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State v. Carnes

State v. Carnes, 2015 MT 101 (April 14, 2015) (Rice, J.; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (5-2, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred by failing to instruct the jury that the state was required to prove mental state for every element of the offense.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed & remanded

Facts: After Carnes and his girlfriend had an argument, Carnes packed and left the house. While he was outside, two deputies arrived in response to a domestic disturbance call from the residence. They did not use emergency lights, and pursuant to standard procedure, parked on the street and approached with flashlights. They were dressed in uniform. Without identifying themselves, they asked Carnes to step back from a truck that was running.…

Estate of Lawlor

Estate of Lawlor, 2015 MT 54 (Feb. 24, 2015) (Wheat, J.; McKinnon, J. dissenting) (5-2, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that Audrey lacked standing to contest Dennis’s will, and (2) whether the district court erred in determining that Audrey lacked standing to petition for the removal of the PR for cause.

Short Answer: (1) yes, and (2) no.

Reversed on (1), affirmed on (2)

Facts: Dennis Lawlor executed a will on Dec. 6, 2012, and died the next day. He had no children, and was survived by three siblings, Antoinette, Mary, and John. His sister Joan predeceased him, and was survived by her daughter, Audrey, and Audrey’s son, John. The will devised all of Dennis’s estate to his living sisters, Antoinette and Mary.…

Milky Whey, Inc. v. Dairy Partners, LLC

Milky Whey, Inc. v. Dairy Partners, LLC, 2015 MT 18 (Jan. 27, 2015) (Baker, J.; McGrath, C.J., dissenting) (5-2, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether seller’s notice of appearance was responsive pleading barring it from subsequently raising lack of personal jurisdiction; (2) whether Montana had personal jurisdiction over seller.

Short Answer: (1) No; and (2) no.


Facts: Milky Whey (MW) is registered Montana corporation based in Missoula, supplying food manufacturers with dairy commodities. Dairy Partners (DP) is a dairy supply company in Minnesota that sells products to brokers like MW. From 2010-2013, MW and DP completed nine purchase orders via phone, fax, or email. Most involved DP contacting MW in Montana.

On Jan. 23, 2013, DP prepaid $12,500 to buy 10,000 lbs.…

Dvorak v. State Fund

Dvorak v. State Fund, 2013 MT 210 (July 30, 2013) (5-2) (Cotter, J., for the majority, Rice, J., dissenting)

Issue: Whether the Workers’ Compensation Court properly granted summary judgment to the State Fund after concluding Dvorak’s claim for occupational disease benefits was barred by the 12-month statute of limitations in § 39-71-601(3), MCA.

Short Answer: No.

Reversed and remanded

State v. Cline

State v. Cline, 2013 MT 188 (July 15, 2013) (5-2) (Morris, J., for the majority; Cotter, J. & McKinnon, J. dissenting)

Issue: Whether the state charge of theft by common scheme was an “equivalent offense” barred by the double jeopardy statute.

Short Answer: No.