We are so proud and excited about our very own being selected for this position of great honor. Congratulations Katie!

State Bar of Montana News and Press

Thursday, June 27, 2019
Posted by: Joe Menden

“Kathleen DeSoto has been selected as U.S. magistrate judge in the Missoula Division, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana has announced.

DeSoto, 51, will succeed U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch, who announced last year that he will retire effective Aug. 3. DeSoto will become the first female federal judge in the Missoula Division and the third ever in Montana. She was selected from a group of finalists by a court-appointed merit selection panel.

DeSoto has been in private practice since 2001 with the Missoula firm of Garlington, Lohn & Robinson, where she is currently a partner. Her practice areas include insurance coverage, defense of insurance unfair claims practices act cases, school liability defense, legal malpractice, and federal criminal defense. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Western Montana Bar Association. She is a former lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is past-president of the Federal Bar Association for the District of Montana and a past-president of the Western Montana Bar Association. She is chair of the State Bar of Montana’s Federal Practice Section and a past officer with the bar’s School Law Section.

DeSoto was raised in Missoula and graduated from Loyola Sacred Heart High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University in 1989 and attended graduate school at the University of Montana. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Montana School of Law in 1999. After graduation, she clerked for United States Chief District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom in Billings for two years.

The District of Montana has three full-time magistrate judge positions, located in Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls.  DeSoto will become the third magistrate judge to serve on a full-time basis in the Missoula Division, and the first female federal judge to serve in the Missoula Division.”