Monday, October 15, 2007

Nifong needs an attorney

Disgraced, disbarred, and former DA Mike Nifong is pleading that the State of North Carolina should pick up the tab for his defense in the civil lawsuit against him, which includes 15 other defendants. In an article on the WRAL TV his letter to the AG is printed.

"Because I was a constitutional officer of the State of North Carolina at the time that the subject matter of the complaint arose … and because the complaint arises out of the exercise of the duties of that office, I am hereby requesting that you make any arrangements to secure my representation in this matter," Nifong wrote in a letter, dated Oct. 8, to the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. (Read the letter.)

If not, because of a conflict of interest or "any other disability," the disbarred prosecutor wants private counsel and wants the state to pay for it.

"I am requesting that you authorize payment by the State of North Carolina of all fees, costs and expenses arising out of my representation in this matter by private counsel," Nifong wrote. WRAL


Former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce commented on this request.

"It's another unique issue because of his actions in this case," Boyce
said.

"It could be that the Attorney General's Office might say this was outside the normal scope of the duties of the state prosecutor and refuse to provide state funds for defense," Boyce added.

If the attorney general decides Nifong was acting within his scope, Boyce said, another set of issues might arise – whether the attorney general's office would have a conflict of interest.

"And it might even include the appearance of any impropriety, because the attorney general's office said some egregious things about Mr. Nifong's conduct," Boyce said.

Upon dismissing the case on April 11, Attorney General Roy Cooper called Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations."

Without naming Nifong, he came down forcefully against "overreaching prosecutors" and called for a law that would allow the state Supreme Court to remove a district attorney from a case whenever such a move would assist the pursuit of justice."

There were many point in this case where caution would have served justice better than bravado," he said. "In the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly."



Those heady days of March-April 2006 are but mere memories for some. However for those of us who followed this case we saw how Nifong played with the lives of these 47 families including Coach Pressler's. We can't forget his words.

"Why do they need lawyers if they have not done anything wrong? Mike Nifong

Did he care about about their legal bills when he knew these charge were false? When it comes to Nifong's dilemma I must invoke Rhett Butler fable line.

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Nifong's third hearing/trial and now a third representation. Who is leaving who? Even though they had nothing to work with, I though that Freedman and Whitt were amatuars. Full disclose - all I know about lawyering is from the trials on Courtv.

Anonymous said...

Thats because you see it on TV and not the real world. Nifong has a lot of balls to put them on the block like this, but hey, what does he have to lose?

Anonymous said...

You sure don't give a damn about anyone except the creeps who buy women to degrade them for a buck. Not to mention hurling racial slurs at them & thanking their grandfather for nice cotton shirts, taking pictures of a woman that had fallen on the ground while some lifted money from her purse. Why give a damn about that!

And you have the utmost gall to think these creeps are entitled to 30 million dollars! Are you people insane!

Barry Saunders said it best....

And kiss my @ss while you're on your way out of town!

Anonymous said...

----- Original Message -----
From: Rhonda Fleming
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:21 AM
To: Justice4Jack
Subject:



Disgraced, disbarred, and former DA Mike Nifong is pleading that the State of North Carolina should pick up the tab for his defense in the civil lawsuit against him, which includes 15 other defendants. In an article on the WRAL TV his letter to the AG is printed.


"Because I was a constitutional officer of the State of North Carolina at the time that the subject matter of the complaint arose … and because the complaint arises out of the exercise of the duties of that office, I am hereby requesting that you make any arrangements to secure my representation in this matter," Nifong wrote in a letter, dated Oct. 8, to the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. (Read the letter.)


If not, because of a conflict of interest or "any other disability," the disbarred prosecutor wants private counsel and wants the state to pay for it.

"I am requesting that you authorize payment by the State of North Carolina of all fees, costs and expenses arising out of my representation in this matter by private counsel," Nifong wrote. WRAL


Former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce commented on this request.


"It's another unique issue because of his actions in this case," Boyce
said.

