Growing up in Montana, my dad worked for the railroad and my mom was an elementary school teacher. Both sets of my grandparents were farmer/ranchers and I grew up loving Montana’s open spaces and laid back way of life. I obtained an undergraduate degree at Montana State University in Bozeman. After graduating law school from the University of Montana, I returned to Billings to start my career close to my family. When not practicing law, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our lively son, and our mini-aussie.
I wasn’t raised in a family with any attorneys, but my decision to attend law school did not come as a surprise to anyone. I have always loved to research and write. At the age of four, I was asking my mom to help me make books. When I was in the first grade, my aunt gave our family a set of Encyclopedias from the 1960s. I spent countless hours looking up every topic that came to mind and writing reports on what I’d learned. As an adult, my love of research has translated into helping my clients. A big part of my job is researching. Researching why the law is what it is, whether it has changed over time and why. With a solid understanding of the law, I can help my clients choose the best path forward.
The majority of my life, I have challenged how “it’s always been done” with a statement my parents came to dread… “I understand that’s how it’s always been done but I don’t understand why it can’t be done differently.” Evaluating each case by its own unique facts and circumstances, I strive to assist my clients in reaching the best possible resolution and finding a creative alternative when “how it’s always been done” isn’t working.
Several years ago, my entire family was involved in an interstate roll-over auto accident. The EMTs who transported my ten-month old son to the hospital by ambulance told us numerous times how lucky we were. There were no broken bones. No one was ejected from the car. No one had life threatening injuries. No one was hospitalized. We were lucky. I know that. But we didn't feel lucky. We didn’t have life threatening injuries, but we most certainly had injuries.
I don’t think before that accident I ever fully realized how much effort it really takes to get better – and how overwhelming that process can be. Getting better involves so many appointments. Appointments mean bills. Appointments mean taking time from work. More money going out. Less money coming in. And pain. Everywhere. All the time. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much pain has controlled your life until you start to get better.
I've been there. I get it. Nobody can put the toothpaste back in the tube, but I can help you as we work towards cleaning up the mess.
Judge Pro Tem, Billings Municipal Court
May, 2011 - Present
Montana Trial Lawyers Association
June, 2009 – Present
Yellowstone CASA Volunteer
April, 2011 – 2014
COR Enterprises Board of Directors
2014 - Present
University of Montana School of Law
Missoula, Montana; Juris Doctor
Montana State University
Bozeman, Montana; Bachelor of Science
Montana Army National Guard , Billings, MT
After graduating from law school, I worked for two highly respected civil defense firms. I represented corporations, insurance companies and a national transportation company. These five years focused on defending against personal injury claims.
I've taken numerous cases to trial in a variety of different areas of law. From the initial investigation, through pre-trial discovery, trial and appeal, I have been involved in every aspect of the litigation process. I've represented individuals, small companies, and Fortune 500 companies, reaching successful resolutions in all areas. My early years of civil defense experience gave me a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes factors driving the defense and the kind of strategies we will be up against in pursing your claim.
I opened Hughes Law in 2010. Since then I have handled several different types of cases, including oil and gas litigation, estate litigation, and even some criminal defense work. Throughout my career, I’ve found that I genuinely enjoy the practice of law and the people I am privileged to represent. While I am choosing to focus my practice on personal injury, medical malpractice and FELA, I welcome opportunities to work in other areas as well.