ACORN Sues Filmmakers for Violating Baltimore Law

Embattled leftist community organizing group ACORN has filed a lawsuit against the conservative activists who staged a sting operation against them: ACORN Sues Over Secret Video, Claiming Wiretapping Violation.

ACORN, the community organizing group embarrassed recently in a video sting, said Wednesday that it needs to determine whether it has major internal problems, but it also struck back, filing a lawsuit against the people who conducted the secret investigation.

Bertha Lewis, head of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, told reporters in a conference call that ACORN does not support criminal activity and that it thinks the filmmakers should have obeyed Maryland laws. In the state, where one video that embarrassed ACORN was made, the act constituted illegal wiretapping, the suit says. …

Lewis said she wants a newly hired investigator to find the organization’s weak spots, and she said she will make public the findings. Scott Harshbarger, a former Massachusetts attorney general hired for the investigation, vowed a “robust, no-holds-barred” review that would be “transparent.” Lewis said ACORN in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.

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183 comments

1 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:06:58am

Pot calling the kettle black.

2 Sharmuta  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:07:34am
Scott Harshbarger, a former Massachusetts attorney general hired for the investigation, vowed a “robust, no-holds-barred” review that would be “transparent.”

I look forward to that.

3 Racer X  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:07:37am

Heh™

4 Gang of One  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:07:41am

Yah. Good luck with that.
/Look! A shiny thing!!!11!

5 Spider Mensch  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:09:24am

typical from that type organization.. ” We’re in the wrong, but you’re in the wrong because you showed that we’re wrong the wrong way!!

/wrong!

6 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:09:43am

Big Bertha’s done it now.
This will make it to Law and Order, SVU in about six months,,, with the names and places changed, of course, to protect the guilty.
Please Lord, let it make it to trial, and let there be cameras.
Not holding my breath.

7 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:10:08am

I sure wish this world had less stupid to go around.

8 Russkilitlover  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:10:14am

ACORN should be careful what it wishes for.

9 Killgore Trout  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:10:27am

I have no problem with it. If laws were broken by the sting operation then action should be taken. You can’t break into someone’s house, find an unregistered handgun and then go tell the police. Everybody has to operate within the law. That goes for ACORN and the investigators.

10 Kragar  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:10:34am

I guess 60 minutes, Dateline and countless other investigative journalists have also been guilty of this over the years. When will they get rounded up as well?

11 FrogMarch  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:10:46am

hmmm. When big network news organizations do the undercover (Diane Sawyer) hidden camera … It never seemed to be a problem for them.

12 Walter L. Newton  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:10:59am

re: #6 tradewind

Big Bertha’s done it now.
This will make it to Law and Order, SVU in about six months,,, with the names and places changed, of course, to protect the guilty.
Please Lord, let it make it to trial, and let there be cameras.
Not holding my breath.

Hey, innocent until proven guilty.

13 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:03am

Payback would be a bitch, particularly when the employee did call the cops.

14 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:03am

That’s a colossally bad mistake on ACORN’s part to even attempt to cast the videographers as the bad guys, especially when Maryland law has a pretty wide exception that allows undercover taping in areas that are public - like reception areas and offices, where the expectation of privacy isn’t present.

Moreover, ACORN isn’t even the right party to be suing here. It’s the two people who were fired in the Baltimore office. They’re the ones who were sent packing after ACORN got wind of the video. ACORN’s leadership even thanked the videographers for outing the few bad apples.

The problem here is that ACORN moved ahead with this lawsuit because they’re angry and have been outed and humiliated by a couple of young ‘uns. They’re out for blood, and they think that this is the best way to get back at them and Breitbart.

Of course, had ACORN gone the route of letting this play out and die, they could have emerged relatively unscathed.

Instead, this guarantees that the story wont go away anytime soon and their political cover will continue scurrying to avoid connections. They will continue losing support, and going after a media type like Breitbart means that he will have reason to keep the remaining two videos under wraps to be released at a moment where they will do the most damage, and can continue to hone in on ACORN activities around the country from his website services and through other media outlets. The suit means that other media outlets will have to cover it as well, compounding ACORN’s woes.

15 midwestgak  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:08am

You’re it. No you’re it. No …

16 Kosh's Shadow  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:16am

Unfortunately, the precedent is with ACORN.
ABC, iirc, lost a suit when they had someone in the meat cutting department of a supermarket record unsafe conditions and meat handling.

17 Killgore Trout  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:27am

re: #11 FrogMarch

hmmm. When big network news organizations do the undercover (Diane Sawyer) hidden camera … It never seemed to be a problem for them.

That’s because they have a legal department that advises them on what they can get away with. They are very careful.

18 Formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:44am

re: #6 tradewind

Actually, I would love to think this is a joke, but it would not surprise me in the least.

19 Desert Dog  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:55am

Shine the lights on them and lets see what else will scurry out. ACORN has some serious problems and suing those two kids and Andrew Brietbart will not make them go away.

20 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:11:57am

re: #2 Sharmuta

I saw that, and I’m pretty sure I heard him say ‘no ho’s barred ‘.

21 midwestgak  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:12:12am

Benjamin Netanyahu is addressing the UN General Assembly now.

22 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:12:16am

Text of the suit is here.

23 Honorary Yooper  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:12:31am

re: #10 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

I guess 60 minutes, Dateline and countless other investigative journalists have also been guilty of this over the years. When will they get rounded up as well?

They won’t, and nor will this. I doubt ACORN has a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning this.

24 Desert Dog  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:12:38am

re: #13 LudwigVanQuixote

Payback would be a bitch, particularly when the employee did call the cops.

Yeah! Those evil kids! I hope they rot in jail! They’re mean, nasty rightwingers! Yeah!

25 Land Shark  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:12:56am

Ahhh, yes. Caught red handed, sue the whistleblowers. Lovely.

26 subsailor68  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:13:01am

Lewis said ACORN in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.

