De Die In Diem

February 2020
Next Luncheon and CLE

Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Noon
Florence Building, Second Floor

Michelle Badaruddin, Melissa Hartigan, and Katie Lacny
Pro Se Litigants in the Federal Courts
President's Message from Beth Hayes
It’s not your problem; it’s your client’s problem.”

This is a phrase I have often heard over the years since becoming a lawyer. I think it is meant to remind us that the legal issue we disagree with opposing counsel about isn’t our issue. We should not mistake our differing opinions with
opposing counsel in the case as our individual conflict, and we shouldn’t get personal in the back-and-forth.
Much easier said than done, right? Of course, it makes sense that our divorce client’s legal problem is not our legal problem on a personal level. When our work day is done, we go home and can leave the work and the problems behind . . . or can we?

I have experienced challenges over the years in disconnecting from work at times. I often represent clients who are experiencing a great deal of trauma in their lives, which is not always a direct part of their legal issue. But there have been times when I have been deeply affected by my work with these clients after I leave the office. It has only been in the past few years that attorneys have started to talk about this type of experience—secondary trauma.

Secondary trauma is a relatively new concept, at least in name.  Secondary trauma is sometimes called vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, or secondary stress reaction. Secondary trauma is when the stress of working with a client experiencing personal trauma begins to interfere with the lawyer’s professional or personal life. According to the American Bar Association, lawyers in certain practice areas, such as criminal, family, or juvenile law, might be particularly susceptible to
secondary trauma, due to the higher rates of trauma in these cases. But all of us can experience this, and the best way to address it initially is awareness.

Some symptoms of secondary trauma include having client and work demands regularly encroach on personal time; feeling overwhelmed and physically and emotionally exhausted; having disturbing images from cases intrude into thoughts and dreams; and becoming pessimistic, cynical, irritable, and prone to anger. This list is not exhaustive. But it’s a good starting point to use to check in with ourselves regularly. Awareness is the first step in understanding what we might be experiencing. It is also important to debrief with coworkers who understand what you deal with.

As we move about our very busy days, let’s all remember to take some time to check in on how we are experiencing the traumas of our clients. We will all be better lawyers for it.
Please join us for our February luncheon—Pro Se Litigants in Federal Courts, presented by federal staff attorneys Michelle Badaruddin, Melissa Hartigan, and Katie Lacny -- Thursday, February 20 at 12:00 p.m. in the Florence Building. Please RSVP to by Wednesday, February 19 at noon.
Please join us for the following events sponsored by the WMBA 

March 26, 2020*
March Luncheon and CLE
Speaker TBA

April 17, 2020**
WMBA Spring CLE 
Fourth Judicial District Court Judges
Tim Strauch

May 21, 2020
May Luncheon and CLE
Hon. Dana Christensen
Federal Court Update

WMBA Luncheons are the third Thursday of each month at 12:00 p.m. in the President's Room at the Florence Building. Cost is $15 for WMBA members; $20 for non-members.

Please RSVP by the Tuesday prior at 5:00 to or by clicking below.

* Special date due to Spring Break.

** Pricing and programming to be announced.
Upcoming Courthouse CLE Opportunities

The Current Status of the Due Process Right to Present Defense in Criminal Trials, With Special Reference to Certain Montana Evidence Statutes.

Wade Boggs, Esq.

Friday, February 28, 2020
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Missoula County Courthouse, Sophie Moise Room
(Pine Street Entrance, Opposite Liquid Planet Coffee Bar)
Free - No Registration Required

Family Trauma and the Court System

Loraine Bond, Social Worker; Gail Bourguignon, Assistant Public Defender; Hon. Karen Townsend, Retired District Court Judge

The presentation will review the results of a study of over 17,000 adults that proved with scientific evidence that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have a negative impact on adult health and behavior. Adverse Childhood Experiences impact families across generations, and yet, many parents do not understand that their own parents’ behaviors and punishment techniques can be detrimental to their adult physical and mental health. Helping parents understand the impact their childhood has had on their own lives can be a very effective way to encourage them to learn and apply positive parenting. Participants will examine how trauma plays out in the parties’ experience of the legal process, including child welfare, juvenile delinquency and family law cases, and how this information can guide us in our interactions and representation of parents and children. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation.
Friday, March 6, 2020
Noon-1:00 p.m.

Missoula County Courthouse, Sophie Moise Room
(Pine Street Entrance, Opposite Liquid Planet Coffee Bar)
Free - No Registration Required
2020 International Negotiation Competition

WMBA members may have already heard that the ABIII Law School will be hosting the 2020 International Negotiation Competition this summer.  This is very exciting! Never in the 22+ year history of the INC has the competition been held at a law school the size of Montana’s or in a city with fewer than 1.2 million people. Truly, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for Missoula, the Law School, and Montana. 

The Law School’s Negotiation Team has a long and impressive history and a reputation for excellence. In 11 appearances at US national competition, the Negotiation Team has twice advanced to the international event, first in Calgary in 2003, and again in Oslo in 2017. In Oslo, the UM Team garnered third place in the world. The INC brings together law student teams, national representatives, and families from more than 30 countries, including Brazil, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Germany, and more. An integral part of this world-class event is a CLE Masters Class for law students, lawyers, mediators, and judge featuring a renowned faculty.

The Montana Competition is scheduled for July 7-11, 2020, at the Law School. Klaus Sitte, who coached the team for nearly 30 years, is leading the Missoula INC Organizing Team. The committee has been working hard to plan competition events, venues, and ceremonies. To ensure this is truly a world-class event, the Organizing Team needs to raise $25,000 for competition expenses.

If you or your firm make a gift of $500 or more, you will be recognized as an INC sponsor. Any amount will help, and we really do appreciate your support. Please contact Klaus at for details or if you'd like to help.
Pro Bono Update

Pro Bono services provided in January 2020:
  • 2 pro bono referrals were placed in January
  • 15 clients are scheduled for the February 5th Free Family Law Clinic
  • 8 clients were served at the January 15th Free Family Law Clinic
  • 2 clients were awaiting pro bono placement
  • 30 attorneys have active pro bono cases

To volunteer, please contact Akemi Nakagawa, Justice for Montanans Member, or 543-8343, ext. 207.
Have you renewed your enrollment with the WMBA?

Membership year is September 1 to August 31. Dues are $25 per attorney. Click below to access a printable application. You can return the form with payment at our next Luncheon or by US Mail.
Print Membership Application
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The Western Montana Bar Association (“WMBA”) periodically emails attorneys and other interested parties regarding upcoming events. To balance providing notice of relevant events while at the same time avoiding clogging our members' inboxes, effective October 15, 2016, the WMBA will send email announcements to its members for non-WMBA events on the first and third Monday of each month (if requested), and only for events that are not for profit and that promote the mission of the WMBA as approved by the Board. These announcements can also be included in the WMBA’s monthly newsletter. For all other events, ad space can be purchased in the WMBA’s monthly newsletter. If you are not receiving announcements, please contact the current President, Beth Hayes: If you would like to inquire about purchasing ad space in the WMBA’s newsletter, please the current Secretary, Travis Dye: 
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