For 40+ years, Clifford Edwards has dedicated his law practice, throughout Montana and based in Billings, to representing individual Montanans and their small businesses. Clifford has:
- Championed the cause of Montanans injured through the fault of others
- Sued the insurance companies that have denied benefits that Montanans have coming
- Sued the toxic polluters that have fouled Montanans' properties, forcing them as toxic polluters to pay to clean-up the mess they left
- Sued manufacturers of defective products that injured, maimed and killed Montanans
- Sued the Burlington Northern Santa Fe for damages they have inflicted on Montanans in personal injury as well as toxic pollution through their properties.
He has had considerable success in the courtroom, and in the negotiation room, and has been able to significantly help many Montanans all over the state, to remedy wrongs that have been done to them, mostly by the corporations listed above. In addition to the above, Clifford and his firm are among legal leaders in representing the injured and maimed in Bakken Oil Field work incidents, as well as landowners against the multiple international, southern U.S.-based oil extractors drilling on their deeded land surfaces.
Honors & Achievements
Clifford's efforts on behalf of his clients have received national attention. In 1996, he was invited into the most prestigious organization of trial lawyers that exists in America: the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. That association limits its membership to just 500 lawyers throughout the entire United States. That is less than 1/10 of 1% of all of the lawyers practicing in America. The meetings that the Academy holds, around the country, have provided Clifford a network of trial lawyers of great note that has significantly broadened his ability to select expert witnesses, as well as share up to date litigation and trial techniques on the cutting edge in United States. Clifford has been very active in IATL and was elected Secretary-Treasurer of IATL in 2014, served that office until April of 2016, when he was elected Dean of the Academy, a past he now holds through April of 2017.
In 2002, he was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is limited to 1% of attorneys throughout America, and similar benefits with his fellow college members exists like that of the International Academy. Clifford was named the Montana Trial Lawyers of the year in 1996. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America (which is a selection based on the vote of his peers in the trial bar) since 1987.
He was selected as a delegate to a People to People-Professional Trial Lawyers Delegation to China in the fall of 2007. Only 45 members of the American Association of Justice were picked to represent the top trial lawyers in America in interacting with top lawyers throughout China. In 2007, the American Association for Justice selected the top 100 trial lawyers in America and Clifford was included in that. He has been listed in the top 75 Mountain States "Super Lawyers" since 2008. Clifford has obtained some of the highest jury verdicts ever in Montana's history, on behalf of Montanans against major U.S. Corporations. He holds the distinction of receiving the largest verdict in Montana that was affirmed, intact, with 10% statutory interest, in the State's history.
Clifford presently, with his firm members, is very active in Courtroom practice around the entire State of Montana.
Early Life & Outside Interests
Clifford is a third generation Montana. Grandfather Edwards came to the great Judith Basin of central Montana in the early 1890s. His Grandfather Cunningham came shortly after the turn of the century to that same area. Clifford's roots run deep in agriculture and Edwards' cattle have grazed the Judith Basin for over 100 years now. The Edwards' family business interests include banking and aviation, but Clifford has a particular passion, which he has exercised for the last third of a century, of being a Montana born and educated trial lawyer representing individual Montanans and their small businesses, and some of Montana's largest ones.
Clifford grew up in the small central Montana town of Denton, graduated from high school there, and graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Montana and thereafter the University Of Montana School Of Law in Missoula.
Clifford's outside interests are raising Black Angus cattle and riding good Quarter Horses. He came to peace with the game of golf by giving it up 30 years ago. He loves the outdoors, enjoys bird hunting, and spends as much time possible at Swan Lake with his river boat and restored 1956 Chris-Craft Mahogany, the "ACE in the Hole."
Clifford's life centers on his family.
His first wife, Denise, put him through law school while they were in their early twenties, as she taught school. Their proudest accomplishments were always their two sons, Christopher and John. Denise died in 1999 of cancer. Their sons are both now Montana educated lawyers and members of their father's Edwards Law Firm.
In 2006, Clifford was introduced to his wife (since 01/08), Susan in Glasgow by a long-time personal friend. Clifford and Susan have found a real niche together. He is extremely proud of her past professional accomplishments and has welcomed her three children into his family. They enjoy their combined 6 grandchildren. Clifford and Susan love to travel and have enjoyed many of the major U.S. cities, Puerto Rico, and a number of trips overseas with the International Academy of Trial Attorneys, including India, Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Costa Rica, South America, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, Spain, Morocco, and New Zealand.
Clifford intends to actively practice law for many years to come and is proud of the team of lawyers and paralegals and assistants who have been put together at the Edwards Law Firm. Their practice is robust and they handle cases all over the great state of Montana, out of their office in Billings.
Areas of Practice
- Montana, 1974
- U.S. District Court District of Montana, 1974
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1974
- Federal Claims Court, 2008
- University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana
- Carroll College, Helena, Montana
Honors & Awards
- Montana Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1996 - Present
- Listed in the Best Lawyers in America, 1987 – Present
- Top 100 Verdicts in the United States, 2007 – Present
- Taught Advanced Advocacy at the University of Montana School of Law, 1986 - 2003
- Top 75 Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2007 - 2015
- Selected to attend the AAJ People to People Ambassador Professional Delegation to China, 2007 - Present
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, American Association for Justice, 2007 - 2016
Professional Associations & Memberships
- National Judicial Collage, Vice-Chair of the Board of Visitors
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Member, 2002 - Present
- Montana Trial Lawyers Association, Sustaining Member
- Montana U.S. District Court Case Management/Electronic Case Filing Implementation Committee, Member
- University of Montana Foundation, Member, Boards of Trustees, 2001 - 2004
- Carroll College, Member, Board of Trustees, 1996 - 2003
- U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, District of Montana, Chair, Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee, 2000 - 2002
- Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Representative for Chief Federal Judge for Montana, Jack D. Shanstrom, 1999 - 2002
- Montana Supreme Court Commission on Rules of Evidence, 1987
- American Association for Justice, Charter Member, President’s Club, and Leaders Forum
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers Board of Directors, International Relations Committee, and Admissions Committee, Secretary Treasurer, and Dean of the Academy, 2016-2017
- National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada, Chairman, Board of Visitors, 2016 - 2017
- MTLA, Lifetime Achievement Award , 2016
- Chairman of National Judicial College