About Us

Providing high quality legal services at a reasonable price.

The Law Firm

The Whitefish law firm of Thomas T. Tornow, P. C. is dedicated to providing high quality legal services at a reasonable price to the Flathead Valley. Whitefish lawyer Tom Tornow and his legal assistants treat every client as they would want to be treated and handle your case as they would want their own case handled.

The Whitefish law firm offers a free initial consultation. We emphasize pro-active legal assistance to avoid problems before they occur and use a team approach to resolve issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Whitefish law firm limits its practice to real estate, business, estate planning and probate. While the firm primarily serves the Flathead Valley, including Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell, it is also the real estate and business attorney for numerous Canadian citizens and businesses and appreciates the substantial contribution Canadians make to the Flathead Valley economy.

The Whitefish law firm of Thomas T. Tornow, P. C. provides its employees with an excellent compensation package, educational opportunities, medical and dental insurance, flexible hours and generous vacation time to allow them to enjoy Montana's recreational opportunities with their families. In recognition of its excellent employment practices, the Flathead County Job Service Employers Council presented the Whitefish law firm with the 2012 Employer of Choice Award.

The Whitefish law firm is a member of the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce and makes substantial contributions to Montana Public Radio, the Whitefish Dog Park, Whitefish’s bike paths, the Flathead Humane Society, North Valley Hospital, Stumptown Theater Company, Flathead Valley Community College Theater, Columbia Fall’s First Best Place, recycling and other community efforts in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and the Flathead Valley.

Representative clients of the Whitefish law firm include Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana; the Whitefish and Helena Housing Authorities; Northwest Montana Community Land Trust; the Whitefish Housing Development Corporation; Don't Get Soaked Rentals and The Fernwell Apartments.

Thomas T. Tornow

Whitefish lawyer Tom Tornow was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Mitchell, South Dakota. He completed his undergraduate degree in three years, graduating Magna Cum Laude with the highest grade point average in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado. Tom was a three time recipient of the Colorado Scholars Program scholarship; named four times to the Dean's List of Distinction; admitted to the University's Honor Society; President of the Pre-Law Society; on the Student Government Council; and a Student Supreme Court Justice.

Before becoming an attorney in Whitefish Montana, Tom received his law degree from the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s oldest law school founded by Benjamin Franklin where Tom was a Morris Fellow and Graduate Fellow.  After graduation, Tom joined a large law firm in Denver as a complex real estate litigation lawyer; was subcommittee chairman of the Colorado Bar Association’s Ethics Committee; and served on the Denver Bar Association Legislative Affairs Committee. He later taught law at the University of Denver College of Law, the Denver Paralegal Institute and the Colorado Bar Association Annual Meeting. Tom left academia and Denver to advise in the formation of the government for the newly independent South Pacific nation of the Solomon Islands.

Arriving in Whitefish Montana in 1991, Tom has become Montana’s preeminent attorney on affordable housing. He is admitted to the U.S. District Courts for Colorado and Montana, and the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He is a member of the American, Montana, Colorado, and Northwest Montana Bar Associations. He has served on the American Bar Association Affordable Housing Forum; the Montana Bar Legal Services Delivery Committee; and the Montana Bar Fee Arbitration Committee; as President of the Whitefish City/County Planning Board; on the Master Plan Revision Committee of the Whitefish Community Development Corporation; on the Whitefish Affordable Housing Committee; and as Sub-Judge for Whitefish and Columbia Falls, Montana. Tom is active in the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce and is on its Government Affairs Committee and the Chamber's Affordable Housing Task Force.  He is on the Finance Committee of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and a Director of the Whitefish WAG Dog Park, which was recently named one of the top ten dog parks in the nation.

In over 30 years as a lawyer, Tom has represented clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, real estate developers, large and small businesses, and disabled children. As a Whitefish attorney, Tom successfully developed Montana’s first Federal tax credit housing project, as well as numerous other tax credit housing projects in Montana and completed Montana’s first “reverse syndication” of tax credit interests. He is the lawyer for award winning affordable housing projects throughout Montana. Tom is versed in buying, selling and developing real estate acquisition, covenants, zoning, subdivision, condemnation, land use planning, community land trusts, HUD, USDA, HOME, CDGB and other affordable housing mechanisms. As a Whitefish attorney, his current emphasis is forming partnerships between for-profit and non-profit entities to build and acquire housing for low-income families and seniors; and buying and selling successful businesses. When Tom is out of his Whitefish law office, he enjoys bike touring, cross country skiing, back-packing, and cooking for his lovely wife Sue Brown.

Visit the LinkedIn profile of Tom T. Tornow, P.C. for more information.

Visit Tom's Blog.

Katherine C. Troiano

Katherine Troiano is a Montana native, born and raised in Missoula. After graduating from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Arts and double major in English and Anthropology. Katie moved to Columbia Falls, Montana to enjoy the Flathead Valley with her husband Tony and daughter Dempsey.  

Katie joined the Whitefish law firm of Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. in 2007. She enjoyed working with the Whitefish law firm so much that she was inspired to attend the National Paralegal College for a Certificate in Paralegal Studies.  She received her Certificate in 2012 and as a Paralegal has been able to provide the clients of Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. with legal services at significantly lower costs.  She is also a Notary Public for the State of Montana and an active member of the Montana Paralegal Association.

Katie recently passed the Certified Paralegal examination sponsored by the National Association of Legal Assistants and Paralegals.  She is now entitled to use the Certified Paralegal professional credential.  The Certified Paralegal examination program was established in 1976 and is a voluntary professional credentialing program.  To become a Certified Paralegal, an individual must complete a comprehensive examination covering the topics of communications; legal research; ethics; human relations and interviewing techniques; legal terminology; judgment and analytical ability; and substantive law.  There are only 98 Certified Paralegals in the state of Montana and Katie is proud to be recognized as one of them.  

When not in the Whitefish law office, Katie enjoys fishing, hiking, biking, running, camping and skiing with her growing family. Working for Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. has offered Katie the opportunity to work in a challenging profession while enjoying time with her family in the beautiful Flathead Valley.  

Sandra L. Bellissimo

Sandra Bellissimo was born in Nebraska, but spent her formative years in Southern California. Sandi attended Pierce Junior College with a major in child psychology and minor in creative writing, and is currently honing her business writing skills on-line at Writer's Digest University.

When Sandi's husband, Jim Bellissimo, suggested they move to Whitefish, Montana for a healthier lifestyle, she readily agreed. Arriving in Northwest Montana in the winter of 2000, Sandi has spent several years in the Whitefish, Kalispell, Columbia Falls and Flathead Valley real estate business, in addition to working for a Kalispell non-profit mental health foundation.

Sandi joined the Whitefish law firm of Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. in 2009 as a Legal Assistant. She brings extensive customer service experience to the Whitefish law firm, and enjoys daily interactions with the Whitefish law firm's clients either by telephone or in person. When not in the Whitefish law office, Sandi's interests include spending quality time with her husband Jim, fishing for bass and trout in the Flathead Valley, writing essays for publication, and reading memoirs. Working for a Whitefish lawyer, Sandi is an advocate behind the scenes making the clients comfortable, relaxed and confident with the legal services the Whitefish law firm provides.

This website is exclusively for informational purposes. It is not legal advice. Viewing this site, using information from it, or communicating through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. is not liable for the use or interpretation of information on this site and expressly disclaims all liability for any actions you may or may not take based on the content of this website.