The Orange Juice blog fights back against the bullies at the Jones Day law firm

Jim Lacy

Attorney Jim Lacy has stepped up to defend the Orange Juice against the bullying attack by the Jones Day law firm

Last week the fourth biggest law firm in the U.S., Jones Day, decided to declare war on the Orange Juice blog, on behalf of a former fundraiser for Mike Duvall, and current fundraiser for 72nd Assembly District candidate Linda Ackerman, named Desiree Mouzoon.  You might remember the name “Jones Day.”  This is the law firm that defended pervy former O.C. Sheriff Mike Carona – for free.

Two attorneys from Jones Day, Thomas Malcolm and Corbett Williams, threatened to sue us if we did not take down a story reporting what was reported at the OC Weekly and at KCBS 2/9, that Mouzoon had been caught in a compromising position with Duvall, in a vehicle.

We took down that post, with regrets, since we don’t have a lawyer.  Well, we didn’t at the time.  Now attorney Jim Lacy, of Wewer and Lacy, has stepped up to defend us!  Click here to read his letter to Malcolm and Jones Day.

I expect to restore the post we took down any day now.  In the interim we did post a reponse to Mouzoon’s lawyers and we also asked, “Who is Desiree Mouzoon?”  Here are a few excerpt’s from Lacy’s response to Jones Day’s attorneys:

Desiree Mouzoon Facebook

An excerpt form Desiree Mouzoon’s Facebook page

Your client has been established as a public figure by virtue of a widely broadcast media report featured on television on CBS2/KCAL9 (October 21, 2009), concerning a political debate in an election context. She has also established her role as a public figure earlier in time, as evidenced in printed flyers, mailings, e-mail communications and on the Internet, especially on a “Facebook” page, identifying her as a fundraiser for candidate(s) for elective office. As such, your client can maintain a defamation action only if she can prove malice aforethought with intent to deceive. As you know, in the famous case of New York Times v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court held that political discourse must benefit from “robust debate.” Communications in a political or an electoral context are entitled to heightened constitutional scrutiny and special protection in law. In this matter, there is absolutely no evidence of any intent to deceive, and as I have stated, there is a strong presumption in favor of First Amendment free speech rights of my client and all media outlets commenting on your client and her relationship with the Linda Ackerman for Assembly campaign, because the issue at hand is within a political and electoral context. Thus, my client views your letter as a bullying attempt to stifle his free speech and also to intimidate the free speech of a legitimate news outlet, who are protected in their speech under the United States and the California Constitution in connection with the current special election in the 72nd Assembly District.

Desiree Mouzoon

GOP fundraiser Desiree Mouzoon, from her Facebook page

With this information, I must therefore inform you that my client views any potential litigation in this matter by your client as a “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. Generally, a “SLAPP” is a (1) civil complaint or counterclaim; (2) filed against individuals or organizations; (3) arising from their communications to government or speech on an issue of public interest or concern. SLAPPs are often brought by government officials and others exercising their free speech rights against bullying individuals who oppose them on issues of public concern. SLAPP filers (the bullies) frequently use lawsuits based on ordinary civil claims such as defamation, as a means of transforming public debate into lawsuits. Often, SLAPPs are “camouflaged” as ordinary civil lawsuits based on traditional theories of tort or personal injury law. Among the most often used legal theories are defamation, broadly defined, as an alleged intentional false communication, which is either published in a written form (libel) or publicly spoken (slander) that injures one’s reputation. The parties’ subjective motives – bad faith, intent, frivolousness, intimidation, or even rightness or wrongness on the merits – are irrelevant. The only critical issue is whether protected expressive activity triggered the suit, and is therefore at risk.

Click here to read the rest of Lacy’s letter.

Lacy is a former Dana Point City Councilman.  He is a longtime friend of ours and a true conservative – who by the way opposed the coronation of Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.  In the interest of full disclosure, Lacy is also assisting the Chris Norby campaign for the 72nd Assembly District, with communications.  Thanks Jim for helping the right candidate – again!

