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James W. Thompson, now retired, is an acknowledged authority on the subject of wills, trusts, and estates. He is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is well-known as a speaker and seminar leader in the field of estate planning and asset protection. Mr. Thompson is known for his ability to condense complex legal principles and problems to meet each client’s situation.

Mr. Thompson graduated from the University of Montana School of Business in accounting, and earned a C.P.A. certificate. He then received a Juris Doctor (law) degree from the University of Montana Law School. Mr. Thompson is admitted to practice law in the State of Montana, in both State and Federal Court, as well as the United States Tax Court. He has been in the private practice of law in Billings since 1962. He served a term as Billings City Attorney and served on the State Bar of Montana’s committee on Estates and Trusts.

Mr. Thompson has been active all his professional life in community affairs and has served on many boards and commissions, in both the public sector and the private. He lives in Billings with his wife, Linda, and has three grown children.

Law Office Staff

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Sam S. Painter


Sam S. Painter graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. After working in his field of study, he attended the University of Montana’s School of Law and obtained a Juris Doctor (law) degree in 1993.

Mr. Painter worked as a criminal prosecutor for two years before joining a private law firm in Great Falls, MT. In 1996, Mr. Painter relocated to Billings, MT and founded Elk River Law Office, P.L.L.P. where he developed a broad based general litigation practice for eighteen years. Mr. Painter serves as City Attorney for the Cities of Laurel and Red Lodge, MT.

In 2015 Mr. Painter and Mr. Thompson joined forces and established Thompson Painter Law, P.C. for the purpose of expanding Mr. Thompson’s highly successful and respected estate planning law practice. At Thompson Painter Law, Mr. Painter will provide legal advice on the subject of wills, trusts, and estates.

In addition to the practice of law, Mr. Painter taught Federal Indian Law at Montana State University Billings for two semesters and currently serves as a Board Member for the Native American Development Corporation, a non-profit corporation established for the purpose of assisting and mentoring minorities in business development in impoverished areas in Montana and Wyoming. Mr. Painter resides in Billings with his wife Sheree and three children.

Michael C. Yasenak


Michael C. Yasenak earned his J.D. at Indiana University in Indianapolis. While attending law school, he had the opportunity to work for the State of Indiana and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Prior to joining Thompson Painter Law P.C., Mr. Yasenak owned and operated Yasenak Law Office, PLLC, a general litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice in Billings, Montana. At Yasenak Law, his practice was focused on mediating and resolving issues in abuse and neglect cases for the Thirteenth Judicial District Court in Yellowstone County.

Before setting out on his own to open Yasenak Law Office, Mr. Yasenak was a partner at Snodgrass, Copenhaver, and Yasenak, PLLC, a general litigation firm in Billings. There, his practice was focused on criminal law, civil litigation, and personal injury.

Mr. Yasenak joined Thompson Painter Law in November, 2017, and his practice now focuses exclusively on wills, trusts, and estates. Mr. Yasenak resides in Billings with his wife Leah and two young children.

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Tina Figarelle

Office Manager & Paralegal

Kristina was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana.  She attended MSU-GF where she earned a degree in Legal Studies and has worked as a paralegal in Great Falls and Billings.  Kristina joined the firm in 2007.  She is the office manager and works on creation and funding of Living Trusts.  Kristina’s son is a recent graduate of MSU Bozeman, and teaches high school history in Henderson, Nevada.


Director of First Impressions

Daisy has been with Thompson Painter Law P.C. for several years.  She is our director of first impressions and specializes in client comfort and development.  By the way, she is a Beagle.

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Paralegal Vacant


For More Information

For more information about Thompson Painter Law P.C., call our office. 406-294-4230 or 1-800-814-1248, M – Th 8-5 and Friday 8-2 (closed over the noon hour).

If you are wondering if you need estate planning or a trust, ask for our free initial telephone interview. One of our staff members will ask you some no-obligation questions to determine if our estate planning services can help you and your family.

Or send us an email with your telephone number and estate planning concern. Our staff will contact you during our business hours.