Briana was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana. Prior to law school, she was a paralegal for Smith, Walsh, Clark & Gregoire and the Public Defender's Office. Briana graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with honors in 2011. During law school, Briana was a staff member and then an editor on the Montana Law Review. While on the Law Review, Briana, as Symposium Editor, orchestrated a two-day Symposium on the Montana Constitution, which was heralded as one of the best Symposia that the Law Review has held to date. She was a member of the National Trial Team during her second year and a member of the Criminal Defense Clinic during her third year. Additionally, she was Professor Cynthia Ford's research assistant in the areas of Evidence and Civil Procedure.
Between Briana's first and second years of law school, she was selected to work for the United States Senate Committee on Finance as a law clerk. Between Briana's second and third years of law school, she worked at the Federal Defenders of Montana where her passion for criminal defense was reaffirmed. After graduating with honors from UM Law in May of 2011, Briana moved to Helena to clerk for Justice Jim Rice of the Montana Supreme Court.
After clerking for Justice Rice for a year, Briana was hired at Smith & Stephens P.C. in Missoula as part of its elite criminal defense team. While there, Briana gained invaluable knowledge in providing excellent and effective criminal defense. In 2015, Briana and Katy joined forces to provide high caliber criminal defense and other services. From 2016-2017 Briana volunteered as a coach of the National Trial Team at the University of Montana. She also previously volunteered as a Board Member at the Humane Society of Western Montana Legislative and Advocacy Committee.
In her time away from the office, Briana spends time with her husband, Corby, and their dogs and loves enjoying the fun life and culture Missoula provides.
Montana U.S. District Court District of Montana Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
University of Montana School of Law Juris Doctorate, honors - 2011 Montana Law Review Editor 2010-2011 National Trial Team Member - 2010 Professor Cynthia Ford's Research Assistant _University of Great Falls Bachelor of Arts Paralegal Studies & Political Science, high honors - 2006 Minor in Business Administration and History, high honors - 2006 C.M. Russell High School - 2001
Professional Organizations and Memberships:
Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys Montana Bar Association Western Montana Bar Association Criminal Law Section of the Montana State Bar
Honors and Awards:
2017 National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys Top 10 under 40 2016 National Trial Lawyer's Top 40 under 40 2015 National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys Top Ten under 40 Graduate of Advanced Trial Advocacy Program 2011: Published Author Is the Government in My Pocket? An Overview of Government Location Tracking of Cell Phones under the Federal System and in Montana, 72 Mont. L. Rev. 261 (2011) CALI Excellence for the Future Award Recipient in Child Advocacy (2011) _
National Trial Team Coach at the University of Montana School of Law, 2015-2017 Board Member at the Humane Society of Western Montana Legislative and Advocacy Committee 2013-2015
Past Employment Positions:
Stack & Kottke, PLLC - Owner/Managing Partner, 2015 - Present Smith & Stephens, P.C. - Criminal Defense Associate Attorney, 2012-2015 Montana Supreme Court - Law Clerk for Justice Jim Rice, 2011-2012 Criminal Defense Clinic, UM Law - Attorney, 2010-2011 Federal Defenders of Montana - Law Clerk, Summer 2010 Professor Cynthia Ford - Evidence and Civil Procedure Research Assistant , 2010-2011 United States Senate Committee on Finance - Law Clerk, Summer 2009 Office of the State Public Defender - Paralegal, 2006-2008 Smith, Walsh, Clark & Gregoire - Paralegal, 2005-2006 Cascade County Public Defender's Office - Paralegal, 2005 (temporary position) Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill - Server, 2002 - 2012