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Bullock appoints Helena attorney Abbott to fill district judge position

Posted at 12:00 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 14:00:34-05

Gov. Steve Bullock has chosen a Helena attorney to serve as the newest judge for Montana’s 1st Judicial District, covering Lewis and Clark and Broadwater Counties.

Bullock announced Thursday that he had appointed Chris Abbott to fill an open judge’s position, replacing Judge James Reynolds, who retired last month.

Abbott currently works as an assistant attorney general with the Montana Department of Justice’s Agency Legal Services Bureau. Before that, he spent about 10 years as an assistant public defender with the Office of the State Public Defender. He is a graduate of Capital High School and has a law degree from the University of Washington.

The state Judicial Nomination Commission chose Abbott as one of three finalists to fill Reynolds’ seat. The other two nominees were Mary Cochenour and Ole Olson.

Abbott will have to be confirmed by the Montana Senate during next year’s legislative session. If he is approved, he will serve through the end of Reynolds’ term in January 2023.