Billings TrailNet welcomes a new corporate member to its vibrant community—Heenan & Cook Law Firm. John Heenan, a seasoned attorney and partner in Heenan and Cook, brings a unique perspective to the wellbeing of community and to the practice of law.

Heenan and Cook have helped countless victims of auto accidents, child injuries, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, premises liability, product liability, violent crimes, workplace injuries and wrongful death. With landmark cases like the Miles City abuse case and the record $2 million bank bad faith verdict, Heenan attributes his success as an attorney to his ability to understand different perspectives, a skill honed working as a truck driver and forklift operator before becoming a lawyer. He emphasizes the importance of finding win-win solutions, especially in litigation, where outcomes are often viewed as zero-sum games. 

And, in the past 10 years, Heenan has also found a niche in effectively and compassionately representing victims of sexual abuse and harassment statewide.

“My education and hard labor as a young dad made me a better attorney by understanding people’s perspectives,” he says. 

A passionate advocate for outdoor activities, Heenan is not just a legal professional but also a runner and hiker with a deep commitment to the well-being of Montanans.

As a corporate member of Billings TrailNet, Heenan emphasizes the importance of outdoor activities, infrastructure, and community engagement.  “It’s lifestyle that more people are looking for when they’re considering living in or staying in Billings. We need accessible places for people to ride bikes, run: all the things Billings TrailNet is helping to facilitate,” he says.

On a recent to Japan, Heenan and his son hiked the Kumano Kodo trail. At more than 1,000 years old,this UNESCO World Heritage Trail weaves through the western end of Japan to the eastern end. The Kumano Kodo has been lovlingly maintained by the Japanese community with plaques along the way commemorating points where Japanese poets reflected on the beauty of the trail.

Inspired by the enduring legacy of the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan, Heenan sees ancient trails as a testament to the lasting impact trails can have on a community.

The longevity and cultural significance of the Kumano Kodo serve as a powerful reminder of the impact trails can have on a community. Trails, when properly maintained and appreciated, become a timeless asset that transcend generations. This ancient trail stands as a living testament to the enduring value of outdoor spaces, fostering connection, and preserving natural beauty.

Drawing parallels between the Kumano Kodo and the potential trails in Billings, Heenan envisions a future where the community prioritizes and invests in trail development. He sees these trails not only as conduits for outdoor recreation but as pathways to a healthier, more connected community. The Kumano Kodo serves as a reminder that the trails of today can become the cherished heritage of future generations.

Says Heenan, “trails in Billings can leave a lasting legacy. By investing in trails, Billings can create spaces that endure through time and enrich the lives of people here.” 

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