Kalispell Attorney Recommended for Federal Judgeship

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell attorney Dana Christensen has been recommended for consideration as a candidate to replace U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula.

The 59-year-old Christensen confirmed Friday he is under consideration but said he could not comment further, other than to say it is “a tremendous honor.”

He is the lone recommendation from a five-attorney panel selected by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Christensen’s name has been forwarded to President Barack Obama, who will nominate a judge candidate for consideration by the full Senate.

Molloy announced in December he would retire in August and begin senior status.

Attorneys who have practiced law with Christensen, as well as Montana’s two other federal judges, say the experienced attorney is well-suited for a federal judgeship.

“There is not a better prospect in this entire state,” said Richard Cebull of Billings, the chief U.S. judge for the District of Montana who was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2001. “He’s an outstanding lawyer. He’s been an outstanding trial lawyer in civil cases for over 30 years that I’ve known him.”

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon of Great Falls said few attorneys can match Christensen’s resume, which includes membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only group of trial attorneys whose membership is limited to 1 percent of the bar.

“He’s a good lawyer, a good man and, in my opinion, ethically totally qualified,” Haddon said. “If he is confirmed by the Senate and becomes a justice of our court, the district will be well served to have him, and I personally would look forward to working with him.”

Haddon also was nominated by President Bush in 2001.

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