« DeLay: "Republicans are leaderless" | Main | Obama's FCC Chief Can't Wait to Get His Hands on the Internet »

Breaking: ACORN Files Law Suit Against O'Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart

Nevermind the fact that the ACORN's Baltimore employees were video taped offering advice on how to defraud the IRS and hide an illegal brothel that would use under aged girls from El Salvador as sex slaves. ACORN, with all the self-righteous indignation it can muster, is suing James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart for illegally taping the organization's Baltimore employees without their knowledge. From the AP:

Community activist group ACORN is suing the makers of a hidden-camera video that showed employees of its Baltimore office giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute. The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings.

The two employees seen in the video were fired after it was posted online. The lawsuit says the employees, Tonja Thompson and Shera Williams, suffered "extreme emotional distress."

This is what we call chutzpa, kids. Seriously, though, I'm thinking the law of unclean hands applies in this case.

Hat tip: @EdDriscoll


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/36839.

Comments (89)

Wouldn't a 25 year old and ... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Wouldn't a 25 year old and a 20 year old be the definition of "suit proof." What is ACORN going to get if they win? A hidden camera. These ACORN people really aren't very bright.

I would imagine that anyone... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I would imagine that anyone caught flagrantly breaking the law, and caught on video, would experience "extreme emotional distress."

Now let's see if a judge has the balls to laugh out loud and throw the complainants and their lawyers out of his courtroom.

On the other hand, people w... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

On the other hand, people will throw defense money hand over first to these two. A smart high-powered attorney would jump at the chance to defend them.

This is going to keep the ACORN affair in the news and FORCE the MSM to cover it. Does ACORN even know what they're doing? They've just guaranteed this will not 'blow over in 3 months'.

Somehow I think most Americ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Somehow I think most Americans also suffered "extreme emotional distress" watching these asshats attempt to subvert tax laws and support child prostitution.

I could be wrong, but don't think so.

I also think the IRS may have the same outlook with respects to ACORN.

Although it must be said the milk-toast bean counters at the IRS hardly ever show emotion of any kind.

"It is absolutely critical that taxpayers have trust in our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program partners," the IRS said in a statement. "In light of recent events, the IRS has decided to terminate its relationship with ACORN."

I'm still having a hard tim... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm still having a hard time understanding this "lawsuit".

ACORN "FIRES" these two employees. Now ACORN sues on their "behalf"? How does that work?

They better try and have th... (Below threshold)
Dennis D:

They better try and have this case moved from Baltimore where they will never find a judge who is not sympathetic to Acorn.

Notice the 4 black employee... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Notice the 4 black employees were fired as well as the hispanic male. to my knowledge the white female in San Bernadino(?) wasnt fired.


RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I became curious about wire... (Below threshold)
Marc:

I became curious about wiretapping laws in Maryland, (here's the PDF file of the applicable law)

It looks on the surface the State, and ACORN dickheads, may have a valid case against them.

That said I wonder if ACORN not operating legally in the State may have some bearing on the outcome of the case.

I would imagine th... (Below threshold)
jp2:
I would imagine that anyone caught flagrantly breaking the law, and caught on video, would experience "extreme emotional distress."

Didn't the ACORN employee report them to the police?

jp2 - why don't you answer ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jp2 - why don't you answer your own question?

The obvious answer is you're just starting a crap fling-fest, as usual, but it was a valiant attempt none-the-less.

And BTW, it's hardly surprising the sentence "Didn't the ACORN employee report them to the police?" turns up all sorts of whacko websites such as media "splatters, alternet and the DUmmies.

But hey, at least you got your talking points straight from the horses asses.

We certainly don't want peo... (Below threshold)

We certainly don't want people exposing ACORN's crimes, eh?

I would certainly hope that at some point the attorney for Breitbart and these two young people would get to say to a jury:

"But for these two people, Breitbart and FoxNews, several people who have no problem enabling SEX-SLAVERY for 13 year-old girls, would still be in a position to do so!!!"

I can't wait until discover... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I can't wait until discovery. I guess the filmaker and actress can counter sue about abusing federal taxpayers money. Anyway, these people are too stupid to know what they are getting into. ACORN and Obama does not want/need this in the news again and again. But, I like it. Keep it up. ww

As a sidenote, would anyone... (Below threshold)
Marc:

As a sidenote, would anyone be surprised to learn ACORN Maryland has a Facebook page?

