Attorneys React to Texas Bar Lawsuit Against Ex-Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell

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Close up of an attorney | Image by Worawee Meepian

When Peter Tiktin of the Pitkin Law Group learned that attorney Sidney Powell was sued in Dallas by the State Bar of Texas last week, he thought it was a tragedy.

Powell is best known for joining former President Donald Trump’s legal team in 2020 just as he lost the presidential election to current U.S. President Joe Biden. Powell, a former Texas prosecutor, contested election results in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.

“What a shame,” Tiktin told The Dallas Express. “Here you have someone who was being courageous and doing everything within her power to fix what was going wrong. Sidney was splashing her feet against an oncoming tide and now we want to drown her for it.”

Tiktin, the author of What Makes Trump Tick: My Years with Donald Trump From New York Military Academy to the Present, was reacting to the news that Powell is facing disciplinary action from the State Bar of Texas after the State of Michigan dismissed her lawsuit contesting the 2020 presidential election.

According to the complaint, Powell “had no reasonable basis to believe her filed lawsuits were not frivolous. Further, the filing of these lawsuits violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11.”

Rule 11 was promulgated to deter frivolous actions and requires attorneys to certify that there were reasonable grounds for the proceeding.

“During the course of the lawsuits, respondent took positions that unreasonably increased the costs or other burdens of the cases and unreasonably delayed the resolution of the matters, including but not limited to, respondent’s failure to dismiss the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Michigan when her requested relief was moot,” the March 1 petition alleges.

Some conservatives have complained that the presidential election was stolen, and Trump has voiced the same concern at his rallies.

“This bar association action is something that’s really not the way to go,” Tiktin said in an interview. “It’s possible that people are thinking they’re doing things for a good cause but if you put things into context as to how things were going at that time and the way they are now, there’s something called ‘The Big Lie.’ Was the election fixed? I have personally seen some evidence and I don’t have a doubt that the election was fixed.”

Tiktin did not elaborate on what evidence he claims to have seen.

The Commission for Lawyer Discipline, an arm of the State Bar of Texas, alleges in its petition that Powell attached a certificate from the Georgia Secretary of State that she purported to the court was un-dated in the Pearson v Kemp complaint she filed in the Northern District of Georgia.

According to the petition, the certificate was altered to remove the date and Powell made a false statement.

“If Sidney did something wrong, then she should be held accountable,” said attorney John Coale, who is representing Trump in his federal lawsuits against YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. “They are accusing Sidney of lying and making stuff up. If she did that, that’s not going to be good.”

“From what I can gather, she un-dated a dated document, and I don’t know if that happened because somebody was making a copy and didn’t get the backside, but it’s hardly a situation where she stood in front of a courtroom and lied,” said Arlington, Texas attorney Warren Norred.

“What she should do is ask for some specifics,” Norred commented. “It’s a two-page complaint and it doesn’t give much detail.”

The commission seeks a judgment of professional misconduct against Powell and asks that the court impose sanctions.

“It looks like it was a sloppy dating or un-dating of a document by removing a date that that should have been there, but even if that happened, the fact that the State Bar of Texas is doing this tells me that the Bar Association is a political creature in need of having its wings clipped,” added Norred.

Although Powell did not file a lawsuit contesting the presidential election in Texas, the powerhouse attorney is licensed to practice law in Texas, according to the State Bar of Texas website.

Claire Reynolds, public affairs counsel for the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, said attorneys licensed in Texas can be sanctioned for misconduct in other states.

“When you become a member of the Bar in Texas, you agree to abide by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct,” Reynolds told The Dallas Express. “This allows us to ensure that Texas-licensed attorneys still abide by the ethical requirements of our state, regardless of where the misconduct occurred. Attorneys have the right to due process, which is why we have a hearing and we must present evidence, and an impartial judge or jury will decide whether the attorney committed misconduct.”

Powell, whose business listing is in Dallas, received her law license in Texas on November 6, 1978. Her practice areas are business and criminal law, as well as civil and criminal appellate law. Powell once worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas.

Tiktin expressed hope that the court decided against Powell, her punishment would at least be light.

“I’m hoping in the event she is found guilty that they give her something called an admonishment, which should be the least penalty she could get, but she could also be reprimanded,” he said. “There could be a suspension for a short period of time where she probably would automatically jump back in at the end of the suspension or a longer time frame in which she would have to reapply to be reinstated. The worst-case scenario is disbarment.”

“Once you’re suspended or disbarred in one location, every other bar takes it up as an automatic,” Tiktin added.

Because litigation against lawyers can mean their license is at risk, the lawsuit against Powell represents high stakes.

“Lawyers get very upset when somebody’s threatening their license,” Coale commented. “If they have probable cause to bring this case and they are strictly following their rules and it’s not some political vendetta, then fine. If this were Massachusetts or another Democratic state, then you’d look for the politics, but the politics would be unusual here if there is a vendetta because Texas is known to be conservative.”

Tiktin believes politics are indeed at play in the lawsuit.

“I think it’s because of her attempt to help Donald Trump. It’s probably a lefty who started this whole disciplinary action and probably the basic reason for it is because you’ve got a squeaky wheel,” Tiktin said.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, Tiktin attended the New York Military Academy with Trump when they were teenagers.

Currently, Powell is listed on the State Bar of Texas website as eligible to practice law; however, if she were suspended or disbarred, the disciplinary action could have national implications.

“It’s just a trash lawsuit to punish her and now she’s going to have to defend herself,” Norred told The Dallas Express. “These people that are involved get some attention and the bar looks important. It’s also a way of putting conservative attorneys on notice.”

Powell did not respond to requests for comment.

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