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Howard Recht

Howard Recht

Ravalli County’s newest district judge already knows way around the courthouse.

Howard F. Recht was appointed 21st Judicial District Judge by Gov. Steve Bullock Tuesday.

His move to his new office will be a short one.

Recht has served as the chief civil counsel for the Ravalli County Attorney’s Office since 2011 in the same building where his new office is located. As chief civil counsel, Recht worked closely with the Ravalli County Commission.

“He’s earned the respect of the county board and the community,” said Ravalli County Commissioner Greg Chilcott. “He’s fair and he’s honest. I think we will see some excellent decisions come from his bench. I’m excited. He gets it all. He’s worked in all of it.”

Commission chair Jeff Burrows called Recht’s appointment “bittersweet.”

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“I’m happy for him, but it’s a big loss for us,” Burrows said. “He’s has pretty much been our counsel since I’ve been here. Howard is one of those few attorneys that you rarely disagree with. He always gave good advice. He’s top-, top-notch. He’ll make a great judge.”

Before joining the county, Recht was owner of the Recht & Recht law office in Hamilton. Recht also served as corporate counsel for Fox Companies, an international logging company in Hamilton. He is a 1983 graduate of Brigham Young University and a 1986 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright was pleased with the governor’s appointment.

“I have a very high regard and respect for Howard and know he will be a tremendous judge,” Fulbright said. “It is a loss to the county attorney’s office, but a huge gain for Ravalli County.”

Recht replaces District Judge Jeff Langton, who retired at the end of April following a 25-year career. At the time Langton retired, he was the longest-serving state district judge in the state.

A swearing in ceremony will be held Tuesday, June 11, at 11 a.m. in the District Courtroom No. 1, at the Ravalli County Courthouse, 205 Bedford St., in Hamilton. The public is welcome to attend.

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