Attorney Lin Wood held in contempt of court for denigrating ex-associates

Outspoken attorney fined $5,000 as judge threatens additional sanctions

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Atlanta attorney L. Lin Wood, who rose to national prominence representing people who felt defamed by the news media and others, has been held in contempt of court for making derogatory comments about former associates.

Wood was fined $5,000 — $1,000 for each of five times he violated a court order restricting his negative comments in public about the other attorneys. That injunction, upheld by the Georgia Court of Appeals, was issued after the lawyers — Jonathan Grunberg, Nicole Wade and Taylor Wilson — sued Wood in 2020, citing his erratic behavior in denying them their share of fees paid by clients.

After a hearing last week, Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said he would also fine Wood $15,000 for any additional statement that violates the injunction. In addition, McAfee ordered Wood to pay the other attorneys’ legal fees but allowed him to contest the amount.

Wood’s former associates accused him of posting numerous false comments attacking their ethics and competence on Telegram, a social media site popular with political conservatives. Wade testified she felt threatened by responses from some of Wood’s nearly 400,000 followers, one of whom wrote, “Line up the firing squad.”

Wood argued the other lawyers were trying to punish him for his religious beliefs and for his support of former President Donald Trump. After the 2020 election, Wood went to court seeking to overturn results in Georgia and other states that Trump lost.

In a Fulton courtroom last week, Wood leveled numerous unfounded accusations against the other lawyers, including that they were affiliated with a purported CIA operative and that they conspired with one of his children to have him undergo a mental health evaluation by Phil McGraw, the host of the daytime television talk show “Dr. Phil.”

Wood also evoked his most famous client, Richard Jewell, the security guard who was identified as a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996. Since taking Jewell’s case against numerous news organizations, Wood said, “I have not only litigated in the court of law, I have litigated in the court of public opinion.”

Staff writer Bill Rankin contributed reporting.