Trump loyalist and conspiracy-peddling lawyer Lin Wood — known for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results as a member of former President Donald Trump’s “Kraken” legal team — has lost his appeal in a lawsuit he filed himself.
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Wood could not sue the Georgia State Bar for demanding he undergo a mental evaluation.
The ruling was the latest in a string of legal defeats for Wood in the aftermath of Trump’s election fiasco. As a pro-Trump litigator, Wood actively promoted false claims that Trump won the 2020 presidential election, particularly on social media, on stage, and even in court.
The baseless “Kraken” lawsuits failed, but not without consequences for Wood: A judge in Michigan threw out a Trump election lawsuit and issued a sanctions order seeking Wood’s suspension or disbarment for misleading the court.
Forced to fight to retain his law license, Wood took to social media to complain, in a series of unhinged posts, that he was being “persecuted for his political views.” He also complained about the Georgia State Bar demanding that he undergo a mental health assessment.
Wood likened the requirement to the “Salem Witch Trials” and sued the state bar in federal court over it, but the bar group dismissed his claim in court filings, saying Wood wouldn’t lose his license for failing the mental exam. The court tossed out Wood’s lawsuit, ruling that he had no grounds to seek a federal court’s intervention in the state bar investigation.
“Clearly, there is a grievance proceeding in the State Bar against Wood,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten said in his ruling. “Wood argues that because he filed this action before there was a finding of probable cause against him, this factor is not satisfied. However, he cites no law to support his contention that a probable cause finding is required for abstention or that abstention is not required during an investigatory phase of a proceeding. In fact, both law and logic dictate that abstention is appropriate during the investigatory phase.”
Tuesday’s ruling arrived in an unsigned document from the court’s three justices: U.S. Circuit Judges Robin Rosenbaum, a Barack Obama appointee; Britt Grant, a Trump appointee; and R. Lanier Anderson, a Jimmy Carter appointee.
“Bad faith, in this context, would mean that the State Bar initiated its investigation into Wood without a reasonable expectation of imposing discipline,” the ruling stated.
The judges also found that Wood provided no evidence for any of his arguments in the suit. “Wood’s first three allegations do not show that the State Bar had no reasonable expectation of finding that discipline was warranted,” the judges wrote. “The last allegation is a conclusory, legal assertion, so it cannot satisfy Wood’s burden of proof.”
When asked for comment, Wood accused the media and the state bar of orchestrating a smear campaign against him.
“The Bar found NO probable cause existed for the request for a mental health exam,” Wood fumed. “It was just propaganda intended to smear me. Which is exactly [why] you publish.”