Attorneys and Staff

Attorneys


Hannah S. Cail
Attorney, Rural Incubator Program for Lawyers Coordinator

Hannah Cail graduated from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law in 2016.  Before starting at MLSA, Hannah clerked for the Hon. Jim Shea of the Montana Supreme Court.  During law school, Hannah received the Margery Hunter Brown Assistantship that led her to prepare a proposal to start a rural legal incubator that would train new attorneys to start solo practices and connect them with clients in need of legal services.  Hannah is passionate about innovating for the future of law practice in Montana and teaching others how to effectively use technology.


Kallie Dale-Ramos
Attorney, Medical Legal Partnership

Kallie Dale-Ramos received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2015.  While at UT, Ms. Dale-Ramos represented clients during immigration proceedings and served as a human rights law scholar. Before starting at MLSA, Ms. Dale-Ramos was a legal fellow at the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, advocating for legal reforms to increase tribal sovereignty in cases of violence against women.


Diana E. Garrett
Supervising Attorney, Domestic Violence Law
Law School Clinical Supervisor

Diana E. Garrett is the Supervising Attorney for MLSA’s Domestic Violence Practice Group and she also supervises a clinical program for the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. Ms. Garrett received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and received her J.D. in 2002 from the University of Montana School of Law (now the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana). Ms. Garrett is based in MLSA’s Missoula office and serves on the Montana Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, the Planet Kids Supervised Visitation Center Advisory Council, the Legal Issues Committee of the Ravalli County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the JUST RESPONSE (Missoula Justice System Coordinated Team Response to Intimate Partner Violence).


Amy Hall
Supervising Attorney, Housing Law

Amy Hall is MLSA's housing specialist and farm worker attorney. She also has experience representing domestic violence survivors. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. Before coming to MLSA, Ms. Hall worked at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., primarily in housing and farmworker law. Ms. Hall was recognized by the Montana Justice Foundation as one of its 2014 Champions of Justice, awarded for her extraordinary efforts on behalf of equal justice.


Beth Hayes
Attorney, Montana Consumer Protection Project

Beth Hayes received her J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in 2009. Ms. Hayes has previously worked with the Foreclosure Assistance Program, as a Triage Staff Attorney and an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow at MLSA. She also currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD), and plays trumpet in the Missoula City Band and Missoula Community Concert Band.


Ed Higgins
Attorney, Triage

Ed Higgins received his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in 2000. After earning his law degree, he served as Judicial Staff Attorney to the Honorable John W. Larson. Mr. Higgins has been with MLSA since 2001 and has previously served as a Managing Attorney and Staff Attorney.

Mr. Higgins serves as a Volunteer Mediator at the Community Dispute Resolution Center of Missoula, where he is also a member of the Board of Directors. Additionally, he is the Vice Chair of the Western Montana Bar Association Pro Bono Committee, a member of the Missoula County Foster Care Review Board, and a member of the Montana Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission's Committee on Self Represented Litigants.

In 2016, Mr. Higgins received the George L. Bousliman Professionalism Award from the Montana State Bar. The Bousliman award recognizes lawyers who have established a reputation for professionalism and have demonstrated extraordinary professionalism by contributing time and resources to public service, public education, charitable or pro bono activities, and encouraging respect for the law and our legal system by making the legal system more accessible and responsive.


Bob LaRoche
Volunteer Attorney, Public Benefits Law

Bob LaRoche received his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in 1969. He has been working at MLSA since 1976, and had previously worked for MLSA from 1969-1973 as well.


Eleanor Maloney
Attorney, Domestic Violence Law

Eleanor Andersen Maloney received her Juris Doctor from the University of Montana School of Law in 2012. Eleanor is an Attorney for MLSA’s Domestic Violence Practice Group based at the Community Support Center in Dillon.  Ms. Maloney received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Montana Tech.  She also completed coursework for a degree in Liberal Studies, and a certificate in Chemical Dependency Counseling.  Before coming to MLSA, Eleanor worked as an associate in a small firm, a Public Defender, an Assistant Attorney General, and a Senior Deputy County Attorney.


