- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Gov. Steve Bullock on Friday appointed Billings attorney Michael Glen Moses to a vacant district judgeship in Yellowstone County.

Moses, 61, will take the place of Susan Watters, who resigned in December to become a federal judge. Bullock spokesman Dave Parker said Moses and the court will work out the date he’ll be sworn into office.

Moses has been in private practice in Billings since 1978 and specializes in criminal law. He is a principle in the two-member firm Moses and Lansing PC and received a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Ore.

Moses will serve in the 13th Judicial District until an election is held in 2016.

The governor picked Moses from a field of five Billings attorneys nominated by the state’s Judicial Nomination Commission. The other candidates were Dennis Eakin, Lynn Grant, William Speare and Jeffrey Turner.

Moses said in his application to the commission that his family, law partner and colleagues encouraged him to seek the position after Watters was nominated to the federal bench.

His father, Charles “Timer” Moses, was his law partner until he retired and remains the biggest influence on how he has come to view the state’s justice system, Michael Moses wrote in the application.

“It took a while to figure out that to be as good as you could be, you could not pretend to be ‘Timer’ Moses - you had to be yourself,” Michael Moses wrote. “However, dad’s influence made me understand the importance of continuing the hard work of protecting, supporting and preserving our system of justice.”

Timer Moses represented Barry Beach in his 1984 murder trial for which Beach was convicted and sentenced to 100 years in prison for the killing of classmate Kim Nees in Poplar.

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