Mike McGrath

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Michael McGrath
Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court
Assumed office
January 5, 2009
Preceded by Karla M. Gray
Personal details
Born Butte, Montana, U.S.
Alma mater University of Montana
Gonzaga University School of Law

Michael ("Mike") McGrath currently serves as the Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. He was elected in 2008. He also served as Montana Attorney General from 2000-2008. He was elected in November 2000, and was unopposed for his second term in 2004. He was a member of the Montana Democratic Party. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

A native of Butte, Montana, McGrath graduated from the University of Montana with a BA in business administration in 1970 and received his JD from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1975. He was a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow in Reno, Nevada from 1975 to 1976, and Montana's Assistant Attorney General from 1976 to 1982.

He served as County Attorney for Lewis and Clark County for five terms spanning 1982 to 2000. In his 18 years as a prosecutor, McGrath focused on family violence issues, including domestic abuse and sexual assault of children. He ran for Governor of Montana in 1992, but lost in the Democratic primary to former State Representative Dorothy Bradley, who in turn lost the general election to Marc Racicot.

He is a former chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) and served as president of the Montana County Attorneys' Association.

Michael McGrath's opposition to the release of an innocent man was a case study in the very common human behavior of denial. In a 249 page deposition he[1] unsuccessfully argued against the exoneration of a convicted rapist despite DNA evidence proving his innocence.

He and his wife Joy have two sons, Pat and Chris, and one granddaughter, Alexis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schulz, Kathryn (2010). Being Wrong. HarperCollins. pp. 234–238. ISBN 978-0-06-117604-3. 
  • [1] Chief Justice Mike McGrath Biography
  • [2] Mike McGrath (MT)] at Project Vote Smart[dead link]
Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph P. Mazurek
Attorney General of Montana
Succeeded by
Steve Bullock
Preceded by
Karla M. Gray
Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court