L. Lin Wood

Lucian Lincoln "Lin" Wood Jr. (born October 19, 1952) is an American attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known for representing Richard Jewell,[1][2][3][4] the security guard accused in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996. Wood's representation of Richard Jewell inspired Dan Rather to call him the "attorney for the damned",[5][6] and helped transform Wood from a personal injury lawyer to a nationally known defamation lawyer.[7]

L. Lin Wood
Lin Wood by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Wood in November 2011.
Lucian Lincoln Wood Jr.

(1952-10-19) October 19, 1952 (age 67)
Years active1977–present

Early lifeEdit

Lin Wood was raised in Macon, Georgia, since age 3. He stated that his family struggled financially with frequent episodes of domestic abuse involving his parents.[8][9] He has one sister, Diane Wood Stern, born February 1951 and a half sister, Linda Martin, born in 1946. After a school dance, the then 16-year-old Wood returned home to find his father had beaten his mother to death.[8][9][10] L. Lin Wood Sr. pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a charge reduced from first-degree murder.[11] He served a little over two years in prison. Wood has stated that it was this experience that solidified his earlier decision to become a lawyer.[8][9][10]

Wood lived with friends and graduated from Mark Smith High School in Macon, Georgia in 1970.

Wood graduated from Mercer University cum laude in 1974, and graduated from Walter F. George School of Law cum laude in 1977. From 1977 to 1996 Wood litigated personal injury cases and medical malpractice cases in the State of Georgia.[8][9]


Wood with President Donald Trump in 2020

Wood's first libel and defamation client was Richard Jewell,[1][2][3][4] the security guard falsely accused in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996.

Jewell was quickly followed by other high-profile cases, including John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenét Ramsey. [12][13][14] Wood was the plaintiff's lead attorney for John and Patsy Ramsey and their son Burke, prosecuting defamation claims on their behalf against St. Martin's Press, Time Inc., The Fox News Channel, American Media, Inc., Star, The Globe, Court TV and The New York Post. John and Patsy Ramsey were also sued in two separate defamation lawsuits arising from the publication of their book, The Death of Innocence. The suit was brought by two individuals named in the book as having been investigated by Boulder police as suspects in JonBenét's murder. The Ramseys were defended in those lawsuits by Lin Wood and three other Atlanta attorneys, James C. Rawls, Eric P. Schroeder, and S. Derek Bauer. The lawsuits against the Ramseys were dismissed. The ruling was partially based on an in-depth decision by U.S. District Court Judge Julie Carnes that "abundant evidence" in the murder case pointed to an intruder having committed the crime.[15]

In November 2006, Wood, on behalf of Rod Westmoreland, a friend of JonBenét Ramsey's father, filed a defamation suit[16] against Keith Greer, who had posted a message on an Internet forum using the pseudonym "undertheradar". Greer had accused Westmoreland of participating in the kidnapping and murder.[17] Greer has defended his statement.[18]

Wood went on to represent former U.S. Congressman Gary Condit, and the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case.[6] He has also represented fellow attorney Howard K. Stern in defamation lawsuits against John O'Quinn, lawyer for Virgie Arthur, the mother of Anna Nicole Smith and against Rita Cosby, the author of Blonde Ambition, The Untold Story of Anna Nicole Smith.

In November 2011, Wood was hired by then-presidential candidate Herman Cain, in his efforts to fight off sexual harassment accusations.[5][19]

Wood represented Burke Ramsey, older brother of murder victim JonBenet Ramsey, in a pair of related lawsuits stemming from the CBS network docuseries The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey. They included a $150 Million suit against Dr. Werner Spitz, a Michigan-based forensic pathologist, over his assertion in a promotional CBS Detroit radio interview that Burke killed his sister when a young child. [20] The other suit was a $750 Million suit against CBS and other parties involved in the docuseries, where the same allegations were made. Both lawsuits were settled out of court.

