Thursday, September 24, 2009

ACORN lawuit: DOA

Legal beagle Leon Wolf of Red State:
The suit alleges that Andrew Breitbart, working in concert with O'Keefe and Giles, intercepted an "oral communication" using an electronic device, which would indeed be a violation of the act. The problem, however, is that the statute specifically defines "oral communication" in section 10-401(2)(i) as: "any conversation or words spoken to or by any person in private conversation."
What this means . . . is that at least one of the parties to the conversation must have had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the conversation. In other words, if someone stands up in the town square and shouts out loud and someone else records it, that is not a violation of the act.
The problem for ACORN is that, as a matter of law, the employees at ACORN had no reasonable expectation of privacy in what they said to members of the public who entered their offices. As made clear by Katz v. United States and its progeny . . . "What a person exposes knowingly to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection."
In other words, ACORN will be laughed out of court, even here in the People's Republic of Maryland. How much concern is this nuisance suit causing? James O'Keefe Twittered last night:
Celebrating ACORN lawsuit with a candlelight dinner on the Pacific Ocean.
ACORN: Our Legal Advisors Are Incompetent, Too!


  1. The real question then becomes can the O'Keefe/Giless attorney(s)pocket that assertion (no expectation of privacy) until such time that they are able to see just how far discovery can go?

    Be a shame to pull the plug too soon...


  2. I'll say they're incompetent. I suspect they are applying Alinsky tactics, forgetting or ignoring that Giles, O'Keefe, and Breitbart admittedly studied up on Alinsky before they launched this expose.

  3. "Celebrating ACORN lawsuit with a candlelight dinner on the Pacific Ocean."

    O'Keefe is my kind of pimp.

    Mrs. Peperium

  4. Better yet,

    By this boneheaded move, ACORN has just opened up its files and records to the discovery process. Reminds me of the foolish Beorthnoth, Ealdorman of Essex in 991. Who come to think of it served a king dubbed by history "the Ill-advised."

  5. If Brietbart counterclaims, then ACORN cannot unilaterally dismiss the suit and Brietbart gets to do discovery. Win Win.