• (406) 556-1430
  • Bozeman, MT
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Kristy Buckley  Partner

Kristy Buckley is a Partner in the Bozeman Commercial Department primarily practicing in the Employee Benefits, ERISA & Executive Compensation Practice Group . Her practice focuses on employee benefits law by providing advice regarding retirement plans and health and welfare plans. She uses her retirement plan knowledge to assist employers with tax and succession planning and her health and welfare knowledge to assist employers with Health Care Reform compliance.

Kristy advises clients about laws that impact self-funded health insurance plans, welfare benefit plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit sharing plans, ESOPs, cafeteria plans, health reimbursement arrangements, supplemental executive retirement plans, and executive bonus plans. She provides plan design and compliance assistance under the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, and the state Insurance Code. When plan errors arise, she navigates through corrective programs under the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor to avoid audits. She also provides advice regarding plan reporting (e.g., Form 5500, Form M-1, Montana MEWA Annual Statement, Medicare Part D, and Form 5310-A) and compliance with plan disclosure requirements (e.g., Summary Plan Descriptions, Summary of Material Modifications, QDIA Notices, Safe Harbor Notices, and Summary Annual Reports).

While in law school, Kristy served as an Articles and Comments Editor of the University of Miami Business Law Review and Executive Editor of the Tax Law Chronicle. She received her Master of Law in Taxation from the University of Miami School of Law and graduated at the top of her class. She was a two-time academic merit scholar for her LL.M. of Taxation program. Kristy passed the CPA Exam in 2002 and had experience as an accountant before entering law school.

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • Montana Supreme Court
  • Florida Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court District Court of Montana

Education

  • 2006 - LL.M., Taxation (Master of Laws in Taxation), University of Miami School of Law
  • 2005 - J.D., University of Miami School of Law, cum laude
  • 2002 - M.P.Ac. (Master of Professional Accountancy), Montana State University
  • 2001 - B.S. in Business and Accounting, Montana State University, cum laude
  • 2001 - B.S. in Sociology and Legal Studies, Montana State University, cum laude

Awards and Honors

  • AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Montana Lawyer, ACA Update: Where are we now?, February 2014
  • Articles and Comments Editor, University of Miami Business Law Review, 2003-2005
  • Executive Editor, University of Miami Tax Law Chronicle, 2004-2005
  • Academic Merit Scholar, University of Miami, Master of Laws in Taxation (2)
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Awards, University of Miami (2)
  • The Honor Society of Bar and Gavel, University of Miami
  • Beta Alpha Psi
  • "Tax Shelter Information and How the Confidentiality Rule Protects Clients: The Relevance of Recent Changes to ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6" University of Miami Business Law Review, Fall/Winter 2004

Prior Experience

  • Akerman Senterfitt, LLP - Orlando, FL
  • ShubinBass, PA - Miami, FL
  • Clark Nuber PS - Seattle, WA

Professional Affiliations

  • American Health Lawyers Association, Member (2011-Present)
  • National Center for Employee Ownership, Member (2011-Present)
  • State Bar of Montana Health Law Section - Member (2011-present); Council Member (2013-present)
  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Montana Chapter, Member (2007-2010)
  • State Bar of Montana BETTR Law Section, (Secretary, 2008-2012); Member (2008-2012)
  • Bozeman Sunrise Estate Planners Group, Member (2006-2011)
  • Gallatin County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association - Taxation Section