Katy A. Reed
Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow

Katy A. Reed is a Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow. Ms. Reed received her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana. Her prior experience includes representing indigent defendants, working with survivors of violence on immigration issues, and advocating for low-income clients in housing and consumer law. Ms. Reed has also assisted incarcerated mothers with family law and interned with the Innocence Project Northwest. Prior to law school, Ms. Reed served as an AmeriCorps Justice for Montanans member at MLSA where she coordinated a pro bono program.


Heidi Sanders
Attorney, MT VLAN

Heidi Sanders was recently added to Montana Legal Services Association’s Victim Legal Assistance Network. As staff attorney, she is assisting victims of crime who face civil legal issues. Ms. Sanders is a 2016 graduate of the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law. She comes to MLSA from a clerkship with the Honorable Amy Eddy, 11th Judicial District Court judge.

Before attending law school, Ms. Sanders worked as a victim advocate serving survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Shewas raised in Helena and is excited to be living and practicing in her hometown.


Kathryn Seaton
Attorney, Indian Law

Kathryn Seaton received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2016. During law school Ms. Seaton interned at Iowa Legal Aid where she worked directly with clients who had experienced domestic violence. Most recently, she was a legal intern at the Montana Supreme Court where she worked for Justice Beth Baker on Access to Justice Commission projects, including the Public Forum Series on access to justice issues as well as drafting a Forum Report summarizing the findings of that series to use in future advocacy efforts.  


Lindsey Simon
Attorney, Public Benefits Law & Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

Lindsey Simon received her J.D. from the University of Idaho in 2008 and her LL.M. from the University of Washington in 2010. In law school, Ms. Simon interned in public defenders offices at both the county and state level in law school, and after graduating she spent one year as a research and writing attorney with the Federal Defenders of Idaho. Mostly recently, Ms. Simon was in private practice in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for six years, primarily focusing on real estate and commercial law litigation and transactions.

In 2012, Ms. Simon received the Denise O’Donnell Day Award from the Idaho State Bar for her pro bono representation of a single father who ultimately obtained a paternity order and award of primary custody of his child, over the mother’s assertions that he was not the biological father.


Erick Valencia
Attorney, Agricultural Worker Program

Erick Valencia received his J.D. from Alexander Blewett III School of Law in 2017. During law school, Erick helped families apply for asylum, interned with the ACLU of Montana and served on its board, worked on consumer protection issues with Montana's Office of Consumer Protection, and worked as an Agricultural Worker outreach intern with MLSA. Prior to law school, he served as an AmeriCorps member with MLSA's Foreclosure Assistance Program for two years.


Louis C. Villemez
Deputy Director for Advocacy, Supervising Attorney, Victim Rights

Lou Villemez graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993 and spent the next 12 years as a Legal Aid attorney, first with Rappahannock Legal Services in Fredericksburg, Virginia and then with Montana Legal Services in Browning and Cut Bank.  From 2005 through 2016 Lou worked for Montana’s Area Agencies on Aging, through the DPHHS Legal Service Developer where he specialized in Elder Law, and he also contracted a diverse caseload with the Office of the Public Defender.  Lou is married with five children, and he enjoys bird hunting, flyfishing, and motorcycles.


Staff

Administration

Dee Burnham – Accounting Technician

Shannon Fleetwood – Accounting Technician

Tim Frederick – IT Support Specialist

Emma O'Neil – Development Associate

Krista Partridge – Administrative Assistant

Advocacy

Anna Chithelen – Legal Assistant

Monte Cole – Legal Assistant

Yvonne Johnson – Program Assistant

Erica Thomas – Program Assistant

Levi Vigneron – Legal Assistant

Angie Wagenhals – Pro Bono Coordinator

Community Engagement

Alex Clark – Community Outreach Assistant

Mel Fisher – Project Coordinator

Melissa Magnuson – Victim Rights Intake Navigator

Hilary Oitzinger – Intake Specialist

Tracie Poindexter – Program Administrator

Mēghan Scott – AmeriCorps Coordinator

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