Nah, didn't think so everyone does, it's also not surprising they are a fan of The Ruckus Society.

Perfect match I'd say, both deal in intimidation tactics up to and including Ruckus being part of the mass destruction of private property during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999.

Ahhh....Discovery...and I d... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Ahhh....Discovery...and I don't mean the cable channel.

The defense should claim th... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

The defense should claim they were providing ACORN with a beneficial service and see if they agree or deny it.

I woulda thought they'd pla... (Below threshold)
914:

I woulda thought they'd play the race card first?

"Didn't the ACORN employee ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Didn't the ACORN employee report them to the police?"

ACORN does not employ people, ie. They do not produce a product consumers want. In other words, they are just like the President in this respect.

Generally, a perso... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:
Generally, a person who violates State eavesdropping or wiretapping laws is guilty of a felony and is subject to maximum penalties of a $10,000 fine and/or five years imprisonment.

If the state were pressing charges then I doubt they would get prison time. This is a civil suit though, I don't know what exactly they are trying to prove. The fact that they fired the employees in question would get them thrown out of any daytime tv courtroom with a laughing judge.

I almost wonder if they KNEW about the law before they did this particular sting and accepted that they would be prosecuted or sued, just to extend the story? There are probably more ACORN videos waiting in the wings too. This will likely be drug out until ACORN is completely disolved or the mid term elections.

The two kids broke the law ... (Below threshold)
jpe:

The two kids broke the law and will be found liable; that's plain as day. The only interesting question is whether Breitbart, as a media company, has a first amendment right to disseminate the footage. Per the MD statute, they broke the law, too, but the first amendment may supersede.

Discovery should be interes... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Discovery should be interesting. What a wonder way to keep the spotlight on this issue. It appears intelligence is not grow from acorns.

Barney Frank's not happy. ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Barney Frank's not happy. He's disassociating himself from ACORN.

Frank turns against ACORN - Glenn Thrush - POLITICO.com

In a stunning turnaround, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is distancing himself from ACORN, blasting their response to a string of recent scandals -- and contradicting a staffer who said the congressman would have voted against a GOP-sponsored bill banning the group from federal funding.
Losing Barney's not good - if HE bails, the other 'protectors' of ACORN aren't going to want to stick around either.

Aren't O'Keefe and Giles in... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Aren't O'Keefe and Giles in line for some reward, or at least legal protection, under the whistleblowing statutes?

JP2:Didn't you mean ... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

JP2:
Didn't you mean to say that an ACORN employee "claimed" to have called the police?

"In a stunning turnaround, ... (Below threshold)
914:

"In a stunning turnaround, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is distancing himself from ACORN, blasting their response to a string of recent scandals -- and contradicting a staffer who said the congressman would have voted against a GOP-sponsored bill banning the group from federal funding. "

Now if We could only get Him to stop funding NAMBLA.

@jp2:Will Obama repr... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

@jp2:
Will Obama represent ACORN as their lawyer again ? Or was he already aware of the ACORN operations making him complicit ?

I mean as long as we're asking rhetorical questions...

Looks like it may boil down... (Below threshold)

Looks like it may boil down to a fight between the Maryland wiretapping statutes vs. the federal whistleblower protection laws. And if the defense lawyer is any good, he'll drag in some good first amendment stuff. And don't get me started on discovery.

My personal opinion is that the ACORN folks have shot themselves in the foot. They should have quietly accepted their losses and hope people will forget, but by initiating this lawsuit, they guarantee they will remain in the national spotlight.

Pass the popcorn. This is going to be a good one.

Didn't you mean to... (Below threshold)
jp2:
Didn't you mean to say that an ACORN employee "claimed" to have called the police?

No, as in the police claimed the employee contacted the police.

Police say he contacted law enforcement two days later. The detective consulted another police official who served on a federal human smuggling task force, who said he needed more details.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hA9b96qgu9MG_331xFUGcYvhOcLAD9AS3CUO0

Fired anyways, so I guess the discussion is pointless. Way to go, neo-cons. Big game you are hunting.

