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Kraken Lawsuits were a bust because they were bullchit-but sanctioning those attorneys is not


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Monday will be a hearing to decide whether Kraken lawyers Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and their co-counsel should face heavy sanctions. Why? Because their lawsuits were frivolous and bullchit.  King v Whitmer

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in January asked District Judge Linda V. Parker to sanction Powell, Newman, and the other attorneys for pursuing “frivolous” legal claims and refusing to dismiss the case “when their claims became moot.”

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The “Kraken” is the name Powell gave to her legal team’s multi-armed effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victories in Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia following the 2020 election. After all four efforts failed, the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit gunned for punishment against the team of lawyers which filed the case in the Wolverine State. The state filed complaints directly with the bar, and Detroit asked a federal judge to refer every “Kraken” lawyer who appeared in the Michigan prong of the legal offensive for disbarment proceedings.

More from bloomberglaw

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Bruce Green, a legal ethics professor at Fordham University’s School of Law, said he thinks it’s likely that the court will sanction the lawyers.

“Federal trial courts have a role in overseeing the professional conduct of the lawyers who appear before them, including by sanctioning lawyers for filing frivolous and vexatious litigation,” Green said in an email to Bloomberg Law. “There is not much that the court can do beyond impose monetary sanctions, but a disciplinary body can rely on the court’s findings to impose more serious sanctions—e.g., by suspending a lawyer for frivolous litigation.”

“So it makes sense for the lawyers involved to take this seriously, including by hiring well-regarded outside counsel,” Green said.

 

What has happened? 

The judge signed an order requiring the Kraken lawyers to show up in person before her. The defendants tried to see if they could get their attorneys to show up for them instead. Judge denied their motion. 

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Every lawyer who signed pleadings or briefs for the “Kraken” team in Michigan must appear via Zoom at Monday’s hearing, including Wood, Powell, Stefanie Junttila, Scott Hagerstrom, Julia Haller, Brandon Johnson, Howard Kleinhendler, and Gregory Rohl.

Kraken tried to keep their witnesses secret, probably because they were fraudsters. Judge said no today

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at least two of the once-secret “Kraken” witnesses had inflated their credentials, did not disclose their checkered pasts, and appeared to make false statements on sworn affidavits. One such witness, alternately code-named “Spider” and “Spyder,” was revealed by the paper to be Joshua Merritt, who was touted as a “military intelligence expert” but was actually an army vehicle mechanic—and reportedly never worked in military intelligence.

Another witness, Terpsichore “Tore” Maras-Lindeman, was billed as a secret intelligence contractor but was depicted by the Post as a small-town fraudster because of her civil prosecution in North Dakota that led to more than $25,000 in penalties and attorneys’ fees for allegedly duping donors a supposed Christmas fundraiser. A pro-Trump podcaster, her Navy experience reportedly lasted less than a year.

 

One of these attorneys, Emily Newman, has hired her own attorney to defend her in the sanctions hearing, where she could be disbarred.

 

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