Thursday, January 17, 2008

Postscript: Contradicting Durham

Attorneys representing the city of Durham shared their response with the individual defendants; the lawyers representing Sgts. Mark Gottlieb and David Addison both cite it in their responses.

It seems unlikely, however, that either Gottlieb or Addison shared their responses with their superiors. Both Gottlieb and Addison undermine a central Durham claim.

The Durham response dismisses the claim of the falsely accused lacrosse players and their attorneys that the Durham Police Department allowed Mike Nifong to usurp control of the police investigation as of March 24, 2006—or eight days into the investigation. “In addition to being nonsensical,” scoff attorneys Reginald B. Gillespie, Jr. and Roger E. Warin, “this claim fails as a matter of law.”

Yet in their response memoranda, both Gottlieb and Addison explicitly contradict Durham’s claim.

Gottlieb attorneys Edwin M. Speas and Eric Stevens: “The execution of the nontestimonial identification order and the photographic presentation were conducted with the participation or direction of the District Attorney’s office.”

Addison attorney James Maxwell: Nifong “assumed control of the investigation.”

Joel Craig, attorney for Ben Himan, confirms the Addison/Gottlieb version of events.

And, of course, the Gillespie/Warin memorandum wholly ignores the never-contradicted assertion of Mark Gottlieb that, on March 24, 2006, his superiors instructed him to go to Nifong for direction on how to conduct the investigation.

If even some of the defendants concede that Nifong ran the police investigation, how can the city of Durham credibly claim that he didn’t do so?


Jim in San Diego said...


Welcome back.

This case badly needs your continuing coverage.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

So many wrongs were committed by so many people it is not at all surprising the first responses are contradictory. It will only get more complicated and damning.

Anonymous said...

Duke 88, Brodhead, Steele, a host of DPD and Durham leadership (not DUMC) behaved badly - they are proven bad actors and nothing is changing that. That is who they are. Calling for their heads is not changing that - time to accept this truth.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course, everyone is blaming it on NIfong - I am not surprised - why is everyone else surprised. It was Nifong alone - all the time and in every way.

Anonymous said...

What Mike Nifong, Linwood Wilson, Mark Gottlieb, David Addison and the rest of the defendents need are good defense attorneys. Too bad all the good defense attorneys were taken by three innocent players and won't switch sides do to conflict of interest. Ha..ha!

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson, Welcome Back!! I missed your updates of DIW since Dec. 20 and again, you got me sooo hooked up with you blog site. I'm glad you're following up the civil suit of Barney Fife's offsprings.

William Jockusch said...

This is the beauty of this type of lawsuit. The defendants are all pointing fingers at each other. As this lawsuit plays out, we will gain additional evidence as to which, if any, of these versions is credible.

Anonymous said...


I was thinking, when the lawsuit was filed, that they listed too many defendants. Why so many?

Now, there appears to be a method to their madness. It will be impossible for all of them to consistently tell the same lie.




Anonymous said...

Durham's leadership obviously is pretty ignorant.

W. R. Chambers said...

Co-defendants often end up pointing figures at each other, which makes them useful.

Debrah said...

The city of Durham claims a lot of things, none very credibly though, as the news below illustrates so well.

The Rev. Joe Harvard is a pious Leftist loon whose sole existence is parroting what the "activists" in Durham say.

He's in the same category as Timothy Tyson and others in the divinity school at Duke who helped whip up the Hoax in the Spring of '06.

This news is quite remarkable in light of the many upcoming lawsuits.

Are Mayor Bell and Harvard praising Burness for being so adept at helping coordinate the myriad lies between Duke and Durham?

Duke official honored for service to community

By Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan : The Herald-Sun
Jan 16, 2008

DURHAM -- Durham Congregations In Action honored John Burness at its annual dinner meeting Tuesday night at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Burness, senior vice president and spokesman for Duke University, is retiring in June.

The Rev. Joe Harvard, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, said when Burness came to Duke in January 1991, he was more than hired -- he was called. Harvard is on the board of DCIA, a community organization of nearly 70 congregations in Durham that join together to work for peace and justice.

During the Duke presidency of Nan Keohane in 1996, Burness founded the Duke-Durham Partnership to bring the university and community together.

"If Duke was not a good community citizen, we were all going to suffer," Harvard said. He listed Burness' community involvement and support for downtown Durham revitalization, youth, the Religious Coalition for a Non-Violent Durham, health care, after school education and schools. Harvard also said they were blessed that Burness guided them through the Duke lacrosse case.

The Rev. Fred Davis, pastor of First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, called Burness a strategic friend and a jewel for the West End community. Burness, Davis said, didn't see that imaginary line of separation between Duke and Durham.

"He was a trouper," Davis said. "John Burness was not only a tree shaker but also a jelly maker."

The Rev. Mel Williams, pastor of Watts Street Baptist Church, said that Burness simply makes dreams come true.

Burness shared credit with those he worked with at Duke, saying that he just happened to be the person out front.

"I can't tell you how much fun it's been," Burness said, and enjoyed working with those who "care about people less well off than we are, and to make a difference."

Mayor Bill Bell sent this message with Harvard about Burness: "Duke's loss is Durham's gain."

Anonymous said...

First, I'm giddy with excitement that there are new posts!!!

Second...seriously??? I just finished reading the responses and I'm speechless. No personal responsibility, the stating of outright falsehoods, seemingly condoning the practices currently in place. This place boggles my mind. I most certainly without a doubt will NEVER visit this place ever. And I'm from a supposedly corrupt city.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that Reginald Gillespie, defense attorney for the City appearing with multiple Washington, DC lawyers as their local counsel, is the partner of Bill Faison, one of Durham County's
legislators in the NC General Assembly.

It's even more ironic that AIG, Durham's insurer, is paying Faison & Gillespie's billings, while Bill Faison runs his med mal plaintiff lawyer TV ads for his "People's Law Firm".


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the defense can channel Brian Leiter. Instead of the dream team, they could call it the politically correct keystone follies!

Anonymous said...

Bella - what a laugh. The idea is to debate and not a groupsing.

W. R. Chambers said...

The "it's not my responsibility" defenses accurately describe the collective mindset that allowed so many irresponsible, illegal and reprehensible things to happen. An "invisible hand" guided the defendants to repeatedly break the law and lie.

Anonymous said...

No Nifong response? I am dying to find out who HE is blaming.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a civil rights lawyer or anything, but isn't a "protected class" only important when it is a third party violating someone's rights, not when the government does it?

I mean, you can fire someone or refuse to seat them at a restaurant for being fat because being fat isn't a protected class, but you can't fire someone for being black (or for being white) because race is a protected class.

But we aren't talking about someone not being served in a restaurant, or anything. We are talking about the government violating someone's rights.

Does it actually matter why the government did it? You can't try to railroad someone, period. It doesn't matter if you did it because they are black (or white) or because you don't like the sport they play (even though sports isn't a "protected class").

Anonymous said...

Doesn't "as a matter of law" mean that even if the facts aren't in dispute, the decision is clear? Like "even if it was true, so what?".

In this case, they are using "as a matter of law" to say "what they are claiming would be illegal". Not "even if it was true, so what?".

Lawyers use "as a matter of law" for things like "Even if my client gave the guy the finger, as a matter of law, that isn't battery".