I have been critical of the representation afforded by Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom in past cases, including the rapid calling of press conferences at the height of news cycles. Bloom has had public squabbles with clients including Harvey Weinstein and Kathy Griffin. While media management is part of zealous representation, there are times when I am left uncertain as to the legal strategy behind press conferences. In the case of Allred’s representation of Roy Moore accuser Beverly Nelson, the press conference has not only resulted in her being nationally ridiculed but she is now accused of falsifying Moore’s signature on a yearbook. Allred’s defense of her client on the charge has been so anemic and uncertain that many have taken it as a concession. As a result, Allred has given Moore just the issue to paint all of these women as liars and made the failure to turn over the yearbook the element of doubt that he was so desperately searching for in this scandal. Just as I was critical of Moore’s counsel, this situation could not be worse for Allred’s client. This was a predictable attack that Allred should have anticipated and had a response (other than we will turn over the yearbook in time) to blunt the attack on her client . . . better parading her in front of cameras.
We previously discussed the allegation regarding the yearbook. Beverly Young Nelson was 16 when she says that Moore tried to rape her after offering her a car ride home. Moore says that he does not know Nelson but the yearbook page above contains a personal message from him reading “To a sweeter girl I could not say Merry Christmas” — signed “Roy Moore D.A.”
I criticized Moore’s counsel for solely attacking two insular allegations, including the yearbook, in a conspicuous failure to address the broader allegations of pursuing teenage girls. They also wrote a letter that was legally and grammatically flawed. On the Yearbook, they alleged that the signature was taken from court documents. They note that Moore was an assistant D.A. and D.A. were the initials of Judge Moore’s secretary, Delbra Adams, who added them to his official signature stamp. However, I did not think that the signatures looked identical and I remain unclear why limited handwriting analysis could not be performed on the copies. The originals allow for more comprehensive testing.
However, Allred played directly in this highly predictable attack. She has not turned over the yearbook to a neutral expert, which has fueled the narrative from Moore supporters. Moore himself is keeping a clock on the delay.
“Well, all I’m saying is we will permit an independent examiner of the writing to look at exemplars of [the] former judge…we will allow all of this to be asked and answered at the hearing.”
Really, that is all you can say? Who are representing at that time. But it got worse:
“Well, all I’m saying is we’re not denying, we’re not admitting, we’re not addressing. We will not be distracted, and we will pursue a just result for our client.”
This is not some gotcha, unforeseen moment. Not only is this the document Allred paraded around before the press but it is a controversy that has been stewing for days.
Allred only would promise to have analysis of the signature “done in a professional setting to the extent possible. That’s the only setting in which people can testify under oath and that’s what we think is most important.”
Allred’s actions could not be more beneficial for Moore and her bizarre defense has left many discounting her client’s story. In other words, after the press conference, her client is being discussed as often as a possible forgery suspect as a victim. The floundering after the Moore attack has left her client in a materially worse position after Allred’s signature press conference.