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05 November, 2023
# Topics

2001 Timer Moses Award - Ken Olson

05 November, 2023

An avid Grizzly football fan, active sports enthusiast, and former athlete, Ken Olson is also a criminal defense lawyer practicing primarily in northcentral Montana out of his Great Falls office. A Dutton farm boy, he obtained his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Montana in Missoula in 1970. Following his graduation from the U. Of M. Law School in 1974, Ken served as the Sweet Grass County Attorney in Big Timber until 1978 when he moved to Great Falls to form a partnership with Dennis Connor and Tom Baiz. Ken was a “part-time”Assistant Cascade County Public Defender from 1978 to 1979 and served again in that capacity in 1991. He has mentored several Great Falls lawyers including the late Steve Hagerman, Brant Light, Marv Anderson, Steve Hudspeth, Nate Hoines, Mike Tramelli, and Randy Tarum.

Ken has an active misdemeanor and felony practice primarily in the courts of record and no record of the State of Montana. He occasionally forays into the often complicated, dangerous, and draconian waters of the Federal courts where he tries to avoid ethical dilemmas and contempt citations. One of his more notorious cases was the successful defense of music teacher Paul Ritter who was accused of assaulting two Great Falls High students by tapping them on the head with the eraser end of a pencil. Ken was also a member of the esteemed “Agricultural Dream Team” which secured acquittals for Short Stephens and Stephens’ family and partners in a Federal farm fraud prosecution in 2001. Most recently, he obtained an acquittal for Meechie Joselin who was charged with deliberate homicide in the Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, Mineral County.

Earlier this year Ken resisted a flawed contempt ruling by the Federal District Court in Great Falls. On September 19th, 2006, he won that fight in the Ninth Circuit.