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Trial All But Certain

By Greg L | 4 September 2006 | Blogs | 72 Comments

At the Martinsville conference I told a lot of the bloggers present that there was a possibility that therre was a chance the Steve Chapman lawsuit would end before a trial, and that there might be news this past week. Obviously, there hasn’t been any announcements, and that should probably be interpreted such that an early resolution to the case is unlikely. I would have liked to provide some good news on this, but perhaps it will serve the Virginia blogosphere and political free speech in general to have this decided in the courts and a solid precedent established. Right now there certainly seems to be a political precedent, as anyone following in Mr. Chapman’s footsteps significantly risks being associated with this story. I doubt anyone is eager to be branded with “pulling a Chapman”, or whatever the label will become.

It’s unfortunate, as if there was some information which would show BVBL posted erroneous information, there’s no precondition on our part for providing the truth, regardless of the source or the effects of that truth. Lacking any information to the contrary, the accuracy of the original BVBL postings still appears to be undisputed in any material way. And as there seems to be no contradictory evidence, the rationale for continuing this action seems to be strongly suspect, but I am still unaware of anything that may support Mr. Chapman’s claims and it is possible, however unlikely, that there is some such information.

What I do know is that we’re getting ready for an interesting trial. Mr. Chapman’s attorneys appear to have an interest in the participation of some important figures in the Republican party, and that will possibly require other insiders to take part. I have received requests by some interesting political personalities such as Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato to be on the witness list, and the likely strategies may involve a thorough examination of the birth and death of one of the more interesting political careers in Prince William County politics. The timing of this trial may make things even more interesting.

What is known for certain is that Mr. Steve Chapman is the perfect plaintiff to have for an action like this, and his pro-bono attorneys may be the perfect legal opponents to face. If we were going to have a case heard regarding political free speech, blogs, and political campaigns in Virginia, it would be hard to imagine a better set of circumstances.

Please consider making a donation to the BVBL legal defense fund which will help defray the expenses incurred in defending this suit. I’ll bear this burden alone if necessary, but your support will definitely make this burden easier to bear.

The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

BVBL is not a charity and your support is not tax-deductible.

You can follow the discussion through the Comments feed.


  1. Mason Conservative said on 4 Sep 2006 at 9:29 pm:
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    Give ‘em hell. This certainly is about free speech, and I think your stand is a stand for all of us. Seconldy, let me say that I think there is more here, too. You won’t bear this alone we will all be with you, if nothing else in spirit. Near as I can tell, the mostives here are questionable. I think Chapman is just bitter that he lost and is looking for someone to blame and take it out on, instead of himself. Don’t stand for it and keep fighitng.


  2. charles said on 4 Sep 2006 at 10:21 pm:
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    I’ll be surprised if Chapman’s company does not have the contract to clean the headstones at Arlington. I have to guess that’s the big ticket item on this lawsuit, and it’s hard to imagine his company isn’t doing that job when he said they were.

    If he has those contracts, then I also guess he’ll be able to show that by claiming otherwise, BVBL interfered with his business, and maybe he has testimony from prospective clients who either didn’t give business or took away business based on the erroneous statements by BVBL that Chapman lied about his references.

    I can speculate about this because I don’t know anything, I’m not on any witness lists that I know about, and therefore I feel free to guess at what might happen. I wish BVBL was man enough to come forward and defend his/her statements and relieve Greg of this burden.

    I’m sorry Greg is being punished for having the courage to put his name to his words. I wish Chapman had found a way to settle this with Greg without going to court.

    Greg, if you can tell us what day the trial starts, and in which courtroom, those of us who care could come and sit in the audience. I did that for Steve when he went to court on the trumped-up voter fraud charges, and I bet a lot of people would sit with you on this one.

  3. Anonymous said on 5 Sep 2006 at 10:13 am:
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    Charles, I am sure BVBL could have settled this lawsuit by apologizing for defaming Steve Chapman and withdrawing his libelous statements. But as you see from today’s BVBL post, he is still laboring under the illusion that his falsehoods are somehow true.

  4. James Young said on 5 Sep 2006 at 11:29 am:
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    I am thoroughly confused by some of these statements, but my impression of this post seems to come down to this: bravado is interesting, especially where humility might be called for.

