Lawyers have rules. A license to practice law is a privilege, not a right. As a member of the bar you take an oath and you go into this profession understanding that one of the fundamental rules you must abide by to remain a member of the bar in good standing is to not bring ill repute upon the profession in any aspect of your life – personal or professional. There are many rules of professional responsibility that lawyers must abide by, including statutory/codified rules, which if violated, may result in sanctions. The bar against bringing frivolous lawsuits is just one of those rules (Fed. R. Civ. P. 11).
For months we’ve been witnessing lawyer after lawyer bring frivolous lawsuits, make outlandish claims, and in some cases, border on outright lying to the court. For four years, ticking up in frequency with the installation of Attorney General Bill Barr, we have watched these and other abuses go unchecked without consequence, doing damage bit by bit all along the way, despite letters to the disciplinary boards of state bar associations penned by members of our Congress and other members of the bar. These attorneys have not only brought “ill-repute” upon the profession, they have brought outright disgrace upon it. Many wondered when or if these attorneys would ever get shut down by way of sanctions imposed upon them by a Judge who had finally had enough. Well, we’re not there yet, but we may be getting close.
Last week I noted elsewhere that attorney L. Lin Wood was removed from a case in Delaware by a judge who finally had enough. The judge did not sanction Wood, but his actions are still a step in the right direction. Wood, not licensed in the State, applied for permission to practice before the court on a temporary basis by a process known as “pro hac vice.” In rejecting this, Superior Court Judge Craig A. Karsnitz made reference to Wood’s conduct before the courts of other states, as well as his personal conduct. Karsnitz said, “The conduct of Mr. Wood, …exhibited a toxic stew of mendacity, prevarication and surprising incompetence. What has been shown in Court decisions of our sister States satisfies me that it would be inappropriate and inadvisable to continue Mr. Wood’s permission to practice before this Court.”
The Judge went on to state “…I have seen reports of “tweets” attributable to Mr. Wood. At least one tweet called for the arrest and execution of our Vice-President. Another alleged claims against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States which are too disgusting and outrageous to repeat…No doubt these tweets, and many other things, incited this riot.”
One would think these events, coupled with his recent ban from social media platforms, including Twitter, might cause him to reflect upon his behavior. Yet to date, he’s still out there paying no other price for his conduct and involvement in the events of 1/6/2021. Instead, he’s spending his time demanding millions of dollars from Steve Wynn for “disparaging him to Mr. Trump”, and threatening him by extortion if he doesn’t pay up. https://www.wsj.com/articles/steve-wynn-and-lawyer-united-over-trump-break-ties-in-messy-spat-11610462352
Here’s to hoping that for the sake of our country, the new chapter of Biden will put an end to the era of “letting it slide” not only for Wood, but for all those like him, and will instead, usher in a return to civility and lawfulness. You can read Judge Karsnitz’ opinion here.