Neil G. Westesen

Neil G. Westesen: Attorney with Crowley Fleck PLLP AV stamp icon


Neil Westesen is a Litigation Partner in the firm’s Bozeman office. He has also served on the Firm’s three person Executive Committee for several years, and was the firm’s Managing Partner from 2011 through 2016. Neil’s litigation practice focuses on construction law where he represents architects, engineers, owners, contractors, and sureties. In addition, he has a significant Indian law practice representing industry clients in negotiations with and litigation against Indian tribes. He has also represented various product manufacturers in both product liability litigation and dealer defense cases. He has also represented several attorneys in legal malpractice defense matters. He is currently working extensively on a major piece of environmental litigation.

Prior Experience (Employment)

Neil co-chaired the Rocky Mountain Law Foundation Special Institute on Natural Resources Development on Indian Land in 2006 and spoke on tribal jurisdiction at the RMMLF Special Institute in 2011. He is currently co-chairing the RMMLF Special Institute on Indian Law scheduled for September of 2017 and is the Public Lands Section chair for the RMMLF 2017 Annual Institute. Over the years, he has spoken to various meetings of attorneys and industry professionals on construction law and Indian law matters, including the State Bar of Montana, the American Institute of Architects, the CNA Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys, and at the University of Vermont. He has appeared in numerous cases heard before the Montana Supreme Court, as well as the federal courts in Montana, the 9th Circuit, and the U. S. Supreme Court. A complete listing of reported decisions is available upon request.

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America for Construction Law, Litigation - Construction, and Native American Law (2007-Present)
Mountain States Super Lawyers for Construction Litigation (2013-2018)
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Trustee at Large, (2011-2014)

Community Involvement

Bridger Ski Foundation Board Member and Vice President (2005-2013)
Bridger Ski Foundation Nordic Committee chair (2005-2009)
Youth soccer and youth ski coach (1995-2009)
“Chief of Course” for various local ski races

Presentations & Publications

Neil has authored or co-authored numerous papers including, “Coal Mining on Indian Lands: A Study in Permits, Plans and Paperwork” presented at the 1992 ABA conference on Natural Resources Management and Environmental Enforcement on Indian Lands, co-authored with Mike Webster as well as several RMMLF papers.

Areas of Practice (23)

  • Agreements With Tribal Members
  • Agreements With Tribes
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response
  • Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund)
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Solid or Hazardous Waste
  • Comprehensive Indian Law Practice
  • Construction Defects
  • Construction Law
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiation
  • Environmental Law
  • Indian Law
  • Litigation
  • Litigation and Administrative Proceedings
  • Mediation Services
  • Mining - Hard Rock, Coal and Industrial Minerals
  • Oil and Gas
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional negligence, including medical malpractice
  • Tort Litigation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
406-522-4523  Phone
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2529, Billings, MT 59103
University Attended:
University of Montana, B.A., with highest honors, 1988
Law School Attended:
University of Colorado, J.D., with highest honors, 1991
Year of First Admission:
1991, Montana; U.S. Bankruptcy Court; 9th Circuit of Appeals; DC Circuit Court of Appeals; 1991, U.S. District Court, District of Montana; U.S. Tax Court; U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Montana
Gallatin County Bar Association
Montana Defense Trial Lawyers
Defense Research Institute
American Bar Association
State Law Resources, Board of Directors

Birth Information:
San Luis Obispo, California, February 23, 1966
Reported Cases:
Stokes v. Ford Motor Company, 300 P.3d 648 (Mont. 2013); Bunch v. Lancair Intern, Inc., 202 P.3d 784 (D. Mont. 2009); Pacificorp v. Real Bird, 2008 WL 5100943 (D. Mont. 2008); Roselle v. Montana, 2008 WL 3914974 (D. Idaho 2008); Tin Cup County Water and/or Sewer District v. Garden City Plumbing and Heating, Inc., 200 P.3d 60 (Mont. 2008); Blue Ridge Homes v. Thein, 2008 WL 2221901; Roselle v. Davis, Warren, & Hritsco, 168 P.3d 1048 (Mont. 2007); Burlington Northern v. Assiniboine and Sioux, 323 F.3d 767 (9th Cir. 2003); Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company v. Fort Peck Tribes, 29 M.F.R. 126 (Shanstrom 2001); Crow Tribe of Indians v. Campbell Farming Corporation, 31 F.3d 768 (9th Cir. 1994); Millhollen v. The Conveyor Co., 964 P.2d 1163 (Mont. 1998); Burlington Northern v. Red Wolf, 196 F.3d 1059 (9th Cir. 1999); Jim's Excavating Service v. HKM Associates, 878 P.2d 248 (Mont. 1994); Uhler v. Doak, 885 P.2d 1297 (Mont. 1994); State ex rel. Park Co. v. Montana Sixth Judicial District Court, Park Co., 883 P.2d 210 (Mont. 1992).
Northern Border Pipeline Right of Way Acquisition over Fort Peck Reservation; Tax Dispute resolution for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad over Blackfeet and Fort Peck Reservations.
Hobbies & interests:
Cross Country skiing

Peer Reviews


Lex Mundi

Billings, Montana

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