A few weeks ago, there was considerable buzz around the blogosphere about a Chicago lawyer who didn't care for the military. He saw a car with Marine Corps license plates (not official ones, but "vanity" plates the owner, one Sergeant Mike McNulty, had paid for, and the proceeds go towards the Navy And Marine Corps Scholarship fund, which benefits children of fallen sailors and Marines) and decided to strike a blow for freedom and justice and peace by "keying" the car. The owner spotted him and, remarkably enough, did NOT beat the living shit out of him (and beating the shit out of a lawyer like this one is a very difficult task; there is so much shit, it could take hours to beat it all out). Instead, he had the man arrested for vandalism.
The lawyer thought he had a good defensive strategy: offer to pay for the damages, or at least a part of them, and stall the proceedings until the Marine in question was re-deployed on active duty and could not stick around for the trial.
Nice plan, didn't work.
Noted attorney and asshole Jay R. Grodner (Google bait) had his day in court this past week. In the courtroom, he found a lot -- a LOT -- of current and former military there.
But far more troublesome for asshole Jay Grodner than the two dozen military behind him was one Marine in front of him.
Judge William O'Malley wasn't born on the bench. In the 1960's, he was known as Lance Corporal William O'Malley, and is known to still wear a Marine Corps pin on his lapel.
asshole Jay R. Grodner (who almost makes me want to ditch my adopted pseudonym in shame) was late to court. He sent a message that he was trying to avoid the press.
That didn't please Judge (nee Lance Corporal) O'Malley, who jacked up his bond and ordered a bench warrant for asshole Jay R. Grodner's arrest. And when asshole Jay R. Grodner did stroll into court, a bit over half an hour later, he was arrested and treated like any other prisoner, including taking away his belt.
About an hour after his initial court date, asshole Jay R. Grodner was brought before the judge for the formal acceptance of his plea bargain: a guilty plea and a donation of $600 to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and a year's probation.
That was the official part. Then Judge O'Malley turned the proceedings over to Lance Corporal O'Malley (USMC-retired), who gave asshole Jay Grodner an extensive lecture on the history of the Marine Corps, with extensive attention paid to its motto -- "Semper Fidelis."
For those who might not know it, that's Latin for "Always Faithful." That was why Sgt. McNulty wasn't in court that day -- he was fulfilling his oath and on active duty in California, getting ready to leave for Iraq. That was why there were over two dozen military members were there -- making sure justice was done in his absence. That's why so many milblogs were all over this case -- they were upholding their obligation to Sgt. McNulty. And that's why Judge O'Malley deferred the post-sentencing lecture to Lance Corporal O'Malley.
When asshole Jay R. Grodner did his dipshit act of petty vandalism, he wasn't going after Sgt. McNulty. He was expressing his contempt and loathing for the Marine Corps, and the whole military in general. And the rest of the military decided it was not going to let Sgt. McNulty take the brunt of the attack aimed at all of them. As several Viet Nam veterans said as they offered their support to the good Sgt., "we will not let what happened to us, happen to you, Marine."
It looks like asshole Jay R. Grodner will keep his license to practice law. But if there is any justice, he will no longer get any clients that are in the military. Or were in the military. Or are related to someone who served. Or know someone who served. Or cares about and respects our military.
Or who has had their car keyed, for that matter.
Or just doesn't like assholes like asshole Jay R. Grodner.
That's if there is any justice. Considering that asshole Jay R. Grodner ended up in former Lance Corporal O'Malley's courtroom, I feel fairly safe in saying there is, indeed, justice.
As I said, a LOT of milblogs have been all over this story. Blackfive has probably been the best clearinghouse.