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Pair Arrested After Telling Lawyer Jokes 657

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-so-loudly dept.
fembots writes "Two men were arrested for telling lawyer jokes while standing in line leading into First District Court. A spokesman for the Nassau courts said the men were causing a stir and that their exercise of their First Amendment rights to free speech was impeding the rights of others at the court."
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Pair Arrested After Telling Lawyer Jokes

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  • by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:29PM (#11355117) Journal
    Yeah, according to them. According to the court:
    But Dan Bagnuola, a spokesman for the Nassau courts, said the men were causing a stir and that their exercise of their First Amendment rights to free speech was impeding the rights of others at the court.


    "They were being abusive and they were causing a disturbance," Bagnuola said. "They were making general comments to the people on line, referring to them as 'peasants,' and they were causing a disturbance. And they were asked on several occasions to act in an orderly manner, not to interfere with the operation of the court."
    Frankly, they sound like jackasses. Dunno wtf their point was, but it certainly wasn't to have a conversation with each other.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:57PM (#11355375)

    People do a LOT worse outside of abortion clinics without getting arrested. I think the charges against these guys are bogus.

  • Re:Slow news day? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:05PM (#11355443) Journal
    If you ever have to go to court for any reason, I'm going to show up and heckle your lawyer to the point he can't defend you properly. I can do it too. I'm the alpha asshole. I'll humiliate him until he goes home crying.

    Does your right to a fair trial supercede my right to "freedom of speech"?
  • Re:Slow news day? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:05PM (#11355448)
    I call shenanegans. I'm sick of these right wingers staging incidents to further their agenda. Remember the guy who claimed his daughters sign was ripped down by an unruly democrat? The guy who was fired for teaching the declaration of independence because it contained biblical passages.

    It is all garbage designed to raise your ire so they can claim a broad mandate for their political agenda.
  • Re:Slow news day? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@ ... a - h u dson.com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:12PM (#11355492) Journal
    The freedom of speech is not a freedom to be a shithead.
    The only shithead was the lawyer, who probably also bitched and whined when the TRex at the lawyer in Jurassic Park and the audience cheered http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cjm_37.htm [manhattan-institute.org]

    Quote from the article:

    In all the movies of recent years, there have been few surer audience-pleasing scenes than the moment in Jurassic Park where the dinosaur eats the lawyer. In my theater and I suspect yours too, the audience burst into laughter and cheers.
    ... check out this choice list of problems with current law practice from the article ..
    * We have enacted countless new laws, we use them to try to control more of life, and these laws are often vague, not clearly spelling out what conduct is wrongful and what the legal consequences might be of overstepping the line.

    * We have expanded damage theories to the point that we are willing to countenance the mulcting of defendants of amounts that all previous American generations and the citizens of all foreign countries would consider sheerly fantastic.

    * We have liberalized procedure. As long ago as the 1930s we began to embrace the system of notice pleading, in which you can drag someone to court without saying what he may have done wrong. In the 1970s we drastically liberalized discovery, making it far easier to demand the filing cabinets of your opponent. Through the "long-arm" jurisdiction revolution, we liberalized forum-shopping so that you could shop around for whichever judge or jurisdiction is most hostile to your opponent or most slanted toward your own ideological view.

    * We liberalized the admission of expert testimony to allow lawyers to keep a scientifically weak case alive by introducing the testimony of partisan, fringe experts whether or not they reflect mainstream thinking in the relevant discipline.
    The DMCA, the PATRIOT Act, and SCO's gaming of the system all come to mind.
  • by Eric Smith (4379) * <eric.brouhaha@com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:52PM (#11355860) Homepage Journal
    They get around it by saying it's neither a criminal nor civil action.
    Around here (California) they call those "infractions". And when you're charged with an infraction, you are not permitted some of the legal rights you would have if you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
  • by ebyrob (165903) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:13PM (#11356023) Homepage
    Hmm...

    Education: (~373 billion annual budget)
    http://www.policyalmanac.org/education/ar chive/doe _education_spending.shtml
    By far, the greatest part of education revenues came from nonfederal sources (state, intermediate, and local governments),

    FDA annual budget ~ 8 billion.
    FAA annual budget ~ only 28 million??!!
    DoD annual budget ~ 115 billion.

    Considering most of the education money doesn't come from the Fed anyways, and the huge size difference between things that would absolutely be cut, like DoD spending, and things like FDA and FAA, I think a reasonable, minimal rather than maximal, compromise can be met.

    Of course... I'm crazy, what am I thinking. If we cut ONE SINGLE PENNY from any one of those programs, and don't increase them every year (with someone else's money) then we're wavering in our commitment to the ideal these organizations are supposed to uphold. (You know, the ideals they uphold for us, so we don't have to...)

    But, you know, forget Libertarians for a second, they're crazy, they want to reduce the size of the Fed by 90% ASAP. Get any of the Democrats or Republicans to reduce the size of the Fed by 10%, or try for all they're worth, and I'll vote for *them* in every term thereafter until they start increasing it again (beyond a realistic inflation).
  • by Ryosen (234440) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:54PM (#11356603)
    RTFM. Other people were laughing. Only the lawyer on the line complained.

    If you had read the article, you would also have noticed that the persons arrested were not mere average joes. They are members of a legal reform group that looks out for cases such as this one.

    They were silenced for their views that were contradictory to the court.

  • Re:Slow news day? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zokrath (593920) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:50AM (#11359298)
    This is a fair sight worse than simply not wanting to hear what someone is saying; the lawyers do not want these things said at all, or for them to be heard by anyone, because then people might start questioning their power and seeking legal reforms, and we cannot have that, can we?

    Here's hoping that I am not sued for posting this/
  • by beforewisdom (729725) on Friday January 14, 2005 @10:12AM (#11360895)
    These guys weren't randomly standing in line telling lawyer jokes. They purposely and continually go to courts and heckle the lawyers.
    Yes, but the article and the authorities left out HOW these guys were violating anyone's rights or interfering with the operation of the court..........the justification for arresting them.

    They got arrested for the very thing they are fighting against.....authorities bending the law and truncating people's rights to their own ends.

    They weren't preventing anyone from using the court

    What they did do was personally offend a lawyer and perhaps a judge.

    However, the first amendment doesn't care about offending people. KKK & neo-nazi marches are allowed in Jewish neighborhoods.

    The only difference here is that the people who took personal offense had the opportunity to abuse their power.......which these guys, as their goal..successfully pointed out.

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