PHOENIX — Two former presidents of the Arizona State Bar and five other attorneys have jointly filed an ethics complaint against 21 attorneys who went to court on behalf of President Donald Trump and the Arizona Republican Party after the 2020 election.
The 8-page letter to the Lawyer Regulation Division of the State Bar of Arizona alleges the attorneys knowingly brought 10 “utterly meritless cases” against elections officials.
“Confidence in the legal system is seriously eroded when attorneys treat lawsuits as a platform for broadcasting gossip and innuendo utterly devoid of factual proof, as a political stunt,” the letter states.
The bar complaint requests the State Bar of Arizona conduct an official investigation and “that appropriate action be taken.” If an ethics violation is sustained against an attorney, the consequences could include verbal reprimand, investigation fees, required ethics courses, suspension and disbarment.
Eleven of the attorneys named in the complaint are practicing in Arizona. The others are licensed in other states but worked on the Arizona cases, including the widely known Dallas attorney Sidney Powell.
Attorney Bob McWhirter is one of the seven attorneys who lodged the complaint. McWhirter is also a member of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors.
“You’re not allowed to use the courts as your political playground,” McWhirter tells 12 News.
When asked if the complaint is political, McWhirter said it is not.
“It’s not a liberal or conservative thing at all. It’s about not filing frivolous lawsuits which wastes thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars,” McWhirter said.
Such complaints are rare and taken very seriously, said attorney Dianne Post, one of the seven signatories of the letter.
“We are obligated under our ethical code to bring this to the attention of the Regulation Division when we see ethical violations,” Post said.
Two of the attorneys who signed the complaint are former State Bar of Arizona presidents Roxana Bacon and Amelia Craig Cramer.
One of the attorneys targeted in the complaint, Jack Wilenchik, said the Arizona Supreme Court “denied a request for sanctions made on the same political basis.”
Wilenchik said the complaint reads “like a Democratic press release.”
“I consider it the highest calling of a lawyer to advocate on behalf of people whose beliefs others disagree with, or they even find distasteful or repugnant—that is what a good lawyer does. What is truly unprofessional is personally targeting lawyers simply for doing their job,” Wilenchik wrote in a statement to 12 News.
Another attorney named in the complaint, who asked to remain anonymous, said the letter is “built on lies.”
“The only unethical act here is them filing a false bar charge,” they said.
The complaint can be read in its entirety below: