The point out Legal professional General’s Office has submitted a bar criticism versus a Sequim law firm who has submitted a raft of lawsuits building baseless statements of prevalent voter fraud in Washington.
The grievance to the Place of work of Disciplinary Counsel usually takes goal at legal professional Virginia Shogren for a lawsuit towards Gov. Jay Inslee that was just lately rejected as “frivolous” by the condition Supreme Court.
Shogren represented the Washington Election Integrity Coalition United in the Inslee lawsuit, which alleged common registration of noncitizens. The condition Supreme Court docket dismissed the lawsuit as devoid of authorized merit and final month ordered Shogren and the coalition to shell out a lot more than $28,000 in authorized penalties.
The bar criticism, signed by Solicitor Typical Noah Purcell, accuses Shogren of violating qualified carry out principles when she “advanced frivolous authorized arguments and made allegations of voter fraud with no foundation in point.”
The complaint cited statements by Shogren that her client had determined 50,000 noncitizens registered to vote in the point out, with no supplying any basis or methodology for individuals assertions. A “casual check” of a sample of alleged noncitizens the coalition claimed experienced voted in 2020 confirmed the details was “not trusted,” Purcell wrote. For instance, he wrote, a person voter identified by the group had tweeted about getting to be a naturalized citizen in 2019.
“Unfounded and baseless allegations, like those designed by Ms. Shogren have the predictable outcome of undermining the public’s faith in our democratic establishments,” Purcell wrote.
Shogren did not immediately reply to a request for remark. She was admitted to the point out bar in 2003 and has no other community disciplinary historical past, in accordance to the bar association’s on line legal listing.
The election coalition represented by Shogren has quite a few added lawsuits against elections officers pending in federal court which make unsubstantiated claims of large vote fraud. None of the group’s lawsuits throughout the condition has been productive — mirroring the problem nationally for such conditions, which echo previous President Donald Trump’s bogus claims about the 2020 election.
The group’s leader, Tamborine Borrelli, is jogging for secretary of state this calendar year, listing her social gathering affiliation as “America Initially (R).”
The Business office of Disciplinary Counsel is billed with investigating ethics grievances against lawyers in the condition. It can advise punishment ranging from a official warning to suspension or disbarment. Remaining conclusions are manufactured by court-appointed hearings officers, with all suspensions and disbarments reviewed by the state Supreme Court.
The grievance signed by Purcell does not request any distinct punishment, but asks the business to “look into this make any difference and acquire even more motion as you deem correct.”