|Written by Mike Harwood|
|Thursday, 11 November 2004|
or, How FreeRepublic.com lost a "First Amendment" lawsuit and wasted $110,000 on a frivolous lawsuit – and how their right-wing nutcase attorney got disbarred!
Nov. 11, 2004 (americanpolitics.com) -- In honor of the fifth anniversary of Free Republic's humiliating loss to the Los Angeles Times in civil court, we are reprinting this summary of their side-splitting legal escapades under the leadership of legal loonie Brian Buckley, who used to post to the Internet's most notorious right wing "cargo cult" under the screen name "Clarity."
We think "Hilarity" would've been a more accurate avatar.
But, as our own Dave Gonzo says, I digress... here's the summary, which has been posted to a number of shifting Web sites over the last few months. We felt it needed a permanent home.
Brian Buckley, aka Clarity, arrived at FR [Free Republic] along with many of us in early '98, following [Matt] Drudge's link to FR during the Lewinsky scandal.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, [Buckley] had just been involved in a case in CA known as the CA Commerce Club vs. Lynch in which Superior Court Judge Edward Ross stated from the bench that [Buckley] was guilty of behavior in the case that made him unfit for the practice of law. Buckley lost his position with the small Los Angeles firm he had been working for and hung out his own shingle.
Shortly after arriving at FR, it became common knowledge that the Washington Post had been threatening JR [Free Republic founder and eminence grease Jim Robinson] over his blatant copyright theft of their articles. Clarity suddenly became an "expert" in intellectual property law and began cozying up to JR, [FR member] Clinton's a liar (CaL) and others in the CA clique that began angling for spots close to "The Man."
During the summer of '98, Buckley became FR's counsel at the same time that Connie Hair (CaL) became its Media Relations Director. And together, they began to wreak havoc on anyone who would dare to question anything having to do with the operation of FR.
The Washington Post and LA Times sued JR and FR in September of '98. Connie made a big production about how FR was going to prevail on this precedent setting case of copyright law as it pertained to the Internet. She promised us all that FR was in great hands, as the resident intellectual property expert Brian Buckley was taking the case pro bono, with the able assistance of Congressman BillyBob Armor.
To make a long story even longer, Clarity later convinced JR to sue the ubertroll Eschoir, aka Thomas Chappell Aldridge, in an effort to get Aldridge to stop disrupting the board. (Aldridge had recently described the interior of Connie Hair's apartment in D.C., which enraged both her and Clarity.)
Clarity engaged a Virginia law firm, Winston & Strawn PC, which sued Aldridge in a Virginia state court for trespassing upon FR and violating their terms of service. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Buckley, Aldridge actually resided in Maryland, so thousands of dollars were wasted before Aldridge successfully got the case removed to a federal court in Maryland. FR managed to spend $110,000 in legal fees pursuing Aldridge, who claimed to have spent $180 (mostly in court costs) to defend himself. When Aldridge countersued and sought discovery of FR's books and records, FR folded like a cheap tent and settled with TCA. The deal they got was one he readily admitted he would have accepted with no more than a certified letter. So at a cost of $110,000, which was added to FR's budget to be paid by the FReepers, Eschoir essentially agreed to stop trespassing.
Meanwhile, FR was getting its ass kicked in CA Federal Court in the copyright matter with the WP and LAT, as the anti-freepers had been predicting. After losing the argument in Los Angeles Federal Court, Buckley and FR appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Sadly, Buckley never got to see the case to its conclusion, as he and JR became embroiled in a dispute over the legal fees incurred in the case against Aldridge, with JR claiming Buckley hadn't kept him apprised of the fees. Buckley was eventually squeezed out at FR, thanks in part to the efforts of Bob J, who thought all along that a better way to deal with Eschoir would have been to simply have him beaten.
During all this, Clarity was posting on the FReeper unsycophant's (aka TotalPsycho) troll boards, known as UpTheAnti's and Trolls R Us, using the name Twentypaces, among others. He taunted anti-freeper women by suggesting that he wanted to engage in 3-holers with them, and suggested that he wanted to have anal sex with a prominent AFer's elderly mother.
Clarity eventually spilled his guts to the notorious anti-freeper, LOTF , in a series of approximately 150 emails. He was the one who first used the terms Snookerthon and Dupathon to describe JR's fundraising practices. He also assured LOTF that JR had a plan to hide FR's assets in the event that the WP and LAT won a judgment against FR.
When JR decided to embellish the story about Clarity's alleged failure to keep JR apprised of the Winston & Strawn legal fees in the Aldridge case, Buckley, with the assistance of the anti-freepers, was able to prove that JR was lying and extracted a public apology from JR that was published on FR and provided to W & S.
Buckley was last seen by the anti-freepers in July of 2002, two days after LOTF asked him what he knew about Julie Redick, the FReeper who scammed over $30,000 of FReeper funds from a South Carolina resort. He mysteriously closed his email account and was never heard from again. It was later learned that JR, Clarity, CaL, and Bob J all knew of Redick's criminal past, yet still allowed her a position of authority that enabled her to scam the money.
Buckley is married to a prominant doctor who was last known to be practicing at the UCLA medical center. Presumably, he will survive without his law license, assuming his wife doesn't spool up his shit and deposit it out in the road in front of their Brentwood, CA home.
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