Commitment to Justice
During his tenure as a lawyer, Tim has worked primarily on civil litigation, representing injured persons, local small businesses and other individuals involved in a business, employment, insurance or property dispute. During that time he has also found a deep interest in cases involving youth and families. Tim has acted as a Guardian ad Litem for youth, protecting their legal rights and making sure their caregivers, including the state, are acting in the children's best interests. Youth in Need of Care matters require a willingness to do what is best for the children and society. Through his involvement in Butte with the Butte Family Drug Court, Tim tries to help parents who have had drug problems to turn their lives around, becoming better parents and productive members of our community. These individuals have a wide range of legal issues that are barriers to living a normal drug-free life. By making those people accountable for their legal problems while helping them address those issues in a positive productive way, the lives of their families are improved.
Tim has represented individuals accused of a range of crimes. Criminal defendants are entitled to competent representation in order to protect all of our civil rights. In defending criminal cases, Tim makes sure that the accused is afforded his or her constitutionally guaranteed presumption of innocence and that proper constitutional standards are followed. In those cases where the accused is guilty, it is important that he or she is charged with the correct crime and that the punishment fits the crime and address any threat to society, while correcting the criminal behavior. In six years working at the Butte Pre-Release Center, Tim saw firsthand the impact different levels of incarceration had on many adult male and female felons. This invaluable experience will serve him well as a District Judge.
Tim has been involved in the Drug Court since its inception in Butte. The Drug Court concept is one that attempts to achieve sobriety through accountability. It is not an easy program. It provides an opportunity for parents to prove themselves and address their substance abuse issues. They are subject to extensive, frequent drug testing (several times a week) and monitored participation in substance abuse counseling and self-help groups. The program provides a high level of involvement over an extended period of time. The level of intense involvement is proven to have better results than other courses of action and at a lower cost to society and the tax payer.
Programs like the Family Drug Court help to restore lives and return participants to being productive members of society. This saves the tax payers money, keeping these people out of jail, and creating a system of accountability and support.
Tim was one of the first professionals to sign on to work in Butte’s Family Drug Court Program. Beginning in 2004, Tim came on board as an Attorney, Guardian ad Litem (GAL) representing the legal rights of children whose parent or parents were part of the program. Originally the Drug Court focused on families who were involved with a Youth in Need of Care matter where the parents were in jeopardy of losing their children because of substance abuse issues. As GAL Tim advocated for the best interest of the children, making sure that the child's home was safe and the substance issues had been addressed. As the Drug Court grew and evolved, more parents were taken into the program who were also facing criminal charges. As the program changed Tim helped accommodate that growth by representing parents involved in the program. The primary goal of the Family Drug Court is to reunite families, if possible, who have been hurt by drug problems.
Drug addiction is a huge problem in Butte. It is present in over 90% of all of the criminal matters that come before the District Court as well as the Dependent Neglect cases. The training and experience Tim has gained while working in the Drug Court will be invaluable as the next District Judge.