Category: Lawyering

David Boies Sues Alan Dershowitz In Latest Defamation Lawsuit Tied To Epstein Scandal

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Defamation lawsuits are flying New York between leading lawyers involved in the Jeffrey Epstein controversy. We recently discussed a court’s ruling against Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz in his effort to dismiss a defamation case against him. Now, leading litigator David Boies has filed his own defamation lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court. The filing came one day after Dershowitz on Friday — just one day after Dershowitz made accusations against him and his clients in his own defamation lawsuit in federal court.

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Court To Stone Jury: Whatever You Do, Don’t Think About The Godfather . . . The Godfather . . . Don’t Think About The Godfather

Well, at least that is what the instruction sounded like to me from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson who told the jury not to watch or rent or download the movie The Godfather. It reminded me of that old cartoon showing a jury in cataclysmic shock with the judge saying “the jury will disregard the witness’s last remark.” The instruction seemed to highlight the movie and its connection to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.

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Report: Barr Refused To Hold Press Conference Exonerating Trump Of Ukraine-Related Crimes

The New York Times and other papers are reporting that Attorney General William Barr refused a request from President Donald Trump to hold a news conference to declare that Trump did not violate any laws in his telephone call with Ukraine’s president. I have known Barr for years and I am not surprised by the report. If such a call to Barr was made, it was inappropriate and shows that the President is still acting incautiously and impetuously in managing these scandals. With various investigations going forward on the Ukrainian matter, it would have been deeply troubling for Barr to make such a statement. While no crime has been identified, there could be potential criminal conduct related to the call as well as questions of the abuse of power. Trump has denied the report.

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If Trump is Guilty Of Bribery, The Democrats Are Guilty Of Solicitation

Below is my column on the latest alleged crime by President Donald Trump: “Felony bribery.” The allegation shows not only a fundamental misunderstanding of legal standards but a fundamental failure in legal analysis.

Here is the column:

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Painter: Trump Cannot Do Fundraisers For Senators Without Committing “Felony Bribery”

I have previously disagreed with the overextended and unsupported claims of critics on allegedly clear criminal violations by President Donald Trump, including past statements by Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush and is a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. I am no fan of President Trump and have repeatedly criticized him for his language and actions in office. However, legal analysis continues to erode as analysts assure viewers that well-established crimes have been committed. The latest such example by Painter is that Trump continues to fundraise for Senators, a common practice of all presidents in election years. Painter insists that any such fundraising can constitute “felony bribery” since these senators will likely sit in judgment in any impeachment trial.

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Turley To Give Closing Keynote Address At California Judicial Conference

I have the pleasure this morning of giving the closing keynote at the 37th Annual Eastern District Conference in California. The conference is being held at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe resort. My keynote will address the erosion of free speech protections in West and will be held in the closing plenary session from 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.     

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White House Issues Defiant Letter Refusing To Cooperate In Impeachment Proceedings

The White House continued along its ill-considered strategy of refusing to cooperate in an impeachment inquiry. I have previously written that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a fundamental error in not securing a vote of the House to commence an impeachment investigation. However, the letter issued by the White House counsel further undermines the case for executive privilege arguments and could reinforce obstruction allegations in any final articles of impeachment.

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Trump Tweet Undermines Privilege Claims For Barring Testimony

Today, President Trump tweeted on the decision to bar EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying since it would be in front of a “a totally compromised kangaroo court.” The problem is that any fight would be on the basis for executive privilege, not the disagreement with the Committee agenda or fairness. Executive privilege is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. Trump seems to be saying is that he simply does not trust the Committee, which is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena is now issued.

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Joe Biden Shown Golfing With Son and a Partner In Ukrainian Deal

We have been discussing the Hunter Biden Ukraine deal and the concerted effort to avoid the question of whether there was profiteering by family members during Joe Biden’s term as vice president. While I do not agree with President Donald Trump that the evidence suggests that Joe Biden pushed to fire the prosecutor to protect his son, there remains the legitimate question of the windfall contract given to Hunter Biden by a figure widely viewed as corrupt in the Ukraine. To make matters worse, Joe Biden declared to the media that he has never, ever, discussed any foreign business deal with his son Hunter, including the Ukrainian deal. Hunter himself said that was untrue in recalling discussing the Ukrainian deal with his Dad. Now this photo shows Joe Biden golfing with Hunter and Devon Archer, who served on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings with Hunter. Did Hunter never explain the working relationship to his Dad? One can understand why the Biden campaign has been pressuring networks to refuse to air Rudy Giuliani and his allegations against Biden. The deal is a legitimate matter for inquiry and Biden has made it worse with his categorical denial.

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Turley Speaks To Alaskan Bar On Free Speech and The Free Press

This morning I have the great honor of delivering a keynote address before the Federal Bar Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. The conference is being held at the Hotel Captain Cook and I will be speaking at 9:00 am on the foundations and evolution of both free speech and the free press in America.

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Trump Rescinds Medals For Prosecutors In Gallagher Case

President Donald Trump took a highly extraordinary — and in my view a highly inappropriate — step on Wednesday in ordering the Navy to rescind the achievement medals awarded to military prosecutors in the case against Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Gallagher was accused of murder and other crimes in his killing of a teenage ISIS fighter who was his prisoner in 2017 in Iraq. It is hard not to view the President’s intervention as retaliation against prosecutors who took an unpopular case and carried out their duties despite being publicly ridiculed by the Commander in Chief. The move undermines the professionalism and independence of the military justice system.

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The No Call Case: New Orleans Lawyer Wins Right To Depose Roger Goodell

As many on this blog know, I am an avid football fan (Bears, of course) and my love for the sport is only equaled by my long-standing contempt for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. However, the recent decision of State Civil District Court Judge Nicole Sheppard of New Orleans to order Goodell and three officials to be deposed over the infamous “no-call” play last year is baffling. All of us immediately cried out after flagrant passer interference by the Los Angeles Rams was missed by officials (the only people in the universe who appear to have missed the violation). The failure likely cost the New Orleans Saints a return to the Superbowl. However, I cannot see how such a failure can possibly be judicable case for fraud. A no call is no case in my view.

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Tweet From MSNBC Legal Analyst Sets Off False Story on Mueller Hearing Coverage

I have always been a critic of President Donald Trump’s “fake news” mantra, which is often directed at stories that are true but embarrassing. However, that does not mean that new media allows the rapid spread of false stories — stories that are quickly replicated and repeated across the blogosphere. An example of this problem arose recently when MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance tweeted that Fox News would not air the hearing today with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller because Trump is “afraid” what Mueller will say. That is entirely untrue but the story quickly spread with people like author Stephen King picking up the thread and spreading it to millions. I have had the pleasure of appearing with Vance. While we sometimes disagree, I have great respect for her and her experience as an attorney. The tweet was a mistake but it is the aftermath that is a chilling insight on how fast things spread on our web-based news platforms.

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Former Judge Literally Dragged To Jail In Chaotic Courtroom Scene

Former juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter caused an extraordinary scene in a Cincinnati courtroom yesterday when she was literally dragged away to jail to serve a six-month sentence for improperly obtaining information for her brother to help in a job dispute. The video shows Hunter refusing to move and being dragged across the courtroom floor.

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The Life and Legacy of John Paul Stevens

Below is my column in the Washington Post Sunday on the legacy of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. With roughly 35 years on the bench, he was the nation’s second oldest and third-longest serving justice.

Stevens will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Monday. On Tuesday his funeral will be held and he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I expect he would have preferred center field at Wrigley but this is a strong second option.

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