The ongoing problem for ACO... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

The ongoing problem for ACORN has been a rampant pattern of ineptness and unprofessionalism, not cameras. No lawsuit will fix that problem.

ACORN is clearly trying to ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

ACORN is clearly trying to avoid discovery issues by suing over the wiretap issue. Unfortunately for them they include part 23 of the complaint:

As a direct and proximate result of the actions of defendants, ACORN has suffered injury to its reputation.

So if they supposed that they would avoid any nasty discovery they opened Pandora's box with the claim of damage to reputation.

I'm sure that Breitbart will find the ACORN 8 issues and the refusal to audit the books relevant to ACORN's reputation. SO by all means let's drag that into the mix along with the SEIU and the Center for American Progress...

My guess is that ACORN is h... (Below threshold)
N Ash:

My guess is that ACORN is hoping to intimidate others into not following in the footsteps of these two.

Whether the two are found guilty or not, how many others would consider risking a similar set up if they realized the possible legal bills they might soon after incur? And what about media? They might think twice about posting a video of such if they think they may - successfully - be sued afterward.

On the other hand, I'm not sure ACORN realizes - or perhaps cares - of the negative publicity this will further cause them.

"Big game you are huntin... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Big game you are hunting."

Seems more like vermin control, jp2. But there's a reason the real world has exterminators.

I think it is also clear th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I think it is also clear that ACORN will likely seek a racially advantageous jury and to make the case about race which is what they initially tried to do and which is what their whole business practice is built on.

It will be cast as the poor inner city minorities vs the slick, college educated white folk.

There seems to be a lot of ... (Below threshold)
pvd:

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding MD law.

The kids are likely safe.

A link, you ask?

Here.

Involves a lady named Linda Tripp.

Ken Blackwell has an excell... (Below threshold)

Ken Blackwell has an excellent column up at Townhall.com about this very issue - the foot-shooting that ACORN would inflict with this very type of lawsuit. I put a link to it via my name below (hopefully - if not, go to the site and look at the columns from the 21st).

Paul Hooson:It's n... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Paul Hooson:

It's not ineptness. It's not unprofessionalism.

It is criminal behavoir.

jp2: Notice that large contracts with significant sums have been cancelled? Yes, they're hunting big game. And, so far, they've wounded it badly.

And now the big game is looking like the Black Knight and saying, "It's only a flesh wound!"

JP2 - clearly you need some... (Below threshold)
jim m:

JP2 - clearly you need some remedial geography. The article you link is from California. The suit is with regard to the office in Baltimore. Baltimore is in the state of Maryland. If you go to google maps you will find that Maryland is on the opposite side of the country from California.

Note also that the story you link talks about ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera. The lawsuit is brought by ACORN, Tonja Thompson and Shera Williams. I do not see where Mr Vera comes into this discussion about the lawsuit except that you are remarkably stupid and unable to understand that people have names to identify individuals and that California and Maryland are different states.

The last one I might understand since Obama has problems keeping all 57 states straight.

Here's a link to the lawsuit so you can learn what you're supposedly talking about:
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/11864168/ACORN-v-OKeefe

You are right jim m, lets j... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

You are right jim m, lets just hope that the defense remembers to ask if racism makes it okay to import underage sex slaves and avoid paying the IRS.

Let us also hope the plantif does not use the Chewbacca Offense.

JP2:That link is wha... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

JP2:
That link is what you are saying is contacting the police? He talked with his cousin. I talk with my cousins (2 of which are police) about the kids riding all terrain vehicles in the neighborhood, so does that mean I've contacted the police? It only became "contacting the police" when he knew he'd been punk'd.

This is not Chutzpah. It i... (Below threshold)
epador:

This is not Chutzpah. It is another demonstration of arrogance and lack of situational awareness. Next thing you know, the ACORN folks will be asking the pilot "What's a mountain goat doing up here in a cloud bank?"

I have committed to donatin... (Below threshold)

I have committed to donating $1,000 to the defense fund when it is set up.

I am absolutely not kidding.

ACORN = Wylie Cyote... (Below threshold)
davidt:

ACORN = Wylie Cyote

"The ongoing problem for AC... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The ongoing problem for ACORN has been a rampant pattern of ineptness and unprofessionalism"

15 states Paul, 15 FUCKING STATES!, and ACORN has been indicted or found GUILTY of voter fraud.

