Lin Wood, pro-Trump lawyer who challenged 2020 election results, retires amid disbarment threat

Lin Wood, pro-Trump lawyer who challenged 2020 election results, retires amid disbarment threat

Lin Wood, a pro-Trump lawyer who worked to challenge the 2020 election results, retired from practicing law in order to avoid his potential disbarment in Georgia.

That state’s bar “has agreed to drop the disciplinary cases against me in return for my agreement to take the status of RETIRED,” Wood said Tuesday in a post on Telegram, a social media platform he has used after he was permanently banned from Twitter.

Wood had earlier posted a screenshot of a purported letter he sent to the State Bar of Georgia, requesting that he be allowed to “transfer to Retired Status effective immediately.”

“I understand that this request is unqualified, irrevocable and permanent,” Wood wrote in the letter, dated Tuesday. “I further understand and acknowledge that if granted Retired Status I am prohibited from practicing law in this State and in any other state or jurisdiction and that I may not apply for readmission.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Wood’s status on the Georgia bar’s online directory was updated to “retired,” a change from “active member in good standing.”

Officials with the State Bar of Georgia filed a notice later Wednesday that they are dismissing the disciplinary complaints against Wood.

“By permitting Respondent to transfer to Retired Status and thereby prohibiting Respondent from practicing law in this state or any other state or jurisdiction, the Office of General Counsel believes that it has achieved the goals of disciplinary action, including protecting the public and the integrity of the judicial system and the legal profession,” those officials wrote in a court filing shared with CNBC by a spokeswoman for the state bar.

Wood did not respond to CNBC’s request for additional comment.

Wood said on Telegram that his retirement from the law was not done “in the manner I would have preferred. But God is sovereign over everything.”

Wood was once a prominent defamation lawyer whose clients included Richard Jewell and the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, as well as more recent figures such as Kyle Rittenhouse and Nicholas Sandmann.

He gained notoriety for spreading election conspiracies and mounting a failed bid to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Georgia.

The Georgia State Bar launched disciplinary proceedings against Wood in February 2021. It suggested in a 1,677-page memo that the lawyer may have violated state rules of conduct and raised questions about his mental fitness.

In 2021, Wood filed a complaint in federal court in Atlanta accusing state bar officials of violating his rights by asking him to submit to a mental health evaluation or else put his law license in jeopardy. He also asked the judge in that case to recuse himself because he had presided over Wood’s lawsuit challenging the 2020 election.

The judge dismissed Wood’s case, and a federal appeals court upheld that decision.

In May, Wood sat for two days of contentious disciplinary hearings in Georgia Supreme Court with the state bar. Transcripts of those proceedings, posted by Wood’s “FightBack Foundation,” show Wood and his attorney frequently grappling with the presiding special master, Thomas Cauthorn. At one point, Wood accused Cauthorn of “blasphemy” for saying it was improper to tell a witness, “God bless you.”

“The witness is here to answer questions under oath, not to be blessed by you, Mr. Wood,” Cauthorn said. Wood has repeatedly criticized the special master on Telegram, where he boasts hundreds of thousands of followers.

Before announcing his retirement, Wood was embroiled in multiple other legal matters.

His former partners have sued him in state court in Georgia over an alleged breach of a settlement agreement. That lawsuit, which is ongoing, accuses Wood of “erratic, abusive, and unprofessional behavior.” Wood was fined $5,000 in June for repeatedly violating an order barring him from disparaging his former colleagues.

In May, Michigan officials called for punishment for Wood and other lawyers related to an effort to decertify that state’s 2020 election results for Biden.

It was not immediately clear how those matters would be affected by Wood’s decision to stop practicing law.


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