CA1-- Post to Assignment in LEO
Length: no less than six (6)double spaced, 12 point font pages,total, in response to the two (2) situations below. Under six pages and you will be docked points. There is no “upper” limit, but anything that starts to resemble a huge legal treatise/term paper will be docked points, similarly. AVOID bullet points, list things etc.—unless in your best judgment you feel it helps get the point across. I will be strict in judging your interpretation of this, so try to do this in narrative form.
Do at least one (1) rough draft first, then edit it. Pay attention to grammar, usage, paragraph and sentence structure in that draft. Read it aloud.
You use either a traditional essay format for intext citations MLA works cited page etc. if you are using outside sources such scholarly articles, law review articles, books etc. DO NOT footnote. However, any references to cases either as an example or you are quoting from one or paraphrasing should be in proper citation form.
Week 3 material guides your success. Content, Discussions are all valuable; and try to use the major cases you had to look up for Week 3as primary sources
NO LONG BLOCK QUOTES, ETC. I WANT YOUR WORDS AND ANALYSIS. NO PLAGIARIZING, PARAPHRASE AND GIVE A CITE IF YOU MUST. I WANT YOU TO INTERWEAVE LAW/CONCEPT AND FACT IN YOUR RESPONSES. If youdo outside research(sources outside of the Content, e-resources, Discussion etc) don't use any more than four (4) (articles, cases, laws/statutes) per situation.
While the situations are based on real life, they are NOT real. When dealing with legal course hypotheticals, you apply only the facts given and see what issues, problems, rules or exceptions to the rules they trigger. You do NOT add any material facts even if they do into indeed come from “real life.” So don’t try to insert what you think are the real people or situations from which the hypo is based. This is different with different facts given, as an academic exercise.
Moreover, you have to hack through a jungle to what is pertinent and raises the issues you studied as their might be stuff that might be just surplus or irrelevant. That pretty much mirrors real life problem-solving right? We do that all the time. Likewise, you apply the caselaw, rules, statutes, concepts, analysis rather than your own passions, personal attributes, or feelings/beliefs—no matter how you might feel personally about the parties (either in the hypo or reality), their activities, situations, etc.We are all adults here. Also, you answer’s tone, while informal (based on the hypo’s set-up), should never be too colloquial. Even though you are pals and colleagues with Yolanda (your boss, below), she is looking to you as a professional and an expert.
Therefore, in framing an answer, think about what problems, issues…or something that sounds familiar in a particular case you’ve read or tickles you from the Discussions, etc…. arise from the facts of the hypo. Then do your analysis, go back and forth, if this then that, but he/she might have the defense of this, or there must be all of these elements for someone to prove defamation but this one is lacking, etc etc. In other words, try to interweave law or concept and fact if you can.
Consider this hypothetical, then:
You are an editor and legal advisor for a WebTV/digital magazine called The Buzz. Itsa news and features site for millennials and twentysomethings based in Washington, DC.The Buzz has both original and “curated” (pulled from other sources, newspapers, web sites, etc.) content, news etc on its site, text articles, and pictures; it also has its own youtube and Web-based video channel providing hosted culture, politics, musicshows. (think Huffington Post Live http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/november-5-2013/524469f578c90a56f7000122 or TakePartLive.com/live on Pivot TV (hosted by Sen. John McCain’s (R. AZ) daughter Meghan)
You are dealing with two situations. Answer both, separately.
Situation One: It’s late at night.
Earlier, around 10:45pm, one of your producer-writers-on air personalities, a Howard University (prominent historically black college) alum named Theo Marcus, came backfrom a club called The Jam in Washington DC where he was covering mega hip hop artist MisCreant’s performance at an unofficial “Homecoming Event” –and to see old friends and classmates. MisCreant never made it to The Jam party.
Theo Marcus had followed MisCreant and his entourage back to the Hotel Zumba downtown before the Jam event, wherein he also saw a man he found out was named Drake Wimpy, age 21, try to get into a camera phone selfie MisCreant was taking with legions of adoring female fans on the sidewalk, outside of the hotel lobby. When this guy Drake attempted the “photo-bomb’ and inserted himself in MisCreant’s personal space, the star yelled something like“I ain’t got time for no faggots,”Then Marcus heard MisCreant say “I feel like whooping ass,” and pow! suddenly MisCreant smashes Wimpy in the nose; when Wimpy grabs MisCreant’s sleeve as he’s falling, MisCreant’s 6’5” bodyguard Stretch Armstrong punches an already an already injured Wimpy, then snatches a still swinging MisCreant and dumps him on the tour bus.
The bus speeds off onto 15th Street NW until pulled over by a DC Metropolitan Police motorcycle and a uniformed Secret Service squad car (as this brouhaha occurs barely two blocks from the White House) Theo obtained digital police reports from MPD and the Secret Service containing Stretch’s statement that he believed his boss was being “assaulted and tussled with by an unruly dangerous fan,” so he had to punch Wimpy and rescue the superstar. Stretch the bodyguard also stated that MisCreant “thought the fan was gay, and the boss hates it when gays try to touch him. It’s against the Bible.” The cops arrested the superstar and the bodyguard on the spot, and both expect to be bailed out by 9am.
