Friday, February 22, 2013

Heading to Nashville

     Nashville is where I am headed to meet, with four other plaintiffs, all of us successful and well-respected business owners, to talk about the class-action lawsuit we are waging against the American government.  At the meeting will be two lawyers who believe our constitutional rights were violated during the harsh raids on our respective businesses.  The lawyers are experienced and well-versed in constitutional law, and have agreed to take on our lawsuit as their primary--or only-- case, however long it should take, which will probably be years and involve the appellate court system.
     Appellate courts are one of the best things about our judicial system.  Knowing that whatever one does, in the name of the country, it will be subject to review by intelligent judges who uphold the Constitution, must be a deterrent to many power-tripping prosecutors and short-sighted federal agents across the land.  Even if such prosecutors prevail in a lower court, the decision may be overturned if an appellate judge decides that procedural errors were committed at any point along the way, or the defendant's constitutional rights were overlooked. 
     I have been told by my own lawyers that eighty percent of appellate courts uphold the decisions made by lower courts, but the one in five where a decision is reversed must have a sobering effect on lawyers, especially federal prosecutors, hoping to railroad citizens.  Appellate courts are also known as "courts of errors" because they correct errors made by lower courts.  Appealing to a higher court is considered a citizen's right, if he or she doesn't like the lower court's decision, but appellate courts have the power of "discretionary review," which means they don't have to review a case if it doesn't seem to carry enough weight of evidence to justify changing a verdict.
     I am about to board my second flight, heading out of Charlotte for Nashville, where I'll meet John Stacks, CEO of Mountain Pure Water, to review our goals for tomorrow's meeting with other plaintiffs and the attorneys.  The plaintiffs in our lawsuit are:  Mountain Pure Water, Gibson Guitar, Midamor Meatpacking, Duncan Outdoor Sports, and Colasante Clinic.  In addition, some of the employees who were present on the day of the raids believe their rights were ignored, and would like to file individual lawsuits against the government.  Therefore, we will also discuss, at our meeting tomorrow, whether having these employees join our class-action lawsuit is a good idea, and how to incorporate their claims.
     This two-day trip seems like a good idea, as it will consolidate my decision to make an impact, however small, on government agents' use of excessive power against American citizens.  Suing the government for the problem--more and more common--of its agents overreaching the statutory limits of their power is the best way--perhaps the only way--to underline the importance of protecting our rights under the Constitution.
     The class action lawsuit is not about whether any of our companies are guilty of a crime or not.  Those questions must be answered in individual cases whenever the government gets around to issuing indictments--if the evidence supporting their actions against us in the raids and in the aftermath of the raids justifies an indictment.  Our lawsuit will be focused on procedural transgressions, and is an attempt to make everyone in the country aware that if we don't stand up and object, loudly, when our rights have been violated, we might as well give up those rights altogether.  If we give up our rights, we might as well be agreeing to living in a totalitarian state.
     My next posts will provide updates on our meeting, our goals, our various experiences as heads of our companies at the times of the raids, and our strategies for getting the rest of the country to pay attention to an alarming and incendiary trend, on the part of our government agents, to attack, arrest, and destroy the reputations of its citizens without evidence, bypassing due process, and in violation of the Constitution.  Goliath has gotten too big, and needs restraints.  The more witnesses we have--even blog readers!-- as we work to clamp down on government power, the better.

2 comments:

  1. Speaking of Tennessee, here's a link from Professor Glenn Reynolds of the University of TN that I think you and your group will find interesting. I hope that knowing you're right is some consolation to you. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2203713

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