Lin Wood, a pro-Trump lawyer, has no basis to seek federal court relief from a State Bar of Georgia investigation into whether he is fit to practice law, in terms of his mental health or otherwise, a federal judge ruled.
Wood has been the subject of an ongoing Georgia Bar investigation as one of the key propagators of Donald Trump’s post-election conspiracy theories. According to documents Wood disclosed, the Bar’s investigation looks into his litigation to prevent Joe Biden from becoming President, as well as the lawyer’s mental health.
In response, Wood filed a federal lawsuit comparing the request to the Salem Witch Trials and requesting that a federal judge block it. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten dismissed the lawsuit on Wednesday, stating that it was inappropriate for a federal court to intervene in a Bar investigation that was still in its early stages.
“Clearly, there is a grievance proceeding against Wood in the State Bar,” Judge Batten observed. “Wood contends that this factor is not satisfied because he filed this action before there was a finding of probable cause against him. He does not, however, cite any law to support his contention that a probable cause finding is required for abstention or that abstention is not required during the investigative phase of a proceeding. In fact, both the law and logic require abstention during the investigative phase.”
Though Wood contended that he lacked a forum to express his concerns, Batten pointed out that any disciplinary action necessitates one.
Judge Batten also dismissed Wood’s contention that the Bar filed its complaint in bad faith.
Much of that evidence can be found in the Bar’s 9-page summary, which Wood revealed on social media in January. That summary includes a recap of his post-election lawsuits, including his so-called “Kraken” complaints with Sidney Powell in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona. All of those lawsuits were dismissed, and the attorneys who filed them are now facing a slew of sanctions and calls to be disbarred.
The summary also listed Wood’s conspiracy theories, including portraying Chief Justice John Roberts as a “member of a club or cabal requiring minor children as an initiation fee” and former Vice President Mike Pence as a “TRAITOR, a Communist Sympathizer, and a Child Molester.” Batten found no basis for a federal court to deny Wood’s request to undergo a mental health examination.
Former members of Wood’s law firm filed a lawsuit against him, accusing him of “erratic, abusive, and unprofessional behavior” from late 2019 to 2020. Former coworkers also claimed to have recorded Wood saying, “I might actually be Christ coming back for a second time in the form of an imperfect man, elevating Christ consciousness.” Wood’s lawyer, Ibrahim Reyes, issued a lengthy statement to Law&Crime criticizing Judge Batten, whom he said “inexplicably” refused to recuse himself. Batten had previously dismissed two of Wood’s post-election lawsuits, and Wood wanted to question the judge about those decisions, referring to him as a “material fact witness.”
Judge Batten’s decision was issued on Wednesday, one day after the 11th Circuit denied Wood’s petition for a writ of mandamus challenging Batten’s handling of the proceedings.
The ruling also came one day after Wood and his counsel filed a notice on the docket claiming to schedule depositions of Paula Frederick, the general counsel of the State Bar of Georgia, and Judge Batten, as Reyes pointed out.
“To be clear, there are no pending legal proceedings in state court, and, importantly, the Supreme Court of Georgia declined to accept jurisdiction, so, contrary to the judge’s order, no adequate forum exists for Plaintiff Wood to challenge the constitutionality of the State Bar’s coercive request, initiated in bad faith, that he submit to a mental health examination without even a speck of evidence.
Wood filed a notice of appeal with the 11th Circuit on Thursday.