Steve Bell

Steve Bell

Missoula P +1 (406) 721-5565 F +1 (303) 629-3450 Denver P +1 (303) 629-3400



Steve is a partner in the Trial group.

Education & Admissions

University of South Dakota School of Law (J.D., 1978), President, Moot Court Board, 1977-1978

Dartmouth College (A.B., History and English, 1974)


  • Colorado
  • South Dakota
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. District Courts of Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and Colorado 


Representative Work

  • Successfully defended lender liability suit against Brookings South Dakota Bank in Federal District Court for South Dakota in May, 2000. Regularly represents clients in state and federal courts in South Dakota.
  • Chemical Separation Technology v. Environmental Chemical Corporation, successful defense against a claim of misappropriation of trade secrets brought by CST. The case involved the clean-up of the Summitville Mine Superfund site. ECC defended by arguing that it acted at the direction of the United State EPA and that CST had no real trade secret. CST sought damages of $178,000,000. Jury found for defendant on all counts.
  • Burcham, et al. v. Rocky Mountain Oil. Successful settlement of underground petroleum storage tank leak under “Sunburst” damage theories.
  • Jim's Excavating Service v. HKM, Construction litigation case involving claims by a contractor on a municipal water transmission line against the architect/ engineer. Case of first impression in Montana as to whether or not architect/engineer has liability to contractor despite no privity jury award of $381,000.00 -- judgment affirmed by the Montana Supreme Court.
  • Central Bank, National Association v. Castle Pines North Metropolitan District of Douglas County, Colorado, et al Trustee, Central Bank, sought mandamus action to enforce the terms of $43,000,000 of finance bonds. A municipal subdivision, Castle Pines North, defended the matter with 21 affirmative defense and "counter-claims." The lower court ruled in favor of the Trustee directing mandamus to the Board to raise taxes to a sufficient level to repay the bonds. The case was settled favorably on appeal.
  • Bink v. First Bank West Great Falls, successful defense of First Bank West Great Falls and its parent First Bank System, Inc., against claims of wrongful dismissal from employment.
  • Rostad and Rostad Corporation v. Investment Management and Research. Arbitration on behalf of claimant Rostad and Rostad resulting in an award of full compensatory damages, costs and attorneys' fees and punitive damages in excess of $200,000. Award enforced in district court and upheld on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Current representation of Erickson Petroleum Company who has been sued by homeowners after a gasoline truck overturned and spilled 6,000 gallons of gasoline. The EPA has directed the clean-up.
  • In excess of forty trials in state and federal court.
  • Representation of numerous clients before courts in fourteen different jurisdictions.
  • Numerous successful summary judgment motions in Federal District Court, District of Colorado.
  • In excess of 20 arbitrations on behalf of Broker/Dealers before the NASD, FINRA, NYSE, and the American Arbitration Association

News & Resources


Ninth Circuit Asks Montana Supreme Court for Guidance: Is an Employer Defending Itself in a Wrongful Discharge Lawsuit Limited to the Reasons for Termination Given in a Discharge Letter?
Vaccine Status is a Protected Trait in Montana
Companies Consider Transparent Face Masks as an ADA Accommodation During Pandemic
Montana Supreme Court Upholds $2.3 Million Judgment Against Former Employees Subject to Restrictive Covenant
Colorado Courts Further Restrict Use of Restrictive Covenants
Montana Supreme Court Upholds Employers Right to Change Sick Leave Payout Policies
The Supreme Court
What Can You Do When Your Employee Shows Up Stoned?
Whistleblower Claims: Understanding Your Role
Lender Liability in the 21st Century - Understanding Your Risks
Author, "Do's and Don'ts of Arbitration," Montana Defense Lawyers Association, summer publication

News & Press Mentions

Chambers USA 2024 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
200 Dorsey Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in 2024 Best Lawyers in America, Lawyers of the Year, and Ones to Watch
Super Lawyers Recognizes 16 Dorsey Attorneys in Boise, Missoula, and Salt Lake City
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Four Dorsey Lawyers and Three Practices in Missoula
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Chambers USA 2022 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Steve Bell Comments on Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers Reinstated by Court
Steve Bell Comments on NYC Expanding COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
Steve Bell Discusses Employee COVID Booster Shots
Steve Bell Discusses Biden's COVID Strategy
Steve Bell Comments on Unemployment Benefits and Vaccine Mandates
Steve Bell Comments on Universities Imposing Vaccine Mandates
Super Lawyers Recognizes Stephen Bell in Missoula
Dorsey Partner Steve Bell Comments on Layoffs During COVID-19
Super Lawyers Recognizes Stephen Bell and Jack Manning in Missoula
Chambers USA 2019 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Super Lawyers Recognizes Stephen Bell and Jack Manning in Missoula
Chambers USA 2018 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Missoula
11 Dorsey Lawyers in Salt Lake City Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 and 2018 Lawyers of the Year
Super Lawyers Recognizes Stephen Bell and Jack Manning in Missoula
Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practice Groups in Missoula
Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Sixteen Dorsey Attorneys Named Utah Legal Elite
Super Lawyers Recognizes Stephen Bell and Jack Manning in Missoula
Chambers USA 2016 Ranks Dorsey Lawyers and Practices

Select Presentations

  • Speaker at the State Bar of South Dakota CLE, Unemployment Law - Americans with Disabilities Act, 1993
  • Speaker at Employment Law Seminar in Billings, Montana, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, January, 1992
  • Speaker at Colorado Human Resources and Employee Benefits Update, July, 1995
  • Speaker at National Business Institute Seminar, Employee Handbooks in Colorado, 1998

Industries & Practices

Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction & Design
  • Construction Litigation
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Environmental
  • Franchise & Distribution Law
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Labor & Employment
  • Products Liability
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Sustainability


  Chambers USA 2023Chambers 2022Chambers USA 2021  Ranked in Chambers USA 2020  Ranked in Chambers USA 2019 Leading Individual  

      Chambers USA 2018 Leading Individual  Ranked in USA Chambers 2017 Leading Individual  Ranked In - USA Chambers and Partners 2016 - Leading Individual

           Contributed 100+ Pro Bono Hours in 2021 Contributed 50+ Pro Bono Hours in 2020

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2018 and 2020-2024
  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Litigation: General Commercial), 2016-2023
  • Listed in Mountain States Super Lawyers®, 2014-2019 and 2021-2023
  • Contributed more than 50 Challenge pro bono hours, 2020, 2022
  • Contributed more than 100 Challenge pro bono hours, 2021
  • Listed in Colorado Super Lawyers, 2009-2011
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
Steve Bell