What It’s Like to be Involved in an Historic Lawsuit


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.


One Comment on “What It’s Like to be Involved in an Historic Lawsuit”

  1. James says:

    I’m glad to hear of this settlement. I remember being appalled that a judge, the DA’s office, the Greeley PD would even consider this to be a criminal issue. It is outrageous and should be a concern to all of us as the City of Greely, Weld County and State employees and officials used their power to harass a citizen and obtain any and all of his personal information. If Junius Peake did not have his affluent connections to UNC and to the Monforts that he did, this never would have happened. It was an abuse of power. Al Dominquez said he would not have prosecuted the case. So what was the reasoning for pursuing, executing a search warrant and investigating ISPs and private emails? Yahoo and Geocities were even ordered to turn over this information. I’m grateful that Tom Mink pursued the matter in court. Public officials should be accountable and not be allowed to hide behind immunity. Thanks Tom.

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