Why? Those activities aren’t tied to helping obtain a mortgage. She sounds like a spoiled child.

27 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:13:19am

re: #12 Walter L. Newton

I wasn’t talking about the defendants in this case.
Too bad in this one instance we don’t have the Brits’ system of ’ Loser in an asinine litigation pays’.

28 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:13:21am

re: #10 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

I guess 60 minutes, Dateline and countless other investigative journalists have also been guilty of this over the years. When will they get rounded up as well?

It depends on what state laws are involved. Maryland became notorious for its wiretapping laws over the Monica affair - and Linda Tripp’s taping of conversations (which Md incidentally dropped after the prosecutor suppressed key testimony, but the circumstances of the taping were different than here).

29 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:13:37am

re: #13 LudwigVanQuixote

Payback would be a bitch, particularly when the employee did call the cops.

The employee didn’t “call the cops”. He talked to his cousin who happens to be a cop for advice

30 Equable  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:13:58am

re: #25 Land Shark

What better way to rally your sheep and obfuscate the truth? Undoubtedly there’s going to be hordes of people showing support to Acorn regardless of the evidence.

31 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:15am

re: #16 Kosh’s Shadow

Not necessarily - if the meat cutting area was private area, then there’s an expectation of privacy. When you’re in a waiting area/reception area/public area of an office, you don’t have the same expectation of privacy.

32 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:16am

re: #13 LudwigVanQuixote

re: #29 sattv4u2

The employee didn’t “call the cops”. He talked to his cousin who happens to be a cop for advice

DAYS later, btw ,, after the 1st tape surfaced and he realized he was stung alos

33 Honorary Yooper  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:16am

re: #16 Kosh’s Shadow

Unfortunately, the precedent is with ACORN.
ABC, iirc, lost a suit when they had someone in the meat cutting department of a supermarket record unsafe conditions and meat handling.

That’s the exception rather than the rule, IIRC. Usually some sort of fraud has to be proven. Dateline NBC and the exploding pickup truck tanks comes to mind.

34 Gang of One  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:17am

re: #9 Killgore Trout

I have no problem with it. If laws were broken by the sting operation then action should be taken. You can’t break into someone’s house, find an unregistered handgun and then go tell the police. Everybody has to operate within the law. That goes for ACORN and the investigators.

I have no problem either; let the chips fall where they may. But they have been outed and no amount of legal grandstanding will change the fact of their own perfidy.

35 Lee Coller  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:25am

Wasn’t Linda Tripp prosecuted for secretly taping conversations with Monica Lewinsky under this same law?

36 FrogMarch  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:33am

re: #14 lawhawk

That’s a colossally bad mistake on ACORN’s part to even attempt to cast the videographers as the bad guys, especially when Maryland law has a pretty wide exception that allows undercover taping in areas that are public - like reception areas and offices, where the expectation of privacy isn’t present.

Interesting.

37 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:35am

re: #1 MandyManners

Pot calling the kettle black.

Racist!
/

38 Desert Dog  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:44am

re: #32 sattv4u2

re: #29 sattv4u2

DAYS later, btw ,, after the 1st tape surfaced and he realized he was stung alos

details, details…

39 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:53am

re: #2 Sharmuta

I look forward to that.

Isn’t he the president of Common Cause?

40 Walter L. Newton  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:14:54am

re: #29 sattv4u2

The employee didn’t “call the cops”. He talked to his cousin who happens to be a cop for advice

Ok, correction, he call A COP. Same thing.

41 buster  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:15:17am

Does this mean that 60 minutes, Frontline, 20/20, Dateline NBC et.al. don’t do investigative reporting in Maryland? Wow!

42 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:15:18am

OT

Bibi slaps the UN for giving ShortShit a platform

43 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:15:59am

re: #29 sattv4u2

IMO, he called his cousin the cop after a few days of thinking it over and asked ‘Ummm, cuz… could there be any problems for me from this one’?…
And cousin cop confirms ’ Just to be sure, better phone it in, that way you’re covered. Got your back.’

44 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:16:21am

Linda Tripp got nailed under Maryland law for her Lewinsky tape.

But that was a criminal indictment.

I wonder if ACORN went the the D.A. or A.G. and got an N.O.

45 StillAMarine  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:16:25am

re: #14 lawhawk

Lawhawk, where did you learn of the two yet unreleased videos? I have not seen anything on the subject. If you are able to, it would really be appreciated if you would let us know your sources.

46 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:16:28am

re: #26 subsailor68

Lewis said ACORN in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.

Why? Those activities aren’t tied to helping obtain a mortgage. She sounds like a spoiled child.

They suspended those activities because of the illicit advise spewed by ACORN employees on how to circumvent the law and engage in illicit activities.

The problem for ACORN - and one that law enforcement must engage in, is to determine what kind of advice they were providing others seeking assistance. Was the advice provided legitimate, or did it help people circumvent the law? Given the moral and ethical flexibility displayed by ACORN employees on the video, it’s a ripe question.

47 JamesTKirk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:16:53am

re: #16 Kosh’s Shadow

Unfortunately, the precedent is with ACORN.
ABC, iirc, lost a suit when they had someone in the meat cutting department of a supermarket record unsafe conditions and meat handling.

IIRC, they were doing more than just “recording unsafe conditions and meat handling”; this was a hatchet job (like the explosives Dateline planted in trucks they were claiming to be unsafe) deliberately pushed by the unions against the Food Lion chain, which was a non-union company.

Ah, just google “ABC vs. Food Lion”. Here’s a link.

48 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:16:57am

re: #35 Lee Coller

Wasn’t Linda Tripp prosecuted for secretly taping conversations with Monica Lewinsky under this same law?

Yes. Convicted too.

49 reine.de.tout  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:17:10am

re: #9 Killgore Trout

I have no problem with it. If laws were broken by the sting operation then action should be taken. You can’t break into someone’s house, find an unregistered handgun and then go tell the police. Everybody has to operate within the law. That goes for ACORN and the investigators.

