On JUNE 29, 2018, Michael Brodkorb wrote a piece titled “Michelle MacDonald being investigated by lawyers board.” He reported that the investigation was opened after he filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. This was filed last week due to what Brodkorb and his attorney Nathan Hansen have determined is a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit filed against him by Michelle MacDonald. (Apparently, just saying it makes it true so there’s nothing to see here.)
Brodkorb also states that MacDonald is prohibited from engaging in “the solo practice of law,” and she must “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of another Minnesota licensed attorney.” (She has an established law firm and is under the supervision of an attorney. I’ll review why later in this post.)
Brodkorb’s attorney also filed a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions in Dakota County and Ramsey County for filing the same lawsuit in two counties. The lawsuit was accidentally e-filed in Dakota County and never should have been accepted as it was captioned Ramsey County. This was immediately correctly e-filed in Ramsey County and Ramsey County states, “Venue is thus proper in this district pursuant to MN Statutes 542.09 because the cause of action, or some part of it, arose in Ramsey County, MN.” (Clearly, Brodkorb wants the defamation lawsuit dismissed, but if it goes forward, he wants it in Dakota County as this will ensure a win for him.)
Attorney Nathan Hansen also wrote, “The safeguards set forth in the Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court relating to her practice of law have been ignored by Ms. MacDonald and her cohorts.” (Exactly who are the cohorts?)
I filed a complaint prior to my criminal trial with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in March 2016, against Dakota Co. Attorneys: James Backstrom, Philip Prokopowicz and Kathryn Keena for illegally withholding my evidence and readily available, free, electronic, data in violation of the Minnesota Government data practice act (Chapter 13.09). I also filed a criminal complaint with Bryan Schafer, Hastings Chief of Police due to misconduct of a public official (Chapter 609.43(1)). The criminal complaint was ignored and I received the response below from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility immediately after filing the complaint.
This was a complaint that was filed against Judge David Knutson with the Board on Judicial Standards. “Your complaint required no further action.”
Over the years, numerous clients from different counties have filed with the Board on Judicial Standards and the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility on Attorneys and Judges with no action taken. Apparently the Boards tolerate attorneys’ and judges’ abuse of authority and ethics, prejudicial misconduct, acting with malice, coercion and threats, obstruction of justice, failure to follow the law, illegal withholding of evidence, witness tampering, abuse of discretion, unjustifiable delays and securing exorbitant fees.
In MacDonald’s disciplinary case, she asserted that the first amendment prohibits disciplining her on the basis of her communications about a judge, because the communications did not make or imply false statements of fact, and because the Director’s claim of wrongdoing was not proved at a hearing due to the high burdenof “clear and convincing evidence” which must be established in every case.
Letters to Board of Judicial Standards about Judge Knutson
On December 26, 2013, MacDonald wrote a letter to the Board on Judicial Standards to complain about Judge David Knutson, a state agency that responds to complaints about state court Judges who violate the Judicial Code of Conduct, of which Judge Knutson was a member.
In her December 26, 2013 letter she complained about “ongoing retaliation” against herself and her client, warranting investigation.” She alleged “evidence of improper case assignments “, “usurping of court files”, and failing to report or involve the juvenile court and child protection improper assignments, and usurping of files by Judge Knutson.
On March 11, 2014, she reported that “the retaliation against myself and my client has been continuous, and is overwhelming.”
On November 15, 2016, an evidentiary hearing took place before a Referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, where Judge Knutson and Ms. MacDonald testified.
On January 3, 2017, the Referee issued findings and recommendation, and adopted almost all of the Director’s proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations nearly verbatim.
The Referee found that Ms. MacDonald violated Rule 8 (a) by making made false statements in reckless disregard for the truth concerning the integrity of the judge as follows:
- Respondent’s statement regarding Judge Knutson’s lack of impartiality “since day one” was false and made in reckless disregard of the truth.”
- The “factual allegations” within the federal lawsuit were, in part, false and made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity.
- The Referee found also that “The letters to the BJS include the same complaints made within the federal lawsuit.
- As with the federal lawsuit, Respondent’s statements were false and made with a reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity.”
- And finally, the referee writes: “Respondent’s on-going statements and “factual allegations” within the federal lawsuit’s Amended Complaint were false and in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity.”
- Consequently, in a conclusion of law, the Referee claims in conclusion: “The Director has proven by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent’s false statements made with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of those statements about Judge Knutson’s impartiality and integrity in multiple forums violated Rule 8.2(a) (MRPC) and Rule 8.4(d) (MRPC) “(82a)
The federal district court dismissed all of the claims in the complaint, describing them as “futile” and noting that “nothing in the record supports the[m].”
When asked at the disciplinary hearing about the basis for her allegations, MacDonald responded, “[t]he
record speaks for itself.”
The referee concluded that MacDonald violated Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 3.1, 8.2(a), and 8.4(d) by making recklessly false allegations against the judge that no reasonable attorney would have made based on the evidence available. (7a).
The Court cited the letters to the Board on Judicial Standards, finding that she violated Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 8.2(a):
“In addition to filing a federal lawsuit against the district judge in her client’s case, MacDonald wrote a letter to the Board on Judicial Standards complaining about the judge’s behavior and asserting that he had acted unethically during
her client’s trial. In total, she wrote four letters to the Board, each impugning the judge’s integrity and repeating the allegations from the federal lawsuit. She sent copies of these letters to numerous elected officials and made similar
remarks in letters to other attorneys. The referee concluded that MacDonald’s statements were false, made with reckless disregard for the truth, and violated Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 8.2(a) and 8.4(d). (7a)”
Attorney Michelle MacDonald has been politically targeted for suing a judge and running for MN Supreme Court in the 2014, 2016, and upcoming 2018 election.
Weaponized information is a message or content piece that is designed to affect the recipient’s perception about something or someone in a way that is not warranted. The term implies a target and the intention to cause harm.
The goal of weaponized information is bringing about a change in beliefs and attitudes and, as a result, promote behavior that serves the attacker’s purpose.
Weaponized information often consists of intentional falsehoods, known as disinformation. It can also be true but taken out of context, like a comment carefully selected from a longer statement so that it does not reflect what the speaker said. It may be a mixture of truth and lies, so that the known facts lend credence to the untruths. In other cases, the information may be true but its significance overblown or the timing of release calculated to cause the most harm possible.
Brodkorb has the establishment on his side and is definitely using the asymmetrical warfare and weaponized information to his advantage.
Stay Tuned for the Board’s decision on Brodkorb’s complaint.