[Copy of Email provided courtesy Justice Watch Forum]

January 5, 2001


Thanks for your last e-mail, and for clarifying the subject of your legal prowess for me. Would you mind clarifying this for me?:

How do you expect to survive a summary judgment motion in which you will have to provide "clear and convincing" evidence of "actual malice" on the part of Steve Thomas? As a lawyer, you know as well as I do that you have your work cut out for you. It seems that the best you can hope for by bringing a lawsuit is to help John Ramsey save face because of his media boasts of a Steve Thomas libel suit; then delay the proceedings for a year or more (i.e., give Thomas 60-90 days to answer, prolong discovery, etc.), and then pray no one in the media cares enough about the case to devote more than one or two days reporting your clients' case dismissal on summary judgment a year or two from now. (Unless, of course, you get lucky and Thomas' publisher throws "chump change" at you to make your suit go away. By the way, is there any reason why the dollar settlement amount in the Burke/Star magazine settlement didn't "leak out" the way the Richard Jewell/NBC settlement figure did? Is it because the figure is embarrassing low?)

Isn't this the real reason you've put off suing Steve Thomas (or anyone else on behalf of John and Patsy) for so long? Isn't it unlikely you can win, precisely because your clients are public figures, and you know it? (Your description of how unfair public figure libel law can be to plaintiffs sure sounds like you've already accepted the possibility that you'll have to appeal John and Patsy's cases (like Richard Jewell's) and you're positioning yourself as a Martin Garbus/Floyd Abrams kind of guy -- a real champion of the First Amendment "underdog," which is how public figures see themselves -- as the "victims" of the U.S. Supreme Court's New York Times v. Sullivan, which some consider the Roe v. Wade of libel law.)

I'm sure you're aware that 90% of all "public figure" libel law suits are dismissed in some form of summary proceeding, and that the federal courts favor summary judgment. In fact, I suspect that you're counting on that being true in Chris Wolf's case, (that is, if I haven't already convinced Judge Julie Carnes of Patsy's ransom note authorship with my complaint exhibits of her handwriting and my experts' reports, and if Judge Carnes isn't currently crafting an opinion that keeps the Wolf case in court -- afterall, she is a former prosecutor and a Republican law-and-order Bush appointee, with ten years experience on the federal bench, and who has probably heard every conceivable sob story by criminal defendants about how they've "cooperated" with law enforcement officials. I'm sure Judge Carnes will find it remarkable how these same criminal suspects always seem to have the great misfortune to find one of the few groups of law enforcement officials who are determined to spend their professional lives trying to frame the "innocent" Patsy Ramseys of the world. How unlucky can the Ramseys be? Imagine: the Boulder police actually spent $2 million dollars trying to "frame" them. I'm sure Judge Carnes will buy that explanation when considering why it is that the Boulder police and Governor Owens both think the Ramseys are somehow involved in the murder of their daugther.)

Also, Lin, there is the very real possibility that Patsy, like OJ Simpson, could expose herself as a murderer in a civil trial. (Remember Mark Fuhrman's lawyer Robert Turtolow, who made such a fuss defending Fuhrman's honor with libel suits, only to be forced to withdraw them in professional disgrace because of the Fuhrman tapes that suddenly appeared? Don't you think you might be in the same sort of danger professionally -- especially after you see the new handwriting reports being developed-- since you have "vouched" for your clients' innocence publicly, something no criminal defense attorney would do in a million years?)

While you're at it, why don't you sue Linda Hoffmann-Pugh? In her Star article she flat out accuses Patsy of being the murderer. Linda even claims she not only knows why Patsy did it, but how. Why not make an example out of her? (And please don't give me that "deep pocket" nonsense. American Media is loaded. You backed off Peter Boyles fast enough, and he has money.)

Just thought I'd ask, since you were so helpful in your last e-mail.