Judge tosses ethics case against Sidney Powell, citing ‘numerous defects’ in regulator’s exhibits
State bar regulators have lost a bid to bring ethics charges against Sidney Powell. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
A judge in Texas has tossed an ethics case against lawyer Sidney Powell for alleged frivolous election lawsuits, citing regulators’ refusal to fix a faulty evidence list as a key reason it was unable to meet its evidentiary burden.
Judge Andrea K. Bouressa of Collin County tossed the case in a Feb. 22 decision, report Bloomberg Law, Law360 and Reuters.
The ethics complaint had alleged Powell filed election-fraud lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions with “no reasonable basis to believe the lawsuits she filed were not frivolous.”
But Bouressa said she couldn’t consider most of the evidentiary exhibits offered by the Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline.
Bouressa said the commission listed Exhibits A through F “purportedly in its appendix” of one of its court documents. But the actual documents in the appendix were marked A through H and didn’t match the documents described in the brief. In addition, the commission made only three citations to two documents when describing summary judgment evidence. One of those citations referred to Exhibit E, but it appeared to be describing material in Exhibit G.
“The court alerted the parties to difficulty locating materials cited in the commission’s brief, but the commission responded that no corrective action was necessary,” Bouressa wrote in her decision.
Because of the “numerous defects” in the commission’s exhibits, Bouressa considered only two documents. Bouressa said only one was “competent summary judgment evidence”—a pleading filed by Powell.
Bouressa cited another commission failure: It did not respond to Powell’s motion challenging elements of the commission’s claims. As a result, Bouressa sided with Powell on that issue.
“With the commission’s sole competent summary judgment evidence being Exhibit F, considered solely for its limited purpose—evidence of a pleading filed by Powell and others—the commission has failed to meet its burden,” Bouressa said.
Bloomberg Law contacted a lawyer for Powell and a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, both of whom declined to comment. The spokesperson, Claire Reynolds, told the ABA Journal in an email that the commission is not making any statements at this time because it hasn’t yet discussed Bouressa’s decision and what it will do going forward.