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Jennifer Dwyer

Jennifer Dwyer has a reputation for serving her clients with a deep understanding of criminal defense law and skilled advocacy at all levels of the judicial system.

Jennifer Dwyer is a dedicated advocate. Her thorough review of each case, no matter the charge, has helped her clients get the best results possible.

At the trial level, Ms. Dwyer primarily handles criminal cases, from traffic violations to serious felony charges in state and federal court. She aggressively litigates pretrial motions and has succeeded in obtaining court orders to suppress evidence and dismiss cases. Ms. Dwyer has also obtained favorable results through negotiations with opposing counsel before trial, as well as not guilty verdicts at trial by juries and by judges.

Ms. Dwyer is also an experienced appellate attorney. She has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in criminal and civil matters. Ms. Dwyer has successfully appealed cases to the Montana Supreme Court, convincing the Supreme Court to reverse the district court's decisions that were unfavorable to her clients.

A first generation American, Ms. Dwyer enjoys traveling to Ireland to visit her extended family and to new countries when possible. In the winter, she enjoys cross country and telemark skiing and mountain biking in the summertime. She joined Avignone, Banick & Williams as a partner in 2019.

Jennifer Dwyer has a reputation for serving her clients with a deep understanding of criminal defense law and skilled advocacy at all levels of the judicial system.

EXPERIENCE/NOTABLE CASES

In United States v. Raleigh, Ms. Dwyer's client was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Dangerous Drugs and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Law enforcement located approximately thirty-four pounds of methamphetamine, four pounds of cocaine, multiple pounds of marijuana, a firearm and over $40,000 in his vehicle pursuant to a search warrant. Ms. Dwyer succeeded in persuading the court to suppress all evidence obtained by law enforcement. All charges were dismissed.


In United States v. Hope Rathbun, Ms. Dwyer's client was charged in Federal Court with several charges of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Ms. Dwyer succeeded in obtaining an order to suppress all evidence in support of one charge of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, and the United States subsequently dismissed that charge.


Ms. Dwyer served as lead counsel in State of Montana v. Tanner Franks. Mr. Franks was charged with deliberate homicide for the stabbing death of his father. The defense litigated evidentiary issues uncovered in their diligent investigation and resolved the case by plea agreement resulting in the filing of an amended information charging mitigated homicide and ensuring Franks is eligible for parole when he is 51 years old.


In State of Montana v. Jason Marker, Ms. Dwyer successfully persuaded the court to suppress evidence of dangerous drugs located in a vehicle due to law enforcement's unlawfully prolonged stop of Ms. Dwyer's client. All charges were dismissed.


In State of Montana v. Stephen Thomas, Ms. Dwyer litigated a suppression issue at the trial level which sought to protect the privacy right of her client who resided on property owned by a person on probation and subject to probation searches. The Montana Supreme Court reversed the trial court's denial of Ms. Dwyer's motion and dismissed the case.


Ms. Dwyer successfully persuaded the Montana Supreme Court to reverse the termination of her client's parental rights in In re D.D. DA 19-0425. The Supreme Court determined that the district court erred in concluding that Ms. Dwyer's client abused or neglected her child.


Ms. Dwyer persuaded the Montana Supreme Court to reverse termination of her client's parental rights in In re D.E. and A.E. DA 17-0642. Ms. Dwyer successfully argued that the trial court failed to properly determine whether the children were members of or eligible for enrollment as members of the Blackfeet Tribe. This threshold issue was essential to the proper application of the Indian Child Welfare Act and its high legal standards to her client's parental rights.


Ms. Dwyer obtained not guilty verdicts at trial on charges including but not limited to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Methamphetamine, Indecent Exposure, and Assault.


In William Jones v. Toston Irrigation District, Ms. Dwyer negotiated a $275,000 settlement for her client in his Workers' Compensation Claim where her client's employer wrongfully denied receiving timely notice of her client's injury.


Ms. Dwyer has also litigated several cases under the Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act and obtained multiple settlements on behalf of her clients in those civil matters.

Practice Areas

Felony and Misdemeanor Criminal Defense; DUI, Appeals

Admitted

Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; United States District Court for the District of Montana; Montana Supreme Court; Montana State District Courts

Law School

University of Montana School of Law, J.D., 2010

College

Hamilton College, B.A., 2002

Member

State Bar of Montana; Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Criminal Justice Act Panel Member for the United States District Court for the District of Montana

Boards

Ms. Dwyer also serves as a Director for the Federal Defenders of Montana, Inc., Board of Directors and Board Member and Secretary for the Gallatin County Bar Association.