An organization called Lawyers Defending American Democracy has led the charge in seeking to punish pro-Trump lawyers. The group’s members are actively campaigning for courts to penalize their colleagues at the bar who have represented Donald J. Trump, the Trump campaign, or otherwise tried to use the courts to see Trump recognized as the winner of the most recent presidential election. Attacks against Trump-affiliated lawyers have gained steam in Michigan and in Delaware, where Sidney Powell ally and Kraken affiliated lawyer Lin Wood was ordered by a court to explain why he shouldn’t be booted off a case.
Mr. Wood most famously represented Richard Jewell, who was defamed as the perpetrator of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic park bombing. Wood recovered settlements for him from CNN and NBC, amongst others. In fact, Jewell was a hero who saved lives by spotting a suspicious package and raising the alarm.
Wood’s trouble is with the Delaware Superior Court, where he represents former Trump advisor Carter Page in a defamation suit against Yahoo and The Huffington Post. The suit says that Page is an “innocent individual whose entire way of life was shattered as a direct result of being defamed and falsely branded as a traitor to his country…”
Pro Hac Vice
Mr. Wood is not licensed to practice law in Delaware, so he obtained a temporary admission for this one case. That’s what pro hac vice means, and it’s important because if that admission is revoked, then Wood cannot represent Page. Judge Craig Karsnitz has ordered Mr. Wood to explain his behavior in other cases that may violate Delaware rules. Attorneys who practice before one court may be disciplined for behavior they exhibit in other courts, which is what’s happening here. Judge Karsnitz says it “appears” that after the Delaware court granted Wood’s pro hac vice admission, “he has engaged in conduct in other jurisdictions, which, had it occurred in Delaware, would violate the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct.”
The judge’s order puts Mr. Wood behind the 8-ball – he now needs to provide evidence that he operated above-board in the other courts before he may proceed in representing Carter Page in Delaware. “I am presently engaging counsel to represent me to determine why this order was issued and to defend against its false accusations against me,” Wood told Law & Crime about the order.
Delaware’s Democrat Governor John Carney appointed Judge Karsnitz. In Michigan, the Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel plans to seek sanctions against lawyers who worked to overturn election results. She said:
Some of these cases where we know for a fact there were intentional misrepresentations made — the kind of misrepresentation that there is no question of fact that these were inaccurate statements that were presented to the court — yes, myself and also Secretary [Jocelyn] Benson, will be filing complaints to the attorney grievance commission.”
Would these claims be made against lawyers representing the Democratic Party? Perhaps this is a new strain of the Trump Derangement Syndrome virus, Trump Withdrawal Syndrome – producing sore winners who need to punish those who tried to work within the law to make changes. Mr. Lin Wood is due in court in Delaware on January 13 for a hearing on the issue.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.