"It could be that the Attorney General's Office might say this was outside the normal scope of the duties of the state prosecutor and refuse to provide state funds for defense," Boyce added.

If the attorney general decides Nifong was acting within his scope, Boyce said, another set of issues might arise – whether the attorney general's office would have a conflict of interest.

"And it might even include the appearance of any impropriety, because the attorney general's office said some egregious things about Mr. Nifong's conduct," Boyce said.


Upon dismissing the case on April 11, Attorney General Roy Cooper called Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations."

Without naming Nifong, he came down forcefully against "overreaching prosecutors" and called for a law that would allow the state Supreme Court to remove a district attorney from a case whenever such a move would assist the pursuit of justice."

There were many point in this case where caution would have served justice better than bravado," he said. "In the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly."



Those heady days of March-April 2006 are but mere memories for some. However for those of us who followed this case we saw how Nifong played with the lives of these 47 families including Coach Pressler's. We can't forget his words

"Why do they need lawyers if they have not done anything wrong? Mike Nifong

Did he care about about their legal bills when he knew these charge were false? When it comes to Nifong's dilemma I must invoke Rhett Butler fable line.

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"








I don't see him being either. Is it not true he can still regain his license and practice law again? To hear him say he was a "constitutional officer" makes me shiver. How those words could drip from his pen behooves me. This pathetic and conniving little bastard (excuse my french) manipulated countless lives for his own financial and political gain. He could give a damn at who had to pay. Now he has the nuts to ask the city to pay for his criminal actions that he should have served several years for, and was merely slapped on the hand with one minute day?

The hoax continues, and Durham remains in denial. The good old boy system is so intertwined that they will never conceed to blame, and accept responsibility. I never thought I would say I am glad to be in Cleveland, than NC. The entire state is inexplicably corrupt. Each county has the same exact problems, only this time, the citizens united and gave support to three young men who would have spent decades behind bars had we not joined as a team. Countless people wrote, and called numerous government officials on their behalves. How many others have been "Nifonged?" Far more than 50 families. How many other cases has he purposely railroad? Remember there have been countless crimes that have gone untouched during Nifong's reign of terror. Durham has countless skeletons in it's closets, and there is no rush by our government to acknowledge there is even a problem.

I know because I have lived it. I have battled many of these same officials concerning my own brothers death in 2005. Our case, and other homicides remain unsolved. Drugs, prostitition, and all manner of crimes escalate, yet nothing is being done. These United States were formed by "WE" the people, and it is up to us to continue to INSIST on resolution and change! Ignoring it, sitting on our hands, and closing our eyes does not make the world a better place. Battles are won by the blood and lives of our soldiers, this is OUR country, and the officials are elected, and paid for by the citizens. To say and do nothing is cowardice. Is this the world we want for our children? I most certainly do not.

Rhonda

Anonymous said...

Oops, typo error LoL!, I didn't erase the article until I remembered after I pressed publish.
Please excuse the length, 'twas a blonde moment =<^.^>=

gs said...

From a non lawyer..

The state could say that Nifong's actions were outside the scope of his job duties.

Prejudicial Statements.

Taking over a case from the DPD.

The key event is the conviction for lying to the court. The AG could say, "The lawsuit is partialy the result of his criminal actions. You lied to the court, and broke the law, so you have dirty hands and your on your own".
The other things Nifong did may be in dispute, but not the lying to the court.

Anonymous said...

To the 2.36am: Get a grip pal. That much hatred will burn your guts out. Please re-read everything that has been PROVEN in this case, not what has been alleged by the racists who seem to control Durham and Duke, but actually PROVEN. If you are honest, you'll take back your hateful screed and prepare to be dealt some justice.

Anonymous said...

Connie at 2:36 AM --

Thank you for reminding us why the lacrosse players really do deserve every bit of that $30 million -- the racist idiots of Durham are going to be slandering them forever. Have you made up your tiny one-celled mind yet why Crystal Gail Mangum deserves no criticism for being a stripper but college students who pay her to come and dance are apparently worthy of eternal condemnation? Why it should be repeated always and forever that two of the players made racial remarks to Kim Roberts but never mentioned that she initiated the exchange of racial insults? Or that she took her revenge by filing a false police report?

