P. Mars Scott

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Missoula, MT

P. Mars Scott, PC Law Offices
 | 2920 Garfield, Suite 200, PO Box 5988
Missoula, MT 59806
Phone: 406-327-0600
Fax: 406-728-0948
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1980
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (80%),
  • Appellate (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    P. Mars Scott is a family law attorney in Missoula, Montana. The owner of P. Mars Scott Law Offices, Mr. Scott practices in all areas of family law including divorce and parenting cases, serving clients throughout the Missoula area. He has four decades of legal experience and holds licenses to practice law before all Montana state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

    Martindale-Hubbell awarded Mr. Scott an AV Preeminent* peer review rating, the highest available rating by the organization. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and named one of the “top 100 attorneys in Montana” by America’s Top 100 Attorneys.

    Mr. Scott is an author of numerous legal articles and regularly lectures at continuing legal education conferences and seminars. Over the years, he has served on various committees and in leadership roles with the State Bar of Montana. He remains an active member of the State Bar of Montana Family Law Section and the Montana Trial Lawyers Association.

    Early in his legal career, Mr. Scott served as a legislative aide for the United States Senate. He went on to work for a private law firm and practiced banking, corporate, insurance and labor law, before opening his own practice in 2000.

    Born and raised in Helena, Montana, Mr. Scott graduated from the University of Montana with dual majors in political science and psychology. He earned his law degree from the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law. He is a retired member of the Navy Reserve.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 80%Family Law
    • 20%Appellate


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 9 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2020

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    About Mars Scott

    Admitted: 1980, Montana

    Professional Webpage: http://www.pmarsscott.com/p-mars-scott/


    • Recipient of the Montana State Bar Local Professionalism Award for work on Domestic Relations Study Commission, Local Professionalism Award, Montana State Bar Association, 1999
    • Client-Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
    • America’s top 100 attorneys in the state of Montana
    • Mountain States Super Lawyer
    • Award for providing pro bono services to clients in Western Montana, Western Montana Bar Association Pro Bono Award, Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, 2008
    • Frank Haswell Award for Outstanding Article contributed to the Montana Lawyer, Professionalism: Has the Meaning Changed?, Montana State Bar Association, 1989
    • Frank Haswell Award for Outstanding Article contributed to the Montana Lawyer, Six Ways to Foster Public Trust in the Legal System, Montana State Bar Association, 2012

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified with the National Board of Trial Advocacy

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Member, Montana Trial Lawyers Association
    • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
    • United States Court of Federal Claims, 1983
    • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1983
    • Member, Montana State Bar Professionalism Committee, 1997 - Present
    • Organized CLE, Cutting Edge Family Law Issues. Montana State Bar. October, 2015.
    • Member Montana Supreme Court E-Filing Task, 2010 - Present
    • Member, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Legislation Committee, 2016
    • Montana Bar Association, 2012
    • Created prototype, Attorney-Client Agreement. Montana State Bar, September 2015.
    • U.S. District Court, District of Montana, 1980
    • Chairperson, Family Law Section, State Bar of Montana, 2005-2015
    • Produced 2-day training Module, "Mediating Cases Touched by Domestic Violence"; State Bar of Montana, February, 2014.
    • Member, Professionalism Committee, State Bar of Montana, 1997 - Present
    • Member, Montana State Bar, Family Law Section Board Member, 2016
    • One of two members selected by the Montana State Bar to present to local bar associates regarding Limited Scope Representation.
    • Chairperson, Domestic Relations Study Commission for the State Bar of Montana, 1996 - 1997
    • Montana, 1980
    • Chairperson, Family Law Section, State Bar of Montana, 1999 - 2001
    • Faculty Participant, Montana State Bar New Lawyers' Workshop & Roadshow, What does it mean to have a law degree? Pro Se, Limited Scope, Self Help, and the new MT Supreme Court Order. Technology, confidentiality & fee agreements. June, 2014.
    • Chairperson, Montana State Bar Domestic Relations Study Commission, State Bar of Montana, 1996 - 1997
    • Chairperson, Montana State Bar, Family Law Section, Legislative Committee, 2016
    • Member, Supreme Court Commission on Technology's Electronic-Filing and Remote Access Task Force, State of Montana, 2010 - Present
    • Western Montana Bar Association

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Board Member of Habitat for Humanity, 1995
    • Board Member, Habitat for Humanity, 1995
    • Graduated from the Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy presented by the Missoula, Montana City Police Department regarding the police force organization, budgets, tactics, rules of engagement, patrol duties and bomb detonation capabilities, 2011
    • Chairman of Board, Missoula Children's Theatre, 1987 - 1989
    • Board Member, Missoula Children's Theatre, 1984 - Present

