Firm news

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Tanya is Retiring

May 31st marks the last day for our longtime employee, Tanya Steil, who is retiring. She has been with the office for thirteen years, and has served as an able legal assistant with her primary role being client relations coordinator. Quite a run!

Those of you who know Tanya will remember her for her outgoing personality and contagious laugh. We'll remember her for that, and for her loyalty and can-do attitude.

Tanya, thank you for your many years of service, your role and help in making our firm what it is today, and your friendship.

Read more . . .

Friday, November 24, 2017

Blog Anniversary

December 1st will be a milestone in our office.  We started our blog 7 years ago and we have covered a lot over that time and seen a lot happen. 

Keith’s first blog introduced you to Jana and Jeanne.  Well, Jana left us to pursue other avenues.  We still keep in touch with her and her family and love to see them as often as we can.

Read more . . .

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Time for Gratitude

Even for a Norwegian the Christmas holidays are a time of great emotion.  For me there’s been:  Sorrow -  the first Christmas without my mom.  Excitement - the first time I ever got everything on my Christmas list (3 books!).  Stress - too much going on.  

But the emotion that shines through is gratitude.

Read more . . .

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We've Lost Margaret

Keith’s mom, Margaret, died last month at the age of 92.  Margaret worked in our office for 21 years as Bill Scott’s secretary.  She  reluctantly retired just a few years ago at age 87.

Margaret went back to work at age 63.  She hadn’t worked in an office for 30 years.  She was used to manual typewriters and carbon paper.  Xerox copiers and electric typewriters?  Personal computers?!  She had to master a lot of new technology at an age when many people are retiring.  She did master it: Word, Quickbooks, the works.

In addition to being Bill Scott’s legal secretary, Margaret served as the office bookkeeper and, really, the office manager.  I don’t care whose name was on the door or who had the law license.  She approached her work with just as much elbow grease, intelligence and care as any lawyer.

It’s not really fair to say she was a secretary.  Diploma or not she was a paralegal.  In another day and age Margaret would have been a lawyer herself.  That’s how she approached her job.  Come early, stay late.  Work weekends.  Draft documents accurately and make sure they look professional.  Do whatever she could for the client.   Get to know the client and their family.  Take a real interest in them and their problems.

Bill Scott was not an easy boss.  He was demanding and sometimes brusque.  He was also out of the office a lot in later years.  So, he would meet with a client, tell Margaret to take over and then head for the lake.  When he returned he expected everything to be ready.  Very little “mentoring.”  She was on her own.  If it wasn’t right, he’d let her know.  If it was done right, well, that’s what we expect, so let’s move on.

We’ve got a great team in our office right now.  But it sure would be good to have Margaret back helping us out.  Keith misses his mom.  We all miss her as a big part of what made our law firm what it is today.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What Am I Thankful For This Thanksgiving? Jury Duty!

Most of us at some point have received in the mail an official looking envelope from the local city, state or federal Clerk of Court, and upon opening it, discovered it was a summons for jury duty. While many of us have been summoned for jury duty, very few of us, I'm sure, have actually served on a jury. I now can be counted as one of the few.

To my surprise, I spent 5 days as a juror in early October in state District Court. Why was I surprised? Most people think of me as a friendly, likable guy, with no particular biases or extreme viewpoints. These would add up to, I suppose, the attributes that both the plaintiff and the defendant and their respective counsel were looking for as a juror to decide their case. So, again, why the surprise? Well, I was of the mindset that because I am a practicing attorney, there would be no way that the parties would want me to serve on their jury. I'd show up for jury selection that first day at 8:30 a.m. and be back to the office in short order––certainly no later than noon, right? Wrong! At 4:30 p.m. that afternoon the jury selection process concluded and I found myself, you got it, on the jury.

I immediately tensed up and started thinking about my schedule, the client meetings that needed to be canceled, and trying to figure out how to get my work done. I had a bad attitude that I carried into the first full day of trial the next morning. But then I got to know the other jurors who were serving with me. They too had busy schedules and responsibilities. It wasn't just me. I wasn't any more special or inconvenienced than anyone else there.

