Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Transitive Principle Of Lies

As a lawyer, my "legal opinion" is what I think the law is as applied to a particular case. If I call a public figure a rapist, a child molester, a wife-beater, that is not my "legal opinion," even if it is based on what my client has told me. I had a case once, a divorce case, in which I held in my hand photographs of my client's son after his father had beaten him with a golf club. I was on the phone with the father’s lawyer in the divorce proceeding, listening to him tell me what a gold-digger my client (the wife) was. I wanted to tell him about that photograph and what I could prove his client was. I couldn't, because my client wouldn't let me. She wanted the divorce concluded as rapidly as possible. It was not my "legal opinion" that the husband was a child-abusing son of a bitch, it was my personal conclusion, based on that photograph.

Sidney Powell wants to hide behind the protection of hyperbole sometimes engaged in while representing a client in litigation.  Her lawyer’s brief (as cited in the tweet) makes much of such statements being “protected speech” according to the cases they cite.  But, as my old Torts professor taught me, “change the facts, change the outcome.”  What was said in those cases, in what context, determines what is protected, and what isn’t.  Could I have called that husband a vicious bastard who beats children with golf clubs?  Yes.  I had the photograph to prove it.  Can Sidney Powell say that Dominion falsified votes in cahoots with dead Hugo Chavez and China?  Well, can she prove it?  I might say my client is not responsible for the injuries complained of by the plaintiff.  I might say the plaintiff is exaggerating his claims.  If I lose that case, have I committed libel? Do I need to worry if my speech is protected?  No.  But if I say Dominion has corrupted the U.S. electoral system on a national level, and I can’t prove it, I can’t back it up with any more than affidavits no court finds reasonable on their face (recall many cases filed with such affidavits in support were tossed out in hearings on motions to dismiss)?  That is not protected speech.  That’s not mere hyperbole.  Those are lies.  That is a reckless disregard for the truth.  “Releasing the kraken” might be hyperbole.  Saying Dominion is corrupted and corrupting America, is libel.

This is endlessly fascinating, to me.  But why Powell wants to lose both in the courts and in the court of public opinion, is beyond me.
This really is a lose-lose for them. And the real fun starts when Dominion replies to Powell’s legal brief.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if she'll get to the point where she claims insanity, though I'd really love to see how a legal system that licenses her and the likes of Giuliani and Wood, etc. can let licensed attorneys who they allow to practice to claim that they are not to be held responsible because they're irresopnsible as they practice the law. If she's allowed out of this the law isn't a jackass, it's a crooked conspiracy.