October 9, 2013

Taunting the litigious.

Seems dangerous.

18 comments:

David said...

And her lawyers are no slouches: Kirkland & Ellis.

Scott said...

Shame has disappeared from American culture; and common decency is on its way out.

Hagar said...

I think this is more about Democrat activists harassing and trying to silence Breitbart than it is about Shirley Sherrod and her feelings. I doubt this was her idea, but she is allowing the suit to go forward in her name.

CWJ said...

"Taunting the litigious seems dangerous."

I would agree. But that's one of the objectives of "lawfare," isn't it? Silence the opposition through fear rather than argument. Make the process the punishment. You don't need to win the case to achieve that objective.

Hagar said...

And I think it is stupid of them to again attract attention to Pigford. I hope Breitbart's successors take up the issue for all it is worth. In public.

betamax3000 said...

Job-Creation Clam says:

Job-Creation Clam is Not Litigious. Job-Creation Clam Does Not Respond to Taunting, Only Grit.

Hagar said...

For those who don't remember:
Shirley Sherrod and her husband were leaders in the first Pigford settlement which involved ca. 400 black farmers in south Georgia and was settled at an estimated cost of ca. $20 million. This was fair and square and not to be argued about.

However, Pigford has since been expanded to involve 100,000+ black individuals across the nation, most of whom may never have even seen a farm, with the estimated price tag at $4.5 billion and rising, and I think I saw some articles saying that the Justice Dept. has since expanded the program to also involve women and "Hispanics" with no end in sight for the estimated costs.

With this administration, all Federal payouts are "stimulus" and income leveling, and it is all good regardles of the legitimacy or fraud involved.

Birkel said...

One wonders which side it's dangerous to taunt.

Taunting Shirley Sherrod after she admitted race impacted her official actions under color of state authority? What makes that dangerous? The fact that she's willing to sue and cause discomfort while simultaneously risking exposure through discovery seems not only "not dangerous" but exciting and fun!

Taunting the widow of Andrew Breitbart by pleading her into a civil case? I'm not sure that is dangerous either because the widow has not shown herself to be litigious... yet. Ms. Sherrod may find she has the tiger by the tail on this one.

Further, Kirkland and Ellis is operating exactly as one would expect legal insiders excited to curry favor with all the "right people" to act.

My strong guess is that Ms. Sherrod's case cannot be won. She was a public official giving a speech to an audience in which she admitted things that are impolitic to admit. The words are her own and are therefore particularly damning. The full context makes her only "racist in the past" instead of "racist to this day" taken in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. What damages can one possibly hope to win? How has her reputation been damaged when she admits to allowing racism to infect her actions as a public official -- regardless of her claims of later realizing her own racism?

Does Ms. Sherrod think we must forgive her racism because it was ok for her to be "initially" racist because she is a black woman? How racist Ms. Sherrod's thinking would have to be if that hypothetical reflects reality!!

And now that Ms. Sherrod's lawsuit is going forward over her racist comments, she has become a public figure. Must I know (or should I have known) of her claims not to be racist? Would that excuse Ms. Sherrod's previous racism? Must I have malice aforethought just to mention Ms. Sherrod's self-admitted racism?

The mind boggles. Why is it dangerous to taunt the litigious again?

cubanbob said...

Sherrod won't win the case but its too bad her lawyers can't be compelled to pay the defense costs. Now if discovery could only be opened on the law firms records that would be interesting. Who is paying them? And if they are doing it for no fee or very low fee who at the firm decided to bankroll and obvious loser of a case and why?

CWJ said...

Birkel,

I read the post as Althouse warning Glen Reynolds.

Ann Althouse said...

"I read the post as Althouse warning Glen Reynolds."

No, I'm admiring his bravery.

CWJ said...

Indeed! Point taken Althouse. I meant warning in the sense of highlighting the danger he was courting. Not warning him to stay silent.

Popville said...

Fyi, Susie Breitbart is the daughter of Orson Bean. Back in the 70's I read his very interesting & entertaining book about his involvement with Reichian Therapy.

Birkel said...

Althouse:
Is it brave to attack your attacker? Isn't it a better reflection of reality to say Reynolds has joined the fight that is happening around and against Breitbart, Reynolds and the rest of us? He's not cowed when the effort is to cow people.

Heck, even a housepet will attack its owner once it realizes (or believes) the fight is existential! That's not bravery to my lights.

Chuck said...

There cannot be enough shame heaped upon the Kirkland & Ellis DC office (it's not the Chicago office, right?) for this quasi-legal harassment.

I will have to go back and figure out why this case has not been subject to a dismissal motion.

Using the actual, recorded (however they may have been edited) words of a governmental official talking about official actions? THAT's defamatory?

Birkel said...

It's worse than that, Chuck. Breitbart made the entire recording available to show the context was that Ms. Sherrod was admitting her racism. The entire speech somehow amounts to "false light" not defamation.

Meanwhile, if Ms. Sherrod were to have a civil action brought against her for her racism, she would try to claim immunity. She wants it both ways. And she wants money from a widow to boot.

Mountain Maven said...

Poor Mrs Breitbart. I am sure conservatives will raise money if needed to fend off this outrageous lawfare.

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