Friday, December 29, 2006

John Stevenson: Reporter

In his article on the ethics complaints against Mike Nifong, Herald-Sun reporter John Stevenson implied dubious behavior by the Bar. Wrote Stevenson: “L. Thomas Lunsford II, the State Bar’s executive director, said Thursday’s 17-page complaint to a Disciplinary Hearing Commission ‘speaks for itself.’ But the document was not made public.”

No doubt Stevenson’s usual source, Nifong, didn’t want to release the document. But the N&O had posted it at least five hours before Stevenson wrote his article. So had WRAL.

It would be nice to see the H-S at least go through the motions of journalism.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

KC: it is perhaps mistitled. Maybe "John Stevenson: Pseudo-Reporter". Or "John Stevenson: Reporter?"
from a non-lawyer

Anonymous said...

I was just reading that article, and that was the first thing I noticed too, having read the complaint myself last night. That is just unbelievably pathetic.

GS said...

I thought the NY times article implying that the bar issued this because of character assassination by the Dukies lawyers was very dishonest of the NY Times.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Wendy Murhpy, Nancy Grace and Susan Filan think of their "Rodeo Cowboy? now... Yehaaaa.

Anonymous said...

Has any DA every been served with a complaint like this, while the case is still going on? I bet not. The Bar has just said Nifong your off this case. The judge will replace him.

Joe T. said...

The two papers should join and become a new rag. The NY Durham Herald Sun Times, or something.

Anonymous said...

I think the byline is, John Stevenson, Bootlicker and Stooge.

sic semper tyrannis

GPrestonian said...

Not to suggest that Steveson & the H-S deserve any benefit of the doubt, but I assumed that he meant that the complaint itself was not released by the NC State Bar along with their press release.

bill anderson said...

Both the H-S and NY Times still are desperately trying to save their boy. I was puzzled when I read the H-S piece, since I already had seen the complaint, which was available by early evening, and well before the H-S deadline.

The Times' piece was even more sinister, since it built a lie wrapped around a kernel of truth. Yes, the attorneys have been complaining -- and for good reason. This is not something that is part of the ordinary activities that do on with criminal law. These attorneys, contrary to Barstow and Duff, did not suddenly think of a strategy of character assassination in order to throw the dogs off the scent.

Instead, Nifong's behavior from the start has been the signature of this case. He never had evidence; he had conflicting stories from a woman already known on the street and known to police of being dishonest. The police did not believe her story and for good reason.

Only when Gottlieb and Nifong and the others decided to frame some people for a non-crime did Nifong's character become an issue. It is interesting to see that the NY Times still is in denial.

As for the H-S, we KNOW the game Ashley and company are playing, but they don't seem to realize that Durham's black community no longer is in charge. Even the notorious "our hearts world" website no longer can be accessed by regular viewers.

Granted, this action by the state bar (a voluntary organization) is only a start, but we know how things are going to move from here. It only is a matter of time.

The H-S and NY Times and Sports Illustrated can be in denial all they want, but Nifong had no case from the start, and there is no way that these "journalists" and Nifong can spin something out of nothing.

GS said...

I still think, up until the DNA came back, Nifong thought something happened. Hence the DNA will prove the g or I statement.

When the DNA came back he know he screwed up, but continued anyway.

Thats what makes him evil. He did this knowing she was lying.

bill anderson said...

As for Wendy Murphy and the others, I am sure they will come up with "the attorneys got away with character assassination to draw attention away from the REAL evidence" line. You have to understand that people like Murphy decide first that everyone is guilty, and it is up to the prosecutor to frame every argument to "prove" guilt.

And how do they "prove" guilt? They say that since no one can "prove" innocence -- because one always can claim that exculpatory evidence is made up of lies -- such a situation always "proves" guilt. It is like saying in statistics that even though the probability of a Type II error is only one in a hundred trillion, that a 1 one-hundred-trillionth probability is "proof" that the null hypothesis MUST be accepted.

Speaking of Murphy, I checked on "ratemyprofessor.com" to see how students rated Murphy at NESL. It seems that no one rated her. This tells me that she rarely teaches there, and uses her "professor" title as a cover. If she were a regular professor, given her grandstanding proclivities, she would certainly be drawing student ratings.

My guess is that she teaches a course once in a while or has taught a course there in the past, and now rides on a faux professorship title. This is something the ancients once called fraud.

gunshy said...

Maybe it's just me, but I thought
it was strange the way this was worded, instead of saying "....who were accused of attacking an exotic dancer....

he said:

"including an assertion that some Duke lacrosse players were "hooligans" who attacked an exotic dancer during an off-campus party in mid-March."

Sounds like it's a fact that they attacked her.

GPrestonian said...

10:04 Bill Anderson:

Bill, are you sure that the NC State Bar is voluntary? Most voluntary Bars don't have the investigatory & enforcement powers that the NC Bar apparently possesses.

bill anderson said...

I got an email from the BAR to that effect. This is a voluntary organization, but being that this only is the first step, it does not matter how much official power this organization has or does not have. Most North Carolina attorneys belong to it, and it has a lot of clout.

Believe me, this complaint from the NC BAR is only the beginning of the man's troubles. He is going to be in difficulty for asserting that the main strategy of the defense was character assassination. In fact, it was not; the defense was based on everything from timelines to DNA to the credibility of the accuser. All of that was legitimate.

No, what Nifong has done is similar to the "Jew money is attacking white womanhood of Alabama" claims by the prosecutor in the Scottsboro Boys case. This case will taught time and again in law schools in the future, and Nifong will be seen in a very nefarious light.

Anonymous said...

The Bar Association
(ncbar.org) is a voluntary organization. The State Bar (ncbar.com) is not. In fact, if you look at their FAQs and select Membership you will see that "to be entitled to practice law in North Carolina, you must be an active member of the North Carolina State Bar in good standing."

Anonymous said...

State Bar is not voluntary and the ethics panel is used for this sort of misconduct because it is empowered by the legislature. Yes, the State Bar is a creation of the state (and nominally independent of it).

Poster is correct that the bar association is the voluntary organization. It's the one you join for 'fun' (because you are a lawyer) that lobbies for your interests. The Bar Association has lobbied against giving the State Bar's ethics panel additional powers and all in all has managed to keep the State Bar fairly weak. This is no different from the Medical Board which has had some fantastic cases in the last few years (fantastic in you can't believe that doctor was licensed in this state).

If Nifong is disbarred by the State Bar he will be unable to practice in North Carolina OR ANY OTHER STATE in that he will have to disclose and 'enforcement action' against him that is severe. Losing the ability to practice law is like losing the ability to practice medicine - if you can't hide it from another state's bar/board you cannot work. The physicians that have made the news in NC recently for gross misconduct all lied on their applications.

Bar Association also lobbies for issues such as their malpractice insurance etc.

Then there is the defence attorney's organization with it's own lobbying interests.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the story you linked no longer says "But the document was not made public."

Harry Eagar said...

Looked at merely technically, that is a very strangely presented news story.


It starts with the lead, then goes into many paragraphs of background, then finally lists the elements that support the lead.

I've been a newspaperman for 40 years, and I have never seen a story written that way before.

Anonymous said...

Wendy Murphy is an adjunct at NESL, teaching no more than one minor seminar:

(http://www.nesl.edu/faculty/murphy.CFM)

She was a visiting professor for one semester, four years ago, and that's it.

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