True.
But this lawsuit may open a can of worms for ACORN that they wish had been left alone.

It should be interesting, anyway.

50 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:17:19am

re: #19 Desert Dog

Shine the lights on them and lets see what else will scurry out. ACORN has some serious problems and suing those two kids and Andrew Brietbart will not make them go away.

Open up ACORN’s books?

51 bosforus  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:17:34am

The most that I’ve heard the lawsuit entails is the prevention of the distribution of the videos. A quick scan over this article doesn’t seem to elaborate any on the contents of the lawsuit.

52 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:17:37am

re: #46 lawhawk

Passing ripe, on its way to rotten.

53 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:17:48am

Don’t wiretapping laws usually involve, you know…tapping wires? How is a hidden camera tapping any wires?

54 Kosh's Shadow  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:18:05am

re: #42 sattv4u2

OT

Bibi slaps the UN for giving ShortShit a platform

He’s right. Any country that calls for the destruction of a UN member state should be suspended or thrown out of the UN (unless it is in response to an attack from the other country, and Israel is not threatening Iran with anything other than retaliation.)
That would be a principle of anything that I’d have replace the UN.

55 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:18:30am

re: #50 MandyManners

Open up ACORN’s books?

Just remember that Michael Savage thought he’d get the same from counter-suing CAIR. He didn’t.

56 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:19:19am

re: #55 karmic_inquisitor

Just remember that Michael Savage thought he’d get the same from counter-suing CAIR. He didn’t.

I wonder if ACORN will use CAIR’s tactics.

57 subsailor68  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:19:29am

re: #46 lawhawk

They suspended those activities because of the illicit advise spewed by ACORN employees on how to circumvent the law and engage in illicit activities.

The problem for ACORN - and one that law enforcement must engage in, is to determine what kind of advice they were providing others seeking assistance. Was the advice provided legitimate, or did it help people circumvent the law? Given the moral and ethical flexibility displayed by ACORN employees on the video, it’s a ripe question.

Hi lawhawk. Hmmm…good point. I was separating activities, not thinking in terms of circumvention in general. I expect your take is spot on, especially if it’s found they did the same kind of things during foreclosure and tax prep activities.

58 Kosh's Shadow  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:20:17am

re: #47 JamesTKirk

IIRC, they were doing more than just “recording unsafe conditions and meat handling”; this was a hatchet job (like the explosives Dateline planted in trucks they were claiming to be unsafe) deliberately pushed by the unions against the Food Lion chain, which was a non-union company.

Ah, just google “ABC vs. Food Lion”. Here’s a link.

Thank you. I think I was relying on the MSM at the time; it was long before I found LGF.

59 Russkilitlover  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:20:59am

re: #50 MandyManners

Open up ACORN’s books?

Both sets.

60 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:21:06am

re: #42 sattv4u2

They should have given him a platform, all right, they just forgot the trapdoor.

61 StillAMarine  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:21:44am

I believe discovery may turn out to be a very wonderful thing. Acorn should be scurrying under cover like the bunch of cockroaches they are rather than opening themselves up to discovery.

62 formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:21:49am
Lewis notified the Internal Revenue Service on Monday that ACORN would shut down its free tax-help clinics for low-income people, a partnership with the IRS, until an external review of ACORN’s work.

Now, is will the IRS do an audit under the circumstances?

63 Kosh's Shadow  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:21:52am

re: #55 karmic_inquisitor

Just remember that Michael Savage thought he’d get the same from counter-suing CAIR. He didn’t.

Wasn’t that because CAIR dropped the suit? Same with the Boston mosque; they dropped the suit when it was going to get their dirty burkhas hung out in the air.

64 samsgran1948  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:21:54am

Let the “Discovery” process begin!!! (Start popping the popcorn now!)

65 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:21:57am

The fact is, in Maryland, I can’t tape you (video or audio) without letting you know - even if you’re stalking me on the phone. It’s against the law, and the evidence is inadmissible in court.

For the court of public opinion that may not count, but the stingers may yet find themselves stung, nonetheless.

Not sure what a major news organization does when they want to report undercover in Maryland. Maybe find another state? Or take their lumps and pay the fine?

It’s an obscure law, and may need to be changed, but the pimp ‘n’ ho team may have to write a fat check, at the very least.

No doubt to be covered by the people who are happy not just to see ACORN in trouble, but who are now gleefully rubbing their hands at the thought that some poor people (those evil bums) might lose their houses in the absence of help.

And believe me, I know some of those.

66 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:22:00am

Bitch-slap to the UN.

67 Equable  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:22:09am

Off topic but Netanyahu is giving the UN a serious ass-whupping. This is one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen there.

68 buster  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:22:16am

re: #31 lawhawk

Not necessarily - if the meat cutting area was private area, then there’s an expectation of privacy. When you’re in a waiting area/reception area/public area of an office, you don’t have the same expectation of privacy.

If I remember correctly, in the Food Lyon case the “undercover employee” was the one who actually suggested the wrongdoing. ABC was all hung out.

69 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:22:18am

This suit appears to be without any merit whatsoever:

Maryland law states the following verbatim:

Unlawful acts. — Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle it is unlawful for any person to: (1) Willfully intercept, endeavor to intercept, or procure any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

(2) Willfully disclose, or endeavor to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subtitle; or

(3) Willfully use, or endeavor to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subtitle. Cts. & Jud. Proc. &sect10-402(a)(1)-(a)(3). (emphasis added)

Nowhere in the law are the words “tape” or “record” ever used.

70 formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:22:21am

re: #62 formercorpsman

As soon as I learn to construct a sentence properly.

71 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:23:24am

“HRC is a mis-named organization if there ever was one.”

72 Spider Mensch  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:23:28am

actually the funniest part is obama now acting like apostle peter saying he doesn’t know much about acorn, and he hasn’t paid much attention because he has more important items on his agenda..heh…he was acorns left nut for years and he knows it…acorn under the obama express bus in…well, right now!

