Archive for March, 2011

Protected: Defensive Posturing at Protests

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Can’t beat someone in a defamation suit because they told the truth…

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… then just get a jury to side with you for “tortious interference”.

Moore sued Hoff in June 2009 for at least $50,000. The suit focused on five allegedly biased and defamatory statements on Hoff’s blog. Moore’s attorney argued that Hoff should be responsible for comments others made on his website because Hoff had created a “defamation zone.”

Moore, after being fired by the Jordan Area Community Council in January 2009, was hired at the U of M’s Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center to study mortgage foreclosures. When Hoff found out, he wrote a post accusing Moore of being involved in a “high-profile fraudulent mortgage,” one of several that resulted in a 16-year prison sentence for former real estate agent Larry Maxwell. Moore was not charged in the Maxwell case.

Hoff said he told the truth and had documentation.

District Judge Denise Reilly threw out four of the five statements, saying they were either opinion or the comments of others on the blog. With respect to the remaining statement, the jury agreed with Clark’s claim that Hoff had committed “tortious interference” by meddling with Moore’s employment. Clark pointed out to the jury that Hoff, in a later blog post, took partial credit for Moore’s firing.

What?

But wait, it gets even better!

Don Allen was originally named as a co-defendant because he sent a letter to the U of M urging Moore’s termination, then copied the letter to Hoff’s blog. Before the case went to trial, he settled with Moore and testified against Hoff. Allen, who operates his own blog, “The Independent Business News Network,” applauded the verdict.

“It’s unfortunate for all bloggers, but you have to have some sense of responsibility,” he said. “You have to attack the issues, not the individuals.”

Brilliant! So this guy settles after actually sending a letter to the University of Minnesota, and then has the balls to say that Hoff needs to be responsible? Classy.

I hope like hell Hoff wins on appeal, and that the jury members who ruled in favor of the plaintiff die a painful death while their family watches.


Monday morning quarterbacks and using that big stick

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Ahh yes, as you may or may not know, I got attacked this past Saturday by some douche at a union rally. For those who haven’t seen the video, here it is:

As I explained over at Right Michigan, there were tactical reasons for not putting that assclown in his place. I wasn’t so concerned with “taking the higher road”, but rather the mob that I know would form quite quickly if I threw down.

As I mentioned, I wasn’t packing, therefore dealing with a mob more than happy to protect one of their own animals wasn’t going to happen. Even if I was, I was the one holding the camera, so video evidence would have been slightly mitigated in the event I found myself needing it to get myself out of the legal sling for drawing down.

Unfortunately, some of the youtube crowd, those who are indeed tea partiers themselves, decided to be Monday morning quarterbacks, declaring that I pussied out. Guess what kids, I just explained why I “pussied out”, and monday morning quarter-backing only works when you have ALL the information.

With that said, I personally am not against putting these animals down if they decide to bite. It’s gotta be done right though. Do not expect one guy who is carrying a camera to be able to fight back and get away with it very easily – either due to legal or physical reasons.

As I mentioned (if you read my explanation for not fighting back), I wasn’t packing, and even if I was, I didn’t think I would have a wide enough view to roll into court, tell the prosecutor to piss off (if they actually tried pressing charges), and get away with it.

So then how do we go about putting them in their place? Numbers. I would say that you should essentially travel in a group of three at a minimum. Two people together, one doing stand off shooting. That way, if someone wants to get uppity, you can hand off the camera, and do what you have to do. Then the guy who is doing the stand off taping can get the big picture in case the law decides to take a bite.

Ideally, it’d be nice if I didn’t have to be giving my advice on this matter, however, it’s pretty clear as of late it’s needed. Use your best discretion, but if you have to use the proverbial big stick, use it.


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