You and Barry Saunders just insist on showing the world that Durham is a cesspit of racist morons. If you had an ounce of brains in your head, you'd say "My God, the police and the prosecutor rigged lineups and surpressed the fact that the stripper was changing her story several times a day and lied to the Court about the DNA evidence -- if it could happen to three white kids who, if they weren't rich, weren't poor either, how much more likely is it to happen to people like me, who don't have houses to mortgage and friends to borrow from?" But no, the only thoughts that your tiny, malfunctioning brain cells can hold are "they degraded those women! (by ... hiring them in the line of work that THE WOMEN had chosen to go into, or in Mangum's case, in the only line of work of hers that was legal)" and "they disrespected that woman with racial insults! (except ... not until AFTER 'that woman' had initiated the racial insults.)" Is it any wonder Durham is the murder capital of North Carolina? It's filled with pea-brains like you who ignore shockingly illegal acts committed by your own police and your own prosecutors so that you can whine about much lesser acts that offend your precious sensibilities! You and Barry Saunders need to take your famous fish sandwiches and use them to plug up the hole where the nonsense comes out.

Anonymous said...

Ordinarily governments are not required to defend (or pay for the defense of) or indemnify former government employees in cases arising out of intentional, wilflul misconduct let alone intentional, malicious misconduct intended to benefit the employee personally.

Jim in San Diego said...

Anyone who has read any of my blog contributions here or at DIW know where I stand on Nifong's unethical, even criminal, misbehavior.

However, under the principle that "good cases make bad law", we need to look for general principles, not decide what Nifong deserves and let it go at that.

As a general proposition, DA's should probably have legal fees paid by the state for any legal action related to their job, even if they were doing their job unethically.

If this is not done, DA's could always be punished financially in retaliation by anyone unhappy with their work. All that has to be done is to file a civil action. It does not matter what the merits, or what the outcome, it would be punitive to the DA to have to pay for the defense.

Thus, I grit my teeth, and attempt to hold down my lunch while I advocate here that Nifong's legal fees in a job-related civil suit should be paid by the State.

Ralph Phelan said...

"As a general proposition, DA's should probably have legal fees paid by the state for any legal action related to their job, even if they were doing their job unethically.

If this is not done, DA's could always be punished financially in retaliation by anyone unhappy with their work."
Only if they do their jobs unethically! Right now DAs have a strong career/financial incentive to win, and little or no incentive to eschew unethical behavior. I'd like to see that balance changed.

Ralph PHelan said...

I really would love to see the state AG's office denial of help include something to the effect of Nifong not really needing legal counsel anyway if he truly did nothing wrong. Just for laughs.

Anonymous said...

10:39

Is it a lie!

1. Did the players not use a racial slur?
2. Did the players not take pictures of the accuser on the ground?
3. Did one/some of the players say
Thank your grandfather for my nice cotton shirt?
4. Did anyone take the accuser's money?
5. Did/did they not hire women to strip?

Answer please!

Ralph Phelan said...

10:39/12:19

How are any of these questions related to the issue of whether Nifong overstepped the normal duties of a prosecutor to sufficient degree that he is no longer entitled to state support for his legal bills?

scott said...

I seem to recall reading in DIW that when Nifong was the King of Traffic Court and his job was to meet with defense attorneys to work out arrangements to settle traffic citations that he received all kinds of little gifts including a CD collection that totaled over 2000 labels.

Nifong should consider selling his CD collection if he's so hard up for cash to pay for an attorney.