73 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:23:36am

re: #70 formercorpsman

As soon as I learn to construct a sentence properly.

Oh ,, I thought it was up to us to mix and match the words to come up with a sentence of our own!

74 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:23:42am

re: #66 MandyManners

Bitch-slap to the UN.

He’s ripping them a new asshole.

Heh.

75 formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:24:00am

re: #72 Spider Mensch

running theme.

Not the Acorn he knew.

76 formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:24:25am

re: #73 sattv4u2

Could be.

77 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:24:26am

re: #13 LudwigVanQuixote

Payback would be a bitch, particularly when the employee did call the cops.

These employees didn’t. The one that did was in National City (San Diego). This is a matter of Maryland’s laws - the same ones that “tripped up” Linda Tripp.

78 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:24:30am

re: #62 formercorpsman

That’s no biggie… let them hand out vouchers for H&R Block.

79 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:24:52am

Looks like lots of the “members” decided not to stay for Bibi’s speech

80 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:24:59am

Oh, my goodness. He might as well whip it out and pee on the podium.

81 formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:25:12am

re: #78 tradewind

The IRS already provides this same help.

82 Desert Dog  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:25:17am

re: #79 sattv4u2

Looks like lots of the “members” decided not to stay for Bibi’s speech

The truth hurts too much.

83 Equable  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:25:41am

Man I am glad I am taping this.

84 JamesTKirk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:25:45am

re: #9 Killgore Trout

I have no problem with it. If laws were broken by the sting operation then action should be taken. You can’t break into someone’s house, find an unregistered handgun and then go tell the police. Everybody has to operate within the law. That goes for ACORN and the investigators.

Or drop the N-bomb in someone else’s blog?

85 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:26:04am

EEEVil force. Damn right, Bibi, let ‘em have it!

86 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:26:06am

Yeah, well, I doubt the Israeli PM will start babbling about messiahs coming to save us, whatever he may or may not privately believe.

87 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:26:31am

re: #44 karmic_inquisitor

Linda Tripp got nailed under Maryland law for her Lewinsky tape.

But that was a criminal indictment.

I wonder if ACORN went the the D.A. or A.G. and got an N.O.

She was taping Monica in private residences on phone calls, where there was an expectation of privacy. Not the same as going into an office waiting room with an undercover camera. Different outcomes.

Here’s the Maryland law in question:

Section 10-410(a) of the Maryland Wiretap Act provides:
Any person whose wire, oral, or electronic
communication is intercepted, disclosed, or
used in violation of this subtitle shall have
a civil cause of action against any person who
intercepts, discloses, or uses, or procures
any other person to intercept, disclose, or
use the communications, and be entitled to
recover from any person:
(1) Actual damages but not less than
liquidated damages computed at the rate of
$100 a day for each day of violation or
$1,000, whichever is higher;
(2) Punitive damages; and
(3) A reasonable attorney’s fee and
other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

Case law has carved out a pretty big exception for taped conversations in public spaces.

Further, ACORN would have to show actual malice by the videographers - that what they knew what they was doing was illegal. That’s something that might cut in ACORN’s favor, but on the whole, I think ACORN is barking up the wrong tree here from a legal and a publicity standpoint. It’s precisely the wrong way to get the focus off ACORN’s activities and let it go back to doing whatever it was doing before the videos came out.

88 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:26:34am

re: #81 formercorpsman

I forgot the sarc tag.
//

89 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:26:42am

re: #86 EmmmieG

Yeah, well, I doubt the Israeli PM will start babbling about messiahs coming to save us, whatever he may or may not privately believe.

He’ll also not call Obama “my son”

90 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:06am

re: #63 Kosh’s Shadow

Wasn’t that because CAIR dropped the suit? Same with the Boston mosque; they dropped the suit when it was going to get their dirty burkhas hung out in the air.

He had his original suit thrown out, was offered an opportunity to amend at which point he dropped the suit.

[Link: www.sfgate.com…]

91 chuck dizzle  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:07am

the discovery portion of the pre-trial is going to be hysterical, and apparently the House wants to look into O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart. I would love to see Breitbart on C-Span in front of the house over this.

92 wrenchwench  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:12am

re: #84 JamesTKirk

Or drop the N-bomb in someone else’s blog?

Are you saying that was illegal?

93 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:13am

re: #89 sattv4u2

He’ll also not call Obama “my son”

Or call Obama a Kenyan?

94 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:21am

Some woman is sitting at the “Palestine” desk thingy.

95 Athens Runaway  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:32am

re: #65 Cato the Elder

The fact is, in Maryland, I can’t tape you (video or audio) without letting you know - even if you’re stalking me on the phone. It’s against the law, and the evidence is inadmissible in court.

For the court of public opinion that may not count, but the stingers may yet find themselves stung, nonetheless.

Not sure what a major news organization does when they want to report undercover in Maryland. Maybe find another state? Or take their lumps and pay the fine?

It’s an obscure law, and may need to be changed, but the pimp ‘n’ ho team may have to write a fat check, at the very least.

No doubt to be covered by the people who are happy not just to see ACORN in trouble, but who are now gleefully rubbing their hands at the thought that some poor people (those evil bums) might lose their houses in the absence of help.

And believe me, I know some of those.

Way to miss the point. ACORN has two people claiming to be engaged in illegal activity, ACORN gives them illegal advice, Cato the Elder complains that poor people aren’t being helped now.

If people are asking for help with illegal activities, ACORN should turn them away. Not help them break the law more.

Maybe there’s a Sarah Palin angle to all this..

96 sattv4u2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:42am

re: #94 MandyManners

Some woman is sitting at the “Palestine” desk thingy.

It’s the cleaning lady on her break!

97 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:56am

Lady Palestine could not look more bored.
Classy.