They are in only 40 states Paul! THAT'S ALMOST HALF OF THEIR OFFICES!

"Ineptness" - why? because they got caught?
RICCO was written for "businesses" like ACORN!

Its a worthy cause Justrand... (Below threshold)
914:

Its a worthy cause Justrand and I will join the fight. However, We are fighting against monopoly money in the hands of a more polished John Boy Edwards and twisted judges.. So onward We trudge..Into the dark unknown., With the light shining bright from above.

Remember, Raymond Burr is d... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

Remember, Raymond Burr is dead. This may
doom the two youngsters and Breitbart.
You will hear screams FOR the death penalty
on MSNBC.
"I think, Chris, that this trio deserves
swift and terminal punishment. Our President
agrees."
"Thank you, Mr. Holder, for that candid
opinion. Keith...Rachael...Ed...we're all
in agreement, right? Heinous isn't enough
to describe their perfidy."

With ACORN, there's always ... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

With ACORN, there's always the possibility
of "diminshed capacity" as an excuse for
any of the organization's transgressions.

An ACORN lawyer is checking all "de big
words" I just used, in his Merriam-Webster.
(signed copy by The Bamster)

Jim M - thanks for the corr... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Jim M - thanks for the corrections. As you can tell from my ignorance, I haven't been following too closely. To allude to another commenter, the ACORN investigation is actually similar to exterminating vermin. As in, it's a very tiny problem in the grand scheme of things. The fact that this small organization who receives minuscule funds has reaped such a rabid following has been surprising.

Good luck with the hunt though - as long as a few poor black people can't vote I suppose it's a victory.

"it's a very tiny problem i... (Below threshold)
914:

"it's a very tiny problem in the grand scheme of things. The fact that this small organization who receives minuscule funds has reaped such a rabid following has been surprising"

Your grasplessness is Amazing Grace indeed.

Miniscule funds??????????????????????? You gift Me 5 billion and I will goat your nanny all night! Or, at least call in the morning.

"goat Your nanny all night?... (Below threshold)
914:

"goat Your nanny all night?"

WTF? I think ive drank too much uncle pickle juice? either that or My teens spiked the kool-aid again. m...mmm!

I believe that in 20 years ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I believe that in 20 years they received as much as Halliburton does in a day. And unlike Halliburton, they haven't been convicted of fraud. Or done lots of business with our enemies.

But hey, if it floats your boat to go after them, more power to you. Good little peasants.

You know your all alone whe... (Below threshold)
914:

You know your all alone when you start quoting yourself.

jp2care to talk?</... (Below threshold)
914:

jp2

care to talk?

....... (Below threshold)
914:

....

I vote yes to your boasting... (Below threshold)
914:

I vote yes to your boasting as well jp2

Scared? any topic? Its open line Friday as long as the jug lasts.

"and contradicting a staffe... (Below threshold)
914:

"and contradicting a staffer who said the congressman would have voted against a GOP-"

So, who was the hold out? mister stiffy that old gout about stallion?

jp2 still = FOOL. Is jpe ... (Below threshold)
Greg:

jp2 still = FOOL. Is jpe her sister?

jp2:Good... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jp2:

Good luck with the hunt though - as long as a few poor black people can't vote I suppose it's a victory.

Translation:
RACIST!

Looks like it may ... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Looks like it may boil down to a fight between the Maryland wiretapping statutes vs. the federal whistleblower protection laws.
It doesn't apply here; it only covers employees ratting out their employers.
And if the defense lawyer is any good, he'll drag in some good first amendment stuff.
There's no first amendment issue here, since there's no right to tape others w/o their consent. (as noted, Breitbart may have a right to _disseminate_ illegally obtained information)
JP2 - re vermin...<blockquo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

JP2 - re vermin...

