Atty Lin Wood Under Fire From Del. Judge For Election Suits

Law360 (December 21, 2020, 11:42 PM EST) -- Attorney L. Lin Wood's representation of former Trump adviser Carter Page in Delaware state court could be revoked based on his conduct in suits challenging the results of the general election as a plaintiff in Georgia and as counsel in Wisconsin, a state court judge said Friday.

Delaware Superior Court Judge Craig A. Karsnitz ordered Wood to show why his representation of Page in the case should not be revoked, given that Wood's Georgia suit was found to have "no basis in fact or law" and the Wisconsin suit had "multiple deficiencies."

Wood, a high-profile trial attorney in Atlanta, was given permission to represent Page in the Delaware suit in August but, Judge Karsnitz said, the cases filed since the election appear to violate the Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct.

Wood's Nov. 13 suit against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Election Board members challenged the election officials' March settlement agreement with the Democratic Party of Georgia to strengthen signature checks for absentee ballots. Wood, as the plaintiff, claimed the change in procedure was made without authority and went against what was approved by the state's Legislature.

But a week later U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg denied on multiple grounds the emergency bid to halt the certification of Georgia's general election results, saying the request by Wood was too late, without merit and would disenfranchise millions of voters.

The judge said Wood had no standing as a private citizen, individual voter or campaign donor to bring his claims of constitutional violations against his rights to equal treatment under the law, a fair and transparent election, and due process. He also criticized Wood for waiting more than eight months to challenge the March settlement agreement, a stretch in which there were three state elections.

Judge Karsnitz also said Friday that in the Georgia case Wood "filed or caused to be filed" an affidavit with "materially false information" misidentifying the counties as to which claimed fraudulent voting occurred.

In the Wisconsin litigation Wood was not the plaintiff, but the suit was "filed on behalf of a person who had not authorized it," Judge Karsnitz said.

And the complaint and related filings had "multiple deficiencies," the judge said.

"All of the foregoing gives the court concerns as to the appropriateness of continuing the order granting Mr. Wood authorization to appear in the court pro hac vice," Judge Karsnitz said.

He gave Wood until Jan. 6 to respond.

Wood became known nationally for representing Richard Jewell, the security guard falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, in his defamation suits against NBC News, the New York Post and other media outlets.

Wood did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday night.

Attorneys attempting to overturn the election are taking heat in other venues as well.

Earlier this month, hundreds of attorneys, including retired judges and former American Bar Association presidents, called for bar associations to investigate and condemn the lawyers behind Trump's lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election.

More than 1,500 attorneys signed an open letter calling out Rudy Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, Jenna Ellis, Victoria Toensing and Sidney Powell as being in violation of the ABA's rules of professional conduct, which prohibit lawyers from making frivolous claims and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty and deceit in or out of court, the nonpartisan organization Lawyers Defending American Democracy said.

Late last month, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., told disciplinary authorities in five states that Giuliani and nearly two dozen other lawyers should be disbarred for representing Trump's campaign in "absurd" election-related lawsuits.

But experts told Law360 last month that attorney ethics enforcers are unlikely to target Trump's lawyers for trying to overturn Biden's election win in court.

The case is Carter Page v. Oath Inc., case number S20C-07-030 CAK, in the Superior Court for the State of Delaware.

--Editing by Bruce Goldman.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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