Once I realized this and focused my mind on the task at hand – the trial – my attitude changed, and much for the better. I enjoyed my experience and, when it was all said and done, was grateful for the opportunity to perform my civic duty. After all, I'd want others to do the same for me.

There are two big takeaways that I’ll long remember from my jury experience. The first is just how much I enjoyed getting to know my fellow jurors, laughing and joking during breaks and over lunch, even if it were only for a short period of time. The second is, as an attorney, gaining a whole new and invaluable perspective on the jury trial process – – from the viewpoint of a juror. I went into this matter thinking it an inconvenience and harmful to me and my law practice to spend my valuable time on a jury.  I came out of it being a better lawyer, I hope, from the insights I have gained.  For that I am thankful.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Tis’ the season for the holiday Christmas parties……

Do you work for a company that throws annual Christmas parties?  I do.  The Scott, Tokerud & McCarty firm always enjoys their Christmas parties.  We do not go to a nice restaurant or book a banquet room with catered food.  We are a family office that takes pride in actually taking the time to get caught up with one another and their families.  Every year, the office bosses take a turn hosting the annual Christmas party, except this year, it is at my house.  Yikes, right?  Not really.  There were a couple issues this year with each of my bosses’ homes being available, so I volunteered my house.  I actually like hosting parties.    So does my husband.  Thank heavens.  Actually, I think he enjoys it more. 

After we have settled on the date, we then decide on the menu and who will be bringing what.  This is such a great way to keep it casual and relaxing.  This just goes with the type of office we are.  We care about each one of our clients.  We try to provide a relaxing and professional experience. 

My name is Jeanne and I work for attorneys Keith Tokerud and Jon McCarty as their Legal Assistant.  Both have been practicing law twenty (20) plus years.  I have been with the firm now for a little over two (2) years.  I help out with the estate administrations (probates).  This is a difficult time in people’s lives.  Family members sometimes are not aware that their loved ones left undesignated property or assets to be dealt with after their passing.  That is where Jon and I come in.  We help people through this difficult time.  I am constantly teased by my counterparts here that I provide too many “phone hugs” to our clients. 

This firm strongly believes in allowing our clients the time to express their concerns and needs before advising them. Have you ever felt the need to stop yourself from interrupting someone and giving them the time they need to share their stories or concerns?  It is very hard sometimes, especially if that person’s concerns are very strong with emotions.  Keith and Jon listen to their clients.  They give them great legal advice and work very hard to provide the best legal work. They both hold their own in their respective fields.  Their experience and knowledge complement each other as well, when needed.  Sometimes the legal world can be a little crazy and stressful, but knowing that you work with attorneys who only want the best for their clients and their staff makes getting up and coming to work a little easier every day.       

So the flip side of working at this law firm is my co-workers.  I am a lady who is pretty conservative and very professional.  Have you ever heard the saying “it was meant to be?”  When I joined this firm, I was very pleased to know that I would be working with a lady who is as passionate about her work and as loyal as I am.  Tanya is very outgoing and loves to make you stop and say, “what did you just say?,” but I wouldn’t trade her charisma for anything.  She constantly goes above and beyond for our clients.  She handles all of our marketing and assists Keith with his estate planning and whatever else may be on Keith’s schedule. 

Marissa just recently joined our firm.  She comes fresh from college and very eager to learn.  She has one of the most important jobs here at Scott, Tokerud & McCarty…she is our receptionist and legal assistant and whatever else we need from her at the moment.  She makes the first contact with our clients.  She is always smiling and will always make sure if there is a problem, she is the first to find a solution. 

So to wrap up my blog……

When you work with such a great all around wonderful and professional group of people, why would you go out to eat at a fancy restaurant and take the risk of not having that relaxed environment to catch up with everyone?  I know I wouldn’t!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fresh out of college!

Fresh out of college, with a business degree and a hunger to succeed, I set out to find a job.  As I told my current employer in one of my many interviews; “I wanted to find a place to work that challenged me, that required me to continue to learn, and most of all, that I was proud of.”  Scott, Tokerud & McCarty has given me every one of those things (and quite a bit more).