Between the Species - On the Status of Vermin

Rats, unlike prairie dogs or deer, are vermin that are present in all societies. They are problems for urbanites, suburbanites and rural communities. Rural communities have problems with rats, as well as mice, because they tend to inhabit places that enable them to easily access human buildings, barns, houses, and silos to name a few. In urban and suburban places, rats tend to live in sewers or places that are congenial to the rat-life-style, which are normally out of view of humans. Like any animal, rats would rather have a safe, warm place where food is readily available then a cold, wet, hostile environment in which food may not be easy to find. In turn, rats have probably been living in and/or around human settlements since the first civilizations. They have adapted to live in close proximity to people and rely on humans for their life-styles because humans, in creating a place for humans to live, have produced waste to eat and areas congenial to the rat-life-style. Because rats live in cohabitation with humans (a more intimate relationship than invasive species) and they have nasty behaviors that humans find annoying or troublesome, they are candidates for vermin-hood. A pamphlet released by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare states, "Rats in the human environment cause enormous economic losses. They consume or contaminate vast quantities of food and feed, and they destroy other property, as when they cause fires by gnawing the insulation of electric wires." It continues, "Each rat damages between $1 and $10 worth of food and other materials per year by gnawing and feeding, and contaminates 5 to 10 times mores. Thus, rats may cost the United States between $500,000,000 and 1,000,000,000 annually in terms of direct economic losses." The losses, in this case, are economic not ecological, and are extremely impacting on the United States.
Yeah, let's ignore ACORN. What harm could they possibly do? Hey the termites in a house's foundation aren't very large - it'd be foolish to think they might be destructive to the overall integrity of the house! The flu virus is pretty darn small too - yet it can kill.

Those damned fools at ACORN... (Below threshold)

Those damned fools at ACORN have opened themselves up for some serious discovery which will open their books for examination by all parties (including Andrew Breitbart) and the general public. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! They are about the biggest idiots I've ever read about and they'll bring down anyone who is now or ever has been (POTUS for example) associated with their corrupt, venal organization.

jp2 has nothing to contribu... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jp2 has nothing to contribute but Dem talking points. He doesn't actually understand the story because he confuses Maryland with California. He cannot tell he difference between contacting a relative and contacting the police.

Instead he drags in Haliburton and complains that they make money and employ people. Yes Haliburton makes a lot of money. They do it not by getting government handouts(yes they have government contracts but those are for providing services to the government not to go do their business elsewhere like ACORN), but by providing goods and services that require significant technical skill and education.

By contrast ACORN provides dubious services which require neither skill nor education and are focused around political protest and accessing government largess (in addition to promoting illegal activities).

So by jp2's calculations Haliburton is evil because it provides goods and services that few if any other groups can deliver and people, companies and governments want to pay for these goods and services. Conversely, ACORN is good because it uses government largess to procure more government largess and promote political ideology.

I'm sorry, but it seems to me that Haliburton actually does more to improve people's lives by promoting skill and education, by enabling people to earn a living and helps others earn a living, and by helping develop energy resources that provide heat, power and fuel to people across the globe.

Those damned fools... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Those damned fools at ACORN have opened themselves up for some serious discovery which will open their books for examination by all parties (including Andrew Breitbart) and the general public.
Not likely. Discovery isn't unlimited; it's limited to the legal issues at hand, none of which involve Acorn's books or records.
jpe:The was no exp... (Below threshold)
pvd:

jpe:

The was no expectation of privacy in the ACORN office. The MD law carefully defines what is illegal and revolves around the "interception" of communication rather than the recording of it.

And freedom of the press is indeed a First Amendment issue.

ACORN will either withdraw the suit or wish they had. Discovery will be broad and quite embarrassing.

Of course this smear of ACO... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Of course this smear of ACORN has backfired on those goofy amateurs -- it was inevitable. There has to be at least a grain of truth in the allegations.

I'm sorry, but it ... (Below threshold)
jp2:
I'm sorry, but it seems to me that Haliburton actually does more to improve people's lives by promoting skill and education, by enabling people to earn a living and helps others earn a living, and by helping develop energy resources that provide heat, power and fuel to people across the globe.

My point is that if the right/media was actually concerned about ethics/fraud and kept to their standards, Halliburton would be at the top of the list of companies to investigate and remove from gubmint service contracts. Every other company in the military complex would be shut out as well - multiple instances of fraud, theft, bribery and the fact that they worked with countries that sponsor terror would seem to be important, if those standards were imposed.