We truly appreciate Lacy’s help in our battle against the bullies at the Jones Day law firm.  Here is Lacy’s corporate bio:

Jim Lacy is co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP. Mr. Lacy has over 25 years of experience as a manager and director of nonprofit organizations, and has acted as legal counsel to charitable organizations and other nonprofits since 1979. Mr. Lacy advises clients in obtaining and maintaining federal and state tax exemption. He also assists public policy organizations and trade associations in obtaining the full range of nonprofit benefits for their organizations, including: nonprofit postal permits; organization of tax deductible supporting charitable foundation subsidiaries; and establishment of separate segregated funds for political action. Mr. Lacy has experience conducting executive benefits transactions, and conducting administrative litigation in both U.S. Postal Service appeals and state charitable authority enforcement actions. Mr. Lacy also conducts Federal and state court litigation on first amendment public policy issues of concern to nonprofit organization and individuals.

Mr. Lacy is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia, and is admitted before the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, and to various Federal District Courts.

Previously, Mr. Lacy served as Chief Counsel for Technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1989-91. He was responsible for supervising the legal department for the Technology Administration, which includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Office of Technology Policy.

Mr. Lacy served as General Counsel to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (1987-89), where he played a key role in negotiating the national safety settlement and Consent Decree with the All-Terrain Vehicle industry approved by U.S. District Court Judge Gerhard Gessell, and managed other Federal court litigation involving enforcement of product safety laws. He also has served as Director of Export Trading Company Affairs in the International Trade Administration (1984-87), where he managed an antitrust certification program for U.S. exporters; and as a business liaison aide to the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige (1981-84).

In 1978, Mr. Lacy was a co-founding director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, with California’s Proposition 13 author, the late Howard Jarvis, which has grown to have the largest membership of any taxpayer organization in California.

Since 1975, Mr. Lacy has served on the Board of Directors of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Ocean Institute, the American Conservative Union, and Young America’s Foundation, a charitable educational organization, which now owns and maintains former President Ronald Reagan’s “Western White House,” Rancho del Cielo, in Santa Barbara, California. Mr. Lacy was instrumental in opening the negotiations which resulted in the Foundation’s acquisition of the Western White House, which is being preserved for its historical value for future generations.

Mr. Lacy was appointed by the Board of Governors of the California State Bar to the Committee on Federal Courts (1995-98). He also has served as a Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States. He currently serves as a member of the Republican State Central Committee of California.

Mr. Lacy also handles significant First Amendment litigation. He has served as counsel of record in two important Federal court cases, both resulting in permanent Federal court injunctions against the “slate mail” restrictions of Proposition 208 (2001) and Proposition 34 (2002). Additionally, in 2000 Mr. Lacy represented leaders of a nonprofit organization and won a two-day trial in Orange County Superior Court against City Council Members of the City of Mission Viejo on seven counts of violation of the state’s sunshine law, the Brown Act. And in 2007, Mr. Lacy successfully settled Brown Act claims for a client against the Capistrano Unified School District, resulting in negotiated sanctions against the district to help stop closed session abuses.

Mr. Lacy received his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University and his undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California, with summer study in Switzerland at the University of Geneva’s Cours sur les Institutions Internationales. Mr. Lacy has published articles in several journals, including the Stanford Journal of International Law (“The Effect of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 on U.S. Export Trade,” Volume 23, Issue 1, 1987).

He lives in the coastal community of Dana Point, California with his wife, Janice, and their Bavarian-born and titled German Shepard, “Ibo.” From 1998 – 2006, he served as a Planning Commissioner, Chairman of the Planning Commision, member of the City Council, Acting Mayor, and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Dana Point. Mr. Lacy has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Fire Authority, which is responsible for providing fire safety and paramedic services to 22 cities in the County. The son of opera singers, he and Janice are dedicated supporters of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and enjoy classical music.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.