Attorney Lin Wood loses appeal over state bar’s mental health probe

Attorney L. Lin Wood speaks during a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia, U.S., December 2, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

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  • A federal appeals court said it could not hear a lawsuit Wood filed against Georgia state bar authorities
  • The bar wants Wood, who gained notoriety by promoting baseless election fraud theories, to undergo a mental health exam

(Reuters) – Conservative attorney L. Lin Wood cannot sue to block the Georgia state bar from seeking a mental health exam as part of its investigation into his conduct, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

Wood, who gained notoriety after the 2020 election by promoting conspiracy theories of fraud in the race, last year filed the lawsuit claiming that the request for a mental health exam violated his constitutional rights. On Tuesday the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling tossing the case.

The order says Wood failed to show there was “bad faith” behind the Georgia bar investigation. The panel also said Wood will have an opportunity to raise constitutional claims before the Supreme Court of Georgia, and that court had declined a request from Wood to pause the disciplinary proceedings.

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Lawyers for Wood did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bob Goldstucker, an attorney with the Atlanta firm Nall & Miller who represented Georgia state bar officials, said the ruling recognizes that bar authorities “execute on their responsibilities without bias and only upon a sound basis.”

The Georgia bar previously said in court filings that the mental health evaluation is part of its investigation into Wood, who allegedly physically assaulted two of his former law colleagues and tweeted last year that then-Vice President Mike Pence should be executed. The bar said Wood would not lose his license for refusing the exam and will have multiple opportunities to contest the evidence against him.

Wood has denied the claims that he assaulted his former colleagues, and previously said his comments about Pence amounted to “rhetorical or political hyperbole” that is protected speech.

The case is Wood v. Frederick, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, No. 21-12238.

For Lin Wood: Lin Wood pro se; Ibrahim Reyes of Reyes Lawyers; and Larry Crain of Crain Law Group

For defendants: Robert Goldstucker and Patrick Arndt of Nall & Miller

Read more:

Judge dismisses Lin Wood’s lawsuit against the Georgia state bar

Georgia bar says mental health exam isn’t key to Lin Wood’s fate

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