Austin Knudsen is a poor loser. Following his defeat in the kids’ climate change case, Attorney General Knudsen chastised Judge Kathy Seeley because, in the word of his spokesperson, she “let plaintiffs’ attorneys put on a weeklong taxpayer-funded publicity stunt that was supposed to be a trial.” Indeed, Mr. AG, your weak defense, consisting of a day’s worth of witnesses, a handful of exhibits and no expert witnesses, shows that you did not take the trial seriously. Don’t expect the Supreme Court to rescue you.
Your derogatory comments about Judge Seeley are inexcusable and likely violate Montana’s Code of Professional Responsibility applicable to all attorneys. The Code requires lawyers to “demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public officials.” The Code also prohibits attorneys from making “false or reckless statements about a judge’s integrity.”
The Attorney General’s cheap shots at the Court demonstrate a lack of respect for the judge and her integrity. Knudsen is well aware that Judge Seeley is unlikely to respond. Hopefully, the State Bar or the Supreme Court will remind the State’s chief law enforcement officer of his professional obligations as an attorney either by a reprimand or other appropriate sanction. In any event someone in authority needs to hold Knudsen accountable. Hopefully, the voters will assume that task at the next opportunity.
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