Great Falls Office
21 3rd St. North Suite 301
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 761-5595

  All Staff

J. David Slovak

Of Counsel, Odegaard Kovacich Snipes, PC

With multiple office locations across Montana, Odegaard Kovacich Snipes has experience serving clients throughout the state.

David Slovak, a former principal at Lewis, Slovak, Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. (now Odegaard Kovacich Snipes), grew up in Billings, Montana. He attended the University of Montana Law School graduating with his juris doctorate degree in 1980. Upon graduation, he served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Montana Attorney General's Office in Helena, Montana. During this time, David represented the State of Montana in litigation involving claims of governmental liability, including highway safety and design, workplace safety, and civil rights claims. Within this capacity, he had the opportunity to work with and against many of the finest trial attorneys in Montana. In 1983, David entered private practice in Great Falls, Montana, handling both the prosecution and defense of personal injury, workers' compensation, professional liability, product liability and claims.

Since 1994, his practice has been exclusively limited to the plaintiff's civil litigation. The firm's state-wide trial practice focuses on toxic tort, product liability, safe place to work, and environmental claims. David has been fortunate to handle a number of highly visible cases that have advanced not only the causes of individual clients, but the rights of Montana workers, consumers, and landowners. David was honored as the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Montana Trial Lawyers Association in 2005 and received MTLA's Appellate Advocate of the Year in 2008.

In 2016, David Slovak was recognized by the Best Lawyers of America as a Montana Lawyer of the year. The awards resulted from outstanding results achieved in the courtroom. In 2019, he received the Montana Trial Lawyers Association's Career Achievement Award for enduring contributions to the Law and citizens of Montana and a stellar record of trial and appellate successes.

He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers that have demonstrated the very highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct, integrity, and professionalism. Membership is limited to no more than 1% of the lawyer population of any state. He is annually listed in Best Lawyers of America for plaintiff's personal injury litigation and is further recognized as a Mountain States Super Lawyer and National Trial Lawyers Top 100 for his work in plaintiff's personal injury litigation. He is admitted before the Montana District Courts, the U.S. District Courts in Montana, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, wherein he has successfully represented numerous clients in toxic tort, environmental remediation, safe place to work, product liability, and insurance bad faith claims.

David is a sustaining member of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and served on its Board of Directors. He is a frequent lecturer at the University of Montana Law School and legal seminars. He has presented at the MTLA Seminar of the Masters and has served as a faculty member at the MTLA Trial Academy and the MTLA Boot Camp. A number of the firm's cases have generated national attention. The $41.2 million verdicts achieved in Sunburst v. Texaco, was recognized by Verdict Search Top 100 of 2004. Other cases have been featured in the New York Times and other national publications. David was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General to co-represent the State of Montana in the tobacco litigation suit that resulted in an $900 million settlement on behalf of the State of Montana. Other notable jury awards, judgments, and appellate results can be found at the Verdicts, Judgments & Settlements link.

A Montana native by chance, but resident by choice, David's recreational interests primarily involve great Montana outdoors. An avid climber, cyclist, skier, and white-water enthusiast, he enjoys the peaks, lakes, and rivers of Montana.

Education

  • University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana: J.D.
  • University of Montana, Missoula, Montana: B.A. - 1977

Honors and Awards

  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2005
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association Appellate Advocate of the Year, 2008
  • Best Lawyer of America, Montana Lawyer of the Year, 2016
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association Career Achievement Award, 2019
  • AV (Preeminent) Peer Review Rated
  • Best Lawyers in America (Plaintiff's Personal Injury, Environmental Litigation)
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers (Plaintiff's Personal Injury, Environmental Litigation), 2007 - 2012
  • VerdictSearch Top 100 of 2004
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Montana, 1980
  • U.S. District Court District of Montana, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1981
  • US Supreme Court, 2019

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2014 - Present
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, Sustaining Member, 1980 - Present
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Directors, 2006 - 2015
  • University of Montana Law School Board of Visitors, 2015-Present
  • Montana State Bar, 1980 - Present
  • American Bar Association, 1980 - Present
  • American Association for Justice, 1980 - Present
  • Montana Workers' Compensation Court Rules Committee, 1990 - Present
  • Governor's Advisory Counsel, 1997 - 1998

Pro Bono Activities

  • Cascade County Aging Services, 1983 - Present
  • Cascade County Legal Services, 1983 - Present

Over $500 Million Recovered for Our Clients

Giving it all it takes to maximize our client’s recovery. Read our case results to see how we’ve recovered millions for injury victims. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, turn to a firm with a history of success.

$41,200,000
Jury Verdict for Environmental Contamination

The firm represented several property owners in Sunburst, Montana, against Texaco for causing large scale pollution in the community as a result of historic refinery operations. After a month-long tr...

$36,000,000
Soil and Groundwater Contamination

We represented the City of Livingston and over 100 property owners against the railroad for causing soil and groundwater pollution in Livingston during historic railroad operations. After two weeks i...

$24,000,000
False Claims Act / Whistleblower Settlement

The largest False Claims Act recovery in Montana history. Representing a whistleblower CFO for a large Montana medical facility, Paul Odegaard acted co-counsel with lead counsel, Bryan Vroon, an Atlan...

$13,750,000
Traumatic Brain Injury

Our client suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when a faulty and improperly maintained parking barrier fell onto his head. After extensive litigation, including significant insurance coverage di...

Awards / Accolades