The State Bar of Georgia has authored a 1,677-page Memorandum of Grievance against attorney L. Lin Wood, Jr. Though the document is marked “confidential,” Wood himself recently posted a link to it on his Telegram account.
The Memorandum says the State Disciplinary Board initiated proceedings against Wood on the Board’s own accord. The board believes it has possible proof that “Mr. Wood may have engaged in conduct in violation of Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct,” the Feb. 5th Memorandum states in a brief cover page.
Nine pages summarize the matter; hundreds of pages of exhibits are attached after the summary.
The nine-page summary walks readers through Wood’s various litigation steps and public statements related to the 2020 presidential election, yet it also focuses on other matters. The summary reads as an indictment of Wood’s factual evidence, litigation tactics, and other alleged or documented personal behaviors, but it is not a conviction. The document is an accusation; it is not a conclusion or a disciplinary finding, such as a censure, a reprimand, a suspension, or a disbarment.
The Michigan ‘Kraken’
For instance, the Memorandum cites Michigan’s so-called “Kraken” case — King v. Whitmer — which is currently the subject of arguments surrounding court-issued sanctions. It calls out Wood for proffering a witness he and his co-counsel described as “a former U.S. Military Intelligence expert” to allege “massive election fraud” under a myriad of laws.
“In fact,” the Georgia Disciplinary Board says, “plaintiffs’ expert never completed the training program and was not an intelligence analyst.”
Wood and his co-counsel dug in. Wood, et al., said in subsequent Michigan court papers that they had “evidence for nearly every paragraph in the Amended Complaint.”
The Memorandum suggest the Georgia Disciplinary Board appears to be unpersuaded by such claims.
The Georgia ‘Kraken’
The Memorandum goes on to raise complaints about the 2020 election case Wood and others filed in Georgia. In Pearson v. Kemp, Wood’s plaintiffs “proposed that the district court order ‘very limited’ relief in ‘two or three counties.'” When a judge “issued a written temporary restraining order . . . that gave the plaintiffs what they said they wanted,” the plaintiffs went on to file appeals with the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court asking that those courts “de-certify the results” of the election which put Joe Biden in the White House and to order that data be preserved “on all voting machines used in the November 2020 election.” In other words, Wood, his co-counsel, and his plaintiffs asked the appeals courts to expand orders they already deemed were sufficient at the lower court level.
The Wisconsin ‘Kraken’
In Wood’s Wisconsin election litigation, Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, Wood and other attorneys wrote that Badger State congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden “seeks to have a new election ordered by this court in the Third District, with that election being conducted under strict adherence with the Wisconsin Election Code.” However, as both previous Law&Crime reports and Georgia Disciplinary Board pointed out, Van Orden quickly announced he wasn’t Wood’s client. The Board embedded this tweet as proof:
Elsewhere, the Georgia Disciplinary Board noted that the Wisconsin documents filed by Wood and his co-counsel were “unverified.” (Complaints need not be “verified” under of Rule 11 the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure unless they seek injunctions under Rule 65. Because Wood asked for “declaratory, emergency, and permanent injunctive relief,” his complaint needed to be verified.)
Plus, the Board noted that Wood (1) failed to include a copy of a proposed judge’s order detailing the relief sought, (2) failed to ask for a hearing; (3) never said whether he served the papers on defense counsel (no address was listed); and (4) said he filed documents under seal; “they were not.”
The Arizona ‘Kraken’
Next, the board moved to the Grand Canyon State’s “Kraken” election litigation — Bowyer v. Ducey. By now, with similar points already made, the Georgia Disciplinary Board simply noted that Wood’s “complaint alleged that the election process was riddled with fraud and illegality, [yet] the plaintiffs presented little to no relevant or reliable evidence in support of their claims.”
The Joy Reid Case
Wood represents a plaintiff who sued MSNBC anchor Joy Reid for defamation. Reid’s attorneys told a federal judge in New York that Wood should be kicked off the case “because, among other things, he has acted and is acting to subvert the United States Constitution and the rule of law, violated his ethical obligations under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (‘RPC’) and the New York Constitution, violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and RPC 3.1, falsely attacked the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, has recently been disciplined in another state court, and made misrepresentations to this Court.” (In January, a Delaware judge revoked a prior order that had allowed Wood to represent Carter Page in a lawsuit.)
“I have never advocated that anyone should break the law,” Wood responded. “I’ve advocated for people to follow the law.”
Georgia authorities, again, saw things differently. Per the Memorandum, “Mr. Wood encouraged the conduct of individuals who committed federal offenses by breaking into the Capitol to unseat duly elected representatives and prevent the counting of electoral college votes and the peaceful transfer of power.”
What follows is a tit-for-tat between Wood’s statements and arguments in response by Georgia authorities.
“I didn’t call for the people to go up there and meet,” Wood said regarding the Jan. 6th siege in Washington, D.C. “I didn’t call for anybody to go to the Capitol.”
“Mr. Wood did, in fact, ‘call for’ his supporters to storm and occupy the United States Capitol,” Georgia authorities countered. “On the morning of January 6, Mr. Wood posted to his 1.1 million Twitter followers that ‘[t]he time ha[d] come . . . to take back our country . . . to fight for our freedom.’ He wrote those words alongside an image stating that it was ‘1776 Again.’ During the insurrection, as the mob was storming the Capitol building, Mr. Wood tweeted to his followers that they should follow the advice of Bill White to ‘enter the US Capitol Building . . . enter both houses . . . fight for us [and] . . . fight for Trump.”