But no, your target is a political target and a very small one at that. Getting increasingly bitter, but as you move into regional obscurity I suppose that's natural.

Adrian:I'm beginni... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Adrian:

I'm beginning to think that you post online because no one will talk to you in real life.

You might check out the video again and then check the results in Congress, at the IRS, etc.

Wanna bet that Hussein has ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Wanna bet that Hussein has already chosen the judge who will preside over this farce!

This is a CIVIL suit brough... (Below threshold)
Eric:

This is a CIVIL suit brought on by ACORN in Maryland, it has nothing to do with any actions or personnel in any of the other ACORN offices. This is NOT a criminal case brought on by the State of Maryland.

This case is extremely weak and stupid, for at least five reasons.

1) The suit is clearly a SLAPP suit and the defendants (O'Keefe, Giles & Breitbart) are covered by Maryland's Anti-SLAPP statute and should be able to have the ACORN case dismissed on those grounds.

2) ACORN is suing on behalf of the two ACORN employees in the video for suffering "Extreme Emotional Distress". ACORN fired those employees for cause. This opens ACORN up to being a potential defendant in a wrongful termination suit by the fired employees.

3) ACORN let its business charter lapse in the State of Maryland. In essence they are operating illegally in Maryland. Therefore, it is questionable whether ACORN has standing to sue in the first place.

4) The ACORN suit concerns Maryland's wiretapping law which makes it illegal to record private conversations with out consent from both parties. The big question here is whether a conversation held in a publicly accessible office can be deemed private.

5) The defendants will be able to utilize Discovery laws to probe through all of ACORN's books, records, internal communications etc. opening themselves up to all sorts of dirty laundry getting aired. It also, means that the defendants can rack up some really high legal bills combing through that data. A successful ANTI-SLAPP counter suit would turn the tables on ACORN to have to pay for O'Keefe's, Giles' and Breitbart's legal fees.

@ Eric: there's no first am... (Below threshold)
jpe:

@ Eric: there's no first amendment right to tape people. So the SLAPP suit theory fails. Interesting point about standing, but the employees are named plaintiffs, so they certainly have standing. re: privacy: that's a question for the jury, probably, but it'd be hard to imagine that a conversation behind closed doors bewteen a client and a tax preparer isn't a private conversation. Finally, re: discovery: note that discovery isn't unlimited. There's no legit reason to get at Acorn's records in this instance.

I believe that in ... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
I believe that in 20 years they received as much as Halliburton does in a day. And unlike Halliburton, they haven't been convicted of fraud. Or done lots of business with our enemies.

When has Haliburton been convicted of fraud? Not anytime that I have know of their existence. If that had happened, the state run media would have been all over this story like stink on shit. Haliburton has not done business with our enemies, however, General Electric has and is currently doing just that.

Haliburton does not receive any government funding, by donations, and/or Congressional largess, like ACORN does. They receive their funding from specific contracts from work that they have contracted to do. What work has ACORN done in the past 20 years that you have cited, jp2?

As far as the statement, ACORN not being convicted of fraud, they have been convicted in 14 states on election fraud charges. Most of these stem from the 2008 election cycle. If that is not fraud, I will quit posting here.

3) ACORN let its business charter lapse in the State of Maryland. In essence they are operating illegally in Maryland. Therefore, it is questionable whether ACORN has standing to sue in the first place

I am not sure, but somewhere I read that ACORN didn't let their charter lapse, instead the State Of Maryland revoked it, because of illegal activities. This may be all wrong, but that is what I was led to understand.

Finally, re: disco... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
Finally, re: discovery: note that discovery isn't unlimited. There's no legit reason to get at Acorn's records in this instance.

Who was the brilliant lawyer that told you that? The parties on both sides have to exercise full discovery, by law. That includes all financial records. If they don't, the party that excludes any of their records, will find themselves in contempt of court. In most cases, this can lead to a mistrial. There is every reason to get all of ACORNS records in this instance.

JPE - ACORN has alleged dam... (Below threshold)
jim m:

JPE - ACORN has alleged damages to their reputation. Therefore an examination of that reputation and certain allegations could be justified in discovery. Certainly, actions taken to protect said reputation such as the concealment of embezzlement etc would be relevant to the case.

