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Kathleen L. DeSoto

Kathleen L. DeSoto

Office: 406-523-2500 | Fax: 406-523-2595
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Katie was raised in Missoula, Montana, where she graduated from Loyola Sacred Heart High School in 1985.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, with a minor in Latin, from Santa Clara University in 1989.  She attended graduate school at the University of Montana, studying English Literature with an emphasis on Anglo-Irish authors.  Katie graduated from the University of Montana School of Law (with highest honors) in 1999.  While at law school, she competed at the national level for the ATLA Trial Team and was counsel on the 1999 Western Regional Champion team.  After graduation, Katie clerked for United States Chief District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom in Billings, Montana for two years.

Katie entered private practice with the firm in the fall of 2001.  Her practices areas include insurance coverage, defense of insurance unfair claims practices act cases, school liability defense, legal malpractice defense, and federal criminal defense.  She is admitted to practice before all Montana courts, the United States District Courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Western Montana Bar Association.  She is listed in Chambers USA, Mountain States Super Lawyers under Civil Litigation-Defense, and is listed in Best Lawyers under Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar and Insurance Law.  In 2016 Katie was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in the Mountain States Super Lawyers, and in 2017 was designated by Best Lawyers as the Missoula Lawyer of the Year for Insurance Law.

Katie is a former Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She is past-President of the Federal Bar Association for the District of Montana and Federal Practice Section of the Montana State Bar, a past-President of the Western Montana Bar Association and a past officer with the School Law Section of the Montana State Bar.

Honors, Awards and Professional Associations

  • Chambers USA: Leading Lawyers for Litigation
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers in America: Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar and Insurance Law
  • Best Lawyers
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers in the Mountain States
  • Best Lawyers’ 2017 Missoula Insurance Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Martindale-Hubbell Noteable Attorney Award
  • Federal Bar Association Montana Chapter
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • Montana Defense Trial Lawyers, Member
  • Western Montana Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of Montana, Member


  • University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana
    • Juris Doctor
    • Honors: With Highest Honors
    • Honors: Counsel, 1999 Western Regional Champion team
  • University of Montana
    • Major: English Literature with Emphasis on Anglo-Irish Authors
  • Santa Clara University
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Major: English Literature
    • Minor: Latin

Practice Areas

  • Civil Litigation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Arbitration / Mediation
  • Civil Rights / Constitutional Law
  • Class Action Defense
  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Bad Faith Defense
  • Insurance Coverage Defense
  • Municipal Law
  • Public Utilities Law


Bar Admissions

  • Montana
  • U.S. District Court District of Montana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit