Far-right attorney Lin Wood has now lost a federal lawsuit that he brought in an attempt to stop a mental health evaluation of the lawyer that has been sought by the State Bar of Georgia. The Georgia state bar association placed Wood under investigation — and demanded an examination of his mental health — in connection to his frenzied attempts to get Joe Biden’s presidential election victory set aside. None of those efforts ever went anywhere, but Wood has nevertheless promoted bonkers conspiracy theories in the process — and state rules for Georgia lawyers say that “mental illness, cognitive impairment, alcohol abuse, or substance abuse, to the extent of impairing competency as a lawyer” can lead to disbarment.
Wood originally alleged in his lawsuit, which named members of the state bar’s disciplinary board as defendants, that the insistence upon a mental health examination stands in violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech in addition to his due process rights and privacy. Federal Judge Timothy Batten, who handled the case, observed that Wood “cites no law” underlying his arguments, adding that the state bar possessed “‘ample evidence’ of conduct warranting a proceeding” in the first place.
Unsurprisingly, Wood hasn’t taken the news well. Besides already appealing Batten’s refusal to grant him an injunction blocking the mental health evaluation, Wood petulantly insisted on the fringe social media site known as Telegram that he “will never quit fighting against a corrupt legal system and the corrupt, politically agenda-driven State Bar of Georgia.” There is, of course, no real evidence that the Georgia bar association is pursuing some kind of political vendetta against Wood. The fact is that he has spent months promoting only increasingly unhinged conspiracy theories about supposed election-rigging and more, and a basic connection to reality should be expected of any lawyer.
If Wood refuses to undergo the mental health evaluation, then the state bar investigation into him can still proceed. Members of the organization’s disciplinary board have indicated that Wood could be disbarred if there’s “an initial finding that the lawyer’s conduct poses a substantial threat of harm to his client or the public” followed by a hearing presided over by an individual known in legal parlance as a “special master,” who — depending on how that hearing unfolds — could recommend Wood’s disbarment to the Georgia state Supreme Court, which would have to approve the possible measure.