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
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.
Tina Figarelle is Thompson Painter Law P.C.’s office manger and trust paralegal.
Tina was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana. She attended Montana State University GF, where she earned a degree in Legal Studies. She has worked as a legal assistant in Great Falls and Billings since 1990.
Tina joined the firm in 2007 and works on the creation and funding of Living Trusts. She has a son who is currently a student at MSU Bozeman.
Legal Assistant & Administrator
Juleianna was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where she earned her paralegal degree from Oregon State University in 2015.
Juleianna handles our Wills, probates, and trust administrations. When she is not in the office, you can find her cheering on her daughters’ soccer games, hiking, and playing golf.