Theo Marcus took iPhone shots of Wimpy’s face then took a phone video interview upon identifying himself as a reporter; he spoke to Wimpy before the ambulance and other police arrived at the hotel. Wimpy said to him “I just wanted to photobomb, ya know…but there was another dude back there, says his name was Freddie or something…he shovedme into MisCreant, because he was mad MisCreant didn’t call him, some crap like that. I’d heard the dude mumbling before the entourage came out that he and MisCreanthook up whenever MisCreant’sin DC. Dude I got no clue what that was all about because next thing I know I’m getting pushed into the picture, not just photobombing, so I’m gonna try to smile and have fun…then kapow, MisCreant and that big sucker are beating on me, calling me gay…”
Theo Marcus checked around to see if there was a Freddie in the crowd. Literally NO ONE wanted to be interviewed about the actual assault unless they could just smile and say they were there, take selfies and post to Instagram. However, a doorman at the Zumba and a hotel security guard told Theo on the record that while they had no clue who “Freddie” was, it was MisCreant who assaulted Wimpy, not the other way around and did notice Wimpy being pushed forward, not lunging toward the star to be in the selfie. They did point to a young woman whom they said was visibly upset( rather than reveling in the drama like the other fans and young people on the street). She declined to be identifiedor photographed but Theo confronts her anyway. On the record yet anonymously she says: “Yeah Freddie, he’s my friend. He took off. He doesn’t want trouble. He usually visits MisCreant in Virginia to have sex.” Then she ran away and hailed a cab.
Theo Marcus –now as a witness not a reporter--gives the only the plain vanilla details to the Washington Post, USA Today—and the DC Police—fearing the Post and bigger outlets will “scoop” The Buzz. The Buzz prides itself on making these old school dinosaurs look bad!
You and Buzz editor in chief Yolanda Cruz are now discussing the story with Theo. You’ve already done a quick WebTV spot on the incident that night, scooping BET, VH1/MTV (all three owned by CBS-VIACOM) as well as Harvey Levin’s TMZ, and there are TMZ people trying to text Theo every minute for gossip.
You see TMZ.com video of MisCreant, as he was being brought in to be booked by MPD, yelling to yelled to local reporters and TMZ “stringers” (independent videographers/reporters) “I’m goin’ to rehab…tell my lawyers and my family I am goin’ to rehab. Gotta get well!”
TheoMarcus shows you his notes and says here’s the angle: that MisCreant’swell documented violent tendencies and decision to go to rehab—indeed his physical abuse of former girlfriend, the sexy singer Bajanna—is all attributable to his inability to deal with being a rich 21 year old—and in the “closet,” in what is a largely homophobic hip hop community, and his family, who are religious fundamentalists (YET they are dependent on him for their livelihood and help control his “brand”).
Theo hasn’t found Freddie, but has uncovered tweets, which he guesses are from bogus fan accounts, by males who claim they have had sex with MisCreant. Still, there are at least 135 tweets going back four years on that subject, and one references an MTV interview video which can be found on youtube from 2013 where MisCreant says gays should not be married, the SCOTUS (this is 2013) and individual states should not recognize because it is “an abomination against God, like my pastor says.” However, “if two hot bitches wanna go at it lickylicky I’m down with that—watchin’ lezbos makes me hot. Two men: not.”
Yolanda gets an email alert from one of your “wire service” sources, Sneuters, out of London, which you use along with the AP (Associated Press). Apparently, just 24 hours before the Washington DC incident with Drake Wimpy, there was a similar altercation involving another young superstar named Justin Weenerin the UK, where the victim, Nigel Patterson, is quoted “I am to Justin what Freddie in America is to his boy.” No one knows who “his boy” is nor did Patterson elaborate on this coincidental use of the name “Freddie.” Patterson said this to paramedics on the scene and several bystanders as he lay injured from the beating he himself received from Weener’s bodyguards. He slipped into a coma upon arrival at a London hospital, however. Nothing more can be gotten from him; you have no affiliates to monitor his situation because gone are the days of foreign bureaus thanks to corporate consolidation and cutbacks by greedy media giants.
Yolanda calls a recuperating Drake Wimpy at Medstar in DC as a fact-check; Wimpy stands by his statement that a man named “Freddie” was irate, angry at MisCreant “I guess for letting him down somehow, I got the feeling,” and this person shoved him forward when all he wanted was a selfie, and that’s what started the brawl.
Yolanda looks at you and says, “This will blow the others out of the water. CNN, HuffPo, the networks, even TMZ.”
You reply, “Yeah but we may have legal exposure. Indeed, part of fact checking the story might be bring Justin Weener’s wrath, too, regardless of whether he goes to jail in England for his bodyguards beating that guy into a coma. and just so you know if sued, much of our editorial process with be open to law suit ‘discovery.’”
