Patterico Wins, And You Need To Know

Patrick Frey announced on his blog, Patterico’s Pontifications, that he finally prevailed in the lawfare against him by Brett Kimberlin. He gave credit to the lawyers who defended him:

It is a total and complete victory. There will be no trial. I will pay nothing. I will take down no blog posts about Kimberlin. The lawsuit is simply over. (Of course, he’ll appeal. He always appeals.)

My deepest thanks go to my pro bono counsel: Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog, and Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC.

I can’t say enough about these guys. They stood by me at all times, working for no pay — all for the righteous cause of defending free speech. Ron Coleman juggled this case with his internationally known pro bono case for the Slants, which resulted in total victory and a landmark opinion for free speech. In addition to his fine legal work with Ron on the briefs, Bruce Godfrey dealt with a prickly and difficult client (that’s me!) on discovery issues, and spent countless hours cataloguing, redacting, and organizing the voluminous discovery — not to mention dealing with the court and Kimberlin, and navigating me and Ron through the Maryland legal world.

And beyond Coleman and Godfrey, there was Ken White.

I would be remiss if I did not mention as well the efforts of Kenneth P. White of Brown White & Osborn LLP and the essential Popehat blog. Ken not only provided strategic advice and endured dozens (hundreds?) of emails about the case, but he and Ron also handled the frivolous lawsuit against me by Nadia Naffe — another total victory where I paid nothing and retracted nothing I had said. The Naffe case was cited by Judge Hazel in today’s decision, and provided an important precedent for free speech by prosecutors and other government employees.

While nowhere near the level of help and support provided by Coleman, Godrey and White, others in the blawgosphere tried to lend their laboring oar to the cause. It’s not, as some try to claim, that we’re some sort of conspiracy, but that our differences in views do not impair our principles. If we stand for free speech, we support free speech.

Patrick is a prosecutor. Do we disagree about a lot of things? Absolutely. And yet, any disagreement falls aside when he’s attacked for expressing his views. This is a critical point, that the end doesn’t justify the means, that no matter how strenuously one disagrees, the right to express views is never secondary to the views themselves.

But as gracious as Patrick was in expressing his appreciation of Ron Coleman’s efforts. Ron raised something that needed to be raised.

Ron is right. The people who gush about their causes were nowhere to be found. And it wasn’t just libertarians, or conservatives, or “rightish” law bloggers. While the masses shriek that the sky is falling because of Russia, some lawyers, like Ron Coleman, are left on their own to defend the First Amendment. No social justice warriors staged a march for free speech. No law professors submitted amicus briefs in support of free speech. None of the political pundits found the time to even put an oar in the water to help Patrick.

Some day, when you find yourself in the position where your ability to express your opinion is challenged, when some unduly emotional shit-for-brains tries to use lawfare to silence you in the name of whatever passionate cause the lemmings support at the moment, you will have these lawyers to thank for your ability to speak your mind.

And you didn’t even know it was happening. Yet, they won anyway, for Patrick’s sake and for yours. You owe them a thank you. I do too. Thank you, gentlemen, for all you did for Patrick and for me.

 

7 comments on “Patterico Wins, And You Need To Know

  1. Patrick Maupin

    Thanks to all the lawyers who walk the free speech walk, and the all defendants (in this particular case, also a lawyer) who don’t just fold. They make the world safer for curmudgeons like me, and at the end of the day, it’s really just all about me.

  2. Ex-EMT

    I will echo Patrick and his thanks. As a non-lawyer with a big mouth, I devour sites like Simple Justice and Popehat, and I follow the dedicated lawyers who defend the First Amendment and free speech. I have followed the Kimberlin case forever, and I am suprised (kinda) it still has gone on.

    I say this with purpose. I work in State government (Homeland Security), and my “political views” are the polar opposite of the current party in power in my State. I have to be very careful of my opinions with the leadership in my Agency, and on the two Commissions I have been appointed to by our Governor. Free speech has limits dictated by common sense, right?

    So for the folks like Scott Greenfield who are either in the trenches on free speech or informing us of the others who are on the front line of First Amendment protection, thank you! You may not hear it a lot, but you inspire us

  3. Pingback: Different Kinds of Lawyers (Protecting Free Speech) | New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  4. Ron Coleman

    Scott,

    Thanks. Believe it or not, I was not aware of this post. Sometimes I miss your posts — though not in the way I miss your winning smile, the way you tousle your hair, your whispered expressions of tenderness.

    But I digress. Did I say thank you for this? I’m saying it again.

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