Tracey L. Knutson

Tracey L. Knutson graduated from Montana State University with a B.S. in Sociology in 1983, and from the
University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. granted by University of Montana) in 1989. She served in the United
States Peace Corps between her undergraduate and graduate training. In 2003 Tracey began the firm of Knutson
and Associates and oriented the firm’s focus practice on recreation and adventure sports defense. Tracey has an
extensive background in insurance defense litigation, has tried numerous tort litigation style cases and regularly
participates in state and federal appellate level practice. Tracey currently represents recreation and adventure
sport oriented brokers and insurance companies, trade associations, universities, educational groups and
commercial operators. Tracey speaks frequently at a national level on recreation and sports risk management
• Tracey has been involved with several national legislative efforts surrounding recreation issues, most
recently in providing all of the white papers and senate committee and legislative testimony for passage
of a new recreational regime in Montana that put inherent risk principles into the law (2010's HB 150
‘The Montana Recreation Responsibility Act’) and which allowed the use of exculpatory
documents for recreation providers (2015's HB 204 ‘An Act Revising Laws Relating to Liability
• Appointed by Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to serve on COMSTAC, an advisory
committee to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Space Transportation and Congress on the
commercial space industry; See, At May
2007 COMSTAC meeting was appointed to co-chair Risk Management Working Group subcommittee
on issue of liabilities related to space tourists to make recommendations to the Secretary on possible
federal regulatory responses to these issues.
• Many years of national speaking on the topic of adventure sports risk management. Representative
engagements (averaging about 6 speaking engagements per year) include the following: Federal Aviation
Administration's 9th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington D.C.
February 9-10, 2006,; Educational Travel Community's Educational
Travel Conference in Baltimore, Maryland February 22-24, 2007,; Alaska Bar
Association’s CLE on Recreation and Sports Liability in Anchorage, Alaska March 10, 2008; CLE
International's 4th Annual Recreation and Adventure Program Law and Liability Conference in Denver
Colorado April 3-4, 2006,; Adventure Travel Trade Association World Summit in Seattle,
Washington October 16-18, 2007,; Space Law Conference: Security and Risk
Management in a New Space Era, Co-Sponsored by US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) and the
University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln, Nebraska March 2, 2007,; Expedition Medicine Conference, August 22-25, 2008 in Washington
D.C.; Alaska Department of Commerce, Tourism Membership Project Risk
Management Workshop, October 1, 2008 in Juneau, Alaska; Adventure Travel Trade Association
World Summit, October 21-25, 2008 Tromso to Bergen, Norway; Guest Lecturer: University of Norway at
Stanvanger, Norwegian School of Hotel Management; The Dude Ranchers Association
Convention, January 21-25, 2009, Tucson, Arizona; Colorado River Outfitters
Association, 2010-2014,; Montana Outfitters and Guides Winter Convention, January 6-
9, 2010, Billings, Montana; America Outdoors Confluence, 2008-2016,; NOLS Wilderness Risk Managers Conference,2010-2016,; International Snow Science Workshop, Anchorage Alaska, September 16-21,
2012; Heli Ski US Annual Meeting, Park City, Utah June 4, 2013; Wyoming
Outfitter and Guides Association Conference, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, April 1, 2017.
• Publications: CLE International (see, Papers - 2003 - A Defense Attorney’s Perspective
on Defending Recreation and Adventure Claims, with Monty Barnett; 2004 - Litigation Issues: Lessons
Learned in the Courtroom; 2005 - 1) Litigation Issues and 2) Participant Agreements and Protection
from Claims: Release, Indemnity, Assumption of Risks, Dealing with Minors and Other Matters; 2006 -
Program Policies and Practices - Putting Operations in the Legal Liability Context. “What is Informed
Consent for Space-faring Passengers” Space News Commentary April 2007, Chapter on “Legal Issues in Expeditions,” with Kristin Larson, Esq.,
