Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions

Asbestos Claims Judge

3-20-102. Asbestos claims judge. (1) A civil action involving an asbestos-related claim may be tried by a judge pro tempore or special master, who must be a member of the bar of the state, agreed upon in writing by the parties litigant or their attorneys of record, appointed by the supreme court as provided in 3-5-115, and sworn to try the cause before entering upon the duties in trying the cause. Upon appointment, the individual must be designated as the asbestos claims judge. The right to a jury trial is not waived by the stipulation to and appointment of the asbestos claims judge.

(2) The asbestos claims judge has the authority and power of an elected district court judge in the civil action involving an asbestos-related claim. All proceedings before the asbestos claims judge must be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence and procedure governing district courts.

(3) Any order, judgment, or decree made or rendered in an asbestos-related civil case by the asbestos claims judge has the same force and effect as if made or rendered by the district court with the regular judge presiding.

(4) A party stipulating to have an asbestos-related claim heard by the asbestos claims judge may not file a motion for substitution of the judge pursuant to 3-1-804.

(5) All filings relating to an asbestos-related claim must be filed with the clerk of court in the judicial district in which the claim arose. The parties shall provide a copy of each filing to the asbestos claims judge.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 473, L. 2001.