Tuesday, 05 February 2019

SPLC Hires Top Defamation Attorney To Defend Against Lawyer’s Claim

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, it appears, is a little worried.

Facing two major lawsuits that assert multiple state and federal claims, including allegations that the SPLC has trespassed the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the leftist hate group has retained a big-hitting defamation attorney to defend itself against one of them.

That regardless, the group’s long reign of terrifying power over the media and who gets designated as an “extremist” or “hate group” might be ending. Its own extremist views and attacks on mainstream conservatives as “haters” long ago wrecked the undeserved reputation it had.

But now, some of the nearly $500 million it has in the bank might wind up in the pockets of its victims.

Big-time Firm
PJ Media has reported that the SPLC hired Chad Bowman of the Ballard Spahr law giant to fight a lawsuit filed by lawyer Glenn K. Allen, who claims that the SPLC and its two top torpedoes, Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok, smeared him as a “neo-Nazi.”

In turn, he alleges, Baltimore City fired him from his job as an independent contract attorney.

Bowman is a top-flight lawyer who knows the defamation business, not just because he practices law, but also because he was a reporter. He has successfully defended CBS, Gawker Media, and the Associated Press from major defamation claims.

The firm for which Bowman toils is a major-league outfit with 650 lawyers in 15 offices.

As PJ Media reported, the SPLC’s hiring Bowman is a sign that the hate group’s top officers are terrified that Allen — and perhaps, the Center For Immigration Studies — jeopardizes SPLC’s tax-exempt status and might take them to the cleaners.

Allen and CIS vs. SPLC
Allen filed his lawsuit, which lodged nine major claims, after he lost his job with Baltimore.

By calling him a “neo-Nazi lawyer” who “infiltrated” the city’s employment ranks, Allen claims, Beirich, Potok, and the SPLC caused the city to fire him and severely harmed his reputation as a lawyer.

Allen’s lawsuit claims Beirich, Potok and the SPLC violated federal mail fraud and RICO statutes and otherwise violated federal law by conspiring to destroy him. He also claims the group is violating its status as a tax-exempt organization.

As state law goes, Allen alleges defamation and tortious interference, meaning SPLC interfered with his contractual or business relationships.

Allen wants $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, plus other costs and relief.

But Allen isn’t the only legal problem the SPLC faces.

A few weeks ago, CIS sued Beirich and SPLC president Richard Cohen. That lawsuit alleges that the pair engaged in an “ongoing conspiracy to harm CIS by falsely designating it a hate group.”

CIS alleges that the conspiracy to defame CIS constitutes wire fraud and RICO violations.

The lawsuit cites 13 of SPLC’s blog posts from October 2017 through October 2018 that repeatedly malign CIS.

Both lawsuits note that Potok has said the SPLC is out to destroy the groups it targets. “We see this political struggle, right?” Potok has said. “I mean, we’re not trying to change anybody’s mind. We’re trying to wreck the groups, and we are very clear in our head ... we are trying to destroy them.”

Big Settlement
This isn’t the first time the SPLC has landed in boiling legal water.

It recently paid more than $3 million to Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation because SPLC included them in its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” That settlement included a humiliating video apology from Cohen.

As well, SPLC was the subject of intense scrutiny after lunatic Floyd Corkins confessed that he tried to murder staff members of the Family Research Council because the SPLC designated FRC as a “hate group.”

No one, it seems, is safe from the SPLC’s designation “extremist” or “hate group.” Even Catholics who prefer the old Latin Mass are targets.

For instance, the Remnant newspaper is a “hate group,” SPLC says, because it espouses “radical traditional Catholicism.”

Traditional Catholics, SPLC falsely claims at its website, “make up the largest single group of serious anti-Semites in America, subscribe to an ideology that is rejected by the Vatican and some 70 million mainstream American Catholics.”

And The John Birch Society (the parent organization of The New American), SPLC says, is an “anti-government conspiracy group” and part of the “anti-government movement.”

Image: Pattanaphong Khuankaew via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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