Friday, August 23, 2013

Did Brodkorb's lawyers join him in the muck?

Cross posted from MNPP
As noted in the STrib, in an article by Jim Ragsdale, “Secret list was released in error, Brodkorb’s lawyers say” “Senate’s legal team wants suit tossed, claims airing was intentional.”, Ragsdale gets nearly a dozen paragraphs out of the oops! that cost one of the lawyers on Brodkorb’s team his job.

I can only hope the lawyering by the attorneys for the Senate are doing a better job than claiming this leak was intentional.  I can’t imagine Brodkorb was ponying up sufficient lucre for the lawyer who left to fall on his sword for Brodkorb’s advantage, or that in court, it will even prove to be much of an advantage.

At best, it is unlikely that Brodkorb has much on anyone that is not either so old, and so different as not to pertain, or is highly speculative — essentially gossip, rather than proven fact.  It is the absence of strong supporting fact that is at issue.  What I found more intriguing is that Ragsdale noted the law firm notified SOME BUT NOT OTHERS on the list of their inclusion, but ONLY after the leak occurred.

Why not notify them ALL, and well before the problematic filing, if pressuring some of these politicians was the intent? I don’t think he was just trying to keep them in suspense, to see who he would name – and who he wouldn’t.

Brodkorb sued and in a deposition gave the names of 10 former senators, one current senator and six staff members who he alleged had similar relationships but were not fired. That list was supposed to remain private or “under seal,” as opposed to other motions and arguments that are filed publicly.
Calls from two media outlets — the Associated Press and Minnesota Public Radio — alerted lawyers that the electronic files had been seen by reporters during their brief online life. Attorney Phil Villaume, then Brodkorb’s attorney, said he tried to persuade a federal magistrate judge in an evening conference call to prohibit news organizations from publishing the names on the list.
The judge, Arthur Boylan, declined to do so. A week later, when the AP was preparing a story on the list, Villaume renewed his request. Boylan said blocking the story by court order would constitute “prior restraint,” according to an account prepared by the Brodkorb side. In the subsequent AP story, reporters discussed the importance of the list to Brodkorb’s legal claim and contacted some of those on the list but decided not to reveal the names.
Villaume has since withdrawn from the case. Lawyers for the Senate have argued that the release of such titillating details was of a piece with the public, political nature of Brodkorb’s claim. “It is a pattern of behavior that suggests a deliberate strategy of trying this case before the media rather than the Court, without regard to innocent people hurt along the way,” the Senate lawyers claimed.
It is implausible that Brodkorb’s attorneys would imitate his style, just because he hired them. There are too many ways in which they are held accountable – as the departure of one of the attorneys shows.

But it is entirely plausible that Brodkorb himself has continued his old sleazy ways in what happened to Laura Brod, with the boudouir shots and the City Pages.  And Brodkorb was not even attempting to be anonymous, but clearly demonstrating his old sharp elbows when ribbing Julianne Ortman, as was previously noted on this blog by one of my colleagues HERE.

Brodkorb is happy to be nasty, for money, or just because he is who he is, to try to bully, or intimidate.  That does not conflate to anyone else he employs being as sleazy as he is.  Clearly Brodkorb lost the moral high ground a long time ago.  And now he seems to be losing the battle for everything else.  As he is out of the mainstream of MN GOP politics, sooner or later he has to run out of mud/ammunition.  That makes for a pathetic mean-spirited little piggy, and one who is spending all of his nickels, dimes and pennies in his little belly-bank.

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