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Press Release

U.S. Attorney hires five new attorneys

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

BILLINGS – U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme announced today the recent hiring of five new assistant U.S. attorneys for the District of Montana.

Two of the attorneys are in the Billings office, while two attorneys are in the Great Falls office and one attorney is in the Helena office.

“I am pleased that these five new attorneys, with excellent education and experience, have agreed to join our office. They received high praise from past employers and other references as to their abilities, and importantly, their character and ethics,” Attorney Alme said. “Their addition will help our office keep the people of Montana safe from meth-driven violent crime, address violent and drug crime on our reservations and fight prescription pill diversion.”

Joining the Billings office’s criminal division are Karla Painter and Julie Patten:

  • Painter, from Huntley, received her undergraduate degree from Montana State University – Billings in 2008 and her law degree from the University of Montana in 2011. Painter served as a law clerk for Montana Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker for one year then joined the Missoula County Attorney’s Office, where she advanced to become a senior deputy county attorney prosecuting violent felony and financial crimes.
  • Patten, from the White Sulphur Springs area, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana in 2007 and her law degree from UM in 2011. Patten joined the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office in 2011 and advanced to become a senior deputy county attorney. She prosecuted violent crimes and served on the felony drug court team. Patten also represented the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office on the Project Safe Neighborhoods task force, which is a federal Department of Justice initiative to bring together multiple law enforcement agencies to fight meth-driven violent crime.

Joining the Great Falls office’s criminal division are Kalah A. Paisley and Cassady A. Adams:

  • Paisley, from Salem, OR, received her undergraduate degree from Western Oregon University in 2004 and her law degree from Georgetown University, Washington D.C., in 2007. Paisley served as deputy legal counsel for the Crow Nation from 2008 to 2012. Beginning in 2013, Paisley was a prosecuting attorney for Clark County, Washington. Paisley also serves as a judge advocate for the Army National Guard, serving a deployment in the Middle East from June 2017 to March 2018.
  • Adams, from Mobile, AL, received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University, LA, in 2012, and her law degree from the University of Colorado in 2015. After graduation, Adams worked as a deputy district attorney for the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Colorado.

Joining the Helena office’s affirmative civil enforcement unit is Michael A. Kakuk.

  • Kakuk, from Helena, received his undergraduate degree from St. Cloud State University, MN, in 2003, and his law degree from Willamette University, Oregon, in 2007. Kakuk began as an honors attorney then worked as an assistant attorney general with the Oregon Department of Justice. In 2013, Kakuk became an attorney with the Office of the Montana State Auditor where he prosecuted both civil and criminal violations of Montana law. He also was an adjunct professor, teaching business law at Helena College, with the University of Montana.




Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated February 8, 2019