Transparency A Priority For Montana AG Candidate

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ATRA reports Montana attorney general candidate Austin Knudsen signed its AG Transparency Code pledge.

Montana candidate for state Attorney General, Austin Knudsen (R) pledged to prioritize transparency and open accountability in office, the American Tort Reform Association announced today.

Knudsen, Montana’s former Speaker of the House, embraced good-government principles by signing ATRA’s Attorney General Transparency Code pledge, the 2020 State Attorney General Candidate Questionnaire

“By signing our pledge, Austin Knudsen is showing that, if elected, he will commit to a more transparent, accountable government,” ATRA President Tiger Joyce said.

During his time in the Montana state legislature, Knudsen championed civil justice reforms, including sponsoring H.B. 427 (2017) to provide liability protections for property owners in the case of a fire.

Knudsen’s democratic opponent, Raph Graybill, did not respond to requests from ATRA to sign the AG Transparency Code.

Attorneys general need the discretion and independence to enforce state law, free from the influence of parties that may have a private interest in the outcome of any litigation their office may take on.

“In every instance, a state’s attorney general should seek to provide the highest quality services at the best value for hardworking taxpayers when considering whether to contract with outside counsel,” Joyce said. “Mr. Knudsen signing ATRA’s Transparency Code gives great hope that transparency and accountability will be a priority in the office of the attorney general in Montana should he be elected.”

ATRA developed the Transparency Code as a collection of model policies that should govern the use of outside counsel by state attorneys general. ATRA is committed to working with state and local leaders to improve our civil justice system by reducing excessive litigation and increasing government transparency to enhance economic development and job creation. Attorneys general play a critical role in creating a fairer system for all as states’ chief law enforcement officers.

“We hope to work with Montana’s next attorney general to build transparency and accountability in Big Sky Country.” 

The questionnaire answers provided by Knudsen are available here.

For more information about ATRA’s work in creating greater transparency among state attorneys general, please visit

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