    That this case is going to trial at all (even in Virginia) suggests to those of us schooled in the law that your position is not nearly so pristine or well-based as you would suggest. I have only had a single case in Virginia Circuit court, and that case was resolved on summary judgment. Indeed, given that it is, there seems to be much more likelihood that people will be “branded with ‘pulling a BVBL,’” rather than the label you self-servingly suggest.

    BTW, I agree with Charles about BVBL him/herself. It offends me that Greg might be left holding the bag for such a coward. ‘Course, you lie down with dogs….

    If held liable, it seems that Greg will learn a hard and/or expensive lesson about the cost of the courage to put one’s name to one’s words, while at the same time learning much about the circumspection which should accompany doing so.

  5. Interested In Manassas said on 5 Sep 2006 at 1:04 pm:
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    For someone who has stated on numerous occasions, that you have no idea as to whether or not Chapman’s accusations have merit, your post above implies that you believe that they do, simply because a judge has decided to hear the case. I would wager that this case is being heard, because it is a first-of-its-kind, a candidate for public office, vs. a blogger. Your posts also betray what I see as you want to believe that BVBL was bad, and what the blog said about Chapman was false. Admit it. You are (were) a supporter of Chapman’s candidacy. You often call attention to his finishing with 45% of the primary vote as Chapman’s qualifying credential to serve. Your often stated hatred of anonymous bloggers also taints your perspective.

    I have to ask why you and Charles never took the time to find any information that would have refuted the charges leveled against Chapman by BVBL. Granted, all of the original posts are gone, along with the comments, but I can not recall a single instance of you or Charles leaping to Chapman’s defense, and I read this blog daily. I will admit that you and Charles had no responsibility to do so, but if you thought Chapman was being mistreated, you could have. I recall that Charles initially tried to defend Chapman’s self-serving “sample ballots” as something that was put out by the Family Alliance, but when he actually obtained a copy of the ballot, he was forced to admit that it made no reference to the group, and was something that Chapman was doing for Chapman. That Charles is a friend and supporter of Chapman’s is well established.

    As far as you and Charles branding BVBL, (the anon. blogger) a coward, I am on the side of BVBL. In as much as Chapman’s claims that the charges of voter fraud against him (”you can indict a ham sandwich” is what his lawyer said) were frivolous, I believe that Chapman’s charges are as well. I also believe that the information published by BVBL and Greg L. was true. Taken in the context of those stories published on the original blog which no one has been able to dispute, were well supported, and not challenged by Chapman (or you) (lawsuits, sample-ballots, match.com profiles, etc.), I would tend to believe that BVBL and Greg were telling the truth on the two items that Chapman has chosen to dispute (High School & Arlington). If they were in error, I believe that they were acting on good information, but maybe didn’t have the whole story. One example could be that Chapman left school for a time, but later returned and completed his education.

    Why in the world would someone want to make it easy for another to serve them with a lawsuit? Did Francis Marion tell the British where to find him? No, he made them chase him through the swamps of South Carolina. Bravo to BVBL. The only reason Chapman is suing Greg is that Greg is the only one that Chapman can lash out against. BVBL and Greg did a great service to the voters of the 50th. The informed the voters of what kind of candidate was seeking their vote, and just how unqualified he was. The fact that Chapman’s spokesman (who happened to host a fund raiser the night before the filing deadline), his lawyer, and Chapman himself were so distracted that they forgot to file, demonstrates a total lack of responsibility and amateurishness. The execution of their lawsuit only reinforces this perception. I am glad that he is not going to represent the 50th in Richmond.

    I have a feeling that the only thing we are going to learn from this trial is that Chapman has no business serving in elected office, and that you shouldn’t screw with Greg L.

  6. Had to Say said on 5 Sep 2006 at 3:31 pm:
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    I agree with interested in Manassas.
    Nothing is EVER Stevie’s fault.

  7. James Young said on 5 Sep 2006 at 3:48 pm:
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    “Interested in Manassas,” you clearly display an ignorance of the legal system. If Chapman’s case had no factual or legal merit (both claimed by Greg), then it would not go to trial. Greg would be a fool to waste his money, and no judge would waste his time.