There is every ... (Below threshold)
jpe:

There is every reason to get all of ACORNS records in this instance.

The scope for discovery in MD, as in virtually every other jurisdiction, is relevance to the subject at hand. Those records have no bearing on whether the defendants taped a private conversation w/o the other party's consent, nor does it have any bearing on the question of damages.

Therefore an exami... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Therefore an examination of that reputation and certain allegations could be justified in discovery
Absolutely, but their public reputation has nothing to do w/ their internal records.
jp2-your ravings a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jp2-

your ravings about Halliburton and it's unethical dealings are nothing more that the unsubstantiated paranoia of the left.

If they are so unethical then why has there not been any exposure of their deeds like those of ACORN? The simple answer is that despite the desire and means on the left no one has been able to demonstrate a foundation in reality for their mental illness.

jpe wrote:The s... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jpe wrote:

The scope for discovery in MD, as in virtually every other jurisdiction, is relevance to the subject at hand. Those records have no bearing on whether the defendants taped a private conversation w/o the other party's consent, nor does it have any bearing on the question of damages.

Wrong. ACORN is asking for compensatory damages. Its books and records are relevant to show whether it has suffered any loss of income, which is the only possible measure of damage to the "reputation" of such an organization.

You are really funny jp2, i... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

You are really funny jp2, if we really wanted to go after ethics violations most of the dems in congress and senate would be under investigation. Starting with elmer fudd aka barney frank, then moving to dodd I might own a place in Ireland, then on to rangel my irs reporting is a bit off, then on to her highness princess nancy and her husband with their great gov't contracts, and so on and so on and so on. Also, the nuts at acorn have more judgements against them for voter registration fraud and other questionable practices than Haliburton has convictions, but I guess those don't count do they. Go back to slurping the neon kool aid. mpw

They thought they were bein... (Below threshold)
jim m:

They thought they were being slick by filing on the wiretap issue, but they could not resist claiming damages for loss of reputation.

The only way to claim damage to reputation will be to allow discovery into other issues that have been brought that also damage their reputation.

The only way to establish that damage to their reputation is real is to open their books and show where their money is coming from and going to.

They are screwed coming and going on this one. Since they have always countered any criticism with accusations of racism, I expect more of he same in court and that they plan to appeal to a minority filled jury that because ACORN is a minority run, minority staffed and minority focused organization that they are due compensation regardless of their illegal and unethical dealings.

Never mind that the two fired workers suffer damages primarily because ACORN fired them and ACORN was under no obligation to do so.

JPE, you are wrong on all c... (Below threshold)
Eric:

JPE, you are wrong on all counts.

1) You do not understand what a SLAPP suit is, a SLAPP suit "is a lawsuit that is intended to intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition."

(B) A LAWSUIT IS A SLAPP SUIT IF IT IS: (1) BROUGHT IN BAD FAITH AGAINST A PARTY WHO HAS COMMUNICATED WITH A FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODY OR THE PUBLIC AT LARGE TO REPORT ON, COMMENT ON, RULE ON, CHALLENGE, OPPOSE, OR IN ANY OTHER WAY EXERCISE RIGHTS UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION OR ARTICLE 10, ARTICLE 13, OR ARTICLE 40 OF THE MARYLAND DECLARATION OF RIGHTS REGARDING ANY MATTER WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF A GOVERNMENT BODY; (2) MATERIALLY RELATED TO THE DEFENDANT'S COMMUNICATION; AND (3) INTENDED TO INHIBIT THE EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION OR ARTICLE 10, ARTICLE 13, OR ARTICLE 40 OF THE MARYLAND DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.

The defendants are Breitbart, O'Keefe and Giles. The ACORN suit specifically names Breitbart as a multimedia company, meaning they have defined his company as a media outlet i.e. THE PRESS. The First Amendment protects Freedom of the Press. The Defendents were exercising their First Amendement Right to report to the public at large the contents of the videos. The suit is materially related to the defendant's communication, the videos. The ACORN suit seeks relief from the defendants (i.e. intending to inhibit the defendants) from exercising their First Amendment rights. That makes it a SLAPP suit.

