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79 Mont. L. Rev. 1 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/montlr79 and id is 1 raw text is: 









                          TRIBUTE












A  TRIBUTE TO JUSTICE WHEAT ON THE OCCASION OF
         HIS  RETIREMENT FROM THE MONTANA
                       SUPREME COURT

                       Nick   Kirby Brooke*



    Justice Mike Wheat  retired from the Montana Supreme Court at the
end of 2017, after serving seven years on the bench. Wheat was appointed
by Governor Brian Schweitzer in 2010 to replace the retiring Justice John
Warner.' In 2014, the people of Montana  re-elected Justice Wheat with
59.1% of the vote after a contentious campaign which, at the time, was the
most expensive judicial race in state history.2
    Justice Wheat was born in Spokane, Washington in 1947 and raised in
California. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1968-1969 and was
awarded  a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. He married Debby
Craig, a Helena native in 1973, and has three sons, Matt, Christer, and
Craig, and a daughter, Stacey.
    Justice Wheat received his undergraduate degree in political science
from the University of Montana in 1975, and three years later, obtained his
law degree at the University of Montana School of Law. After graduation,
he worked as a Deputy County  Attorney in Butte, Montana.
     In 1981, Wheat moved to Bozeman, Montana to start the civil practice
of Cok & Wheat  with his law school classmate, Mike Cok. The firm started
out taking any business it could find, but eventually specialized in repre-

    * Nick Kirby Brooke clerked for Justice Wheat from 2013-2014.
    1. Charles S. Johnson, Bozeman's Mike Wheat Appointed to Montana Supreme Court, Missou-
LIAN, Dec. 23, 2009, https://perma.cc/N8Y3-G8D8.
    2. Mike Dennison, At Least $1.5M Spent on Montana's Wheat-VanDyke Supreme Court Race,
HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD, Nov. 26, 2014, https://perma.cc/MS9F-Y9YM.

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