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[News] High Court Clears, Admonishes Foreign Minister

Discussion in 'UO Great Lakes' started by Phayde, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Phayde

    Phayde Adventurer
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    [​IMG]

    [Compassion Grove, Trammel] Last evening, the trial of Malag aste, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was heard, brought forth by the eccentric Lady Beauvina for defamation of character. Lady Beauvina was accompanied by Ongole, a bovine legal representative (starkly absent was the famous Delucian lawyer, Perimoosyn), while Malag aste was represented by Lord Galen. Immediately, the Defense Attorney had several questions for presiding judge, High Justicar Ra'Dian Fl'Gith. First was a clarification of whether the matter was of civil or criminal nature, determined to be civil. Second was to do with Article XI, Section C of the High Council's Charter which refers to legal immunities granted to serving politicians of the realm. "This Court does interpret [the Article] to refer to criminal matters, as civil matters are not prosecuted in so much as the definition would indicate," the judge answered in his customary brogue.

    Before the trial commenced, Defense Attorney Galen conceded on behalf of his client that the Minister of Foreign Affairs had questioned Beauvina's sanity, had indicated cows did not belong in the council hall, and that he had accused Beauvina of turning the Council into a circus, but "They do not constitute defamation of character under any reasonable definition of the term." This brought into light physical threats leveled by the Foreign Minister which Justicar Fl'Gith barred from trial as out of the scope unless they accompanied statements of defamation. An argument arose, the first of many, between the plaintiff and defense, and Justicar Fl'Gith seemed to be at odds as to how to proceed.

    In opening statements, Lady Beauvina indicated, "This has went as far as [Minister Malag aste] calling me names while wielding a loaded weapon in the Council chambers." While Attorney Galen objected to that characterization, he responded in his own opening statement, "The things that were opinion or analysis more than facts were said under his official duties as a Councilor, thus subject to the traditional immunities enjoyed by legislators as part of their legislative activities."

    As the trial commenced, Minister Malag aste was the first called to the stand by Lady Beauvina, and after a brief recess to review transcripts of recent High Council meetings, Lady Beauvina focused largely on Minister Malag aste's refusal to blindly sign off on her and her bovine friends joining the Britannian Armed Forces. Several times during the trial, Justicar Fl'Gith sat back as the plaintiff and defense argued vociferously between themselves, clearly frustrated by both sides’ judicial behavior. Defense Attorney Galen did effectively deal with the issue of the cows in service by looking to the service record of the Foreign Minister, and his combat experience with bovines.

    Lady Beauvina settled on Minister Malag as her only witness, then turning the defense free to call to the stand librarian and former reporter Martyna Z'muir; the Honorable Mayor of Yew, Lady Willa of the Yew-wood; and the Chancellor of the High Council, Lord DaKaren. Questioning focused mostly on an alleged previous attempt to subvert Yew to bovine rule and on public opinion as to whether most believe Lady Beauvina to be crazy. Several objections were raised, and Defense Attorney Galen resorted to unusual courtroom tactics by directly questioning the integrity of the court. "Justicar, you allowed this case to go forward... I'm truly sorry if you are not prepared for the bizarre consequences of allowing bizarre court actions to be heard." It seemed several times that the Justicar was losing patience with the demeanor of Attorney Galen.

    In closing arguments, Lord Galen indicated, "All of [her] claims can be compared with reality [... and have] thus far been shown to be not true or unproveable (sic) at the very least." He then, for a second time, involved the Justicar directly in his proceedings. "A judgment for plaintiff in this matter would open floodgates... I, for example, could file a suit against the Justicar for statements made concerning the state of my virtue." Lady Beauvina kept her closing argument simple. "Does [talking to cows] give others the right to judge me, and by that, mock me, threaten me, and defame me to the point of physical violence?"

    Justicar Fl'Gith recessed to his chambers to deliberate his verdict, an action that seemed to bring comment from an ignorant attendee of the proceedings, Thanatos Angelos, who asked about the judge deliberating, "With himself? Ah, well I suppose it's better than deliberating it with imaginary friends." When Justicar Fl'Gith returned, he ruled in favor of Minister Malag aste, finding him not guilty of defamation of character, but did make note that he was disturbed by the Foreign Minister's behavior nonetheless. "This Court thereby prays that Malag aste will take it upon himself to remember his place among the Virtues, and seek to behave properly even when dealing with uncomfortable situations." During his verdict, the judge also took direct issue with Lord Galen's closing argument. "As Lord Galen indicates, a verdict in favor of the plaintiff would open flood gates [...] that would likely include this Justicar suing the defendant's attorney for defamation of character, not to mention holding him in contempt of court."