98 bosforus  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:27:57am

re: #65 Cato the Elder

I’m sure whatever the fine may be it can easily be donated with one plea via a phone call to Hannity, Beck, Rush, et al.

99 Killgore Trout  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:28:11am

re: #84 JamesTKirk

Sure, I accept all consequences. No problem.

100 midwestgak  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:28:31am

re: #97 tradewind

Lady Palestine could not look more bored.
Classy.

I thought I saw a little head shake.

101 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:28:49am

re: #96 sattv4u2

It’s the cleaning lady on her break!

Whoever she is, she is pretty.

102 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:04am

Oh, snap. The Flat Earthers.
Bibi is talking about them reversing, but what he means is they’re already there.

103 Kosh's Shadow  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:07am

re: #79 sattv4u2

Looks like lots of the “members” decided not to stay for Bibi’s speech

Shows how much they want peace with Israel.
I hope he comments on that.
“If they can’t even listen to me, how can we sit down and have peace?”

104 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:11am

re: #95 Athens Runaway

Maybe there’s a Sarah Palin angle to all this..

No doubt there is, but I’ll leave you hanging there. I’m too busy wondering how you could have missed my point.

105 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:15am

re: #69 Danny

That’s an inappropriate conclusion since the Maryland courts have found the statute to apply to taped or video conversations.

106 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:16am

This is rich: “Lewis said ACORN in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.”

The Internal Revenue Service Wednesday announced that it had ended its relationship with the community group ACORN.”

107 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:23am

re: #87 lawhawk

Thanks for posting the law. Great detail.

Given that, I think that ACORN has just screwed itself. I also have little doubt that they probably first tried to get a criminal complaint filed since that would have been far more damning and cost them less money.

108 Sharmuta  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:32am

re: #9 Killgore Trout

I have no problem with it. If laws were broken by the sting operation then action should be taken. You can’t break into someone’s house, find an unregistered handgun and then go tell the police. Everybody has to operate within the law. That goes for ACORN and the investigators.

Rule of law, and all that.

109 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:44am

re: #100 midwestgak

You did.

110 Oh no...Sand People!  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:46am

re: #5 Spider Mensch

typical from that type organization.. ” We’re in the wrong, but you’re in the wrong because you showed that we’re wrong the wrong way!!

/wrong!

This is my kind of Wrong:

DM

111 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:29:48am

The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat

[Link: www.readbookonline.net…]

112 Spider Mensch  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:13am

re: #97 tradewind

Lady Palestine could not look more bored.
Classy.


she needs to do the Hilliary eye roll that we all know and love from watching Bush’s speeches! ah nostalgia!

113 Walter L. Newton  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:14am

re: #106 Danny

This is rich: “Lewis said ACORN in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.”

The Internal Revenue Service Wednesday announced that it had ended its relationship with the community group ACORN.”

Cato said it too! Great minds think alike.

114 JamesW  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:18am

Good old Luther Scott Harshbarger. Just ask Tookie Amirault about his conviction to justice. When he was running for Governor of Massachusetts he kept saying how proud he was of the Fells Acres convictions, even as they were being revealed as the frauds they were.

Of course the judiciary of the Commonwealth helped save his ass by upholding the unjust convictions.

Oh, and another reason to loathe Harshbarger… he lobbied for McCain Fiengold.

115 Creeping Eruption  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:28am

Coffee break is over

116 Killgore Trout  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:30am

I delightfully awkward and cringe inducing moment…
Glenn Beck refuses to define “white culture”

Reminds me of RS McCain’s evasion with Alan Colmes from yesterday. These guys don’t like to answer questions.

117 Equable  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:40am

Lap dog from Palestine taking off. Bitch. Truth hurts?

118 midwestgak  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:41am

She just left!!!

119 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:30:43am

The “Palestine” woman is leaving. I guess she couldn’t take any more.

120 Creeping Eruption  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:31:01am

re: #119 MandyManners

The “Palestine” woman is leaving. I guess she couldn’t take any more.

Truth hurts

121 tradewind  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:31:04am

… and there she goes… Miss Palestine…
There she goes,,, Your Ideal.

122 formercorpsman  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:31:10am

The fact of the matter is this.

For all the sanctimonious bullcrap Bertha is spouting about how this is going to hurt the poor who rely on their services, she might want to consider her tone.

Claiming the high ground of helping the less fortunate, while multiple offices were complicit in providing advice for illegal activity, as well as human trafficking is beyond the pale.

Maybe she should have done her job better from the start.

Acorn is heavily supplemented by tax payer’s dime.

123 JamesTKirk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:31:16am

re: #119 MandyManners

The “Palestine” woman is leaving. I guess she couldn’t take any more.

In bed.

124 Colin Nelson  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:31:23am

Interesting that the Iranian delegation is absent for PM Netanyahu’s speech.

Even more interesting, the cameras - UN controlled - cut to the Israeli delegation during the speech catching at least one member seeming to be sending the P.M. a signal to tone it down (hand palm down, pushing down in slow motion).

Interesting in context that cameras did not provide a complete view of the half empty hall during the dinner jacket speech.

The UN is a travesty as the Israeli P.M. just said.

125 _RememberTonyC  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:31:43am

going shopping for a burka?

126 Oh no...Sand People!  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:02am

re: #104 Cato the Elder

No doubt there is, but I’ll leave you hanging there. I’m too busy wondering how you could have missed my point.

LOL!

127 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:06am

Link to Bibi’s speech, please?

128 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:08am

Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

He’s laying out his case to bomb the shit out of Iran.

129 Equable  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:19am

re: #127 Cato the Elder

[Link: www.un.org…]

130 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:20am

Heaven forbid that a Jew would vigorously defend himself. How dare he?

(Not enough sarc tags in the galaxy)

131 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:23am

re: #45 StillAMarine

Breitbart said something to that effect last week, that there were additional videos. My sources also indicated that there were additional videos.

