Registration:                    8:00 – 8:30 am

Morning Session:             8:30 – 11:45 am

Lunch (On your own):       11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Afternoon Session:           12:45 – 4:30 pm

History & Development of Water Laws in Montana          J. Connors

   Development of the statutory and common law of water rights in Montana

   Development of the law on water quality preservation

   Overview of applicable federal, state, and local regulators

   Comprehensive water planning issues for clients

Water Utility Regulation After CFC v. Tubbs          R. Keogh

   How CFC v. Tubbs changed Montana’s exempt well rules

   Water utilities for new subdivisions?

   Small private water utility regulation

   Design and planning considerations for water system regulation

Understanding Montana Groundwater Rights          J. Merritt

   Surface water and groundwater – legal definitions

   Historic (pre-1973) groundwater appropriations

   Post-73 groundwater regulations

   Controlled groundwater areas

   Stream depletion zones

Fundamentals of Groundwater Supply and           E. Clark
Current Issues in Groundwater Regulation

   Types of aquifers

   Areas in Montana studied by Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

   DNRC pump test requirements and variance requests

   Current issues in groundwater regulation

Urban Water Management:                                      M. Meredith
Issues Facing Growing Municipalities in Montana 

   Stormwater management

   Wastewater disposal

   Construction dewatering

Water Rights Adjudication in Montana          D. Pepper, J. Weiner

   The process: decrees, objections, counter objections,
     notice of intent to appear, adjudication, motions to amend

   Recent case law: public service companies, burden of proof, abandonment

Ethical Issues in Water Law: Working With the                A. Brown
Self-Represented Litigant in Water Court Proceedings

   Water Court Rule 33: licensed attorney representation

   Ethical challenges for attorneys litigating against self-represented litigants

   Ethical considerations for judicial staff and
      non-attorney professionals: information vs. legal advice

DNRC Combined Appropriation Guidance          J. Nave

   DNRC implementation of the Sherlock Ruling

   DEQ–DNRC Memorandum of Understanding and DNRC subdivision reviews


Montana Attorneys & Paralegals
     6.5 CLE Hours (1.0 Ethics Hour)

Montana Professional Engineers
     6.5 PDHs
     6.5 MSE Approved PDHs

Montana Geologists
     Non-Mandatory CE

Idaho Attorneys
     CLE Approval Pending

Continuing Education Credit Information

This seminar is open to the public. The State Bar of Montana has approved this activity for 6.5 CLE hours, including 1.0 ethics hour. HalfMoon Education has applied to the Idaho State Bar for attorney CLE course approval, which is pending.

The Montana Society of Engineers has recommended the approval of 6.5 PDHs for this event. Professional engineers licensed in most other states will be able to claim continuing education credit for completing this seminar. Refer to specific state continuing education rules to determine eligibility or contact HalfMoon Education for assistance.

This course offers a continuing education opportunity to Montana geologists. Continuing education is not required for license maintenance in Montana.

Attendance will be monitored and reported, as required by the course approval entities. Attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire event. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.


Abigail R. Brown

Partner, Moore, O’Connell & Refling, P.C., BozemanMs. Brown practices primarily in the area of water law. She represents individuals and entities from all corners of Montana in water rights adjudication proceedings before the Montana Water Court, administration proceedings before the Montana DNRC, enforcement actions in Montana district courts and water rights issues in real estate transactions. She is a member of the Montana State Bar Dispute Resolution Committee and was recently appointed as co-chair of the Montana Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Self-Represented Litigants.

Emily Clark

Hydrologist, WGM Group, MissoulaMs. Clark has over five years of experience managing water resources in government, academic, and private settings, and has a strong educational background in Watershed Hydrology. She has designed and conducted surface water, groundwater, and soil investigations to ensure that comprehensive and accurate information is available for management decisions.

Jack Connors

Shareholder, Doney Crowley P.C.
Mr. Connors is a shareholder with Doney Crowley P.C. His practice areas include environmental litigation, regulations, permitting, construction law, natural resource development, real property and easement litigation, administrative law and appeals from agency actions, water law and Water Court litigation. Mr. Connors is a member of the Montana Bar Association. He brings a unique perspective to the practice of law. After obtaining a degree in Mathematics from Montana State University, he founded and operated Connors Construction, LLC, which specialized in building multi-million dollar custom residences in Big Sky, Montana. He always had an interest in the complex nature of the law and chose to couple his ten years of small business, real estate, and natural resources expertise with a Juris Doctorate degree. In 2013, Mr. Connors graduated with honors from the University of Montana School of Law. Since then he has focused on construction litigation, real property disputes, environmental litigation, business disputes, and water law.

Ross P. Keogh

Associate Attorney, Worden Thane, P.C. in MissoulaMr. Keogh’s practice focuses on issues of corporate formation, natural resources, business planning and succession, and taxation. He previously worked as a planner and analyst supporting the development of renewable energy projects across the western United States. Mr. Keogh has a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Montana and is licensed to practice law in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Michael T. Meredith

Hydrogeologist, HydroSolutions, BillingsMr. Meredith has a decade of professional geologic, hydrogeologic and environmental experience in Wyoming and Montana. In his current position, he focuses on the application of field studies, analytical models and statistical methods. Mr. Meredith’s work involves investigating property damage associated with groundwater or surface water, water rights permitting, construction dewatering plans and modeling, groundwater and soil contamination investigations, and analysis in support of energy and natural resource projects.

Julie A. Merritt

Water Resource Specialist, WGM Group, MissoulaMs. Merritt has spent more than 19 years working closely with private property owners involved in state and federal water conservation programs and preparing water right analyses for public and private organizations. Her experience includes locating and analyzing historical documents, maps and aerial photographs, analyzing Montana Water Court decrees for water right clients, and preparing water right permit and change of use applications with the Montana DNRC.

Jim Nave

DNRC Water Resources Regional Manager, MissoulaMr. Nave has 19 years of experience working in water resources. He worked for five years with a local water rights consulting firm before taking a position with DNRC as a water resource specialist. In that position Mr. Nave maintained water right ownership records, performed claims examination and processed water right permit and change applications. He was promoted to deputy regional manager and to regional manager, and he oversees Mineral, Granite, Ravalli and Missoula Counties.

Dana Pepper

Pepper Law Firm, PLLC, BozemanMs. Pepper served as a water master at the Montana Water Court for six years before opening her own law practice in 2014. This experience resulted in a unique knowledge of the water adjudication system and the distribution of water across the state. Ms. Pepper received her JD and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Montana.

Jay Weiner

Montana Assistant Attorney General, HelenaMr. Weiner spent nine years as a staff attorney for the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission before becoming an assistant attorney general. He represents the State of Montana in the Montana Water Court on issues relating to the non-perfection or abandonment of state law-based water rights claims filed in the Montana General Stream Adjudication and other issues of state-wide importance, including the decree of compacts settling the reserved water rights claims of Indian tribes and federal agencies in Montana. Mr. Weiner also serves on the Water Adjudication Advisory Committee.