Attorney Austin Miles Knudsen faces disciplinary action in Montana over alleged court disparagement and violations of professional conduct rules. The complaint, filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana (ODC) on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, accuses Knudsen of sending critical letters, filing disrespectful motions, and breaching attorney conduct rules following a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Austin Miles Knudsen,” with case no. 21-094.
The charges cited Montana Rules of Professional Conduct 3.4(c), 5.1(c), 8.2(a), 8.4(a) and 8.4(d).
The allegations, outlined in a formal complaint, suggest violations of professional conduct rules. The complaint revolves around a sequence of correspondences and legal motions initiated by Knudsen following a ruling by the state’s highest court. Among the accusations, Knudsen is alleged to have sent letters and filed motions critiquing the court’s decisions, which are claimed to have violated obligations outlined in the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct.
One notable incident occurred on April 12, 2021, when Knudsen reportedly dispatched a letter criticizing the Court’s order. Legal experts point to this action as a potential breach of the rules governing attorney conduct.
In a subsequent legal motion filed on April 14, 2021, Knudsen asserted that the Legislature would not adhere to the Court’s order, a move that has been viewed as prejudicial to the administration of justice. Further allegations stem from communications dated April 18, 2021, where Knudsen was accused of making statements that were seen as disrespectful and in violation of tribunal rules.
The complaint states:
“Such statements are contemptuous, undignified, discourteous, and/or disrespectful and constitute a knowing disobedience of an obligation under the rules of a tribunal. Knudsen either ordered the statements to be made or, with knowledge of them, ratified or ignored them.”
The Disciplinary Counsel seeks the following actions: a Citation to the Respondent with a copy of the Complaint, a formal hearing before an Adjudicatory Panel, a report to the Montana Supreme Court with findings and recommendations, and any necessary additional relief.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Knudsen is an attorney in Helena, Montana. He acquired his law license in Montana in 2008.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.