No way should the state put up one dime for this sleazebag. He might have been in a position (DA) that could be considered a constitutional officer, but I don't think that had Nifong told his bosses:

Hey, here's my plan. I've got this nutty prostitute that has signed a complaint that some guys (she's not quite sure how many) on the Duke lacrosse team raped her during one of their parties. It's imperative that I get elected to a full term as DA this year not only so I can increase my pension, but also so I can gain national attention, then go on the lecture circuit at $50K a pop, and finally leverage that into some type of cushy job making big bucks for a few years so I can retire a multi-millionaire (you don't think I would do all this for a measly $15K per year increase in my pension, do you? Hell, when I finish with these guys, I'll be FAMOUS and RICH!!!). Anyway, the DNA evidence absolutely proves none of these guys so much as touched her let alone assaulted her, but so what? Opportunity knocks. I can keep the evidence hidden away and mount a media campaign that will convince the country that these privileged SOBs are guilty as sin. And I've got cover from some idiot professors over at Duke who will do anything to see that "whitey" pays for his past sins. Couple all that with the inherent distrust between Durham and Duke and between whites and blacks in Durham and there's no way this doesn't go to trial even without a scintilla of evidence

that even state officials in NC would have given him a green light to proceed.

Nifong abused his office and now deserves to be abused himself.

scott said...

Actually, now that I think about it, I believe the story relating to Nifong's CD collection was in UPI, not DIW. Not a big deal, but I try to be accurate.

Anonymous said...

I'm going have to agree with Jim in San Diego (at 11:39) on this one. This is not a perfect analogy, but the State has paid me to represent dozens, or hundreds, of defendants that the State also was trying to prosecute.


As to 12:19's question as to whether the players committed any of several acts he or she listed, I think from everything we know, none of the indicted players made any racial slurs or comments.

I don't know for sure who hired the strippers or took the pictures, but those actions, while not activities one would normally expect of "choirboys," or "Boy Scouts," or "angels,"* they do not appear to have been illegal, or even particularly unusual at Duke prior to the lacrosse party.

In any case, the players were charged with rape, sex offense and kidnapping, not hiring strippers, taking pictures of strippers, or hurling racial insults. In light of what is happening in Jena, LA, can't you at least see that the system seriously over-reacted to this ill-advised party?

Ken Duke
Durham, NC

_____________
* Those are the three major groups the anti-player folks like to blame the players for not being members of.

Anonymous said...

I'll offer a different opinion than most. I believe the State of NC will save themselves a good deal of money by paying for Nifong's legal defense. Otherwise, I expect that he will say and do things that will be very costly for the state.

Whether they will pay for representation, of course, is another matter. Most of the players in this production haven't made very many smart moves.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

"NIFONG NEEDS AN ATTORNEY"

Nifong needs a lot of things:
integrity, honesty, a
conscience,
AND A TRUTH BUTTON !!

Anonymous said...

Nifong wants the state to act as his insurer.

Whether it should do so, depends on what Nifong did.

If he engaged in intentional misconduct, lied to the court and corrupted the judicial process in order to win an election to ensure a larger pension, then his conduct constituted a moral hazard.

The state should not insure against moral hazards. What Nifong did is so far removed from what prosecutors are permitted to do that it is hard to imagine prosecutors saying that the failure to insure Nifong will have a chilling effect on their performance.

Anonymous said...

10:39

The players have acknowledged one player used a racial slur, ONE person, not the three. One player admitted to the Grandpa remark, One Player. We are talking about two out of 47 players! Kim did admit she insulted one of those players first saying he couldn't get it up with his small white dick.

The players did admit there were underage drinking. BFD get real.

However go back and re-read Crystal's 6 April statement and her comments to the SANE nurse with the understanding nothing sexual happened.

Crystal said her breath smelled bad because one player put his penis in her mouth after inserting it in her anus. That was a totally false accusation and was proven so by the DNA evidence It is the work of a very sick woman. She also stated she was being called the N words inside the house over & over while she was being raped.

It never happened. Get that, it never happened. Crystal is one serious disturbed mentally ill person and the police knew it.

The team apoligized for what they did on March 28, 2006. Captain Evan's statement to the police on March 16 stated what the players did & what Crystal did.