I do not have a background in law, and at first everything was like a foreign language to me.  But, as I began to take on the challenge of learning about our firm and what we do here, I became more excited.  I am proud to be a part of a group that is so invested in what we do, and whom we serve.

It’s one thing to work with such knowledgeable people, but it’s a whole other experience to work with people who have the patience and caring to want to take the time to teach; to pass their knowledge to you.  It is the best gift you can give to someone.  After starting work here, I am motivated to continue to learn, and may even attempt going back to school, so that I can add that much more to this firm and our clients.

And, who knows, maybe someday I will be blogging some infinite wisdom or experience about estate planning, but for now I will leave that to Keith and Jon.  I’ll continue soaking up everything I can from them (as well as Tanya and Jeanne).

Happy Holidays everyone!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Who Cares?

A friend of mine from high school recently sent me an email that reminded me of what is really important in life.  The email contained the philosophy of Charles Schulz, creator of the classic comic strip Peanuts.  I was so struck by the power of this simple message that I wanted to share it with others.  It is set forth below.

Here’s A Little Quiz:

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.
Just read it straight through, and you’ll get the point.

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
Name the last decade’s worth of World Series Winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies.
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Did you find that Easier?

The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials…
The most money…or the most awards…
They simply are the ones who care the most.

In my life, the main difference makers are my friends and family, and yes, these include my terrific co-workers.  But they can be anybody . . . educators, doctors, coaches, volunteers, and so on . . . even the thoughtful person who opens the door for another or lets someone in front of him or her in line.  In this Thanksgiving season take a moment to think about and appreciate those who have made a difference in your life and what you might do to make a difference in the lives of others.  Who cares?  I do!

And to my high school friend who passed the email on to me . . . THANK YOU!!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taking up the challenge!

We decided that all our team members should be able to blog if they want to.  So I am taking up the challenge!

I don't know who “they” are, but “they” say if you like what you are doing, you never work a day in your life. 

I love working at the Scott, Tokerud & McCarty law firm!   I have never woken up and said, “I don’t want to go to work today.”  Well maybe the first day back after vacation when I was shopping for a week, but what girl wouldn’t? 

Keith Tokerud and Jon McCarty are amazing attorneys and really know their stuff.  A bit over two years ago we brought Jeanne Myers onto our staff, and she has been a major bonus to work with.  Jeanne is so efficient and able to juggle multiple tasks and keep them all straight.  Sometimes she just floors me with what she retains. 

Now we have added Marissa.  WOW!  Straight out of college and smart as they come.  You know “they” say that working with a bunch of women is hard, but not here.  I like working here!  This office bends over backward for their clients and really takes care of each other.  We are not the typical office and it shows.   Think I may retire here. 


Monday, August 27, 2012

We lost our senior partner.

Bill Scott, our senior partner, died earlier this month at his Swan Lake cabin with his family at his bedside.  He was 91, and he lived a full life.    He handled his dying as he did his living: with dignity and grace.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dedication and Heart

Today I get to brag about my colleague and mentor, Jon S. McCarty.  His dedication and heart should serve as an example to everyone.  Although Jon is the managing partner at the firm and has a very busy practice, he has trained over the past two years to become an exceptional cyclist.  This year his accomplishments as a cyclist and humanitarian are worth noting.

Jon completed one of his goals, to bike the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.  This is 48.7 miles through a mountain pass which at its highest point is 6,646 feet above sea level.  This is a remarkable feat of physical conditioning and courage.  This alone would be enough for most of us, but Jon went further. 

Not satisfied with biking almost 50 miles, just a few short weeks after his Glacier National Park ride, Jon completed a 100 mile bike ride for Special Olympics of Montana, and he raised more than $2,000.00 in donations.  Jon finished second, with a time of 8.5 hours.  He certainly went the distance for those athletes.

We are all so proud of you, Jon.  Good work and keep pedaling.



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