john ferguson missoula montanaJohn Ferguson founded Ferguson Law Office, PLLC in 2007 and he has a wide variety of experience with an emphasis on water, employment, construction and criminal defense law.  Mr. Ferguson initially developed his litigation skills while working at a large Portland, Oregon law firm (Bullivant Houser Bailey) for two years.  He then co-founded and served as executive director and staff attorney for the Montana Water Trust for six years where he initially developed his water law expertise.  As a result, Mr. Ferguson brings a unique and invaluable perspective to the practice of law in Montana, including facilitating water transactions from beginning to end, handling all aspects of the employment process, representing clients in diverse construction law disputes, and handling diverse criminal defense cases.

 

 


 
EDUCATION
Oregon State University - B.S., Communications, 1992
University of Montana School of Law – J.D., 1998
University of Montana, Environmental Studies - M.S., 1999

BAR/COURT ADMISSIONS
Admitted to Montana Bar, 1998
Admitted to Oregon Bar, 1999
Admitted to U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, 1999
Admitted to U.S. District Court, District of Montana, 2008
Admitted to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2015

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
President, Environmental Law Group, University of Montana School of Law, 1997
Rotary, Chair of Student Award Committee – 2005-07
University of Montana School of Law, Natural Resources Clinic - Supervising Attorney, 2005-2007
Watershed Education Network Board Member – 2005-07
Society for Human Resource Management, Big Sky Chapter, Member 2008 - 2010
Society for Human Resource Management, Big Sky Chapter, Legislative Liaison 2009
Missoula Building Industry Association, Member 2008 - 2009
Contract Attorney for Missoula Public Defender’s Office - 2009 - present
Montana Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel Member - 2013 - present
 
ARTICLES
Co-Author, “Private Water Leasing: Working Within the Prior Appropriation System to Restore Streamflows.”
Public Land and Resources Law Review Journal, Volume 28 2007
Co-Author, “Assessing and Managing Existing Water Rights,” Government Affairs Newsletter, Missoula Building Industry Association, February 2009
Co-Author, "A Water Right Primer," Government Affairs Newsletter, Missoula Building Industry Association, April 2009

PRESENTATIONS
“Water Leasing Toolbox,” Community presentations to landowners at the Ninemile, Lolo and Avon Community Centers, 2003
“Allocating and Managing Water for a Sustainable Future,” Universities Council on Water Resources/National Institutes for Water Resources Conference, Portland, Oregon 2004
“Instream Flow Protection Tools in Montana,” 4th Annual Montana Water Law Conference, Helena, Montana 2004
“Leveraging Conservation Transactions: Doing Water Deals Together with Land Acquisitions,” Northwest Regional Land Trust Conference, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho 2004
“Instream Flow Restoration and Protection,”29th Annual Public Land Law Conference: Water and Landscape of the American West at the University of Montana, Missoula Montana 2005
“Water Leasing, Irrigation, and State of the Rivers," 1st Annual Montana Agricultural Law Conference, Billings, Montana 2005
“Key Aspects of Montana Water Trust’s Streamflow Restoration Program,” Northwest Power Planning Council, Regional Meeting in Missoula, Montana 2005
“Water Leasing Considerations,” 2nd Annual Montana Agricultural Law Conference, Billings, Montana 2006
“Water Leasing as a Conservation Tool,” 1st Annual NewWest Real Estate and Development Conference, Missoula, Montana 2006
“Drug Testing in the Workplace: Differences between Federal and State Drug Testing Laws,” Big Sky Chapter, Society for Human Resource Management, Missoula, Montana 2008
"Instream Flow Change Authorizations - Making the Process Smoother," 10th Annual Montana Water Law Conference, Helena, Montana 2010
"Managing Water in Controlled Groundwater Areas," and "Practicing Before the Montana Water Court," Montana Water Law and Regulations CLE, Helena, Montana 2010
"Social Networking - Legal Issues."  Montana Labor and Employment Law Conference, Billings, Montana 2010
"Understanding Water Right Records as Part of the Land," Lorman Education Services' Continuing Legal Education Conference, Billings, Montana 2012.
"Enforcing an Agency Decision," 12th Annual Montana Water Law Conference, Helena, Montana 2012.

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