You just can't accept this was the sick imagination of one mentally ill street walker. I feel sorry for her, but she lied.

Jim in San Diego said...

10:39 (asks for responses to five factual questions about the Lacrosse party).

1. The evidence I have seen is that Kim, the dancer, made the first racial slur by referring to the boys' private parts as "little white dick". In response, one of the party participants made a comment about her making his grandfathers's shirts. If you can refer me to different facts which can be verified, I will follow your citation.

2. The player's took pictures of the accuser. One of the pictures I have seen shows her sitting on the stairs outside the house. It is possible other pictures of her during her dance routine might have been when she was on the floor.

3. Yes, one of the players said something to the effect of "thank your grandfather for my cotton shirt", in response to Kim's comments about the little white dicks.

4. The accuser at one point claimed Kim stole her money. I am not aware that any of the party goers has ever been accused of taking her money. If you have a fact that I can check, I will do so.

5. The team captains, which included Evans, hired two women to strip. Seligman and Finnerty did not.

Now, I have answered your questions as best I can. Here are my questions to you;

1. What do your questions have to do with Nifong's unethical behavior in criminally prosecuting three innocent people for rape and sexual assault?

2. What do your questions have to do with Nifong's violation of his ethical obligations to refrain from making public statements about the accused's innocence or guilt?

3. What do your questions have to do with Nifong's hiding exculpatory DNA evidence from the defendants?

I have responded in good faith to your questions because I believe you have asked them in good faith. What are your responses to my questions?

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

You know, I recently came over here because my beloved KC/DIW is gone. But why do you guys have to even respond anymore to the 2:36 nutjobs? Every time I see someone laying out a reasoned response to some troll like that, I get ill.
Just ignore them. They are either blinded by vile and hatred, or laughing at you anyway. Use your intellect and resources to advance the great things bloggers have accomplished on this case. Idiots like 2:36 are only out to do mischief. All of you are better than wasting your time on that.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I'll offer a different opinion than most. I believe the State of NC will save themselves a good deal of money by paying for Nifong's legal defense. Otherwise, I expect that he will say and do things that will be very costly for the state."
Sovereign immunity. It's really, really hard to sue a state and win. It's impossible to sue a prosecutor for acts done as part of their job and win.

The only things that Nifong can be sued over are actions determined to be out of the scope of his employment. That happens to be the definition of what the state doesn't have to defend him for or pay for.

He might say and do things that are very costly for the city and county of Durham. How much the state attorney general cares about that is a political question I don't know the answer to.

scott said...

Ken Duke at 1:18 PM --

Maybe if in defending one of these clients, you had been found guilty of suborning perjury and then expected the state to pick up the expense of your defense of those charges on appeal, I could see your point.

Otherwise, how is your being paid for lawful legal services rendered in any way analogous to what Nifong did in abusing his office? If Nifong had performed lawful legal services, like I presume you did, he wouldn't need a lawyer right now and he would still be one.

I have to go along with 1:39 PM on this one. Having the state cover legal fees for prosecutors that willfully violate the law seems to be moving away from the concept that DAs are not about winning and losing; they are about justice.

I don't want people working as DAs who take a position that if they are caught doing something illegal that the state should pay their legal fees. I want people working as DAs who believe that if they are caught doing something illegal, and are convicted, that they will be disbarred, do jail time, and pay for every nickel of the process out of their own pocket. I'm talking here about performance that is the result of gross negligence or knowingly violating the law, both of which Nifong was guilty of. I'm not talking about acts that fall into the category of "human error."

Being a DA is a serious job. It's about time the people holding those jobs treated the responsibilities with the seriousness and respect they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled.

What looks like LS forum flame wars to some is a disagreement over censorship to others.

Reminds me of the N & O's protection of the accuser and this blog's cries for the whole story.

Oh, the irony.

Anonymous said...

Would paying for Nifong's defense be an admission that the state of North Carolina sanctioned the illegality of Nifong's behavior? Nifong was founc guilty of violation of law and sentenced to time in jail.

