The court rejected the request to overturn the election on numerous grounds, calling it “stunning in its scope and breathtaking in its reach” as it sought to “disenfranchise the votes of more than 5.5 million Michigan citizens.”
Michigan and Detroit officials later filed motions for sanctions against the attorneys who brought the lawsuit. On Wednesday, Parker ruled some sanctions are warranted, saying they violated guidelines for professional conduct. She cited, among other things, the deficiencies of the lawsuit, their lack of understanding of election law and the sheer number of failed election challenges that the attorneys had filed.
She ordered the plaintiffs’ attorneys to pay the fees and costs of the defendants and to complete at least 12 hours of continuing legal education on pleading standards and election law. She also referred all nine attorneys “for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment” in the states where they’re admitted to the bar.
“This lawsuit should never have been filed,” Parker wrote. “If plaintiffs attorneys are not ordered to reimburse the state defendants and the city for the reasonable fees and costs incurred to defend this action, counsel will not be deterred from continuing to abuse the judicial system to publicize their narrative.”
It’s the latest legal blowback for attorneys who have filed unsuccessful lawsuits that claimed Trump lost the election because of voter fraud.
Wood, now a South Carolina resident, already faces possible disciplinary action by the State Bar of Georgia. Powell and others face defamation lawsuits for making false claims about the Dominion Voting Systems machines used in Georgia and other states. And a Colorado judge recently levied penalties against attorneys in another presidential election lawsuit.
In Georgia, Cobb and DeKalb counties recently recovered attorneys’ fees in a similar lawsuit brought by Trump.