By John S. Adams, Great Falls Tribune
HELENA — Great Falls attorney Elizabeth Best announced Thursday that she plans to seek the Montana Supreme Court seat left open by Justice James Nelson’s retirement.
Best said she is running for the state Supreme Court, “because I believe in public service, and access to justice for every person, as guaranteed by our constitution.”
Best, who along with her husband runs a law practice in Great Falls, touted her varied legal experience as an asset to the bench if she is elected to the high court.
“I have prosecuted cases. I’ve worked on divorces. I’ve done adoptions. I’ve tried cases from both sides. I’ve done land disputes and family disputes,” Best said.
She also touted her public service. She served six year on the Centerville Schools Board of Trustees, and also served as chair of the Montana Board of Labor Appeals. She currently serves as chair of the Montana State Fund Board.
“I bring perspective and I have a strong belief in public service and constitutional right of access to justice,” Best said. “I think I can serve Montana and its citizens well.”
Best, a 1974 C.M. Russell High School graduate, earned her undergraduate degree at Montana State University in Bozeman. She went on to earn her law degree from the University of Montana School of Law in 1981.
Best met her husband, Mike Best, while in law school.
After finishing law school, Elizabeth and Mike Best both served in the U.S. Army, at which time they were stationed in Germany. There, Best prosecuted crimes, provided legal services to soldiers and taught the law of war to soldiers.
After returning from the Army in 1984, Best clerked for U.S. District Judge Paul Hatfield in Great Falls before opening a private practice with her husband.
The Bests have been in private practice together ever since.
Best and her husband raised two children, Matthew and Sydney, on their small family ranch in the Eden area, south of Great Falls.