Attorney Lin Wood, one of the most visible conspiracy theorists behind efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, has been found in contempt for violating an order keeping him from disparaging his former law partners.
“I can’t overlook the protracted and flagrant nature of the violation,” Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said.
The judge imposed $5,000 in criminal contempt fines and hanged the prospect of $15,000 in civil contempt charges for future disparagement.
‘Erratic, hostile, abusive and threatening’
For the better part of three years, Wood has been sparring with his former law partners Nicole Wade, Jonathan Grunberg, and Taylor Wilson, who broke up from L. Lin Wood, P.C. to start their own firm Wade, Grunberg & Wilson, LLC in 2020. The former partners sued Wood later that year for breach of contract, claiming that their relationship with Wood spanning roughly half a decade started deteriorating as Wood began to exhibit “erratic, hostile, abusive, and threatening” behavior. Grunberg claims that Wood assaulted him in an elevator in the autumn of 2019 — and later caught him on tape apologizing for his violence.
At Thursday’s hearing, Wade’s attorney Milinda Brown denounced Wood’s “antisemitic” comments, and the lawsuit quotes Wood calling Grunberg a “Chilean Jewish f—ing crook.”
Other recordings quoted in the lawsuit show Wood comparing himself to Biblical figures and claiming: “I might actually be Christ coming back for a second time in the form of an imperfect man, elevating Christ’s consciousness.”
Calling the quotes “cherry picking,” Wood waxed indignant in court: “They accused me of blasphemy.” He spent a significant portion of his oral arguments defending his Christian piety and denouncing what he described as “heinous,” “salacious,” “redundant,” and “impertinent” allegations against him.
“I try to live a Christ-like life,” said Wood, arguing that he’s being persecuted like Christ in return.
“My reward will be in Heaven,” Wood declared. “Heaven will be eternal.”
In response to the lawsuit, Wood accused his erstwhile colleagues of perpetrating a “shakedown effort.” He also attacked them on social media to hundreds of thousands of followers, first on Twitter and then after he was banned on that platform, on the more right-wing platform Telegram. Wood’s followers took notice: Wade’s counsel previously said she received “threats of gang rape” in the wake of the attacks
In 2021, a different judge issued an injunction preventing Wood from “disparaging” his ex-partners, including by accusing them of “extorting” him through a “shakedown” in the form of a “frivolous” lawsuit. Wood appealed that ruling as an unconstitutional “gag order” and lost.
‘Death by a thousand cuts’
Undeterred by that defeat, Wood hasn’t stopped swiping against his former law partners on Telegram, and the contempt motion liberally quotes Wood acknowledging this may violate a court order.
“He’s knowingly violating it,” noted Brown, an attorney for Wade.
Arguing on his own behalf, Wood tried once again to attack the validity of the injunction that was upheld by Georgia’s courts.
“There are two sides to every story,” he said. “I couldn’t tell mine.”
The fractures within the former lawsuit have opened a window into a sharp turn in Wood’s career.
Once a prominent defamation lawyer, Wood represented high-profile clients like the parents of JonBenet Ramsey and Richard Jewell, whose name he cleared in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. He briefly represented Kyle Rittenhouse and Nicholas Sandmann, both of whom have since cut ties with Wood.
Since late 2020, Wood has become primarily known as a pro-Donald Trump operative who was part of the effort to overturn the presidential election. After one of those lawsuits failed, a federal judge issued a sanctions order against Wood and his co-counsel, referring them all for possible disbarment. He marveled in open court about how low he has been brought.
“I lost the ability to practice law,” said Wood, bemoaning what he called a “death by a thousand cuts.”
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