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Brenda Desmond

A Montana Judge and former Tribal Appellate Court Chief Justice passed away this past week.

Judge Brenda Desmond passed away Monday, June 20, 2022, in Minnesota while undergoing treatment for brain cancer, the Missoula Current reported.

Judge Desmond worked from 2006 to 2020 as an Associate and Chief Justice for the Fort Peck Tribal Appellate Court.

She spent 40 years working in Montana and devoted a great deal of her time to tribal legal matters. She worked as an advisor to the Crow Tribal Court, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, and the Fort Peck Tribes.

In addition to her work for Montana Indian Tribes, Judge Desmond also served as a standing master in Montana’s Fourth Judicial District Court from 1994 to 2020. There, she presided over the first Veterans Treatment Court in Montana from its founding in 2011 until her retirement from state court service in 2020, the Missoula Current reported.

She was on the Montana Legislative Council where she oversaw staffing of the Indian Affairs Committee, and later served on the Montana Board of Crime Control.

Judge Desmond became a member of the faculty of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law in Missoula from 1985 until 1994 and served as a supervising attorney in the Indian Law Clinic, where she worked closely with the late Professor Margery Hunter Brown.

 

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