The document turns back to Lin Wood.
“So there’s been no finding by any court that the evidence of election fraud is lacking,” it quotes Wood as saying (with references to attached exhibits of evidence). “In fact, if they discussed it, they would have to say it was literally conclusive that there was fraud.”
Georgia authorities countered that “several courts have specifically found that there is no factual support for this claim.”
The Memorandum moves on to devote several pages to discussing Lin Wood’s own comments on Twitter, Telegram, and elsewhere. Among them were Wood’s claims that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is “member of a club or cabal requiring minor children as an initiation fee;” that Jeffrey Epstein is still alive; that Justice Antonin Scalia was killed because he learned of a “plan to kill” judges and to subsequently stack the courts during a Hillary Clinton presidency; that former Vice President Mike Pence is “a TRAITOR, a Communist Sympathizer & a Child Molester;” that “Pence should be jailed “for treason” and “face execution by firing squad;” that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, both Republicans, should be imprisoned for counting Georgia’s votes in favor of Joe Biden; and that Ashli Babbitt was still alive (she was actually shot and killed climbing through a door in the U.S. Capitol Speaker’s Lobby on Jan. 6th).
Wood’s Former Law Partners
The Memorandum also points to Wood’s alleged conduct in a case involving his former law partners. That matter, Wade, et al. v. Wood, involves accusations that Wood “physically attacked” one of the plaintiffs at his own home and attacked another in a hotel elevator. Wood apologized but then “threatened to ‘beat’ Taylor with a switch ’till [she] (sic) couldn’t sit down for 20 fucking years,” the Memorandum says.
The document continues to explain additional conduct as alleged in the underlying Wade case:
Wood specifically threatened to “destroy” [Plaintiffs] Grunberg and Wilson, saying about Wilson specifically: “by the time I am through with Taylor Wilson, he’s going to wish all I had done was fuck his wife.” On March 3, 2020, Wood called and left a voicemail for Wilson’s wife professing his love for her and her family.
Wood also “referred to himself as Almighty; offered to fight the individual Plaintiffs to the death; demanded the Plaintiffs’ undying loyalty; threatened to ‘hurt’ the Plaintiffs; offered to have the Plaintiffs stay in the firm,” the Memorandum says, among other things cited back to the Wade litigation.
“Who the fuck did you think you were dealing with?” Wood said (according to the Wade case and the Memorandum). “You were screwing around me with, but I was someone else in disguise. You in fact have been screwing around with God Almighty.”
Wood also believed he would be the “imminent receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom” and ultimately face “appointment as Chief Justice of United States Supreme Court,” the Memorandum explains.
Some of Wood’s comments in Wade were recorded; Law&Crime previously released them here.
What follows are hundreds of pages of exhibits. Most are relevant federal and state court documents from the cases referenced above. Several are articles embedded as exhibits within those cases, including reports by The Guardian, CBS News, the BBC, Fox News, the Daily Beast, at least three from The New Yorker, two from The New York Times, two from The Washington Post, two from CNN, and two from Law&Crime. (Ed. note: apologies if we missed any.)
The Memorandum, as obtained by Law&Crime, suggests Wood may have violated Professional Conduct Rules 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1 and 4.4. It also suggests he violated Georgia Bar Rule 4-104.
Bar Rule 4-104 states that “[m]ental illness, cognitive impairment, alcohol abuse, or substance abuse, to the extent of impairing competency as a lawyer, shall constitute grounds for removing a lawyer from the practice of law.”
The rule allows the Disciplinary Board to “make a confidential referral of the matter to an appropriate medical or mental health professional for the purposes of evaluation and possible referral to treatment and/or peer support groups.”
It also allows the board to “defer disciplinary findings and proceedings . . . to afford the lawyer an opportunity to . . . begin recovery.”
“A lawyer’s refusal to cooperate with the medical or mental health professional or to participate in the evaluation or recommended treatment may be grounds for further proceedings,” the rule goes on to say, “including emergency suspension proceedings.”
Rule 1.1 requires a lawyer to be competent.
Rule 1.2 lays out the allocation of authority between a client and a lawyer. Generally speaking, clients control the “scope and objectives of representation;” lawyers choose the tactics. If a client wants to drop a case, a lawyer must abide by the client’s wishes. Plus, the rule contains the following prohibition:
A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, nor knowingly assist a client in such conduct, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
Rule 3.1 requires lawyers to only bring cases which have actual merits. It prohibits lawsuits which “serve merely to harass or maliciously injure another.” It also bans claims that are “unwarranted under existing law.”
Rule 3.3 requires candor toward tribunals. Here’s how it reads:
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal;
(2) fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the client;
(3) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or
(4) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer has offered material evidence and comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures.
Elsewhere, the rule says “[a] lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.”
Rule 4.1 requires a lawyer to be truthful to others when speaking about a case he is handling. Lawyers are prohibited from knowingly “mak[ing] a false statement of material fact or law to a third person,” among other things.
Rule 4.4 requires lawyers to respect the rights of third parties. “In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person,” the rule states (in part).
Many, but not all, of the above rules state that the maximum penalty for a violation is disbarment.
Georgia authorities have the ability to punish Wood for out-of-state cases because he is licensed in Georgia and thus subject to discipline there.
Lin Wood did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime email for comment. We will update this story if we receive a response.
Read the grievance below:
[image via screen capture from WXIA-TV]
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