Attorney Profiles

 
James A. Patten - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education
University of Montana, BA Economics, Honors (1974)
George Washington University, JD, High Honors (1978)

Admissions:
Montana Court (1978)
U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (1978)
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1979)
U.S. Supreme Court (1983)

Speaking
Former instructor, Business Law, Rocky Mountain College

Community Involvement
Montana Legal Services Association, Board of Trustees, 1982-Present, Current Board President Billings Institutional IRB, 1983-Present, Current Board Chair Downtown Billings Partnership, 2015-Present
 

James A. Patten

Andy practices in the areas of bankruptcy, debtor/creditor relations and restructure, and commercial litigation. Andy is the past chairman of the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Montana.

Andy holds an AV rating from Martindale Hubble. He has been named in Rocky Mountain States Super Lawyer since 2009, was listed in the Top 100 by Mountain States Super Lawyers in 2016 and has also been included in Best Lawyers of America since 2011. Andy was named Best Law Lawyer of the Year in 2013 for Bankruptcy and Debtor and Creditor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Lawyer of the Year in 2016 for Bet the Company Litigation.

Andy and his partner Patricia Peterman obtained the largest punitive damage award affirmed by the Montana Supreme Court in McCulley v. US Bank.

Andy has represented debtors in chapter 11 cases including the Yellowstone Club, Moonlight Basin, Jim Palmer Trucking, Glacier Stone Supply, and represented franchisor Brinker International in Shoot the Moon chapter 11. Andy has represented banks, credit unions, other creditors, and trustees in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings.

Andy is a former chapter 7 bankruptcy panel trustee and has participated as lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

 
 
Bruce O. Bekkedahl - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education
Rocky Mountain College (BS 1976)
University of Montana School of Law (J.D.-1981)
University of Denver (LL.M. in Taxation-1986)

Montana Law Review, Editorial Staff; 1979-1980
Montana Law Review, Survey Editor 1980-1981


Memberships and Recognition

Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Member: Asset Protection Committee and Fiduciary Income Tax Committee)
Member of the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section of the Montana State Bar (Member: Uniform Trust Code Committee)
Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the North Dakota Bar
Probate and Trust and Tax Law sections of the Arizona Bar
Tax and Real Property and Probate sections of the American Bar Association

Speaking and Publications
Frequently speaks and lectures on estate, trust and tax topics for the State Bar of Montana and National Business Institute

Admissions:
Montana
North Dakota
Arizona
 

Bruce O. Bekkedahl

Bruce practices in the areas of estates and trusts, tax, and closely held business. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a nationally recognized non-profit association of lawyers and law professors who are elected based on reputation, skill, and contribution to the profession. Bruce is also a member of the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section of the Montana State Bar, and was a member of the Uniform Trust Code Committee of that Section which commented on the drafting of the Montana Uniform Trust Code enacted in 2013. Bruce is a frequent speaker and lecturer on estate, trust, and tax topics.

Bruce received his juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law in 1981. After law school, Bruce practiced with a small law firm in Williston North Dakota before taking a leave of absence to attend the University of Denver Masters of Law in Taxation Program from 1985-86. From there, Bruce moved to Scottsdale Arizona to practice with a boutique estates and trust law firm for five years. Bruce moved to Billings in 1990 and practiced as a sole practitioner through 1994 and served of counsel to two law firms in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. In 1994, Bruce was a founding partner to the precursor firm to Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green.

 
 
W. Scott Green - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education:
Northern Arizona University, B.S. (1980)
Gonzaga University, JD, magna cum laude (1984)

Membership and Recognition:
State Bar of Montana
U.S. Tax Court
United States District Court for Montana
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court

Admissions:
Montana Court
U.S. District Court of the District of Montana
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court

Community Involvement
Board of Directors, Camp Christikon
 

W. Scott Green

Scott practices primarily in the areas of business law, collections, real estate, personal injury and tax controversy. Prior to private practice, Scott worked as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Scott has extensive experience in commercial and tax litigation, with numerous jury trials and over thirty-five appearances before the Montana Supreme Court.

 
 
Michael F. McGuinness - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education:
Montana State University, BA, Honors (2005)
California Western School of Law, JD (2010)

Memberships and Recognition:
State Bar of Montana
Yellowstone Area Bar Association
American Bar Association
Montana Young Lawyer’s Delegate, American Bar Association, 2016
Trustee, New Lawyers Section, Montana Bar Association
 

Michael F. McGuinness

Michael F. McGuinness is an attorney practicing in the litigation department of Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC. His practice areas primarily include commercial litigation, water law, employment law and human rights. Mike has helped his clients achieve successful outcomes as both first and second chair at bench trials, jury trials and on appeal.

Mike graduated from Montana State University with honors in 2005 and earned his J.D. from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California in 2010. Mike is licensed in the state and federal courts of Montana and California. Mike is a member of the Montana Bar Association, the Yellowstone Area Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Mike was a Montana Young Lawyer Delegate for the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in 2016 and is currently a Trustee of the New Lawyers Section of the Montana Bar Association.

 
 
John M. Van Atta - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education
University of Montana, Missoula, BA English Literature, High Honors (2005)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, JD (2008)

Memberships and Recognition
State Bar of Montana, Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Estates Section BETTER Section
American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Section
American Bar Association, Taxation Section
American Bar Association, Business Section
State Bar of North Dakota
State Bar of Wyoming

Speaking
Presenter, National Business Institute, Estate Planning for Owners of Oils and Gas Rights, July, 2015
Presenter, National Business Institute, Grantor Trusts from Start to Finish, November 2016
Presenter to financial advisors and insurance agents
Instructor, Montana State University-Billings, Business Law

Admissions:
Montana
North Dakota
Wyoming

Courts:
Montana District Courts
North Dakota District Courts
Wyoming District Courts
United States District Court for Montana
United States District Court for Wyoming

Community Involvement
Downtown Billings Rotary (2009-Present)
Board Member, Downtown Billings Rotary, 2013-2015
Board Member, Billings Studio, 2014-Present
 

John M. Van Atta

John practices in the areas of closely-held business planning, estate planning, trust and estate administration, tax, real estate and commercial transactions, and entrepreneurial planning and finance. John also litigates shareholder and partner disputes and will, trust, and probate controversies.

John graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula with high honors where he competed for the Griz in track and field and was named Academic All-Conference. From Missoula, John attended the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California, where he obtained his law degree in 2008. While at Hastings, John competed for the Hastings Trial Team and Moot Court Team and served as a production editor for the Hastings Constitutional Law Journal. During law school, John interned for the United States Attorney’s Office, the California Attorney General’s Office and performed a summer clerkship on the Montana Supreme Court with Justice James C. Nelson.

Before practicing law, John worked in wealth management as a registered securities broker and investment advisor, obtaining his FINRA Series 7 and series 66 licenses. John was also a Level 1 candidate for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. John continues an interest in business analysis and securities transactions in the practice of law.

John’s experience includes business planning, formation, and operation; working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies to organize and plan for funding and capitalization; helping families, business owners, and farmers and ranchers plan for their estates and business succession; and administering both taxable and non-taxable estates and trusts. John’s litigation experience includes will and trust contests and defense; brining and defending claims for breach of fiduciary duty; partnership and limited liability disputes and dissolutions, minority shareholder oppression and fraud. John has experience in complex, multi-state commercial arbitration involving claims of securities fraud, constructive fraud, and breach of contract.

 
 
Daniel Snedigar - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education:
University of Montana, B.A., Political Science, 1999
Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 2007

Admissions:
Illinois
Montana

Courts:
Montana District Courts
Montana Federal District Court

Publications:

Loose Change: The Seventh Circuit Misses an Opportunity to Clarify Money Laundering Law in United States v. Haddad, 2 Seventh Circuit Rev. 605 (2007).
 

Daniel L. Snedigar

Daniel is a trial attorney, practicing primarily in the areas of commercial, real estate, and construction litigation.

Daniel received his undergraduate degree from the University of Montana in 1999.

Daniel attended Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois, where he was a member and coach in the Moot Court program, and the author of a comment in the school’s Seventh Circuit Review.

 
 
James A. Patten - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education
Montana State University - Billings, Political Science (2010)
Gonzaga University School of Law, J.D., Cum Laude (2014)

Admissions:
Montana
Washington

Courts:
Montana District Courts
United States District Court for the District of Montana
Washington District Courts
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
 

Blake A. Robertson

Blake practices in the areas of bankruptcy, including chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13, adversary proceedings within bankruptcy, and commercial litigation.

Blake obtained his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law where he graduated cum laude. While in law school, he served as a Rule 9 intern at K&L Gates in Spokane Washington. After law school, Blake worked for a chapter 7 bankruptcy Trustee in the Eastern District of Washington for two years, administering approximately 150 cases per month.
 
 
James A. Patten - Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green, PLLC in Billings MT
Education
Carroll College, B.A., Accounting; Business Administration-Finance, with distinction, 2008
University of Montana School of Law, J.D., 2011

Memberships and Recognition
American Bar Association
North Dakota State Bar Association
Wyoming State Bar
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Yellowstone Area Bar Association
Montana Association of Professional Landmen
State Bar of Montana
Trustee of New Lawyers’ Section (2012-2015)
Section member: New Lawyers’, Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law, BETTR Law

Speaking and Publications
Update author, Law of Federal Oil and Gas Leases, ch. 11 “Options and Rights to Acquire,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Matthew Bender (2016) (originally published 1964)
An express reservation? A modern examination of the Equal Footing Doctrine as applied in U.S. v. Milner, 583 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2009), 32 Pub. Land & Res. L. Rev. 203 (2011)
Member and speaker - Montana Association of Professional Landmen continuing education seminar on probate, trusts, and mineral curative
Speaker - Buying and Selling Farms and Ranches in Montana, mineral rights, hunting rights, and grazing rights, National Business Institute continuing education seminar


Admissions:
Montana
North Dakota
Wyoming


Courts:
Montana District Courts
North Dakota District Courts
Wyoming District Courts
Montana Federal District Court


Community Involvement
Pro Bono Family Mediation Project – volunteer mediating parenting plans for indigent families experiencing divorce
Relay for Life Taste of Life Volunteer – 2012-2015
 

Patrick G.N. Beddow

Pat’s practice concentrates in the areas of mineral ownership, oil and gas, title curative and quiet title actions, drilling and division order title opinions, probate, estate planning, trusts, real estate transactions and disputes, and mineral and agricultural leasing.

Pat received his undergraduate degree, with distinction, from Carroll College. While at Carroll, he was a Distinguished Military Graduate, served in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, and was the Corps of Cadets Representative to the Associated Students of Carroll College.

Pat graduated from the University of Montana School of Law where he served as Business Editor on the Public Land and Resources Law Review. Pat was a Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Scholar, Chapter Treasurer of Phi Delta Phi, and President of the Military Law Society. From 2005-2014, he served in the Montana Army National Guard.

Prior to joining Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl, & Green, PLLC, Pat was an associate in Crowley Fleck, PLLP’s Billings office, where he acquired a depth of experience in estate administration, real property transactions, and mineral title and curative in the states of Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Pat represents a range of clients from private individuals to institutional entities, and enjoys working directly with clients on all issues, large or small.