What It’s Like to be Involved in an Historic LawsuitPosted: December 13, 2011
Eight years of litigation and I’m still not used to the fact that journalism law courses bring up my case as an example of criminal libel statutes. I’m famous in a very limited and local sense of fame, sort of like if I grew a record-breaking giant pumpkin. As far as it has affected my life, the lawsuit has been a little bit of unpleasantness in the background. It’s as though I let loose a particularly lingering fart during a very long elevator ride. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment there. Some people catch a whiff and approve. But for the most part, it’s just always been there as a lurking presence.
It wasn’t all bad. The precedents set will be helpful for other people caught in the wringer of police state stupidity. I got a bit of money out of it as well as a few free drinks. I’ve managed to meet some really cool people. Mark Silverstein from the ACLU is a standup guy and he has some great stories that are worth listening to. Working with the cooperating attorneys from Holland & Hart was an eye-opening experience- lawyers who make $500 an hour know how to get shit done. I’m glad they were the ones who mostly had to deal with the opposing council. My one brush with the fine folks at Hall & Evans gave me chills. It was rather like the scene at the end of the first Harry Potter movie. I surreptitiously checked the back of the guy’s head to see if there was a malevolent face growing out. All in all, a long ordeal that was more blessing than curse.
Now it’s all over. At least, the fussing and the fighting’s over. Anyone with even a tiny amount of google-fu will be able to find out at a glance that I’m a dude with a “checkered past”. On the other hand, at least I didn’t manage to establish a reputation for flashing my tits in exchange for a Girls Gone Wild t-shirt. As soon as the check’s in my hand, I’ll figure out what comes next.