Montana Supreme Court Justice Jim Shea Seeks to Be Retained on Montana’s Supreme Court; Filed with the Montana Secretary of State

Justice Jim Shea files to appear on the 2016 election ballots, seeking the honor of being retained in service on the Montana Supreme Court - January 15, 2016

Justice Jim Shea files to appear on the 2016 election ballots, seeking the honor of being retained in service on the Montana Supreme Court – January 14, 2016.

Justice Jim Shea will be on the 2016 election ballots, seeking to be retained in his job on Montana’s Supreme Court. Justice Shea’s filing of the necessary information to appear on the 2016 election ballots with Montana’s Secretary of State Linda McCullough’s office today was among the first received, as the filing period for statewide, district and legislative races began today.

“It is an honor to serve on Montana’s Supreme Court,” said Justice Shea. “With more than a decade of judicial experience and nearly twenty-five years of legal experience under my belt, I am confident in my ability to apply the law according to the Constitutions that serve Montanans so well. Montanans need to trust that their Supreme Court is above partisanship and undue influence from special interests. They must have confidence that cases are being decided solely on the law, not on the judge’s personal agenda. During my ten years as a judge, I’ve earned the reputation as someone who sets my personal feelings aside and decides cases based solely on the law. If I am retained, I will continue to work hard and help keep the course of Montana’s Supreme Court true to the vision of our Constitution.”

Justice Shea has served on Montana’s Supreme Court since June of 2014, appointed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice by Governor Bullock after receiving a unanimous recommendation from the Montana Judicial Nomination Commission. Justice Shea was confirmed by the Montana State Senate with broad bipartisan support.

Prior to his service on Montana’s Supreme Court, Jim served as the presiding judge of the Montana Workers’ Compensation Court, appointed in 2005 by Governor Brian Schweitzer. Governor Schweitzer reappointed Jim to a second term as Workers’ Compensation Judge in 2011 and Jim’s reappointment was unanimously confirmed by the Republican controlled senate.

During his decade of judicial service, Jim has earned a reputation with attorneys on all sides as a fair and thoughtful judge who “calls them like he sees them” and decides cases based solely on the facts and the law. This has earned him the support of Montanans from across the State, including representatives from Business and Labor, Democrats and Republicans, Law Enforcement, and attorneys who represent everyone from the largest corporations to individual Montanans from diverse backgrounds.

Jim is a fourth generation Montanan who grew up in Butte in the home that his great-grandfather built. After graduating from Central Catholic High School, he attended the University of Montana and helped put himself through college by tending bar on weekends and working summers in Butte for Metro Sewer. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in 1988, Jim earned his law degree from the University of Montana School of Law in 1991.

After law school, Jim served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Paul Hatfield in Great Falls. Jim and his wife Kathy then moved to Portland, Oregon so Kathy could attend graduate school. While in Portland, Jim practiced both criminal and civil law. After moving back home to Montana, he continued his civil law practice until his appointment to the bench.

Jim and his wife Kathy were married in 1989 in the same church where they first met as juniors in college. They have two wonderful daughters: Kate and Mo, both college students. When away from work, Jim enjoys hunting, fly fishing, running marathons, and family hikes and camping trips in Glacier National Park.

Supporters of Justice Shea can donate no more than the maximum contribution allowed: $330.00. Contributions can be made online at or by sending a check to Shea for Justice, P.O. Box 1183, Helena, MT 59624. Please include your address, employment, and title for election law compliance purposes.

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