Practice Areas

Our attorneys are experienced litigators and trial attorneys. We provide representation in complex, document-intensive, multi-party litigation, as well as the garden variety case. We have litigated and tried cases, both bench trials and jury trials, in Montana state and federal courts. We also work with out-of-state counsel in representing businesses and individuals in Montana courts. Our general litigation practice includes the specific practice areas listed below in addition to administrative litigation, commercial litigation, complex litigation, punitive damages cases and wrongful death and survival actions.

Appellate Practice
We have a well-established appellate practice, including appeals to the Montana Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. We handle appeals of cases litigated by other law firms as well as appeals of cases we have litigated. We provide advice during all phases of the appeal process and are experienced in issues concerning amicus curiae, bonding, appellate mediation, interlocutory appeals and original writs.
Construction Defect Litigation
Our attorneys represent architects, builders, contractors, engineers, manufacturers and property owners in litigation involving construction defects, negligent construction, indemnification, and other contractual matters. Our scope of practice includes both residential and commercial real property and all phases of development from the planning stage to construction and occupancy. We provide guidance and legal advice on the remedies and defenses available under Montana and federal law.
Environmental Contamination Litigation
Our attorneys are experienced in litigating environmental contamination cases in Montana state and federal courts and before local, state and federal administrative bodies. We have litigated cases of contamination from asbestos, chemical spills, oil, pesticides and petroleum in addition to landfill cases. We have the litigation skills and depth needed to represent clients in the complex, time-sensitive and document-intensive legal matters which arise from environmental contamination. Other legal claims, in addition to environmental contamination, which may also be brought include negligence, nuisance and trespass, and we provide counsel and litigation services in these areas as well.
Healthcare Law – Medical Malpractice and Medical Legal Panels
We have represented rural and urban hospitals and clinics and their staff, as well as physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and physical therapists. We represent all healthcare providers in medical malpractice matters. Additional healthcare law practice areas include acquisitions and mergers, contract negotiations and formation, federal and state regulatory issues and compliance, governance and bylaw formation and compliance, HIPAA, hospital boards, Montana Medical Legal Panels, physician credentialing, and state licensing board issues.
Insurance - Bad Faith & UTPA Litigation, Coverage and Defense

Our attorneys have been litigating insurance claims and advising and representing insurance companies, self-insureds and insureds for decades. We analyze demands for coverage. We review claims and assist claims personnel in their day to day work on as-needed basis. We advise our insurance clients about accepted practices under Montana law, confessions of judgment and issues of bad faith. We defend insurance disputes. And, we offer expert witness services on insurance issues. Ugrin also represents businesses and individuals who need advice and assistance in insurance matters.

Our insurance practice area is diverse, including policies which insure automobiles, aircraft, businesses, construction projects, directors and officers, homeowners, professionals and property. Our insurance work also embraces different types of policies, such as casualty, disability, excess, indemnity, liability, life, supplemental, workers’ compensation and umbrella.

We have litigated coverage issues in Montana state and federal courts and we have filed and defended declaratory judgment actions which seek coverage determinations. We also provide advice as coverage counsel in ongoing litigation. Our non-litigation coverage work includes authoring and reviewing coverage opinions, drafting and reviewing correspondence to insureds and counsel on coverage issues including reservation of right letters, researching and advising on exclusions, and reviewing and recommending policy language.

Ugrin is experienced in litigating common law bad faith and UTPA claims, both first-party and third-party. We are well-versed in Montana bad faith law and the defenses to bad faith claims. We have provided counsel on bad faith issues during ongoing litigation and regarding settlement of underlying claims. We routinely advise on claims handling practices and claims manuals, as counsel for insurance companies and retained experts.

Our attorneys have defended insurance disputes for years. Because of our knowledge of Montana insurance law, combined with our litigation experience, we are uniquely positioned to defend Montana insurance cases.

Property Damage
Ugrin attorneys have represented clients in property damage claims ranging from relatively minor incidents to catastrophic loss. In addition to this specialized knowledge, our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in matters involving insurance. This is important because insurance issues often arise in property damage cases. Ugrin attorneys are also well-versed and skilled in bringing and defending against the negligence and other tort-based claims common to property damage litigation.
Employment & Labor Law
Our employment and labor attorneys serve clients of all sizes in a broad spectrum of employment and labor matters. We have successfully represented clients in federal and state court, before federal and state agencies (including the Montana Human Rights Bureau, the Montana Unemployment Insurance Division and the Montana Wage and Hour Division) and in grievance and arbitration proceedings. We provide guidance and legal advice on the development and enforcement of employment policies and procedures, including handbooks and manuals. We also represent individuals affected by employment decisions.

Specific employment and labor law practice areas include:

  • Employee and employer training and education
  • Employee discipline and termination
  • Employee hiring
  • Employee leave including leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Montana Maternity Act
  • Employee policies and procedures
  • Employment contracts
  • Employment discrimination (age, sex, race, national origin, disability, marital status)
  • Drug testing and use of social media and electronics
  • Investigation of harassment and other grievances
  • Retaliation and blacklisting
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Union and labor issues
  • Wage and hour compliance
  • Wages and benefits
  • Wrongful discharge actions

Montana Humans Rights Bureau

Ugrin’s employment labor attorneys specialize in providing public sector and private clients with the legal services they need to bring or defend against discrimination claims brought before the Montana Human Rights Bureau and Montana Human Rights Commission. Whether it is preparing a detailed and written response to a Charge of Discrimination, or drafting the charging documents, our attorneys are skilled in providing guidance and legal advice. If a case does not conclude following the informal investigative phase, our attorneys have successfully represented clients in all stages of the contested case process, including pre-litigation, discovery, depositions, motions practice and at the administrative hearing. Ugrin counsel also represents clients in state district court in the judicial review phase of the agency’s determination, and ultimately, in appeals to the Montana Supreme Court.

Personal Injury
We represent both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury actions. Our clients include individuals, businesses, insureds and self-insureds. We assist our clients in navigating the complex web of legal relationships and issues unique to personal injury claims. We involve our clients throughout the process beginning with the initial investigation and liability analysis through final resolution.

Our attorneys have successfully defended and represented clients in matters involving:

  • Construction-related accidents
  • Environmental incidents
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Negligence claims
  • Products liability
  • Railroad accidents
  • Survival claims
  • Wrongful death claims

Mediation & Arbitration
Ugrin’s attorneys have an active mediation and arbitration practice, acting as the neutral. Mr. Zadick has mediated over 900 cases and he is a member of The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Several partners are experienced as neutrals in mediation and arbitration.
Municipality & Governmental Defense
Our team of municipality and governmental defense attorneys is experienced in advising and defending the State of Montana and its counties and municipalities, having represented at least forty-five Montana governmental entities. Our representation embraces a broad range of practice areas and extends to the defense of individual municipal and county employees and administrators. Using our combined years of serving the public sector, along with our knowledge of government operations, policy and process, we provide efficient and effective representation.

Specific municipality and governmental defense practice areas include:

  • Civil rights (federal and state)
    • Contracts
    • Employee discipline and termination
    • Defamation
    • Disclosure of public documents and records
  • Discrimination and retaliation
    • Interlocal agreements
    • Inverse condemnation and takings
    • Land use and zoning
    • Malicious prosecution
    • Nuisance
    • Open and public meeting laws
    • Permitting
    • Personal injury
    • Property damage
    • Regulations and ordinances
    • Roads and construction
  • Section 1983 claims
    • Wrongful death
    • Wrongful discharge