Constitutionally Civil Rights, Litigation of Business | Business of Litigation, On Lines & Inner Nets, Publicly Recorded

Alabama’s Priores Sustineo of a Blogger

Blogger and Contemptner Roger Shuler“I was the only jailed journalist in the Western Hemisphere for 2013”

After spending five months locked up for contempt of court, an Alabama blogger was released from the Shelby County jail¬†on March 26, 2014. Roger Shuler writes and publishes a blog on Alabama law and politics called “Legal Schnauzer.” He had been accused of defamation and was ordered to stop writing about a prominent Alabama attorney, Robert R. Riley, the son of a former Alabama Governor. Mr. Riley was rumored to be planning a run for Congress at the time.

  • SHUT UP, SHULER!

Mr. Shuler asserted he was never personally served with the Court‚Äôs ‚Äúgag order‚ÄĚ and had continued writing about the potential future congressman. Mr. Shuler‚Äôs posts alleged Mr. Riley was having an extra-martial affair and impregnated a local lobbyist named Liberty Duke (can’t make this up). Mr. Riley filed a Petition with the Court and requested Mr. Shuler and his wife be locked up for violating the Court’s Orders by continuing to post defamatory statements.

  • LOCKED UP

Shortly after Mr. Shuler was jailed in late October 2013, the¬†Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press¬†(RCFP),¬†a non-profit legal assistance organization, sent¬†a letter¬†to the presiding Judge. The RCFP’s letter requested The Honorable Claude D. Neilson to reconsider his¬†decision that¬†censored and confined the¬†blogger. The RCFP argued Mr. Shuler’s jailing for contempt of court¬†was an unconstitutional¬†prior restraint¬†on speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

  • SEALED SHUT

Prior Restraint is when the government makes you shut your mouth before you can even open it–more descriptively called “Pre-Publication Censorship.” The RCFP’s letter succinctly laid out the law for¬†one of¬†the most egregious types¬†of censorship and First Amendment violation:

The Supreme Court has never upheld a prior restraint, or a government prohibition on speech. In¬†Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, it found these bans on speech presumptively unconstitutional and called them ‚Äúthe most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.‚ÄĚ 427 U.S. 539, 558-59 (1976).¬†See also Near v. State of Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 713 (1931) (calling prior restraint ‚Äúthe essence of censorship.‚ÄĚ) The Supreme Court has speculated that prior restraints may only be allowed to prevent disclosure of information that would provide troop locations in wartime or ‚Äúset in motion a nuclear holocaust.‚Ä̬†Id. at 716.

  • MORE TO COME

    First Amendment Freedom Fighters

    First Amendment Freedom Fighters

The blogger’s wife had to take down the blog posts to spring Mr. Shuler out of jail. Mr. Shuler writes well,¬†but I’ll tell you,¬†his¬†posts about the¬†alleged illicit affair were¬†not as¬†torrid, dangerous¬†or¬†inflammatory as an actual nuclear holocaust.

Shuler plans to sue.

More Sources

And because I couldn’t resist, photos at the following respective links are of:¬†Mr. Robert R. Riley¬†and¬†Ms. Liberty Duke.¬†
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Attorneys & Lawyers & Counselors

The Discovery Plan–Sage e-discovery Advice

Following is a link to a full post by New York attorney, Mark Lyon, who blogs at http://www.marklyon.org. Although it doesn’t look like he‚Äôs licensed in Minnesota (but is in a few other places) he must be a pretty smart, tech-oriented kind of guy. You’ll see what I mean when you read his post about discovery conferences under new Rule 26.06 that sprang to life due to this year’s amendments to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.

I have two of these Rule 26.06 (c) conferences this week so  I am appreciating the pertinent advice. These mandatory conferences seem to come up so quick that, thinking about it, I have not really been as ready as I would like. All of my discovery conferences to date have been perfunctory and mundane (except for my first, which was with a pro se litigant and a story for another day). So, to start the week, here is Mark’s post:

Minnesota Updates Discovery Rules | Mark Lyon

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