Messenger & Overfield, P.C.
116 North 5th Street
P.O. Box 111
Thermopolis, WY 82443
Phone: 307-463-4415
Toll Free: 866-930-5115
Fax: 307-864-9468
Thermopolis Law Office Map

Michael S. Messenger

Michael S. Messenger

Shareholder
Location:
Thermopolis, Wyoming
Phone:
307-463-4415
866-930-5115 (Toll Free)
Fax:
307-864-9468
Email:

Raised in Cody, Wyoming, Michael Messenger attended undergraduate school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. After spending three months as a VISTA Volunteer in Chicago, he was drafted in August, 1969 into the U.S. Army. Spending 14 months in South Vietnam, he attained the rank of Acting Sargent/E-5, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal and received an honorable discharge.

Graduating from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1975, Mr. Messenger and his wife moved to Thermopolis and began the practice of law. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association since 1977, held several elective offices and was President in 1984-1985. In addition to serving on the Fee Dispute Committee and as Chairman of the Lawyers Assistance Task Force, Mr. Messenger was elected to serve a three year term as the Fifth Judicial District Commissioner to the Wyoming State Bar. He currently serves on the Lawyers Assistance Committee.

During his first ten years as a sole practitioner, Mr. Messenger served a four year term as the elected Hot Springs County and Prosecuting Attorney and was the first Assistant Public Defender of Washakie-Hot Springs Counties. Although both offices were part-time, it was in these positions that he developed his skills as a trial lawyer, prosecuting and defending many serious criminal cases.

Mr. Messenger was a principal in the formation of Messenger & Jurovich in January, 1985, a firm which has grown to five attorneys and two paralegals. The firm works as a team on large or complex cases and has successfully sued many large and multinational entities, including pharmaceutical giants, oil companies, trucking firms and companies in the energy industry. Messenger & Jurovich is a full service law firm and practices statewide.

Community activities are emphasized at Messenger & Jurovich. Mr. Messenger has served on the boards of Gottsche Rehabilitation Center, American Red Cross, Hot Springs County Counseling Center, and Community Federated Church. He is active in several Masonic organizations, Rotary International and serves on the board of the University of Wyoming Alumni Association.

Recognized by his colleagues, Mr. Messenger holds Peer Review Rating of A-V from Martindale-Hubbell, the authoritative rating company for attorneys. The level of rating attests to a lawyer's legal ability and professional ethics. An A rating denotes professional ability of very high to preeminent and V stands for very high ethical standards.

Mr. Messenger has obtained substantial jury verdicts in both state and federal courts throughout Wyoming. For example, a jury awarded a victim of sexual harassment $200,000 to which was added legal fees and costs of $150,000. An injured taxidermist was awarded a verdict of $725,000 [less 7% comparative fault] for a mangled wrist and his wife $100,000 for loss of consortium. Most recently, a jury awarded $360,000 to a man whose neck was negligently injured in a food establishment.

Of course, most cases settle, either among the attorneys or through mediation. Mr. Messenger has been successful in obtaining significant settlements for injured clients. Back injuries, head injuries, insurance bad faith, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination represent examples of cases which have been settled to the satisfaction of his clients.

Mr. Messenger is also active in commercial litigation, having sued and defended business entities ranging from breach of contract to dissolution to fraud. Litigation has also included wills, trusts and estates, water rights and property disputes

Although civil litigation and trials are his primary focus, Mr. Messenger has defended those charged with felony violent crimes and sexual assault. In addition, he has recently offered his services as a mediator, finding the challenge to help people and businesses solve their problems without a trial to be personally and professionally rewarding.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1985

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Municipal Government
  • Natural Resources Litigation
  • Felony Criminal Defense

Litigation Percentage

  • 75% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Wyoming, 1975
  • U.S. District Court District of Wyoming, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1976
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1988
  • Shoshone/Arapaho Tribal Court, 1995

Education

  • University of Wyoming, College of Law, Laramie, Wyoming
    • J.D. - 1975
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska
    • B.A. - 1969
    • Honors: Pi Sigma Alpha, National Political Science Honorary Society
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Wyoming Lawyer, 2006

Classes/Seminars

  • Personal Injury and Tort Reform, Legal Assistants of Wyoming, 2004
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct, Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, 2002
  • Appurtenancy of 1868 Reserved Water Rights, Wyoming State Bar, 2001
  • Fee Problems and How to Avoid Them, Wyoming State Bar, 1997
  • Litigation for the Young Lawyer, Wyoming State Bar, 1995
  • Estate Planning, Young Farmers of Wyoming, 1988
  • Business Law, Central Wyoming College, 1978 - 1979

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Wyoming State Bar, Commissioner, 2002 - 2005
  • Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1984 - 1985
  • American Association for Justice

Messenger & Overfield, P.C., represents clients throughout Thermopolis and northwest Wyoming, including Cody, Basin, Greybull, Lovell, Riverton, Lander, Buffalo, Sheridan, Casper, Worland, Powell and in the following counties: Hot Springs County, Park County, Big Horn County, Washakie County, Johnson County, Sheridan County, Fremont County and Natrona County.