Kentucky prosecutors announced that no charges will be filed against a driver who shot another driver on Friday afternoon. Details are unclear as to what led up to the accident, but multiple witnesses confirmed one driver got out of his car with a rifle and approached the other car. The driver of the other car was already on the phone with 911 when he saw the rifle, and drew his own gun. the operator heard an exchange between the two men, and then the man in the car shot the man with the rifle.
If the photograph above is any indication, it certainly sounds like a clear cut case of self-defense. If you walk up on somebody with a firearm in hand, and in that photo he appears to be pointing it at the other driver, that other party is likely to have a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. It sounds like the witnesses and the 911 call verify that the guy was justified in using deadly force to defend himself.
Our Wacky Friday case is a doozy under the #BadJudge heading. Judge Dawn Gentry, who presides in Northern Kentucky, just outside Cincinnati, has been accused of nine ethical violations. She apparently plays in a band called ‘South of Cincy’, and had an affair with her guitarist. That’s not what got her into trouble. Gentry allegedly pressured an attorney that served on a panel with her to sleep with Gentry’s husband so she could accuse him of infidelity. She allegedly later pressured the attorney to have a threesome with she and her bandmate-lover, and that when she refused the friendship went sour. However, the judge apparently did have a threesome at the courthouse with her own secretary. She is also accused of flirting with attorneys, pressuring them for campaign contributions, and of giving preferential treatment to those who did donate.
*Update: Strike that non-concern about criminal sanctions. Further reading indicates there are also allegations of timesheet falsifications. That’s something that could lead to theft/fraud/corruption charges.
Cincinnati.com went long on Tim Nolan, the former judge (and attorney, school board member, and Trump activist) who has pled guilty to charges of human trafficking. Go check out the full article by Scott Wartman. In sum, the former judge- who had prided himself of being tough on crime, turned out to be a criminal. He has pled guilty to 21 counts of human trafficking going back to 2004, and will be sentenced Thursday for what will probably amount to a life sentence (20 years). He took advantage of young women, many living in his properties, often using drugs or physical force or the threat of eviction to induce them for sex.
The case was weird, not only because of Nolan’s political ties. At one point there were allegations he paid a witness, with whom he had had a relationship, but whose daughter was one of his victims. There was talk that he might blame mental illness, or his brain tumor, for his behavior, but ultimately decided to enter a guilty plea. He reportedly had a disdain for lawyers… which in itself suggests his contempt for the rule of law and due process, but is particularly galling for a lawyer himself.
Several people have passed along ads from the “Texas Law Hawk”; an angry, shouting attorney from Fort Worth names Bryan Wilson. The ads are funny, for their ‘You cannot be serious, over-the-top schlockiness’. But they are not great.
You know who is actually brilliant? John Morgan, the ubiquitous, cloying personal injury attorney, who’s constant ads have expanded from Florida to air over most fo the Southeastern United States. His ads are not funny, but some of them are very effective. They also make me change the channel. One of my favorites is Kentucky attorney Daryl Isaacs, “the Heavy Hitter”… which he has trademarked. He used to go by the “Kentucky Hammer”, which is awesome. He did a whole series of commercials with Deebo, which is brilliant:
However, the all-time greatest attorney commercial is the short-form film from Jamie Casino. It’s got actual plot, plus special effects, biblical quotes, and a rockin’ soundtrack. This is so awesome, I have personally watched it more than Gangnam Style. Check it out:
We’ve been busy around these parts and haven’t gotten to keep the blog as current as I’d like. I did want to take a brief moment and update on a case that we’ve followed extensively on Crimcourts, that of former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones. In addition to the criminal case related to the affair she had with one of the students she taught, she also had a defamation case against theDirty.com and its proprietor, Nik Ritchie. She was awarded a $300 thousand-plus judgment at trial, but this week an appellate court ruled that Mr. Ritchie was not liable for the postings of outside commentors. This is an important protection of Freedom of the Press for all websites, this one included, that mean that the publisher is not liable for the defamation of outside/ 3rd parties. The court confirmed that Ms. Jones was defamed by the comments on theDirty, but since theDirty did not post them, they were not liable.
Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones successfully sued theDirty.com publisher Nik Richie for rumors posted on his website. She was awarded over $300,000 by a Kentucky jury on the civil suit. The case will be heard today by the Federal Appellate court in Cincinnati. What’s at issue, and why the case is being watched by internet publishers everywhere, is the liability of the website for content that was not posted by theDirty, rather by internet commentors. The appellate decision will have far-reaching implications for internet publisher’s potential liability for third-party contributors. A decision probably won’t be handed down for several months.
Jones also made news for her relationship with a student for whom she was a teacher. She was convicted of a related misdemeanor in that case. Crimcourts has had extensive coverage of the Jones cases: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/category/ohio/sarah-jones/
Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones, (a cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals), won her defamation suit today in Federal Court in Northern Kentucky. The jury awarded her $338,000.00 for the harm to her reputation. The case is extremely noteworthy from a tech and journalistic point of view, because the judge ruled that thedirty.com and operator Nik Richie were not immune from liability for third-party comments. The judge distinguished the site because Richie solicited the comments and responded with more of his own. Essentially, the court found that he could be liable since he was involved in the comments, and the jury found him liable as well. However, the jury did not award Ms. Jones the multimillion-dollar verdict that Jones’ attorney Eric Deters asked for with the intent of putting the website out of business. Collecting on this judgment will still be a challenge for Jones and Deters.
Former Ben-Gal, Sarah Jones, is going back to court in her defamation suit against thedirty.com. The case went to trial several months ago, and ended in a hung jury. The second trial starts over from scratch, and promises to ratchet up the excitement. Among Ms. Jones’ witnesses are former Bengal kicker Shayne Graham, while thedirty has listed her ex-husband and the detective who investigated her criminal case. Additionally, her attorney Eric Deters is fighting a suspension for unrelated sanctions by the bar. Since he is challenging the suspension, he is still able to practice law and try the case. It’s got everything: sex, pro sports, and betrayal. Jones’ attorney is asking for a judgment large enough to shut down the website, but has the substantial task of proving harm to the reputation of his client, whose reputation has suffered major public setbacks. It should be fun to follow.
Former Cincinnati Ben-Gal Sarah Jones lost her teaching job and was convicted of some criminal misdemeanors for an illicit affair she conducted with one of her former (adult) students. It appears that the story may have a happy ending, as the Enquirer reports that she and the beau are now engaged. Young love! It began with a rocky start, but let’s hope it works out for the couple.