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Posts Tagged ‘Herman Cain’

Herman Cain’s Libel and Defamation Lawyer

November 11, 2011 1 comment

Lin Wood will be watching very carefully. Every word they say, every charge they make, every news conference they hold. Not to intimidate but to “monitor the accusations…and respond accordingly,” according to the Reuters news service.

As if it were not already a gut-wrenching decision that opens you up to scrutiny, notoriety and the surrender of all personal privacy, if you are one of the women who swear Herman Cain once acted inappropriately and crossed the line in regard to workplace behavior, you can now add the risk of financial ruin by lawsuit to your list of concerns for going public.

Coincidently, the news conference that had been planned by Cain’s accusers is now off.

I don’t doubt that Atlanta attorney Lin Wood feels very strongly about false accusations against anybody. I do too. He’s worked for a number of folks who were absolutely falsely accused, like Richard Jewel, the poor fellow who was connected by many media organizations to the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996 that he had nothing to do with.

And though he has represented many other clients, the Jewel case is instructive. The guy was no public figure. He was a security guard living a normal, anonymous life. Herman Cain, however, is quite the public figure.

Surely, Mr. Wood is well aware of the incredibly high bar American law has set for successfully pressing a defamation suit against someone who exercises their 1st Amendment rights to write or make a claim about a public figure. There must be “actual malice” to the accusation. It has to be knowingly false and show a reckless disregard for the truth.

Lin Wood knows all this. Perhaps, more importantly, anyone contemplating going public in regard to Mr. Cain, should also know this. If your accusations are true, you are safe. If they’re not and you’re lying to bring someone down, then you deserve whatever you get.

I am not advocating anybody hold a news conference. It’s none of my business. But just as I abhorred the actions of Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder, when he demanded a retraction of a critical article from a small, local newspaper threatening litigation that could bankrupt them, Lin Wood seems to be walking a very fine line between sage counselor and 1st Amendment bully.

The threat of litigation to silence free expression against public figures seems antithetical both to American values and to existing law. Wood says his hiring by Herman Cain is not meant to “scare, intimidate or threaten anyone from making statements.”

But he also says this in regard to making public accusations:

Anyone should think twice before you take that type of action. And I think it’s particularly true when you are making serious accusations against someone running for president of the United States, but I think it’s equally true if you are making those accusations against your next door neighbor.

You be the judge whether his “think twice” statement is meant to scare, intimidate or threaten.

From a purely legal standpoint he has a strong case to make against those who would publicly accuse their “next door neighbor.” He has an exceptionally weak case for taking legal action against those who speak or write about someone, especially someone who is running for president of the United States.

A Plausible Herman Cain Scenario

November 9, 2011 1 comment

I don’t know exactly how this will end for Herman Cain but it probably won’t matter because all is still going according to plan. If the plan is, as many in the political punditry class suspect, that what Mr. Cain wanted all along just in case he didn’t actually become President, was to get some limelight, quadruple his speaking fees and land a sweet gig on a cable news network.

Highly likely, so the theory goes, Cain was as surprised as anyone to find himself the improbable frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination. More than once in the case of Herman Cain I’ve heard the old line over the past few weeks from political insiders about “the dog catching the car.” Now what’s he do with it?

Except he’s caught more than a car. Now he’s caught a full-fledged tiger. The sexual harassment claims are not a “he said-she said situation.” They are turning more into a “he said-she said, she said, she said and she said situation.” If there really is a news conference coming in the next few days with two or three of Herman Cain’s accusers talking before the microphones and telling their stories, I would think it entirely possible he may get a visit from some Republican dignitaries in short order.

For the good of the party, Herman, this has become too much of a distraction, they will say. Every minute spent talking about your past is once less minute talking about an economy in the kind of shape no incumbent President has ever survived in American history. And Herman Cain can maintain his innocence and bow out for the good of the party while vowing that he may not be running for President anymore, but he will never be silenced. A sad day for America, he might say, but there are bigger things at play than himself- namely an election and the future of the American people and their children and their grand children and their great-great grand children, etc. etc.

Once he’s not running for President the media won’t care anymore and it won’t matter what he said and she said. I’m guessing the inevitable book will drive up the speaking fees for awhile and that a media gig awaits him somewhere out there.

As for the truth and what really happened some 14 years ago, people will have to draw their own conclusions because there are no witnesses. But no matter how bad it looks, no matter how many women go public, Herman Cain will not be destroyed. Just not likely he’ll be leader of the free world.

GOP Debate- Who Had the Best Hair?

September 8, 2011 1 comment


The conventional wisdom is that the fight for the Republican nomination is really down to two: Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And damn, they have great hair. I can see either one in the pantheon of Presidents.

John Huntsman, who, based on the Washington Post’s instant blogging last night, is the one Republican Democrats would most want to vote for, should not be ignored. He was also nicely quaffed.

Michele Bachmann, however, had a very bad hair night. The hairdo was inexplicably gigantic. Big hair. Huge hair. Helmet-like, even. Most analysts seem to have reached consensus that she failed to stand out from the pack and then fell into the second tier of candidates. I think it is possible her standing has fallen, but she absolutely stood out from the pack. Same week Ed Rollins steps down from his role as her campaign manager she has the rotten luck of having a bad hair night. Coincidence?

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul both sport the grizzled, veteran, white-hair look. Perhaps coincidentally, they both seem a little grumpy to me. Newt’s greatest applause lines come after his hyperbolic attacks on the given debate moderator of the evening. I like that whole scary, white-haired, angry Uncle thing. It works for him.

Ron Paul, we learned, wants to cut off air conditioning for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan- but not to be mean. As I understood it, this would make the entire U.S. military intolerably hot, and they would just pack their bags and go home. I could go with that. Leave it to the crazy white-haired Uncle to find a formula for world peace.

I like Herman Cain. I like his 9-9-9 plan. He hardly has any hair, like me, which is another reason I like him. I can’t recall the details of the 9-9-9 plan, but I do like the symmetry of it and I have always been partial to the number 9. And if it fails for some reason, he can always go to the back-up 9-1-1 plan, in which people come rescue you.

And that leaves Rick Santorum who also has a very nice head of very dark hair, though not quite as spectacular as the Romney/Perry combo, which takes the competition hands-down for the impressive thickness and body. And these guys are no spring chickens either.

Tonight, it’s President Obama’s turn in the national spotlight. He’s got a great smile, if unfortunately, not much to use it for these days. But the hair situation with Obama is getting increasingly predictable and, frankly, a little boring. Grey. More and more grey.
I’m with the critics who are urging the President to come out big and bold tonight. Just For Men. And an earring. Blow their socks off, Mr. President.