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Statutory & Case update, Montana State Bar, Family Law Section Webinar, (November, 2013)
    • Lecturer, How to Read a 1040 Tax Form from a Dissolution Perspective, Montana State Bar Association, 2011
    • Pros and Cons of Allowing Limited Scope Representation and Ethical Considerations, State Bar of Montana, 2011
    • Presenter, The Law, the Guardian and the Judge, Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, 2009
    • Lecturer, How to Review a 1040 Tax Form from a Dissolution Perspective, Montana State Bar Association, 2010
    • Presenter, Why Do We Practice Family Law?, Montana State Bar Association, 2008
    • Lectured to high school students about the judicial branch of government and why the rule of law is important in our society, Lecturer, Law Day Lecture, Western Montana Bar Association, 2010
    • Discussed how two fundamental rights guaranteed by Montana’s Constitution, namely the Public’s Right to Know, Article II, Section 9, and the Right of Individual Privacy, Article II, Section 10, can be in conflict with each other in a dissolution action, Lecturer, Privacy Rules as They Related to Family Law, Montana Bar Association, 2009
    • Fee Agreements and Letters of Engagement, State Bar of Montana, 2011
    • Published an article in the Montana Lawyer magazine on six ways lawyers can foster the public's trust in the legal system, Author, Six Ways to Foster Public Trust in the Legal System, State Bar of Montana, 2011
    • Privacy Rules as They Relate to Family Law, State Bar of Montana, 2009
    • Co-Moderator, Annual Family Law Section CLE, 2013
    • Presenter, “Limited Scope Representation,” Law Week CLE, University of Montana, April of 2016.
    • Presenter, “Limited Scope Representation”, Missoula College, University of Montana Paralegal Studies, April, 2016 
    • Published the article, Not the Cleavers Anymore: Third-Party Parental Interests in Minor Children and the Evolving American Family, in the Montana Law Review, 2012
    • Contributed to memorandum for Mont Guide publication regarding premarital agreements, 2012
    • Summarized necessary family debt for State Bar of Montana's Veterans' Guide, 2012
    • Balancing Personal and Work Life, Montana Lawyer, 2007
    • 6 Ways to Foster Public Trust in Lawyers, Montana Lawyer, 2011
    • Ethical Consideration, State Bar of Montana, 2004
    • Contributed to website:@www.realworlddivorce.com, Research & Explanation, Phillip Greenspun's Book, John Hopkins University; Montana Section, 2014
    • Co-Author, article regarding Necessary Family Debt, Necessary Family Debt section, Veteran's Guide; For Montana veterans in an effort to improve legal services available to veterans in Montana, 2012.
    • Presenter, "Ethics Panel: Office Management, Fee Agreements, File Organization, etc." Montana State Bar, Family Law Section Annual CLE, May, 2013.
    • Presenter, "In Re: to the marriage of Funk." North-western Montana State Bar, Family Law Section, May 2013.
    • Presenter, "Family Law 101";Montana State Bar, Family Law Section Webinar, July, 2013.
    • Presenter, "Limited Scope Part I"; Montana State Bar, Family Law Section Webinar, August, 2013.
    • Presenter," Family Law in a time of change (concurrent session)";State Bar of Montana Annual Meeting, Family Law Section, September,2013.
    • Summarized Legislative Process, Judges' Conference, 2013
    • Panelist, "My Life in Family Law: Why/How/What I Wish I Had Learned in Law School."; University of Montana Law School, Family Law Class, January, 2014.
    • Presented CLE, Northwest Montana Bar Association, 2013
    • Presenter, "2013 Legislative Changes to Family Law Statutes"; Statutory & Case update, Montana State Bar, Family Law Section Webinar, November 2013.
    • Professionalism - Has the Meaning Changed?, Montana Lawyer, 1989
    • Presenter, on the Efficacy of Implementing State-Wide Parenting Guidelines, Judge's conference, May, 2014.
    • Lecturer at the University of Montana School of Law, Family Law class, 2012
    • Presenter, "Issues Related to Self-represented Litigants and the Impact of the Court System"; 2014 Board of Trustees' Retreat, May, 2014.
    • Lecturer, Montana Family Law Update, Montana State Bar--Great Falls, Montana, 2011
    • Presenter, "Complex Asset Distribution," "Family Law Apps for iPad and Android in 60 minutes," & "Client Interview Techniques"; Montana State Bar, Family Law Annual CLE, June, 2014.
    • Lecturer, Montana Family Law Update, Montana State Bar Billings, Montana, 2011


    • In re Marriage of Clark; Set standards for considering a parties’ premarital and cohabitation contributions in apportioning the marital estate, 2003
    • Eliason vs. Wallace; Gross negligence can justify an award of punitive damages in personal injury cases, 1984
    • Dowd vs. Dowd; Defined the scope of a district court's powers to equitably divide a marital estate, 1993
    • Jacobsen vs. Thomas; Defined the role, duties, responsibilities and obligations of an attorney in representing a child in a contested custody case, 2004
    • In re the Marriage of Funk; Clarified the law governing the distribution of marital assets, particularly inherited assets. While consideration must be given to specific statutory factors when apportioning gifted, pre-acquired or inherited property, such factors are not limits on the district court's discretion to fashion an equitable apportionment of all property owned by either or both parties, however, and whenever acquired., 2012
    • Kustad v. Maniaci; submitted Amicus Brief; Montana Supreme Court determined that same sex partners have parental rights to children under certain circumstances; A district court has discretionary authority to determine that a parent acted contrary to her child-parent relationship when substantial credible evidence supports its findings, 2009
    • LeFeber vs. Johnson; Defined standard of review in dissolution actions and also determined that claims by parties seeking to disavow earlier representations made regarding the status of a party's economic or personal relationship can be used against that party, 2009

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Life Member of the National Registry of Who’s Who, 2001
    • Montana Law Review Board of Editors, 1978 - 1980
    • Student Representative to the American Bar Association, 1979 - 1980

    Educational Background:

    • University of Montana, B.A. in Political Science, Psychology, High Honors, 1975
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    Office Location for P. Mars Scott

    2920 Garfield, Suite 200
    PO Box 5988
    Missoula, MT 59806

    Phone: 406-327-0600

    Fax: 406-728-0948

    P. Mars Scott:

    Last Updated: 8/19/2020

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