Anonymous said...

2:15

The money issue is in Roy Cooper's Report.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0427071duke6.html

Anonymous said...

Hey Scott (at 3:00 p.m.), I said at the outset that the analogy wasn't perfect! In any case I was comparing the position of my criminal defendant clients to Nifong's position as a civil defendant client, not Nifong's position as an attorney for the State to my position as a lawyer for a criminal defendant.

Seems to me that the State could, as a matter of the public policy of defending its Constitutional officers against civil lawsuits, pay for Nifong's representation. If he is found liable for damages that the State does not legally have to pay, then the State could refuse to pay those damages. This would be akin to the situation in which an insurance carrier hires a lawyer to represent one of its insured drivers who allegedly has caused a car accident. If the jury finds the driver liable for punitive damages, and the policy does not cover punitives, then the insurance company does not have to pay those damages, even though it paid for the insured's lawyer).

From a pragmatic standpoint, if Nifong is found liable, the State having paid for his lawyer precludes his claiming on appeal that the State should have provided for his representation.

Having said all that, I am not an expert in this area, and I am just arguing general principles. Maybe you and ralph phelan (2:45) are right.


Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

Is that great American, Linwood Wilson, being sued as well?

Anonymous said...

2:43 Who are you to decide, who is or is not a Troll? One man's troll is another man's savior. This board is about debate - the group think is at the other LS Forum and a few at DIW.

scott said...

Ken @ 4:18 PM --

Now I understand and that makes sense. Thank you for clarifying.

I'm not a lawyer nor, as a result, do I understand the subtleties of the law as it relates to whether or not a case can be made for the state paying Nifong's legal fees.

I'm looking at it strictly from the "man on the street" perspective. If Nifong was arguing that he needed state paid legal services because he was indigent, I'd go along. He is, however, claiming that he is entitled because of his status as a "constitutional officer", which status he blatantly violated by willfully abusing his office. Somehow, from my simple layman's perspective, that just doesn't sit well with me.

If Nifong does end up receiving state paid legal representation, I guess I 'll have to be satisfied knowing that I won't lose as much sleep over it as he will lose having to go through depositions and a possible trial and knowing that whatever he doesn't pay in the coin of the realm, he'll pay far more in blood, sweat, and tears.

Anonymous said...

Is Nifong a Communist?

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the "South's greatest lawyer" defend himself. I don't think he can do a worse job than the folk he has had representing him at the other two hearing. As the authorities of the great state of North Carolina let this closwn run riot for eleven months - he asked for the AG to take over the case - the AG did not say "you are out", I believe they have an obligation to pay for his defense.

Anonymous said...

Knowingly, willingly and persistenly Nifong engaged in fraudulent and criminal misconduct. He alone should bear the cost of defending himself. There was no insurer to pick up the cost of defense for the players, and they were innocent victims. Nifong was not.

gs said...

Anonymous said...

Is Nifong a Communist?

5:37 PM


Get a pair of balls , a hobby and post your identity.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

2:43 Who are you to decide, who is or is not a Troll? One man's troll is another man's savior. This board is about debate - the group think is at the other LS Forum and a few at DIW.
4:58 PM"

Courthouse Connie is a troll, and also a pea-brained moron. Only a pea-brained moron would ignore blatant evidence of police and prosecutors working hand-in-glove to frame factually innocent defendants and try to insist that the issue of whether those defendants or people associated with them took photographs of someone who had fallen on the ground in a self-induced stupor.

Anonymous said...

Hey Baldo:

On page 4 of your "Rules of Conduct" thread, don't you mean to write "srh" as LieStoppers C? You have "sch." I won't ever forget her either.

Take care, and keep up the impossibly awesome work you do, MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

The world will never forget the infamous line, "We're Fucked" so why should the state have to pay for his own pathological agenda?

The man has no shame!
Rhonda

Anonymous said...

He needs a good therapist, and some little blue pills.