The First Amendment TRUMPS Maryland's wiretap law. The ANTI-SLAPP suit would easily be used to dismiss ACORN's suit as a malicious suit.

2) The Employees were fired by ACORN because of the videos. The are seeking relief for emotional distress. Because ACORN fired them for cause, ACORN can't sue on their behalf to say that the videos caused emotional distress to the employees. ACORN found the videos to be sufficient evidence to terminate their employment. Because the employees were fired by their co-plaintiff for the actions in the videos they really don't have standing to be co-plaintiffs.

The allegation is that the videos were illegally made. If this suit prevailed then the employees have grounds to sue ACORN for wrongful termination, because they were fired because of the videos that have been deemed as illegally obtained. Their standing as a co-plaintiff in this matter is in conflict with their standing as a plaintiff in a future action against their co-plaintiff resulting from this matter.

3) Watch the video. The door is wide open and people come and go during the conversation. It is not reasonable to call it a private conversation. Who knows who could be right outside the door in the hallway.

4) You are correct that discovery will not be unlimited, but it will be wide open for Breitbart to examine their employment practices, training practices, any relevant communications, any previous records indicating similar advice practices. There is a lot of opportunity to dig into ACORN's dirt.

Saw this on Ace Of Spades a... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

Saw this on Ace Of Spades a little bit ago:

And Leon also mentions that ACORN is looking to go after Fox next.

Not gonna happen. No way. No how. Fox has lawyers that specialize in this type of litigation. How stupid can these people get? Before it is all over, the Fox lawyers will probably be handling the entire lawsuit. That is definitely not what ACORN wants.

What's needed now is to sta... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

What's needed now is to start leaning on all the do-good tax exempt foundations and charities that also give money to ACORN. CUT OFF ALL THEIR FUNDING.

@ eric: (1) they have a fir... (Below threshold)
jpe:

@ eric: (1) they have a first amendment right to report, certainly, but not to tape w/o the other party's consent. Their reporting isn't at issue here; their taping is.

(3) Good point. It'll be interesting to see how (if) that plays out.

If ACORN was so "innocent" ... (Below threshold)

If ACORN was so "innocent" why did they FIRE the two employees who were implicated on the video. Second, discovery can be broader than you'd think because of the fact that ACORN is claiming economic damages (big mistake, that).

"Of course this smear of ACORN has backfired on those goofy amateurs -- it was inevitable. There has to be at least a grain of truth in the allegations." WHAT smear? Those doofus morons at ACORN got caught dirty and deserve anything that happens to them! Truth is not smear.

I swear - these defenders of ACORN have the lowest IQs on Planet Earth! And the critical thinking skills that can only be the result of a public school education!

(1) they have a fi... (Below threshold)
Eric:
(1) they have a first amendment right to report, certainly, but not to tape w/o the other party's consent. Their reporting isn't at issue here; their taping is.

JPE, but that is the point of the SLAPP suit. ACORN is filing this suit seeking millions of dollars in punitive damages as a way of punishing Breitbart for reporting these videos. Re-read the Anti-SLAPP statute, the ACORN suit neets the definition of a SLAPP suit and Breitbart could file a motion to have ACORN's suit dismissed.

I also noticed you skirted Points 2 & 4.

Eric - "Because ACORN f... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Eric - "Because ACORN fired them for cause, ACORN can't sue on their behalf to say that the videos caused emotional distress to the employees."

My question is, how in the hell does any ACORN hired shyster lay it out for a jury that, without question, proves the alleged "emotional distress" was the result of the videos and NOT the firing itself.

It appears as if Shera Will... (Below threshold)
Marc:

It appears as if Shera Williams, one of the plaintiffs in this case has spent a fair amount of time in various Maryland courts.

I'm not surprised.

Headline of the Day:<... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Headline of the Day:

"Republicans In A Panic, Videographer O'Keefe's Financial Records To Be Examined"

So you writing wishful head... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

So you writing wishful headlines now Adrian?

Here is an <a href="http://... (Below threshold)
George Author Profile Page:

Here is an interesting opinion on that Maryland statute regarding recording without the consent of all parties.

JP2-less;How much ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

JP2-less;

How much money has Haliburton made from the government on military contracts this year??

Absolutley 0. They sold KBR more than 3 years ago!!




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy