This is what happens when attorneys go along with Kari Lake’s election delusions

Mark Finchem, Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state and Kari Lake, Arizona gubernatorial candidate.

Mark Finchem, Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state and Kari Lake, Arizona gubernatorial candidate.

A federal judge on Friday ordered the attorneys for Kari Lake and Mark Finchem to pay Maricopa County $122,200 — money the county’s taxpayers spent to fend off a “frivolous” lawsuit brought before last year’s election.

Turns out judges don’t much like to see the court system used as a campaign prop.

Attorneys should take note of this.

Lawsuit was simply a campaign stunt

You may recall that Lake and Finchem — with financial backing from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell — filed suit in April 2022 while they were running for governor and secretary of state.

Their lawsuit asked a judge to bar the machine tabulation of votes in the 2022 election and require that paper ballots be used instead. They claimed that the Arizona vote-counting machines produced inaccurate results and that there were no paper balls to verify the machine count.

Never mind, apparently, the fact that they had no evidence to back up their claims.

Or that Arizona not only already uses paper ballots but the state law requires a hand count of a random sample of those ballots to verify the machine count is accurate.

Appeal moves to Tucson: And Kari Lake smells a conspiracy

But then, their lawsuit wasn’t a serious attempt to remedy a real problem. It was yet another campaign stunt, employed to make baseless claims about supposedly stolen elections.

A judge called Lake and Finchem on it

To his credit, US District Court John J. Tuchi called them on it.

Last August, he threw out their lawsuit, noting that the pair provided no evidence that machine counting produces inaccurate results and no proof that a hand count of ballots would be more accurate.

In December, he followed up by granting Maricopa County’s request for sanctions against the lawyers for bringing a “frivolous” lawsuit that “baselessly kicked up a cloud of dust.”

“In sum,” Tuchi wrote, “Plaintiffs lacked an adequate factual or legal basis to support the wide ranging constitutional claims they raised or the extraordinary relief they requested. Plaintiffs filled the gaps between their factual assertions, claimed injuries, and requested relief with false, misleading, and speculative allegations.”

Lawyers, take note: You better have evidence

And on Friday, he socked attorneys Kurt Olsen, Andrew Parker and Alan Dershowitz with the county’s $122K bill, though Dershowitz is liable for just 10% of the tab.

Dershowitz, one of the nation’s pre-eminent constitutional law experts, tried to wiggle out any responsibility by minimizing his involvement, but the judge wasn’t having it.

“Attorneys must be reminded that their duties are not qualified in the way he suggests and that courts are entitled to rely on their signatures as certifications, their filings are well-founded,” wrote Tuchi.

Turns out judges don’t like it when attorneys throw in with their clients to bring false, misleading and speculative allegations.

Now, they’re on notice that there’s a price to be paid for doing that.

Reach Roberts at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kari Lake attorneys pay six figures for filing ‘frivolous’ lawsuit

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