With decades of experience, we represent clients in real estate purchases and sales, financing, easements, partitions, access and boundary rights, disputes, and litigation.

Real Estate & Construction > Real Estate Law for Real Property Stakeholders

Real Estate Attorneys for Purchases, Sales, Development, Financing, Easements, and Partitions

Our real estate attorneys offer both transactional and litigation-based legal services. We are experienced in drafting residential and commercial leases, buy-sell agreements, easements, construction contracts, property valuations, title transfers, deeds of trust, promissory notes, financing agreements, covenants and declarations, subdivision and development applications, infrastructure improvement agreements, and water rights transfers.

We have a strong record of proven success in advocating our clients’ interests in disputes.  We frequently represent clients in a wide range of real estate disputes, including those involving:

  • Boundary adjustments,
  • Access,
  • Easements,
  • Denied subdivision applications,
  • Street and town site abandonment,
  • Plat revisions,
  • Homeowners association matters,
  • Covenant enforcement,
  • Annexation,
  • Condemnation,
  • Zoning district creation and enforcement,
  • Partition actions,
  • Declaratory judgment actions,
  • Water rights adjudication,
  • Tax evaluation,
  • Environmental contamination and liability regarding former property owners, and
  • Federal, Public and State land matters.

Our Clients

As Montana real estate attorneys, our clients include:

  • Small and large private landowners seeking to subdivide and develop raw land
  • Family-owned businesses seeking to purchase or sell residential, commercial, or agricultural land
  • Residential and commercial developers
  • Corporations having substantial land holdings or operations in Montana seeking to sell, acquire, or lease commercial property
  • Individuals
  • Developers
  • Banks and other lenders
  • Landlords and lessees
  • Condominium and homeowner associations
  • Real estate agents and professionals
  • Construction companies
  • Engineers
  • Natural resources companies
  • Property managers
  • Ranchers and farmers

We practice real estate law with a business-focused approach, and bring years of experience to every real estate matter.  We know that our clients first and foremost seek advice and solutions on how to accomplish their objectives expeditiously, cost-effectively, and in a manner that minimizes risk.  Our role is to develop and implement strategies consistent with these objectives.

Real Estate Development & Transactions

We advise and represent landowners, developers, builders, construction companies, trustees, real estate professionals, engineers, property managers, individuals, and other industry participants in all aspects of the development process – from raw land acquisition through construction completion and sales.

Much of our development practice includes representing clients in the commercial development for stores, shopping centers, and business offices, and for the residential development of subdivisions and apartment complexes.  As part of this process, we advise and represent clients in property development matters including:

  • Securing real estate and regulatory approvals
  • Zoning, permitting, and septic
  • Land acquisition, including purchase and sale agreement drafting and negotiation
  • Financing
  • Title and other opinions
  • Water permits and water rights acquisition through purchase, adjudication, and administrative and court proceedings
  • Covenant creation
  • Insurance
  • Easements and access issues, including prescriptive easements and easements for water and power
  • Federal and Public land issues including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and state issues
  • Land exchanges
  • Commercial sales and leasing, including transactions involving liquor licenses
  • Homeowner and condominium management

Public Lands Transactions

Our real estate attorneys routinely advise and assist clients in large transactions concerning Federal and Public lands.  We have significant experience with legal questions involving the history of public land law, the constitutional authority to regulate federal lands, and the relevant legal authorities enacted by Congress and the states to do the same.

We are also experienced in representing multi-use special interest organizations seeking to secure access and ongoing use of public lands, as well as in representing private individuals and groups in facilitating public land transfers to private ownership through land exchanges and sales.

Probate Matters Involving Real Estate

Often, property is left or is inherited jointly by the surviving children following the death of a parent. We assist administrators in developing strategies and solutions concerning partitioning, joint ownership, and the disposition of real estate in connection with probate administration.

Real Estate Disputes and Litigation

When disputes arise, we know that our clients want pragmatic, experienced legal advice and strategy first and foremost, and to avoid litigation whenever possible.   We appreciate the tremendous costs of litigation, not only in terms of legal fees and court costs, but importantly in terms of management time and distraction.  We help clients by quickly identifying the merits of the case, explain the applicable law, and providing our assessment of the case at hand.

We then work with clients in developing the strength of their position, identifying possible solutions, and negotiating with opposing counsel in seeking creative outcomes and solutions acceptable to our clients.  In many instances, using our depth of experience and knowledge about how similar matters may have been successfully resolved, we are able to achieve desired client objectives quickly through negotiation, rather than protracted litigation.

We often represent clients in disputes involving:

  • Construction and design defects
  • Contract breaches
  • Land development
  • Easements and boundaries
  • Probate and property transfer matters
  • Judicial partitions
  • Quiet title
  • Covenant enforcement

If litigation becomes inevitable, we are tenacious and focused on seeking a successful outcome for our clients at trial.

Chair: Mark D. Etchart

Representative Matters

  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Real Estate Development and Construction
  • Assist Buyers in Purchasing and Protecting Recreational Properties, including Fishing and Hunting Lodges/Ranches and Ski Resort Properties
  • Real Estate Dispute and Litigation Representation
  • Partitions
  • Federal Lands, Public Lands, and State Lands

Practice Contacts