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Chad Wright MTACDL Profile

Chad Wright
Apellate Defender Office
Criminal defense
555 Fuller Ave

Chad Wright

P.O. Box 1582

Helena, MT 59624



President Years Employed (April2012 to Present)

Wright Legal, P.C. Helena, Montana

Assumed ownership and management of solo practice criminal defense law firm. Busy practice currently representing clients in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, federal district court criminal and habeas proceedings, state district court trial proceedings, state post-conviction and city court criminal trials.

Vice President Years Employed (2006 to 2011)

Hooks & Wright, P.C. Helena, Montana

Partner with William F. Hooks in a multipurpose criminal defense law firm. Represented clients in pre-trial, trial, sentencing and collateral criminal proceedings in state and federal court. Special experience in appellate, postconviction and habeas corpus proceedings.

Chief Appellate Defender Years Employed (2000-2006)

Montana Appellate Defender Office Helena, Montana

Managed small state office representing indigent criminal defendants in conflict of interest cases on direct appeal to the Montana Supreme Court and post conviction challenges before the state district courts. Worked with state support agencies to create budget and justify the budget before the Montana Legislature. Personally handled extensive caseload of clients in various stages of criminal legal proceeding after conviction.

Assistant appellate defender Years Employed (1997-2000)

Montana Appellate Defender Office Helena, Montana

Represented indigent clients challenging their criminal convictions in state district court and on appeal to the Montana Supreme Court. Duties included spotting potential issues, conducting legal research and drafting legal briefs. Reviewed work of supervising attorney and helped formulate strategies on major cases.

Law Clerk Years Employed (1996-1997)

18TH Judicial District Court, Hon. Thomas Olson

Bozeman, Montana

Researched and drafted legal memorandums, orders and dispositions for review and approval of state district court judge. Fielded questions from attorneys and members of the public appearing before the court. Responsible for general courtroom duties.

Research Attorney  Years Employed (May-Nov. 1996)

Indian Law Resource Center Helena, Montana

Conducted legal research on a contract basis with national law firm dedicated to advancing Native American interests. Presented results to supervising attorneys on wide variety of topics ranging from voting rights to mining reclamation.


Juris Doctorate Years Attended (1993 - 1996)

University of Montana School of Law Missoula, Montana

Erasmus Scholarship for interest in future public service, Margery Brown Award for paper on Indian Major Crimes Act, Montana Defender Project Student Intern.

Bachelor of Arts Years Attended (1988 -1992)

The Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colorado

Combined major in Classics-History-Politics. Four-year starter on Division III football team.


Life in the Balance X, Death Penalty & Mitigation Training, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 22-25, 1998

NLADA Appellate Defender Training, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 19-22, 1998 and November 16-19, 2000

Department of Justice Indigent Defense Seminar, Washington D.C., June 29-30, 2000

Capital Case Defense Seminar; Monterey, California, February 15-18, 2002

Capital Crimes Defense, Bozeman, Montana, June 6-7, 2002

Trial Lawyers College Death Penalty Seminar, Dubois, WY, May 8-14, 2006

NACDL Cutting Edge Defense Seminar, Austin, TX, February, 2010

MTACDL Annual Training, Chico Hot Springs, MT (multiple time attendee and presenter)

Notable Cases

State v. Lynch, 969 P.2d 920 (Mont. 1998)(Homicide conviction reversed and state charges dropped for unconstitutional admission of improperly obtained wiretap evidence.)

State v. Francis, 36 P.3d 390 (Mont. 2001)(Homicide conviction reversed for improper admission of co-defendant’s statements.)

State v. Pope, 80 P.3d 1232 (Mont. 2003)(Sexual intercourse without consent conviction reversed and charges dropped based on evidence of actual innocence discovered past jurisdictional time limits.)

State v. Matt, 199 P.3d 244 (Mont. 2008)(Deliberate homicide conviction reversed based on client’s exclusion from critical stage of trial proceedings.)

Since 1997, I have been counsel of record in 101 opinions issued by the Montana Supreme Court, and have obtained trial or sentencing relief for my clients in 38 of those cases.

State v. George Coon, CDC 2006-184 (Not guilty verdict in state district court jury trial charging Aggravated Assault.)

United States v. Steven Pomeroy, CR 07-19 (Acquittal in federal district court jury trial charging Receipt of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography.)

Since 2006, I have obtained not guilty verdicts after jury trials conducted in federal court, state district court, justice court and city court in Lewis and Clark County.

Chad Wright

555 Fuller Ave,Helena,MT,59601555 Fuller Ave

Helena MT