    With this second legal case involving the Lady Beauvina closed with a second loss, this reporter was able to get final thoughts from both parties involved. Not willing to call his win in court a victory, Minister Malag aste referred to a different way of dealing with her and the cows. "Perhaps I should have just arrested her... and been done with it [...] It's not her I have a problem with, it's the cows." Lady Beauvina's final thoughts revolved around the behavior of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his inability to remain civil, questioning his ability to represent Britannia to foreign nations if he can not keep his cool when dealing with a few harmless bovines.
     
  2. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Dear Editor:

    I read your reporter's coverage of the Defamation of Character trial with great interest.

    Be aware that, while I'm not questioning the accuracy of the coverage, I do feel that the reporter appears to have missed the essentials of the defendant's argument. I would argue it is of importance that your readers know the essentials of this argument in order to properly understand what happened.

    In brief:

    • The defendant made statements that he reasonably believed were true (testimony showed that the defendant could have reasonably considered the defendant to be crazy);
    • The defendant made statements that reflected what was popularly known or believed to be true (testimony was taken to the effect that the [plaintiff is popularly, if not universally, considered crazy);
    • The defendant made statements about a public figure, and statements about public figures are usually held to a higher standard when it comes to prove defamation.

    Any of these (truth and/or reasonable belief thereof; popular perception; public figure) is typically considered an adequate defense against a charge of defamation of character.

    The defendant won the case, but I am uncertain if the actual argument carried the day, or if it was merely the possibility of the floodgates to many such lawsuits opening.

    -Galen
     
  3. Phayde

    Phayde Adventurer
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    To be honest, with all of the arguing going on, it was very difficult to follow the trial, even in transcript. I did mention that your questioning focused on public opinion and on the Yew affair with which I am mostly unfamiliar -- I know only what I've heard revealed recently. Given that I am not trying to publish a novel, it's important to be brief while still carry the weight of what occurred. I doubt that the judge backed away from finding Malag aste guilty simply because you threatened to sue him though.
     
  4. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Dear Editor:

    This comment:

    in the response of your reporter to my letter to the editor has me puzzled.

    If this was in reply to my argument during the case, yes I raised the possibility of suing the Justicar for Defamation of Character, but from the context it was clearly an example of a lawsuit which could not reasonably be brought. As I attempted to argue the suit against Malag was.

    If it was a reply to this comment in my letter to the editor:

    then I don't see how this comment can reasonably be taken as a threat to sue the Justicar. I was indeed just referring to this line, spoken by the Justicar, and quoted by your very reporter:

    I must say that what began as a simple attempt to broaden the perspective conveyed by the story (by no means an uncommon practice in high-profile court actions involving public figures) has become a full-fledged concern with it, based on your reporter's response. I am now, based on the response, forced to wonder if the omission was intentional. I do not, however, intend at present to address this matter again.

    -Galen
     
  5. canary

    canary Guest

    Okay, and I loathe to break this earth shattering news, Galen, BUT IT IS A FICTIONAL ROLE PLAYING GAME.

    To dissect it as anything other than what it is, honestly, is a bit scary (imo and with no malice, of course).
     
  6. Phayde

    Phayde Adventurer
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    I have already indicated there was no omission. I provided the details of your line of questioning. I am not planning on divulging your legal tactics without first interviewing you about them. As you won your case, I got the reaction of your client and the plaintiff. If you wish to wonder if I omitted something on purpose, please feel free to, but you are creating a straw man fallacy.

    My statement that your threat to sue the justicar likely had nothing to do with his verdict is my opinion, which I am welcome to share here outside of the context of the articles I write. My coverage of the case was of the events as they unfolded before me, and without malice or bias.

    If you would like to be interviewed about your technique in this trial, your opinion of the judge, your opinion of your client, or of your opponent, I'd be happy to entertain you in that regard. I do not appreciate that you are questioning my integrity as a reporter, however, as I have not questioned your integrity as a lawyer. You do seem to be freely questioning integrity, however.
     
  7. Hahaha.... well, I won't make any comments on ur reporting skills/method in here, but really, I thanks u for writing up a summary (or a mean of update of the RP event) to us in here!:thumbup1: Once again, if ppls can't participate on the event, ur written work is now our only sources to review or learn what really happened in the Great Lake RP things...

    I did drop in for some RP events before, and I FULLY agree "...with all of the arguing going on, it was very difficult to follow the trial, even in transcript...". In fact, ppls used to post the meeting log on the RP web site in the past, but they are not being updated too often. Even the meeting log is there, it is usually too long and hard to keep track with.

    Anyway, keep up the work! If it is not Phayde's best reporting/writing on the event, it is at least a very good idea to have someone post up a summary of RP event.