I fully expect Breitbart to keep those under wraps until a time and place of his choosing to use them to maximum effect.

132 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:33am

re: #105 lawhawk

That’s an inappropriate conclusion since the Maryland courts have found the statute to apply to taped or video conversations.

Can you cite a case where that ruling was upheld?

133 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:32:51am

re: #122 formercorpsman

The fact of the matter is this.

For all the sanctimonious bullcrap Bertha is spouting about how this is going to hurt the poor who rely on their services, she might want to consider her tone.

Claiming the high ground of helping the less fortunate, while multiple offices were complicit in providing advice for illegal activity, as well as human trafficking is beyond the pale.

Maybe she should have done her job better from the start.

Acorn is heavily supplemented by tax payer’s dime.

Almost half. IIRC, 40 per cent.

134 JEA62  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:07am

This is quite probably the stupidest response to this they could’ve decided upon.

135 MandyManners  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:20am

re: #121 tradewind

… and there she goes… Miss Palestine…
There she goes,,, Your Ideal.

Oh, you’re too much. LOL!

136 midwestgak  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:30am

“Say yes to a Jewish state.”

137 Oh no...Sand People!  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:34am

re: #128 MandyManners

Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

He’s laying out his case to bomb the shit out of Iran.

I will stand with Israel and would encourage all others to do so as well.

I stand with Israel. - ONSP

138 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:35am

re: #127 Cato the Elder

The text of the speech will eventually be posted here.

139 Sharmuta  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:40am

re: #116 Killgore Trout

That was terrible.

140 Desert Dog  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:49am

re: #106 Danny

This is rich: “Lewis said ACORN in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.”

The Internal Revenue Service Wednesday announced that it had ended its relationship with the community group ACORN.”

More proof the Republicans are evil!

141 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:33:54am

re: #129 Equable

[Link: www.un.org…]

Thank you.

142 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:34:24am

re: #140 Desert Dog

More proof the Republicans are evil!

Women and children hit hardest…

143 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:34:24am

re: #138 lawhawk

The text of the speech will eventually be posted here.

And thank you, too.

144 JamesTKirk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:34:27am

re: #137 Oh no…Sand People!

I will stand with Israel and would encourage all others to do so as well.

There are basically those who stand with her, and those who want to stand on her.

145 Equable  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:34:46am

re: #141 Cato the Elder

You’re welcome. If you don’t have Real Player Fox is streaming it.

[Link: www.foxnews.com…] - front page.

146 JamesTKirk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:35:01am

re: #142 Danny

Women and children hit hardest…

Are those the same women and children being smuggled into brothels?

147 lawhawk  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:35:55am

re: #132 Danny

Fearnow v. C&P Telephone - 342 Md. 363 for one. That case references phone calls being taped, and the plaintiff lost because he failed to prove the element of malice. However, it does set forth the elements of the law pretty clearly.

148 Velvet Elvis  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:37:01am

There’s not a single aspect of this that I care about even slightly.

See ya’ll next thread.

149 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:37:07am

Bibi got a round of applause. Dinnerjacket? Not so much.

150 StillAMarine  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:38:15am

re: #131 lawhawk

Thank you. Breitbartet. Of course.

151 Cato the Elder  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:38:39am

BIG APPLAUSE!

Well, big for the UN.

152 Charpete67  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:39:08am

what does a lawsuit accomplish?…if they win, will they get their federal funding back? Will their reputation be restored? Winning or losing this lawsuit does nothing but give the story legs and expose ACORN to more scrutiny.

153 Guanxi88  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:39:45am

re: #142 Danny

Women and children hit hardest…

re: #146 JamesTKirk

Are those the same women and children being smuggled into brothels?


Their high rates of unemployment a direct result of this pernicious rethgulican trickery.

154 karmic_inquisitor  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:40:26am

re: #87 lawhawk

Lawhawk -

I am wondering what whistleblower protections might apply here. From what I can see the protections in Maryland are extended to employee “whistleblowers” of an organization. Any cases in Maryland where that is expanded to someone who is not an employee to protect them from retaliation?

155 John Neverbend  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:40:27am

Not a bad speech. The only applause that I recall during the speech was when he said that there should be two states, one Jewish and one Palestinian, with the latter being completely demilitarized.

156 Spider Mensch  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:42:14am

re: #148 Conservative Moonbat

There’s not a single aspect of this that I care about even slightly.

See ya’ll next thread.


a “this” thread only flounce?…lol..my things here are getting stranger by the day..lol

157 spare o'lake  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:45:02am

So Acorn gets to hire (i.e. presumably choose and pay) its own investigator.
Well OK then, nothing stinks to high heaven about that.
/

158 Colin Nelson  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:45:08am

Bibi - excellent content, but I have seen him deliver better with more passion.

Perhaps the calculation was made that cold fury would work better in the setting.

New moral equivalence:

Israel refuses to listen to dinner jacket who calls for the destruction of Israel;

Palestinian note- taker walks out when Israel declares desire for peace and creates image of two entities side by side in peace.

159 Danny  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:46:35am

re: #147 lawhawk

Public utility wires involved there. None in this case. I’m not concluding what the outcome of the suit be yet, but it does appear to be without merit. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

160 filetandrelease  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:46:37am
in the meantime will have to turn away many low-income clients it normally helps with threatened foreclosure or tax preparation.

Typical modus operandi of the left. Now that you have shown light under our rock, we can’t help poor people any more. See, we are not bad, you are.

Hiding behind civilians, hmmm, where have I seen that before…

161 claire  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:47:43am

Acorn doesn’t care whether the two broke Maryland law or not. They just want to harass O’Keefe and Giles and make them fork out big bucks for a trial. It’ll be a $100 fine, but more like $40,000 for a trial. Assholes.