She sucks her teeth and sneers,“Fox, CNN, CBS, Rolling Stone…do they really fact check beyond what fits the story? No, they shoot first and here I think we should shoot.”
You say, “Well, we aren’t them. We’re a new sort of species and—”
She cuts you off and says, “Okay. I hear you. So you are now wearing your lawyer hat so as of 15 minutes ago everything is privileged and confidential. Stay here all night, use are Lexis and Westlaw connections if you have to. By 8am I want something in writing giving me an explanation of all this thing you call defamation, and how we and MisCreant fit into this,any defenses we might have, etc. Bring in this Justin Weener stuff only as it pertains to us and MisCreant.”
You grind away all night. She comes back about an hour or so before MisCreant is scheduled to be released on bond. What
Situation Two: MisCreant situation handled, Yolanda comes to you and says,
“Ok you told me that this old Supreme Court case, Cox Broadcasting v. Cohstill gives us the right to report on information contained in public records and available in open court, right? Well, our friend Theo Marcus strikes again! I didn’t have a chance to talk to him before the producer filmed the package [video or audio news story or commentary] and posted pics, but you heard about the two high school football players on trial in Maryland, Finnbar Flynn and D’Antonio Washington, right?
You nod, nervous about what Theo’s pulled now!
“One’s the nephew of former Governor O’Dalley, and the other is the son of Baltimore Mavens linebacker Big Bear Washington? Big Bear was the one who got suspended from the League for beating up his ex-wife.The ex-wife is D’Antonio’s step-mom…”
“Wow,” you reply. “Yeah, Chantal Washington. Stays out of the limelight, refused to comment, very quiet.”
Yolanda continues. “Quiet? Chantal is now on the number one reality show on TV, ‘Diva Loud Football Ex-Wives.’ I’d say she’s what you law types call a public figure—a celebrity. Now here’s the gist: allegedly the two youths ‘roofied’ some poor underage girl Bill Cosby style at some school party then had one of their friends shoot phone video of them undressing, fondling and then…allegedly…raping the girl. They sent it around to others on the team.The only reason anyone saw it was thanks to the hacker group, our friends at ‘Unknown’ who leaked stuff to us and the cops.
Well, Theo used the girl’s her full name in the package posted on the site just now, based on what was said in court! She was 15 at the time of the attack and 16 now. Theo knows we don’t like to publish names or victims of rape or sexual assault. Plus the trial isn’t even over yet. We especially don’t want to use the names of anyone under 18. And your paralegal just told me that there’s a Maryland law [NOT real, just in hypo] saying that any ‘media outlet’ which publishes the name of a victim of sexual assault without consent shall be fined $10,000 per occurrence. I think it’s unconstitutional but forget that for a minute. What I’m worried about is expecting her parents’ lawyer sending us a nasty email, and notifying the state attorney general. And it gets worse.”
“Worse?” you reply.
“Uh huh. Both of these kids are out on bond, as you know. The trial went on a week continuance because Finnbar got sick. D’Antonioleft town during that time. No one, not the prosecutors, defense, cops, etc. or his dad would tell anyone in the media where he was. The court issued a statement that he had on his ankle tracker, was checking in, and was at an undisclosed location within the state.Well, through a tip from ‘Unknown,’ that the kid was still very close to his step-mom, Theo found that she has a five bedroom beach cottage near Ocean City, Maryland. Theotraveled there, saw her home was part of a gated community. However, everyone’s sharing the same strip of Atlantic beaches. Nothing’s fenced off, and apparently the State of Maryland helps the property owners maintain the shoreline jointly. Theo was on a section of the beach belongingto neighboring community. You can get on the beach from their parking lot. Theo parked on a public lot across Coastal Highway then walked onto that neighboring community’s lot. There was a sign saying NO BEACH ACCESS but nothing that said Private Property. He moved down the beach close to where he saw people from Chantal’s community…took iPhone pics and vids of Chantal and D’Antonio having a beach party as if he weren’t on trial rape. What jerks, eh?D’Antonio was wearing his ankle tracking bracelet. There was a flag near a set of beach chairs occupied by folks who didn’t look like they were at the party, just members of that community who’d set up near the party to sunbathe. The flag looked likeit was planted by one of D’Antonio’s and Finnbar’s friends: on it was a woman in thong bikini and NO MEANS YES, YES MEANS ANAL. Theo just posted the vids he took of the beach party, including that flag, on our site.”
Yolanda sighs as Theo strikes again, and asks you what The Buzz’s possible legal exposure is, arising from this set of facts, from the trial to pics of the party, etc. As a very brief side issue, she also briefly wants to know if “phone hacking” celebs and/or criminal defendants is illegal (snicker) and if media outlets can use such content (private naked selfie pics/vids etc.) and publish it without getting sued or arrested.
COMMAND OF CONCEPTS, CASELAW AND STATUTES IN WEEK 3
ORGANIZATION, FLOW, CLEAR AND CRISP WRITING
PROPER CITATION FORM, PROPER GRAMMAR
COMMAND OF KEY CONCEPTS
ANALYSIS AND APPLICATION