Please take a look at the following:
Mr. Lanre Amu did a great job on his brief to the SCOI, and in his brief he mentions “First Amendment” rights about 20 times and he also carefully lays out the facts of why he is alleging corruption against 5 judges. He is also following my advice to investigate, investigate, investigate and turn it all over to the authorities.
Now, the obvious problem with all of this, if the ARDC is limiting one’s right to evidence (Mr. Amu finally mentions the fact he served notices for the depositions of the 5 judges and his Notices of Deposition were all quashed. Then he served 5 trial subpoenas and those were all quashed), then what’s a poor black immigrant to do?
In my case, I took the depositions of Gloria Sykes, Scott Evans, Kathie Bakken and Yolanda Bakken. The IARDC failed to show up and just claimed the Notices “weren’t good enough”. I offered they could come back and cross examine, but they refused. Nonetheless, they continued to claim “discovery violation” to the Tribunal. To add more insanity to their behavior, they repeatedly wanted to strike the depositions, but then they used them at trial! MPD anyone?
There are many similarities.
Now all that Mr. Amu has to do is cite the 5 major cases that are in his favor with respect to First Amendment rights and he will be there: Peel/Ibenez (advertising credentials on letterhead okay), Citizens United (strict scrutiny standard for curtailing political speech), Loving v. IRS (IRS has no jurisdiction/authority to regulate), Brown Entertainment (Violent video games unrated okay), Gentile (statements made during press conference by attorney protected by First Amendment)
Optional, excellent cases: Alvarez (false Medals of Valor protected by the First Amendment); Virginia Bar Assn v. Hunter (truthful statements regarding attorney’s criminal law blog cases protected by First Amendment), Karavidas v. IARDC (attorneys private activities not within authority of ARDC to discipline), etc.
The only thing Mr. Amu needs is a few cases and he will be there.
During my trial, the ARDC cited and gave me copies of their cases which were not appealed to the SCOI or SCOTUS. On the otherhand, we did not need any case copies because everyone should be aware (esp. if they are a lawyer), of the First Amendment case which have issued from SCOI and SCOTUS. These should be famous cases and all lawyers should be familiar with them.
Only a lawyer has the unique ability to spot when law, procedure and case law is not being followed in the courtroom. To report these activities promptly and substantially accurately protects the public and other lawyers from being sandbagged by miscreant behavior in a court room.
We have two very important rights in this country. The first is access to free, open and democratic courtrooms, the second (and esp. when that first right fails), is access to a free, open and democratic media.
And being in the media is no piece of cake. But the reality is, certain individuals, by their own actions foist themselves into the media and public light. Certainly a judge foists themself into the public light and especially those that are elected. Next, are the behavior of attorneys in the courtroom. There has been plenty of negative publicity about many, many lawyers in the courtroom in highly visible cases.
When one starts to judge speech in a courtroom, as Atty. Nejla Lane said during my ARDC trial, the court automatically becomes biased in favor of one side of the story. At that point, the court automatically loses its credibility as an impartial, blind judge of facts as applied to law. Accordingly, by its very nature, speech is nearly impossible to regulate.
Take a look at the following case which many are urging Mr. Brewington to take his case to the Supreme Court of Indiana and I hope that he does:
In this case, Mr. Brewington hired a child evaluator (psychologist) and agreed to have him evaluate his family situation during a custody battle. When Mr. Brewington didn’t like the report, he then sent the doctor many communications letting the doc know in no uncertain terms what Brewington felt regarding the report and he created a scathing blog. But he did not threaten the doctor with physical harm or any crime against person or property.
The trial court found Brewington committed the crime of “intimidation” with “threats” based upon the following definition of “threat”:
The (Indiana) General Assembly has defined a “threat” as:
an expression, by words or action, of an intention to:
(1) unlawfully injure the person threatened or another person, or damage property;
(2) unlawfully subject a person to physical confinement or restraint;
(3) commit a crime;
(4) unlawfully withhold official action, or cause such withholding;
(5) unlawfully withhold testimony or information with respect to another person’s legal claim or defense, except for a reasonable claim for witness fees or expenses;
(6) expose the person threatened to hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule;
(7) falsely harm the credit or business reputation of the person threatened; or
(8) cause the evacuation of a dwelling, a building, another structure, or a vehicle.
Ind.Code § 35-45-2-1(c). Whether conduct amounts to a threat is an objective question of fact for the jury to decide. Owens v. State, 659 N.E.2d 466, 474 (Ind. 1995).
Now, I don’t have a problem with the above, except no. 6. No. 6 is purely criminalizing trash talk and it’s completely subjective. The last sentence regarding what amount to a threat which can possibly be objective is purely outrageous. There is absolutely nothing about speech that is “objective”. Objective is a litmus test, evaluating speech is a matter of preference, bias and prejudice. To deny that is to engage in day dreaming.
So, poor Mr. Brewster let the doctor know he was unhappy and demanded the doctor change or retract the report. That was the basis for an “obstruction of justice” count. It was opined that a scathing blog and string of faxes and letters would prevent the poor doc from coming to court and taking the witness stand.
Let’s go back and read in between the lines here. We know that probate and divorce courts have their “go to doctors” where you simply get the opinion you want based upon the name of the doc. Most of the time, therefore, the courts keep “private” or “proprietary” lists. Even the New Mexico state legislature has had problems with court connected psychologists, such that, in 1995 they were able to pass a bill in the senate that they dress like wizards prior to testifying (true story, check it out):
the bill stated:
When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…
Perhaps Mr. Brewington should have repeated this story in opening argument or closing.
Mr. Brewington’s story is indeed troubling. Let’s hope he appeals. With respect to emails and faxes, I know where the block feature is, where the delete key is and once in a while I might use those, but most of the time, I ignore/do not read trash talk and tell the sender they are wasting their time. That’s my constitutional right.
For an upbeat story on Free Speech rights, try this case from the Indiana Supreme Court where an apparently drunken woman told the nice police officer in a loud voice where to go and what to do. The Indiana Supreme Court said the speech was political and protected by the First Amendment:
Price v. Indiana
The court upheld the drunken woman charge but struck down the other charges of resisting arrest and obstructing justice for her speech. Apparently she said “F U, I didn’t do anything wrong.” I wonder if the Indiana Supreme court knew that if you said that statement was in and of itself obstructing justice and disorderly conduct, the Indiana prisons would soon be full to the busting point! Isn’t that what everyone says or at least thinks at the time of arrest?
This was a 1993 case and I wonder if free speech rights are simply eroding.
Mr Amu’s recent brief can be found here:
But my hero right now is Indiana’s first lady of loud, drunken, obnoxious speech, Ms. Colleen Price. “F U, I didn’t do anything wrong” as she was being arrested.
You go, girl.