162 spare o'lake  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 10:56:57am

re: #157 spare o’lake

So Acorn gets to hire (i.e. presumably choose and pay) its own investigator.
Well OK then, nothing stinks to high heaven about that.
/

Harshburger = Common Cause = Soros

163 borgcube  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:00:45am

I’m really trying to figure out what ACORN has up its sleeve here. I can’t see any upside here for ACORN, except maybe that it figures it has nothing to lose now. Ditto for the lawyers. They don’t care what happens as they win if ACORN prevails and win if it doesn’t. The longer it takes one way or another for them is all that matters.

ACORN is probably finished now. Rightly so. Should have happened years ago. It will probably just morph into a new entity with many of the same players. No matter what it tries to do however to clean up its new image, it’s unworkable as the people involved at the top will still be pure corruptocrats and marginal imbeciles will handle the field offices.

But, the money will still flow, pockets will still be lined, and no demonstrable positive good will come from its new polished look. And we will continue to pay for all of it and be outraged at the next scandal.

164 Wendya  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:04:21am

re: #22 NJDhockeyfan

Text of the suit is here.

They’re suing on behalf of the employees they fired for giving advice on how to structure a brothel with underage sex slaves for tax purposes?

Uh, Bertha? You might want to reconsider this one.

165 zelnaga  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:21:54am

Personally, I think the whole “both parties have to consent” thing is dumb. If your house is being broken into, why should you require the consent of the thief to conduct the recording? Should the guy who made this recording not be allowed to do it because he’s in the wrong state?:

That said, as much as I think think laws like this are dumb, I also think that those who violate them should be prosecuted, lest you have a “all [people] are equal, but some [people] are more equal” Animal Farm type scenario.

Anyway, here’s an article on the what the law says and how it’s been interpreted in the courts:

[Link: www.rcfp.org…]

166 Pythagoras  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:28:10am

Their claim that this will hurt people who need tax help is pure CRAP. The IRS severed its relationship with ACORN, they didn’t kill their free tax help program.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is an excellent, growing program. I did about 20 tax returns this year as a volunteer. It will undoubtedly expand more next year.

[Link: www.irs.gov…]

167 SixDegrees  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:29:48am

re: #9 Killgore Trout

I have no problem with it. If laws were broken by the sting operation then action should be taken. You can’t break into someone’s house, find an unregistered handgun and then go tell the police. Everybody has to operate within the law. That goes for ACORN and the investigators.

That’s correct. And as I said this morning, ACORN misstates the law here, as far as I know. I very much doubt that it’s illegal to record another person without their knowledge; there is simply too much incidental recording that takes place to make such a law enforceable. In states that have related laws, failure to obtain consent makes such recording inadmissible in court as evidence; there isn’t any criminal wrongdoing involved, but it won’t pass muster if offered as evidence of wrongdoing, for example.

It seems to me that this is an attempt to poison the tree that might or might not someday bear fruit of wrongdoing against the organization, tainting any knowledge that comes as a result of the original video recordings. This makes more sense of ACORN’s action. No one has to sue in order to obtain redress for illegal actions; all that’s needed to start that wheel spinning is to notify the authorities that a crime has been committed, no lawsuit necessary. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to set a legal precedent that provides you with protection against this incident, and possibly other similar incidents elsewhere, obtaining a judgment of this sort gets you there in a hurry.

168 reine.de.tout  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:44:59am

re: #167 SixDegrees

That’s correct. And as I said this morning, ACORN misstates the law here, as far as I know. I very much doubt that it’s illegal to record another person without their knowledge; there is simply too much incidental recording that takes place to make such a law enforceable. In states that have related laws, failure to obtain consent makes such recording inadmissible in court as evidence; there isn’t any criminal wrongdoing involved, but it won’t pass muster if offered as evidence of wrongdoing, for example.

I think upthread, lawhawk says the recording depends on whether or not the person being recorded has an “expectation of privacy” in the area where the conversation is taking place. There may not be such an expectation in an office reception area. So this recording may not have broken the law. We’ll just have to wait and see.

169 Occasional Reader  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:45:48am

For everyone repeating the “rule of law” line to justify ACORN’s actions:

This is a private lawsuit, campers. The “rule of law” does not require anybody to sue anybody.

And as lawhawk pointed out, it’s not at all clear that any law was broken. I’d also be curious to see what sort of damages ACORN is claiming… “our reputation was (justifiably) tarnished!”.

Discovery should be fun, too.

170 Occasional Reader  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 11:47:38am

Ah, also… as I mentioned last night when this story came up; the fact that ACORN is suing the filmmakers kind of undermines their official story that the videotapes just showed the actions of a few rogue individuals in an otherwise pristine organization of do-gooders. Hey, if that’s the case, shouldn’t they be awarding the filmmakers medals or something, instead of suing them? You know, for helping y’all root out those few bad apples.

/crickets

171 flyovercountry  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 12:03:56pm

re: #16 Kosh’s Shadow

Unfortunately, the precedent is with ACORN.
ABC, iirc, lost a suit when they had someone in the meat cutting department of a supermarket record unsafe conditions and meat handling.

See number 14 above. The Grocery sting was a different animal. Not only was it in another state, but the meat room of a grocery store is not an area where the public is alowed to roam free. It does not fit into the public conversation exception stated above. Further, the undercover operatives in that sting falsified employment applications, I-9’s, and a whole host of other government and company forms in order to, “get hired,” as employees of the Grocery. I hope this case does get at least to the discovery phase, as it should be fun. Our Acorn operatives merely walked in off the street and started talking and listening in an area of the office designated for public reception. The CEO of Acorn also thanked them publicly on T.V. for their efforts. Make no mistake, this case is a loser.

172 Salamantis  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 12:11:44pm

Let us also not forget that Maryland state law prohibits ACORN from operating in that state, and has for years. The Baltimore operation in question was itself operating illegally.