“Expedition Medicine” Edited by Drs. Gregory Bledsoe, Mike Manyak and David Townes; published
2007 by Cambridge University Press. University of Mississippi School of Law, Journal of Space Law,
Volume 33 - 2007, “What is ‘Informed Consent’ for Space-Faring Passengers in the Soon-to-Launch
Space Tourism Industry?” ; Chapter 7 - Legal Considerations in
Outdoor Recreation, with Brent Wilson, "Outdoor Program Administration, Essentials for the
Professional"edited by Mat Erpelding and Geoff Harrison, published 2012 by Human Kinetics;
International Snow Science Workshop 2012 - Presented Paper - Mitigating Your (Legal) Risk as a
Forecaster - Where are Your Own Liabilities/Risks/Tensions? Chapter on Legal Issues, with Michael
Curry, "Diploma in Mountain Medicine" published by Carreg Publishing, UK, 2013
• Producer and publisher of the DVD “State of Risk, Risk Management in the Outdoor Industry.” The State of
Risk is currently the most cutting edge risk management training tool in the industry for outfitters,
guides, recreation educators, insurers and public land administrators and is used and endorsed
throughout the industry. See,
• Co-producer and co-publisher of the DVD “Essential Risk Management Practices for Your Recreation and
Adventure Travel Business” an updated risk management training tool in the industry for outfitters, guides,
recreation educators, insurers and public land administrators. See,
• Memberships: Alaska Bar Association, Montana Bar Association, Colorado Bar Association, American
Bar Association - Entertainment and Sports Industry Forum, Sport and Recreation Law Association,
Sports Lawyers Association, Fund-raising Committee for OIWC (Outdoor Industries Women’s
• Exclusively litigate sports/recreation oriented cases at state and federal levels. Also hired by insurance
companies to oversee the work of defense attorneys assigned to recreation cases in other states.
• Elected to Municipal public office in Girdwood, Alaska (a developing ski resort community) and served
as Chair of the Girdwood Board of Supervisors. 2003-2006
2003 to current Knutson &Associates Partner and Owner of sports and recreation defense
oriented civil litigation firm.
1998-2003 Sisson & Knutson, P.C., Partner and co-owner of civil litigation and
insurance defense firm.
1992-1998 DeLisio Moran Geraghty & Zobel, Associate and then Partner in civil
litigation and insurance defense firm.
1991-1992 Alaska Court System, District Court Attorney.
1989-1990 Private Attorney, Great Falls, Montana.
1988 Missoula County Attorney, Missoula, Montana, Legal Intern.
1988 Mullendore & Tawney, Missoula, Montana, Legal Intern.
1987-1988 Rossbach & Whiston, Missoula, Montana, Legal Intern.
1987-1988 University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana, Legal Tutor.
1988-1989 University of Minnesota Law School
1986-1988 University of Montana School of Law
1983 Montana State University, B.S. in Sociology
Chugach Powder Guides; US Heli Ski; American Alpine Club; OARS; University of Washington Alumni
Association; Massachusetts Audubon Society; Safari Club International; Yamaha Motor Corporation; Alaska
Airlines; Red Bull Austria; Kern River Outfitters; Hells Canyon Adventures; ROW, International, UCLA Alumni
Association; Personal Spaceflight Federation; Alaska Paragliding; Valdez Heli Ski Guides; Alaska Rock Gym;
Rockreation; Teton Gravity Research; Warren Miller Films; Fuel TV; Alaska Coastal Outfitters; Hunting Lodges
International; America Outdoors; Montana Outfitters and Guides Association; Wyoming Outfitters and Guides

Broadcast 2927 Tracey Knutson

Guest:  Tracey Knutson;  Topics:  Informed consent, federal regulations & legal issues for spaceflight participants.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use.

Broadcast 904 (Special Edition)

Tracey Knutson, Atty., was the guest for this Space Show program which focused on informed consent for spaceflight participants as required by the AST. This was a comprehensive discussion, largely from the spaceflight operator's perspective, but also pointing out what a participant or a participant's family would likely encounter were there an accident and litigation against the spaceflight operater. There were many listener questions covering all kinds of variables and scenarios that could happen with a space tourism flight.

Sponsor Banner

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • helix-space the space show sponsor

  • space settlement progress

Subscribe to RSS - Tracey L. Knutson