    Hence, I do not imply that Chapman’s claim has merit; I have inferred, and will state quite categorically, that the fact that it is going to trial demonstrates that he has a legally and factually colorable claim. As for my post “betraying” that I think “that BVBL was bad,” how could it “betray” that which I have said repeatedly? Whether or not BVBL’s behavior was actionable or constitutes slander and/or liable, I have said repeatedly that it was despicable.

    Of course, that it is going to trial is one distinction between his case and the frivolous criminal charges filed against Chapman. You can “believe” whatever you want to (I believe I’ll have a beer with dinner), but the fact that the case is going to trial demonstrates that it is not, on its face, frivolous, and that Chapman states a colorable legal claim.

    As for your assertion that I supported Chapman, I never took a position in this year’s race. I supported him in 2005, against Harry Parrish, much like our current host. Truth be told, I was leaning towards Miller (Weimer didn’t impress me), and thought that Steve had too much baggage, however undeserved it was. That is not to say, however, that I endorsed the childish and despicable efforts of some to belittle him.

    As to your assertion that Charles or I should have taken “the time to find any information that would have refuted the charges leveled against Chapman by BVBL,” I have said repeatedly that it was no one’s factual or legal burden to disprove these wild and elaborate claims; I suspect Greg is about to discover that it was his burden to insure that they were true before making them. Moreover, one need not have either leaped to Chapman’s defense or been inclined to do so — or even have questioned the assertions — to have concluded that what was being done to him here and on the original BVBL was despicable.

    As for your post, I certainly hope that Greg has recorded your address. I strongly suspect that you are BVBL, since you sound so much like that coward and like him/her, continue to cower in anonymity. Perhaps, if he loses, Greg can use it to bring you/him/her to the justice BVBL so richly deserves.

    As for having “hatred” of anonymous bloggers, I don’t hate them; I hold them in contempt as cowards. There is a difference. Comparing the cowardly BVBL to those Revolutionary War heroes that you name is, of course, ridiculous. He/she is, of course, lacks even the courage of Islamofascist maniacs who strap bombs to themselves. At least they’re willing to sacrifice something for the cause in which they believe.

    Poor BVBL is too cowardly to risk even his/her good name, or lack thereof.

  8. charles said on 5 Sep 2006 at 4:28 pm:
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    Interested in Manassas:

    At the time BVBL was making the charges, I was purposely ignoring this blog. I made several defenses of Steve over at TooConservative where they charges were well-debated.

    BVBL never posted PDF’s or scans of the evidence, he just told us what he had found. I can’t remember if Greg said at the time that he had SEEN the evidence or not. BVBL insisted that Chapman was lying about having a contract to clean the headstones, but other than his word about the FIOA responses, there was no real evidence. Further, what he said about the FIOA responses, if true, merely showed that some company in Ohio held a contract from the cemetary. BVBL never checked if that company then gave Steve’s company a contract to actually perform the work — and I noted that it was unlikely a crew from Ohio was driving in to clean the headstones.

    Come to think of it, I might have posted something just like that once over on this blog, just to try to get an answer from BVBL. Or maybe BVBL was posting over at TooConservative.

    But my argument is based on logic and probability now, not actual proof. Given that Steve would be committing Business Fraud if he claimed he had a contract when he didn’t have it, and given that proving he didn’t have the contract SHOULD have been a simple thing to do, by finding one person who worked for a DIFFERENT company that actually cleaned the headstones, it seems extremely unlikely that Steve would have LIED about having that contract.

    It was even more unlikely given that there wasn’t anything particularly spectacular about holding that contract that would make it worth risking jail or a huge fine in order to lie about it.

    BVBL, on the other hand, hated Steve, and in addition to this one charge that he claimed he had evidence for, he made many other claims of malfeasance. He had every reason to either lie about Steve, or to deliberately misrepresent the facts he had which we couldn’t see in order to harm Steve’s business and reputation.

    And BVBL wasn’t worried about any consequences, as he was completely anonymous and could dissappear at any time.

    So to believe Steve, you simply have to believe that someone who hated Steve and was posting anonymously might misrepresent the truth. To believe BVBL, you have to believe that a man was risking jail and fines and ruining his reputation just to claim he had a contract that anybody could easily prove he didn’t have.

    Could a man actually be that stupid? Yes, and I understand that some of you make that claim about Steve. But for his faults, Steve did seem to be able to run a business, and claims to the contrary notwithstanding, I have always found him to be upfront and truthful in his statements.