173 SFGoth  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 12:47:38pm

First, Scott Harshbarger was the legal ethics lecturer in my civil clinic class at Boston University while he was state A.G. (That’s quite permissible; he only lectured once a week or so.) I got one of the two A+’s in the class, and that was after my answer to the question, what do you do if you’re representing (as a student, students handled real cases with faculty supervision) a guy making an employment commission claim and on the way in to the hearing, he tells you that he made everything up. “Mr. SFGoth?” “I’d tell my advisor, see ya later, I’m outta here. No way I’m going to donate my pro bono time to a liar trying to cheat the system.” (Not an exact quote, but close enough.) That was apparently not the right answer, but I sure got brownie points for guts and sincerity.

Second, does Maryland have a SLAPP statute? I’d sure love to see them prove up their damages.

174 Kosh's Shadow  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 12:50:44pm

re: #173 SFGoth

First, Scott Harshbarger was the legal ethics lecturer in my civil clinic class at Boston University while he was state A.G. (That’s quite permissible; he only lectured once a week or so.) I got one of the two A+’s in the class, and that was after my answer to the question, what do you do if you’re representing (as a student, students handled real cases with faculty supervision) a guy making an employment commission claim and on the way in to the hearing, he tells you that he made everything up. “Mr. SFGoth?” “I’d tell my advisor, see ya later, I’m outta here. No way I’m going to donate my pro bono time to a liar trying to cheat the system.” (Not an exact quote, but close enough.) That was apparently not the right answer, but I sure got brownie points for guts and sincerity.

Second, does Maryland have a SLAPP statute? I’d sure love to see them prove up their damages.

What did Mr. Harsbarger think of your reply?
I know my wife, a criminal defense attorney, has said she is ethically forbidden to help her clients lie.

175 SFGoth  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 1:11:43pm

re: #174 Kosh’s Shadow

What did Mr. Harsbarger think of your reply?
I know my wife, a criminal defense attorney, has said she is ethically forbidden to help her clients lie.

He told me I was wrong, not because I would refuse to help someone lie, but because you’re supposed to finesse it or find some discreet way of dealing with the problem — his admission of lying is attorney-client privileged. Of course, as a student, I could take off and leave it in my prof’s hands. Heh. He did find my honesty refreshing. I rather liked him, and not just b/c I got an A+.

176 Solomon2  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 1:15:42pm

The Md. state prosecutor already has ACORN in his sights. ACORN could sue and win but it would be a Pyrric victory.

177 CJDate  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 1:21:02pm

re: #147 lawhawk

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of the arguments that Linda Tripp’s defense attorney was using during her legal battle was a previous Maryland supreme court ruling that the prosecutor had to show proof that the taping party was aware that the taping was illegal?

He case was dismissed because the evidence was too tainted, of course.

178 Earth56  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 2:02:58pm

without reading everything here m I am glad Acorn is doing this so it can be exposed even more for what it is.

Make my day

179 Right Brain  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 2:38:47pm

A staggeringly dumb move: now the defendant can subpoena documents and depose pretty much anyone they wish, writings and people that they would not have had access to before. ACORN has opened the books to the “conservative activists” (sans intention comique). I expect Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe will be dining off this blunder for some time to come, heck they probably will post video of the depositions on youtube.

180 CapeCoddah  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 3:02:59pm

re: #50 MandyManners

They will be opened, ACORN filing this suit opens ACORN up to a broad discovery, and also allows ACORN employees to be deposed, UNDER OATH. This will not go well for ACORN, I predict.

181 EE  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 6:35:55pm

James Taranto has also noted that this lawsuit by ACORN will be a boon to critics of ACORN, because the defendants will now have the discovery process to get information on ACORN.

182 LieSeeker  Thu, Sep 24, 2009 8:28:02pm

How did ACORN file a suit when it is no longer a Maryland corporation? Where’s a copy of the court papers?

183 chuck  Sat, Sep 26, 2009 12:02:05am

Yes, Harshbarger’s a complete scumbag. Were it not for Dorothy Rabinowitz’s reporting in the WSJ I and the rest of America wouldn’t know the the Amiraults were completely innocent. I guess Gerald is still in jail.re: #114 JamesW


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Mass Protest in Philippines Over Duterte ‘Dictatorship’ Opponents criticised Mr Duterte's open threat to reinstate martial law and his brutal war on drugs that has killed thousands. Thousands also attended rival pro-Duterte rallies. Mr Duterte's own son Paolo is facing allegations of drug trafficking. The president ...
Thanos
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the Killers - Run for CoverArtists: The KillersDirected By: Tarik MikouCo-Directed By: Eric MorinWritten By: Flowers, Stoermer, Vannucci, Price, Cameron, Lee, MarleyProducers: Jacknife Lee, Daniel Jean, Olivier Picard, David Pierrat(C) 2017 Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. vevo.ly
Thanos
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(12) LATEST: 7.1 Magnitude Quake Kills 119 as Buildings Crumble in MexicoMexico’s federal government says the death toll in a magnitude 7.1 earthquake has risen to 119.
Thanos
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Exploring Child Marriage Around the World The age at which people first marry can have long-lasting implications for their physical, economic and social well-being -- particularly when marriage first happens at a young age. As part of our forthcoming global research on child marriage, we ...
Birth Control Works
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Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan — ProPublica This past June, Florida’s top education agency delivered a failing grade to the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy in suburban Jacksonville for the second year in a row. It designated the charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade as ...
Birth Control Works
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How Renaissance Painting Smoldered With a Little Known Hallucinogen Bosch provides the most fertile ground for art lovers wanting to believe that hallucinogenic fungi may have a significant place in art history. This is partially because the painter has a special connection to Anthony, depicting the saint over ...
Birth Control Works
4 days, 13 hours ago
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Hillary Clinton’s ‘What Happened’ Says Something Revealing About America Later, Clinton brings a similar wistfulness to her account of the second debate with Trump, at which he stalked her on stage, seeking to intimidate her. “Do you stay calm,” she asks, referring to her options, “keep smiling and ...
Birth Control Works
4 days, 14 hours ago
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