Mark Kovacich and Ben Snipes have been recognized as Trial Lawyers of the Year for 2023 by the Montana Trial Lawyers Association. The two firm partners received the award at the association’s annual conference at the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula last week.
The award was established to honor an attorney or trial team for effective representation of victims and consumers in a Montana judicial or administrative forum, as well as consideration for the nature and circumstances of that representation.
The nomination by retired District Judge James A. Manley cites the pair’s work on behalf of a West Glacier-based mortgage broker. A Flathead County jury awarded the firm’s client $1.5 million in damages following a five-day trial, finding that another law firm acted maliciously in pursuing accusations of bank fraud against the broker.
“It’s exceedingly difficult and troubling to bring such a case against another member of the legal profession, but Ben and I strongly believed it was the right thing to do,” says Mr. Kovacich. “We appreciate the mission of the MTLA to serve the public good, and hope our work exemplifies and upholds that mission of justice for all.”
This is the third time Mr. Kovacich has received the honor, a record for the 35-year history of the award. He was recognized by the MTLA in 2005 and 2019 in addition to receiving the group’s Appellate Advocate of the Year award in 2008 and 2016. This is the second time Mr. Snipes has been named Trial Lawyer of the Year, previously sharing the honor with his law partner in 2019.