Trials & Litigation

Pro-Trump lawyer is tossed from defamation case for 'mendacity' and 'surprising incompetence'

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Lin Wood

L. Lin Wood in March 2020. Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Wikimedia Commons.

A pro-Trump lawyer who was in the news recently for a typo has been tossed from a defamation case in Delaware.

The lawyer, L. Lin Wood Jr. of Atlanta, got some attention when he filed an election case “under plenty of perjury.” Now, he has been removed from a Delaware case because of his conduct in election litigation.

Judge Craig Karsnitz of Delaware superior court removed Wood from the defamation case in a Jan. 11 opinion, report Law360, Forbes and Bloomberg Law.

Karsnitz said he was removing Wood because he “exhibited a toxic stew of mendacity, prevarication and surprising incompetence” in election litigation outside Delaware.

Karsnitz said Wood was party to an election lawsuit in Georgia that was found to have no basis in law or fact, and he had worked on a Wisconsin case in which the pleadings were “riddled with errors.”

The Georgia case “was textbook frivolous litigation,” and the Wisconsin complaint “would not survive a law school civil procedure class,” Karsnitz said. The judge also said an affidavit of an expert witness filed in support of Wood’s Georgia case was “error-ridden.”

Wood was on a legal team representing former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the Delaware case against Oath, then the parent company of Yahoo and the Huffington Post.

In his opinion, Karsnitz revoked pro hac vice permission for Wood to participate in the Delaware case. When an out-of-state lawyer is allowed to practice law in a Delaware case, “I am required to ensure the appropriate level of integrity and competence,” Karsnitz said.

Wood had argued that he should not be tossed from the case because none of the alleged conduct had occurred in Karsnitz’s court, and it is up to the Delaware Supreme Court to enforce ethics rules.

Karsnitz countered that he wasn’t making any ethics determinations. Karsnitz said his job was to “ensure that those practicing before me are of sufficient character, and conduct themselves with sufficient civility and truthfulness.”

Karsnitz also mentioned news reports of tweets attributed to Wood that he read after issuing an order to show cause why Wood shouldn’t be removed from the Delaware case.

One tweet called for the arrest and execution of Vice President Mike Pence. Other tweets about U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “are too disgusting and outrageous to repeat,” Karsnitz said.

Karsnitz was apparently referring to tweets questioning whether Roberts has ties to pedophilia and the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, according to Law360.

“No doubt these tweets, and many other things, incited these riots” Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, Karsnitz said. “I am not here to litigate if Mr. Wood was ultimately the source of the incitement. I make no finding with regard to this conduct, and it does not form any part of the basis for my ruling.”

Wood was banned from Twitter after tweeting Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol riot, that it was time for patriots to “fight for our freedom.”

Another lawyer on Page’s legal team is John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge.

“I am humbled to be Carter Page’s lawyer and friend. I and my firm will fight for him with every fiber of our being until those who wronged him are held fully accountable,” he told Law360. “Nothing will distract us from accomplishing that mission.”

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