Wood was the lead attorney in Nicholas Sandmann's defamation suit against The Washington Post. Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School, was a party to the January 2019 Lincoln Memorial confrontation. The suit was settled in July 2020.[21]

In December 2019 Wood lost a multi-million defamation case for Vernon Unsworth against Elon Musk who had branded him a "pedo guy". The case was lost because the jury felt that Musk's tweet did not properly identify Unsworth, as he was not mentioned by name.[22]

Other significant lawsuitsEdit

On November 30, 2012, CNN covered the DaVita Inc. Medicare and Medicaid fraud lawsuit pending in which Wood was a lead attorney for the plaintiffs.[23] The lawsuit was settled in 2015 for nearly $500 million plus attorneys fees.[24]

In July 2020, Wood was retained to represent Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America's Frontline Doctors, who was fired for appearing on videos regarding Covid-19 treatments.[citation needed]

In August 2020, Wood volunteered to work on the defense team for Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old charged with homicide for shootings during the Kenosha protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake.[25]

Personal lifeEdit

Wood lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and has four children, two of whom are attorneys.[26] Wood and Mercer University announced a one million dollar fund set up by Wood at his Alma Mater to be called the "L. Lin Wood Fund for the Enhancement of Mercer Law School".[27]


  1. ^ a b Washington Post, "Ex-Suspect in Bombing Sues Newspapers, College; Jewell's Libel Claim Seeks Unspecified Damages," Washington Post, January 29, 1997.
  2. ^ a b HARRY R. WEBER, "Former Olympic Park Guard Jewell Dies," Washington Post, August 30, 2007.
  3. ^ a b CNN, "Jewell sues newspapers, former employer for libel," Archived March 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine CNN, January 28, 1997.
  4. ^ a b David Kohn, "60 Minutes II: Falsely Accused," CBS 60 Minutes, February 11, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Dongen, Rachel Van (November 8, 2011). "Herman Cain's powerful attorney: L. Lin Wood". Washington Post. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Olsen, Patrick; Rodriguez, Victoria (September 28, 2004). "Bryant's team up against 'attorney for the damned'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Tucker, Kathryn (January 28, 2019). "Teen in Viral Video Hires Atlanta Defamation Lawyer". ALM Media Properties, LLC. Daily Report. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Krista Reese, "Public figures have tough case to prove," Archived February 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Denver Rocky Mountain News, November 7, 1999
  9. ^ a b c d Carlton Fletcher, "L Lin Wood," Archived September 19, 2008, at the Library of Congress Web Archives Albany Herald, September 14, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Erik Lundegaard, "L. Lin Wood, Attorney for the Damned, Gets Out Front for Herman Cain," "The Super Lawyers," November 9, 2011
  11. ^ Kate Julian, "Is Herman Cain’s Lawyer the Anti-Gloria Allred?" Slate, November 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Erin Moriarty, "JonBenét: DNA Rules Out Parents," CBS, March 26, 2005.
  13. ^ Vanessa Miller, "Boulder police take back Ramsey case," Archived September 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Colorado Daily February 2, 2009
  14. ^ David Kohn, "Searching: The Interrogation Tapes," CBS February 11, 2009
  15. ^ R. Robin McDonald All Articles (March 16, 2009). "Northern District of Georgia's New Chief Judge Reflects on Her Career". Law.com. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  16. ^ Time Waster (November 9, 2006). "Man Sues Over JonBenet Murder Claim". Thesmokinggun.com. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  17. ^ "JonBenet Ramsey Case Encyclopedia wiki / Legal Issues Surrounding JBR Case". Jonbenetramsey.pbwiki.com. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  18. ^ "JonBenet Ramsey Case Encyclopedia wiki / undrtheradar biosketch". Jonbenetramsey.pbwiki.com. February 28, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  19. ^ Shear, Michael D.; Rutenberg, Jim; McIntire, Mike (November 8, 2011). "Herman Cain Denies Harassment Accusations; Second Woman Speaks Out". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Burke Ramsey Lawsuit: JonBenet Family Lawyer Rips CBS Docuseries. Westword.com, October 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "Nick Sandmann settles $250M lawsuit with the Washington Post". WLKY. July 24, 2020. Retrieved August 29, 2020 – via MSN.
  22. ^ Hamilton, Isobel Asher (December 9, 2019). "Elon Musk's win over Vernon Unsworth was a miscarriage of justice, according to Unsworth's lawyer". Business Insider. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin, "Dialysis company accused of giant Medicare fraud," CNN Special Investigations Unit, November 30, 2012.
  24. ^ "DaVita Settlement Nearly $500 Million In Medicare Fraud Case," Denver (CBS4), May 5, 2015.
  25. ^ Menahan, Chris (August 27, 2020). "'Enough Is Enough': CovCath Attorney Lin Wood Offers to Help Kyle Rittenhouse For Free After GoFundMe Shuts Down Legal Defense Fund". Retrieved August 27, 2020. If Kyle cannot defend himself under the circumstances shown in videos, we are all at risk.
  26. ^ Baker Botts, "Matt C. Wood," Archived January 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine", verified June 16, 2013
  27. ^ "Local education", Macon Telegraph, verified February 22, 2016