work ethic is legendary. She also has a calm
demeanor which will translate well into her role as a district court judge. Her intelligence and litigation experience will also enable her to be an effective district judge from the very first day. Before practicing in Montana, Ms. Best served as a Captain in the United States Army and worked as a JAG prosecutor. She also taught the law of war and helped soldiers and their families with their legal problems. When she began practicing in Montana she did some appointed criminal defense work in federal court and also represented juveniles on a pro bono basis. This varied criminal law experience will serve her well as a district court judge. Thank you for considering Ms. Best. The Eighth Judicial District will be well served if Ms. Best is chosen as the next district court judge.
—Julianne C. Burkhardt