Judge: Alex Jones’ lawyer broke ethics rules in Newtown case

December 15, 2021 GMT

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut judge on Wednesday determined a lawyer for Infowars host Alex Jones broke attorney conduct rules during the deposition of a witness, as part of a defamation lawsuit against Jones for calling the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax.

Judge Barbara Bellis in Waterbury said during a court hearing that she was “leaning toward” reprimanding Hartford lawyer Jay Wolman, but did not immediately impose sanctions. She said she would issue a written ruling later. Wolman denied he broke ethics rules.

Relatives of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 school shooting are suing Jones and his companies, including Austin, Texas-based Infowars, saying they’ve been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy pushed on his show. Bellis found Jones liable for damages to the families last month, and a trial on how much the damages should be is scheduled for next August.

ADVERTISEMENT

At issue on Wednesday was Wolman’s questioning of Jones’ former employee Robert Jacobson during a deposition in September and whether he badgered and intimidated Jacobson in a failed attempt to get Jacobson to search email on his phone for the phrase “Sandy Hook.”

Wolman’s lawyer, Wesley Horton, argued that while Wolman was repetitive in his questioning, it was not misconduct.

Brian Staines, the state’s chief disciplinary counsel for lawyer misconduct cases, told the judge he believed Wolman broke ethics rules.

Bellis agreed with Staines.

“There is such a thing as pushing the envelope and aggressive lawyering,” the judge said. “And then there is misconduct that crosses the line where counsel violates their professional obligations under the rules, and I do find by clear and convincing evidence that that is what we have here.”