18 July 2011

1st amendment loses in pineville city court

i would like preface this post by stating that it is my opinion of the events in question, and it is not intended to be taken as facts unless i indicate otherwise.

i went to trial today as a defendant in a defamation suit brought against me by greg aymond, an attorney in alexandria.

two days ago a young attorney agreed to represent me in this suit. his name was adam huddleston. he can be contacted at 318-528-9070 if you need legal advice. mr. huddleston could have requested a continuance of my trial to get acquainted with the case but instead he spent about 40 of the last 48 hours preparing for today's trial.

despite mr. huddleston's valiant defense of my comments about mr. aymond and his valiant efforts to defend my first amendment rights to insult people on my blog if i want to insult them, the judge found in favor of mr. aymond. i guess that pineville city court's reputation for being pro-plaintiff all the time is well deserved.

mr. aymond was awarded $500 dollars in damages, i was ordered to pay court costs and certain attorney fees to mr. aymond's attorney. i think the judge's award was so small because i think it was his way of saying "yeah, greg, someone said something mean, here's some change go home and get over it,"

i believe that a grave miscarriage of justice occurred today.

for all of you commentators on other central louisiana blogs that comment about greg aymond be advised, the judge ruled that greg aymond is not a public figure in central louisiana.

aymond's attorney, susan ford fiser, asked him on the stand if he considered himself a public person to which he replied "no."

do not be surprised when mr. aymond sues other cenla bloggers and/or town talk commenters. my guess is that lamar white, whom greg calls "freddy," is up next. watch your back lamar and stay out of pineville or it could be you having to pay $500 dollars. let me say it again, it is my opinion that the judge got it absolutely wrong.

i am now determining what my next step will be. i need to decide by the end of the week whether to file for a new trial or whether to appeal to the 3rd circuit in lake charles. filing an appeal is a little expensive so i may just cut my losses and be done with this.

i want to thank mr. huddleston for taking my case on such short notice.

if november 4, 2008, was the death of journalism in america, as claimed by "shallow" sean hannity, then i believe that july 18, 2011, was the death of the first amendment in pineville, louisiana. rest in peace freedom of speech. you had a good run.