Missoula law firm Milton Datsopoulos, whose legal job ranged from student malfeasance to the core of Montana’s mining overall economy, has died at 81.
“My sons, Kyle and Kevin and their close friends again in substantial college, would generally say, ‘if you are guilty, get in touch with Milty,” stated Dennis Washington, founder of Washington Companies who considered Datsopoulos his closest mate for 60 decades. They also shared a company romance that helped catapult Washington from a Missoula-based mostly development agency to a multinational company business.
Evan Barrett of Butte recalls that Datsopoulos performed a pivotal part as an advisor and confidante to Washington when Washington Co. bought Butte’s most significant copper mine from ARCO in 1985. The mine grew to become Montana Assets and carries on to run as a critical contributor to the regional economic climate.
ARCO had shut down the mines in Butte and situations were grim, Barrett reported. Datsopoulos aided facilitate and also participated in a meeting at his household in Missoula in August 1985. Individuals signing up for the dialogue about the opportunity mine buy integrated Washington, Barrett, Don Peoples Sr., U.S. Sen. John Melcher and Gov. Ted Schwinden.
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Datsopoulos was also instrumental in offers to provide the Butte Drinking water Corporation into community ownership and Washington Businesses acquisition of Montana Rail Website link.
Datsopoulos died March 12. He was born in Missoula and attended Sentinel Higher College and the College of Montana. He graduated from the UM Legislation University with honors in 1965.
Barrett mentioned Datsopoulos was hugely regarded by Larry Elison, his previous law professor at the College of Montana.
“(Elison) said Milt was the most excellent scholar he at any time experienced,” Barrett stated.
Datsopoulos formed his personal legislation company in 1974, which eventually grew to become regarded as Datsopoulos, MacDonald and Lind, P.C. There, he represented a large vary of superior-profile, indigent and controversial shoppers.
He served as attorney for a group of plaintiffs who accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena around decades of sexual abuse, ensuing in a 2015 settlement for $20 million and commitments by the church to create whistleblower defense policies.
That identical year, he defended former University of Montana Grizzly football participant Beau Donaldson in a rape scenario, in which Donaldson pleaded guilty.
Household customers famous his fondness for keeping courtroom soon after get the job done at Missoula’s Stockman’s Bar on Entrance Road, wherever “Milt was the only particular person to have his have button on the Stockman’s Bar hard cash sign-up.” Missoula attorney and Washington Basis Government Director Mike Halligan recalled operating into Datsopoulos there on an afternoon shortly soon after Halligan had still left the point out Legislature in 2003.
“He requested, ‘How appear you have not applied for the governing administration affairs at Washington Corp? You should really apply.’” Halligan claimed. “I’d hardly ever labored at a corporation — just as a personal legal professional or at the courthouse. He mentioned, ‘I’m likely to discuss to Denny and have him just take a look at you.’ At age of 52, it’s hard to get a career out below. I know his advice intended a good deal.”
The Datsopoulos loved ones reveled in his colorful own everyday living, noting “All his life, he drove Jaguars, but he hardly ever minded if they have been stolen, which they have been much more often than you can count on your fingers.” He managed a adore of authentic Greek feta cheese, Scotch whisky, Frank Sinatra and the UM Grizzly athletics teams. In lieu of flowers, the loved ones requests donations in Milt’s title to the Grizzly Scholarship Association. Milt’s assistance will be held on March 26, 2022, at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church at 130 South Sixth Avenue East in Missoula. Online condolences may possibly be left at gardencityfh.com.
Duncan Adams contributed to this tale.