Posted on | December 4, 2012 | 83 Comments
Prince William County Circuit Court Judge Richard B. Potter has just dismissed Aaron Walker’s civil lawsuit against Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser and Ron Brynaert. Will have further details momentarily.
UPDATE: Today’s hearing began shortly after 11 a.m. and was over by noon. Several preliminary motions had been consolidated into one hearing, and the motion heard first was Kimberlin’s motion to dismiss. Clearly, Judge Potter had already decided to grant Kimberlin’s motion, but went through the formality of a hearing.
Acting as his own attorney, Kimberlin argued first, and showed a disposition to argue the facts of the case rather than to argue law. Walker’s attorney Dan Backer objected to this, and his objection was upheld, Judge Potter ordering Kimberlin to stick to the law. Backer briefly countered each of Kimberlin’s points, and then Kimberlin was given an opportunity to respond, once again arguing facts more than law.
Then Judge Potter called a 10-minute recess and returned to read a decision — dismissing the case — that quite obviously took a lot longer than 10 minutes to write. In other words, the judge’s decision was written in advance of the hearing.
UPDATE II: John Hoge is here at the McDonald’s where I’m filing this. My co-blogger Wombat is here, as is Walker’s attorney, Dan Backer, who is obviously disappointed. Particularly disturbing was that Kimberlin never complied with discovery requests in the case, while Walker did — and Kimberlin used documents supplied by Walker to argue that the case was without merit, while Walker never got the opportunity to depose witnesses in the case.
“The precedent set here is just terrible,” Backer said, talking about how Judge Potter ignored Kimberlin’s violation of court orders to seal the discovery materials. “Why should anyone comply with discovery?”
Backer discussed the possibility of appeals in either the federal suit in Maryland or the Virginia suit, but for today it’s a complete bummer.
UPDATE III: Da Tech Guy writes that “the big story is not so much the details but the emboldening of some very bad characters.” It’s actually worse than that: It’s not just bad characters, but bad behavior that have been emboldened. Why shouldn’t everyone with a grudge resort to the methods Kimberlin & Co. employed against Walker?
The targeting of political bloggers, the cyberstalking and harassment, are all now acceptable tactics for which there is evidently no legal recourse. Thanks, Judge Potter.
UPDATE IV: Linked by The Lonely Conservative — thanks!