Lin Wood, outspoken Trump defender and libel lawyer, gives up law license

From Richard Jewell to Donald Trump, Atlanta attorney L. Lin Wood represented some of the highest-profile figures of his day.

Another client, though, apparently upended Wood’s legal career: himself.

Facing possible disbarment over bizarre behavior in and out of the courtroom, Wood is relinquishing his license to practice law. He notified the State Bar of Georgia of his resignation from the practice of law in a letter dated Tuesday, Independence Day.

The State Bar dropped two disciplinary cases against Wood on Wednesday. In documents filed with the Georgia Supreme Court, the Bar said Wood’s resignation “has achieved the goals of disciplinary action, including protecting the public and the integrity of the judicial system and the legal profession.”

In his resignation letter, Wood said the action was “unqualified, irrevocable and permanent.”

In addition, he wrote, “I further understand and acknowledge … I am prohibited from practicing law in this state and in any other state or jurisdiction and that I may not apply for readmission.”

He will, however, be allowed to continue representing himself in a lawsuit in which former colleagues claimed he defamed them and failed to share legal fees. He also represented himself in the Bar’s disciplinary cases.

Wood did not respond to a request for an interview.

On the social media site Telegram, where Wood has posted conspiracy theories and religious commentary since Twitter banned him in 2021, he described the Bar’s investigation as “persecution.” He also said he was at peace with his decision, describing “lawfare” as “a tool of the devil” that he forsakes, while suggesting he is not finished battling his adversaries.

“The devil schemes to keep you embroiled in the past and past disputes so that you cannot focus on the present or the future in doing God’s will for your life,” he wrote. “I want to focus on Jesus Christ. Not on lawfare and never on the devil!!! But in the process, I also want to expose the enemy for others to learn about him or them.”

Wood’s resignation put a cap on a 46-year career that brought him national prominence as he shifted from handling routine personal injury and medical malpractice cases to highly publicized libel actions and political causes.

His profile grew from his representation of Jewell, the security guard whom federal law enforcement agencies initially considered a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996. Wood turned Jewell’s case into an examination of the media’s rush to judgment, winning settlements from several news outlets.

Lin Wood gained a national profile when he represented security guard Richard Jewell (pictured) in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing case.

icon to expand image

Jewell’s lawsuit against The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which had been the first to report Jewell was a suspect, was dismissed in 2011 after an appeals court ruled the newspaper’s reporting was substantially correct at the time of publication. Jewell died in 2007 at age 44. Eric Rudolph was arrested in the bombing in 2003 and is serving a life sentence in prison.

While he initially won praise for standing up for Jewell, Wood’s hard-nosed tactics eventually antagonized not only opposing lawyers but others in the legal community.

“Lin Wood has a style of combativeness that is just counterproductive, in my view, to his clients’ best interests,” Ted Pound, an Atlanta lawyer who represented clients in medical malpractice cases filed by Wood, said in an interview Wednesday. “It keeps matters going. They becomes grudge matches between the lawyers.”

Wood took on other clients who felt maligned and disrespected by the government, the media and corporate and political elites. He represented JonBenet Ramsey’s brother and sued Elon Musk. He obtained settlements from CNN and The Washington Post in 2020 for their reporting on Nicholas Sandmann, a Kentucky teenager whose encounter with a Native American activist in Washington went viral in an out-of-context video. He initially worked on behalf of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged in 2020 with killing two Black Lives Matter protesters in Wisconsin. But by the time Rittenhouse’s case went to trial, Wood had parted ways with other lawyers on his legal team.

John Ramsey, left, and his wife Patsy Ramsey listened as their attorney Lin Wood, right, answered a question during a sidewalk press conference in downtown Atlanta after spending the morning being interviewed by Boulder, Colo., law enforcement and prosecution. (AJC file photo)


icon to expand image


The 2020 presidential election marked the beginning of the end of Wood’s legal practice.

Wood promoted various conspiracy theories about the election’s outcome, claiming Democrats, the Chinese government, voting-machine companies and even other Republicans had worked together to steal the presidency from Trump. After he filed lawsuits containing unfounded claims of election tampering, he became the subject of complaints to the State Bar, which early in 2021 opened an investigative into his mental capacity to practice law.

Supporters of President Donald Trump listen to speakers during a "Stop the Steal" rally, featuring Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, in Alpharetta, Georgia, on December 2, 2020. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

icon to expand image

Credit: TNS

On Telegram, Wood acknowledged Wednesday that his retirement “was not on my timing. It was not in the manner I would have preferred. But God is sovereign over everything.”

“Stay tuned and press on,” he said in another message. “The best is yet to come.”