Here’s something I didn’t know about in the annals of Trumpist mania and bad acting. You’ve probably seen the name Lin Wood come up. From my recollection, prior to his Trumpist incarnation, Wood was what you might call a regionally known celebrity lawyer. He was involved in a lot of high profile cases and was very successful. I don’t know how respected he was as a lawyer per se. And I don’t think he was known for supporting coups or being unhinged or evil.
More recently he was the lawyer for Nicholas Sandmann – the kid from Covington Kentucky involved with that incident with the Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial – suing media organizations for defamation. He took on the case of alleged terrorist shooter Kyle Rittenhouse with funding from high profile Trump supporter Mike Lindell (the MyPillow guy). And now since the November election he’s been at the forefront of some of the wildest and most lurid pro-Trump fraud conspiracy theories and demands for overthrow of the government.
I checked before I started writing. And even though Wood has been involved in numerous Trump adjacent cases and is involved in a number of the allied election litigation cases, he never appears to have represented Trump himself or the campaign or Trump organizations. He’s now apparently part of defenestrated former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s new cases.
In any case, Wood is one of many people in the Trump Era who were prominent but seemed relatively normal and unremarkable until Trump came along and either revealed them to be or made them bonkers and/or evil. And in Wood’s case it’s a bit more than being another 60-something pro-Trump fanboy. He’s clearly a major QAnon supporter. He appears to be part of this latest call to quite literally to overthrow the republic, suspend the constitution and throw out the results of the November election.
So here’s the part I didn’t know about. Back in September three former law partners sued Wood for fees tied to the dissolution of the partnership. They claim they had to quit because he’d essentially lost his mind.
In the course of their filings they list a range of behavior from abusive to unstable and erratic all the way to perhaps even delusional. Again some of the claims are just ‘boss from hell.’ Others are more in the realm of genuine abuse and even violence. They claim that Wood committed “assault and battery” on one of the former partners who came to do a welfare check on him back in late 2019, which was when the erratic behavior began. There are various other times when he summoned them to his residence in the middle of the night or called and texted in the early hours of the morning. At other times he claimed he was disciplining his legal partners “at the discretion of Almighty God.” In one monologue conference call he allegedly referred to himself as “the Almighty.”
One flare-up had him telling his partners, “You damn dumb mother——s… You are going to be ruined financially … Here are the findings of your final judgment day on earth for today, the day after my Valentine’s Day massacre.”
Here’s a bit more on the progression of that particular episode, according Legalreader.com …
In one incident cited in the lawsuit, Wood sent over a dozen people a late-night e-mail in which he alleged he had been victimized “by some unspecified action.” Later in the same message, Wood vowed to mete out punishment “at the discretion of Almighty God.”
The confrontation between an indigenous rights activist and Sandmann took place at a rally at the Lincoln Memorial. While CNN and other news outlets depicted Sandmann as mocking Phillips’ traditional chant, later information suggested that Sandmann and his classmates may have been caught between two opposing groups of protesters.
Two hours after that message was sent, Wood sent a follow-up e-mail asserting that “God was somehow commanding or directing him to accuse” his partners of misconduct, and that “God had given [Wood] permission” to use profanity in his correspondences.
Wood also referred to an associate attorney as a “Chilean Jewish [expletive] crook.”
Several days later, Wood sent out another mass e-mail—directed to 18 attorneys—recanting “every one of his accusations,” saying he had made “accusatory statements with incomplete information and out of anger, coupled with a tried brain and body.”
In his responses Wood seems to concede he may not have been at the top of his game during the incidents in question. But his aggressive self-defense seems to confirm rather than raise doubts about the accusations against him …
These young lawyers have chosen to willingly engage in a disgraceful and unprofessional effort to publicly attack me by including irrelevant, out-of-context private messages I sent to them in the midst of a difficult time in my personal life arising primarily from my family’s reaction to my faith in Jesus Christ.
In general I treat partnership breakup court proceedings as somewhat akin to divorce proceedings. You simply can’t take the things alleged totally at face value. People don’t always tell the truth and the dissolution of professional partnerships, not unlike marriages, usually involves perceived violations of deep trust and fights over assets. People are playing for keeps and they’re often angry. That said, most of these claims seem to be based on electronic records and emails. While some skepticism is warranted, most of the claims seem backed with hard evidence. They paint a picture of a man who is seriously erratic, apparently mentally unstable and afflicted with bouts of mania or even delusional episodes.
How this relates to his behavior in court and in the court of public opinion is hard to say. We often refer to people peddling wild conspiracy theories as “crazies.” But of course most of them are just degenerates and liars. They don’t have any clinical or definable mental health issue. At the far edges of these conspiracy theory communities, though, you often do have people who veer into something more clinically definable. Their extremity and credulity seems either driven by or coexisting with irrational affect, erratic behaviors or borderline delusions. Wood seems to fall into that category, according to this suit.