A Note from Mike McGrath

It is hard to believe that it has been more than eight years since I first became a candidate for Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court.

Being Chief Justice has been a great experience and a position I have enjoyed. With your help, I would like the opportunity to serve a second term.

At the Court, we have made significant progress in the past few years. Our caseload has become, and remains, current. People with cases before the Court no longer have to wait excessive months, or even years, before their disputes are resolved at the Supreme Court. We are also making progress at reducing the time it takes to decide cases at the district court level.

We have expanded access to courts for Montanans who have been unable to afford an attorney or find an attorney that is willing to take their case. Expanding self-help centers to most courthouses has allowed people to access the courts for some routine legal matters on their own, without an attorney. And we have developed modern rules of procedure that allow attorneys to provide assistance for people with more complicated legal problems in a more strategic, but limited manner.

Drug courts are one of the most effective methods states have to keep families together and return many people who have committed crimes to contributing members of the community. We have expanded the use of treatment courts across this state, diverting more people from prison and placing fewer children in foster care. Our youth courts have also been very effective at keeping our young people in our communities and out of Pine Hills or expensive out-of-state treatment facilities.

There are many challenges facing Montana’s court system. Our caseloads are rising drastically, more and more people are trying to access the courts themselves without necessary legal assistance and more children than ever have their family life in crisis and are being required to be placed in foster care.

With your help, I would like to continue to address these challenges as Chief Justice.

Chief Justice McGrath Files for Re-Election to the Montana Supreme Court

Thursday, February 11, 2016

McGrath Seeks Re-Election to a Second Term on Montana’s Highest Court

MONTANA -- Mike McGrath, Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court, filed the necessary paperwork today with the Office of the Secretary of State of Montana in order to be on the 2016 election ballots. He seeks re-election to serve a second term as Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. 

"I’m honored to have served the people of Montana as Chief Justice,” McGrath said.  “If Montana’s voters allow me the privilege of a second term, I look forward to building on the success we have had these past few years.” 

            Regarding his successful leadership of the Montana Supreme Court, Chief Justice McGrath referred to a recent survey of legal professionals: 

·         85% of respondents agreed that the Supreme Court is doing a good job;  

·         92% agreed that the Montana Supreme Court completes its overall workload in a timely manner; and, 

·         94% of judges responded that Montana Supreme Court decisions are based on facts and applicable law. 

“I am proud of our accomplishments these past few years and look forward to facing new challenges in the future,” Chief Justice McGrath said.  “The Courts are challenged with rapidly increasing caseloads.  Many of our citizens have difficulty accessing the justice system, posing challenges that I am committed to addressing in a second term.” 

McGrath was first elected Chief Justice in 2008, following two terms as Montana Attorney General. He was elected to five terms as Lewis and Clark County Attorney, starting in 1982.  McGrath and his wife Joy live in Helena. They have two married sons and four grandchildren. 


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