The State Bar of Arizona is able to move forward with cases against three attorneys for their actions in representing failed 2022 Arizona gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Senate hopeful Kari Lake.
An Arizona Supreme Court attorney disciplinary panel on Dec. 8 found probable cause to take formal action against Bryan Blehm, a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, and Kurt Olsen, an employment attorney from Washington, D.C., who represented Lake in her attempt to overturn the results of the election, which she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by 17,000 votes. Both attorneys were the subject of complaints related to their arguments attempting to overturn the 2022 election.
Another Lake attorney, Andrew Parker, who, along with Olsen, represented Lake and former secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem in a 2022 lawsuit during which they challenged the use of ballot tabulating machines, was also the subject of a probable cause order.
The probable cause orders clear the way for the State Bar to file formal complaints against the trio, which would be overseen by a judge who handles attorney disciplinary matters.
The Arizona Supreme Court has already ordered Olsen and Blehm to pay $2,000 in sanctions for writing in an appeal that it was an “undisputed fact” that more than 35,000 ballots were illegally inserted into batches of legal ballots in Maricopa County when the November 2022 ballots were being sorted shortly after Election Day.
Related video: State Bar of AZ to file complaints against Kari Lake’s lawyers (FOX 10 Phoenix)
three attorneys who represented Kerry Lake in her bid to
The court wrote that Lake provided no evidence of the claim and sanctioned Lake and her team for making “false factual statements to the Court.” Records provided by the attorneys to the State Bar show they have paid the fine.
And that claim of the illegal insertion of more than 35,000 ballots is the subject of one of the State Bar complaints against Blehm and Olsen. Those complaints were filed in May.
Blehm is facing an additional complaint for a tweet he posted on the social media site X, formerly Twitter, on Aug. 12, in which he accused the CIA and Department of Justice of conspiring to coerce the Arizona Supreme Court into creating a misinformation board. The purpose of that board, he contended, was to deter attorneys from bringing legitimate election fraud claims and ultimately prevent Donald Trump from being re-elected president in 2020.
In his response to the complaint, Blehm said he had proof that this was the case but couldn’t share it ahead of future litigation.
Both Olsen and Parker face a Bar complaint based on a case in which Lake and Finchem claimed that electronic tabulation machines are susceptible to hacking and should not be used to tabulate ballots. The trial court initially dismissed the case in August 2022, calling their claims “vague” and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concurred with the trial court and also threw out the case on Oct. 16.
Before litigation begins, the attorneys will have a chance to enter into a disciplinary agreement with the bar, according to letters sent to the lawyers on Dec. 11.
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