Mark Shelton F. Williams is a fourth-generation Montanan and third-generation Montana lawyer. He was raised in Missoula and graduated from Middlebury College. Mark worked for two years in New York's financial district and then graduated with honors from the University of Montana School of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Montana Law Review and was elected Graduate of the Year by the legal fraternity Phi Delta Phi.
Following law school Mark served as a federal judicial clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Denver. He now practices throughout Montana handling civil trials and appeals involving tort and contract claims, medical malpractice defense, products liability, insurance coverage issues and commercial litigation. He has successfully tried dozens of cases in state and federal courts and has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He was selected to the International Association of Defense Counsel and Mountain States Super Lawyers, and was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mark has served as the Montana president of ABOTA, which is an invitation-only organization for senior trial attorneys with extensive jury trial experience. Mark was also inducted into the International Society of Barristers.
In addition, Mark has taught future lawyers as adjunct professor of insurance law at the University of Montana School of Law, and currently serves on the school’s Advisory Board. He also serves on the Providence St. Patrick Hospital board of directors, and previously served on the boards of the Montana Justice Foundation, Montana Defense Trial Lawyers and Missoula Catholic Schools.
Susan Moriarity Miltko is a fourth-generation Montanan who was raised in Missoula and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and international relations.
From 1991 to 1992 she served as a Jesuit volunteer teaching school to disabled children in Mobile, Alabama. She then attended Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, receiving her J.D. degree in 1995. While in law school Susan served as an articles editor for the Northwestern University Law Review, which published her article on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. She also served as an intern in the American Dental Association's Department of Legal Affairs.
Susan's areas of practice include general negligence and tort litigation, professional malpractice, construction litigation, commercial litigation, governmental liability, insurance coverage and defense of insurance bad faith. She has successfully tried many cases in state and federal courts.
Susan is active in several community organizations. She has served on the board of directors for Watson Children's Shelter, Missoula Catholic Schools (currently chairperson), Montana State Bar New Lawyers Section (president) and the finance committee at St. Francis Xavier Church. In addition she is an active member of the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Association. Susan enjoys spending time with her family – especially when that includes skiing, hiking and entertaining.
Nicholas J. Pagnotta is a fourth-generation Montanan specializing in complex civil litigation, including professional liability, product liability, construction defect, insurance coverage and litigation, trucking liability, and personal injury and wrongful death. He grew up in Bozeman and Billings, and received a B.S. from Montana State University. He received his J.D. from the University of Montana in 2003. During law school he was a member of the National Moot Court Team and clerked at Williams Law Firm. After law school Nick practiced in San Diego, where he focused on insurance litigation, and real estate errors and omissions defense. He returned to Montana in 2007.
Nick is admitted to the state bars of Montana and California, the U.S. District Courts of Montana, Southern California and North Dakota, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. Nick has tried numerous cases in California and throughout Montana, and has appeared and argued appeals before the Montana Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit on behalf of parties and as amicus counsel. He has received the highest rating of AV from Martindale-Hubbell. Nick manages the firm’s Bozeman office.
Nick has served on the board of directors and as president (2017-2018) of the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers. He is actively involved in the Defense Research Institute, and has been selected as a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. In 2019, Nick was admitted as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
Amanda was raised in Helena, Montana. She graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A in English and Secondary Education in 2000 and received her J.D. in 2004 from the University of Montana School of Law. During law school she clerked at Williams Law Firm and also interned at Montana Legal Services representing clients in family law matters. Amanda’s practice includes construction defect litigation, personal injury, wrongful discharge, insurance coverage, general negligence and tort litigation as well as commercial litigation. She is admitted to the State Bar of Montana and the U.S. District Court of the District of Montana. Amanda has received the highest rating of AV from Martindale-Hubbell.
Amanda is a member of the Women’s Law Section of the Montana State Bar and has been an active participant in the Women’s Law Caucus mentorship program. Amanda is a member of the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers Association and has represented clients in all aspects of civil litigation.
Outside the office, Amanda enjoys skiing and spending time with her family.
Jim Johnson joined Williams Law Firm in 2004 shortly after his admittance to the bars of the state of Montana, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His areas of practice include insurance law, complex civil litigation, wrongful death, construction defects, products liability, employment law and appellate practice. He regularly practices in both Montana state and federal courts, including having successfully handled multiple appeals before the Montana Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Jim grew up in Helena and graduated from Helena High School and attended the University of Montana. He received his B.A. with majors in political science and art in 2000 and his J.D. degree from the University of Montana School of Law in 2004. During law school he was the executive editor of the Montana Law Review and interned with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana.
In his free time he enjoys cooking and spending time with his family and friends, especially when they’re outside enjoying our great state.
Peter Ivins joined the firm as an associate in 2013. His practice focuses on civil litigation, including general negligence, construction disputes, professional liability, and insurance coverage matters.
Peter received his B.A. from Utah State University and his J.D. with honors from the University of Montana School of Law. While in law school, Peter clerked for the Williams Law Firm and interned with the Honorable Dana L. Christensen. He also enjoyed serving as an editor on the Montana Law Review. Peter is admitted to the bars of the state of Montana and the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.
Outside of work, Peter enjoys fly-fishing, rafting, golfing and skiing throughout Montana.
Alex Tsomaya grew up in eastern Montana. He attended Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where he played baseball for four years and received a B.S. in business administration in 2011. In 2014, Alex received his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law, graduating with honors. While in law school, Alex interned for the Office of the Federal Defender and clerked for Williams Law Firm. After law school Alex practiced in Bismarck, North Dakota, in a regional firm's litigation department. Alex is admitted to the bars of Montana and North Dakota, and he is a member of the Defense Research Institute.
Alex handles complex coverage matters in state and federal courts, and has litigated coverage cases in both Montana and North Dakota. Alex’s coverage experience includes CGL commercial business liability insurance, homeowner’s insurance, motor vehicle coverage and first-party claims, stacking litigation, disability insurance, advance payment litigation, and ERISA employee pension fund law. In addition to his coverage work, Alex has defended bad faith and Unfair Trade Practices Act claims. Alex’s practice also involves civil litigation – including personal injury litigation, construction litigation and aviation litigation. Alex’s trial experience includes to jury verdict, both in federal and state jury trials. He has also successfully argued before state and federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. .
In his spare time, Alex enjoys the outdoors.
Jesse C. Medearis grew up on a ranch near the small eastern Montana town of Ismay, or as some know it, Joe Montana. After graduating Baker High School, Jesse attended the University of Montana – Western in Dillon where he received degrees in business administration and global politics. While there, he spent a year on the basketball team but soon learned his true passion was rodeo. Jesse finished out his college career on the rodeo team. During that time he won the Big Sky Region and qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in tie-down roping. Before deciding to attend law school, Jesse spent his time working in the roustabout, pipe-lining and environmental sides of the oilfields industry in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
In 2018, he received his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law. During law school he was an editor on the Montana Law Review, an intern for the United States Attorney’s Office, and a law clerk for Williams Law Firm.
In Jesse's free time you can find him in the rodeo arena during the summer, skiing in the winter, and spending time with his girlfriend, their dog, Lulu, and his three horses in the beautiful Bridger Mountains.
Tyler C. Smith was born and raised in Missoula and graduated from Sentinel High School in 2007. After attending the University of Washington for two years, Tyler transferred to the University of Montana and graduated in 2011 with honors. Tyler then moved to Houston where he investigated damaged utility claims for a utility contracting company.
After his time in Houston, Tyler attended the Gonzaga University School of Law, and received his Juris Doctorate in December 2015. He was admitted to practice law in Montana and the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in 2016. Tyler has worked in a variety of practice areas including personal injury defense, construction litigation, insurance coverage, real estate transactions, and several other areas of law. Tyler currently serves on the board of directors for the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers.
In his free time Tyler enjoys spending time with his wife, their two sons, and their two dogs. He also enjoys fly-fishing, snowboarding, playing sports and cheering on his favorite sports teams.
Shelton C. "Mike" Williams was the founding partner of Williams Law Firm. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1963 and then followed in his father’s footsteps at the University of Montana School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Montana Law Review. He graduated first in his class in 1966. Mike worked as a law clerk to Chief Judge Walter Pope at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He taught courses in insurance law and remedies as an adjunct professor at UM Law School. He tried well over 100 civil jury trials and he served on many boards of directors and was selected to several honorary societies, including the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
Hilde was raised in Great Falls, Montana. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Montana in 1987. Hilde started her legal career in 1987, and joined our firm in 1990. She achieved her National Paralegal Certification in 1993. She has extensive experience in civil litigation including medical malpractice and personal injury cases.
Deborah Linz grew up in Superior, Montana. Prior to joining Williams Law Firm in 2015, Deborah was employed for over 15 years as an insurance agent. Due to that experience, she enjoys the complexity of insurance defense litigation.
Deborah is an outdoor enthusiast who loves the backcountry of Montana.