May It Please The Court

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Quote of the Day - Think for a moment: what is the British equivalent of the U.S. Fourth of July, or even the French 14th of July for that matter? - Gordon Brown
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Happy Birthday, Grandpa Walker! (And The Rest Of The Country, Too)

My favorite grandfather would have been 107 today if he were alive.  He used to say he really enjoyed all the fireworks and everyone in the country celebrating his birthday.

And that's what I liked best about him.  His ability to think big.

Have a great Fourth.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, July 04, 2008 at 18:17 Comments (3)


Comments

Comments by Joe from United States on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 at 10:45 - IP Logged
The RIAA is known for promoting its point of views and protecting its bottom-line by befriending government agencies. If this individual goes to jail, he may or may not have posted nine songs illegally, but will be in prison with rapists, murderers, drug dealers and may in fact spend more time in prison than those previously mentioned. This is because the RIAA may be buying justice, rather than allowing governments and the courts to decide on their own.

Comments by Adam L Aronson from United States on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 17:22 - IP Logged
After further research, let me correct a statement in my own prior comment. I think I jumped the gun in declaring Mr. Williams "pro-RIAA." I''ll say at this point I''m not sure whether he''s "pro," "anti" or somewhere in between. It looks like Williams has represented clients on various sides of the issue, which makes good business sense. So I apologize if I inadvertently mischaracterized Mr. Williams'' perspective. I imagine that Mr. Williams'' mistaken statement that Mr. Cogill had admitted to guilt was likewise inadvertent. Lawyers like other humans make plenty of mistakes. Owning up to them doesn''t necessarily feel good, but I think it does good.

Comments by Adam L Aronson from United States on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 16:37 - IP Logged
After an hour of online research about this incident, I''m concerned about whether this entry crosses the line between "perspective" and "accuracy." By way of disclosing my "perspective," I am a solo practitioner who does T&E, real estate and civil rights work. I''m unaffiliated with any interests on any side of the music industry copyright debate, and if anything my big firm experience throughout the 1990''s representing corporations makes me more sympathetic to the RIAA perspective than the average Jane. I follow the "music download copyright" sagas as a mere amateur with a lawyerly concern for the evolution of fair and just law. The bio of this blog''s author makes clear his pro-RIAA perspective, which in itself presents no issue. Perspective is not bias -- or shouldn''t be. On the contrary, those who have an established perspective are hopefully among the most informed on an issue, and therefore are the most worthy of the attention of amateurs like me.
But perspective aside, this entry is extremely troubling -- especially the statement that "with the admission [Cogill] posted on his blog, the best that''s going to happen to him is a plea bargain." What admission? Williams could only be alluding to his prior mention that Cogill was "seeking a criminal defense lawyer," necessarily implying that Cogill was doing so at the same time that he posted the nine songs.
But the chronology reveals that nothing could be further from the truth. Cogill posted the request for criminal defense assistance AFTER he became the target of FBI interrogation. This is not an "admission" of anything. Indeed, with a bit more web surfing, one discovers Mr. Cogill''s statements that to this day he does not believe he violated any law. Cogill''s perspective is clearly anti-RIAA, but with all due respect, equating anti-RIAA with criminal intent strikes me as a good deal worse than irresponsible. "May It Please the Court" should be proud of its accomplishments as an award-winning, widely read and widely cited blog, but with those honors and the trust that the public puts in you come ethical obligations. Publicly convicting others by distorting a factual record that on its face provides little if any basis for finding criminal intent, much less guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt," smacks of witch hunting, not to mention unethical intimidation of the public.
I first read Williams'' entry above on Robert Abrogi''s "Legal Blog Watch Alert." Alert indeed. We should all be on the alert in ourselves and other members of the bar against exploiting and thereby demeaning the trust that we would have the public place in our professional knowledge and integrity. That some cases provide room for reasonable minds to differ should not give us license to distort either the law or the factual record. In a public forum like a widely read blog, it seems to me that lawyers are obliged to take extra precautions to prevent the dissemination of harmful misinformation.


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