    His blaming others for failing to file his paperwork/pay his fee shows some of his faults, but neither indicates apriori a person who would risk a fraud conviction simply to claim a contract he didn’t have.

    And the icing on the cake — it is unfathamable to me that a person who committed such fraud would then publicly prove it by taking a case to court which would show the world that he didn’t have that contract. It’s possible, but extremely unlikely, that Steve would sue for a lie, and that two lawyers, no matter how bad you think they are, would take a case based on a lie, and go to court with no evidence that BVBL was lying.

    I could well be wrong, and if I am the court case will show it.

  9. Interested In Manassas said on 5 Sep 2006 at 5:53 pm:
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    Things may be as logical and cut-and-dried in the Shire, where you live, but in the world of politics, people lie all the time. I didn’t want to turn this into a complete rehashing of Steve’s rise and fall, but you brought it up in your original post.

    Did BVBL hate Steve? Perhaps, or maybe he just thought Chapman was a poor candidate, and wanted to do what he could to prevent Chapman from getting the nomination. I could be wrong, but I think that BVBL stated on numerous occasions that he or she lived in the 50th. BVBL had some skin in the game. Chapman could have been the nominee, and maybe even the delegate. As a voter in the 50th, I am glad that BVBL and Greg were willing to educate us on Steve’s “unique qualifications”.

    Chapman’s spokesman, stated that Steve had held a 5 year contract at Arlington: http://www.potomacnews.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WPN/MGArticle/WPN_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1137836448984

    “Chapman maintained that his business has held a five-year contract to clean the cemetery’s headstones, and another contract to maintain President John F. Kennedy’s grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”

    OK. So Chapman states that he “has held a five-year contract…”, and I don’t dispute that he DID. He admits that the contract-term was 5 years. A simple google search of DOD contracts under the name of Steve’s company, National Home Improvement of Virginia, and I (amateur detective that I am), found this:

    Notice that Chapman’s company did have a contract, for 5 years, WHICH ENDED IN APRIL 2005!

    How about that Charles? I took five whole minutes out of my day, did a google search, and found that. BVBL and Greg are 5th-degree black-belts in research. I am but a humble amateur. I would tend to believe what they find. How come you couldn’t have done the same thing to help your buddy, your pal?

    If I remember correctly, BVBL or Greg, contacted Arlington, and was told that a new contract had been awarded in April 2006, to some company out of Ohio. Well, the dates on the link above would support the assertions of Greg and BVBL. Why would Chapman be the Prime Contractor for 5 years, and then become a sub-contractor. Oh, while we are at it, if Chapman’s company is indeed a sub, then technically, their contract is with the Prime Contractor, and not with the DOD.

    Do I believe that Chapman and his attorneys would be “that stupid” as to proceed with a lawsuit when they knew Steve wasn’t being completely honest? Yes, I do. Lawyers do this sort of thing all the time, and based on the documents that the original BVBL and Greg have published, generated by Chapman and his lawyers, spelling errors, factual inaccuracies, poor grammar, I do believe that they are “that stupid”.

    But as you say Charles, your arguments are “based on logic and probability now, not actual proof”. Whoever said that Chapman was logical? Who would have all of this crap in their background (lawsuits, match.com profiles, loss of his real-estate license) and not expect that someone would find out. BVBL liked to compare Chapman to Bill Clinton. Clinton was a clinical narcissist. I believe Chapman is as well, but I am using your standard of “But my argument is based on logic and probability now, not actual proof”. Clinton didn’t believe that Jennifer Flowers or the rest of his bimbos should change the way people viewed him. I think Chapman can’t understand why people would hold all of his many flaws against him.

    The bottom line is, you did a poor job of defending a poor candidate, Charles. Your boy went down in flames. You can’t handle the fact that someone that you knew, liked and supported had that many character flaws. That is understandable, but acceptance of the truth is the first step in recovery.

    So, while you are out and about in the shire, please think about this, instead of going on every blog but your own, talking about how Steve Chapman was so unfairly treated, that mean ole’ BVBL is a coward, and the noble (yet misguided) Greg L was left holding the bag. All you are doing is making yourself look like a jack-ass. I’ve read your columns. I know you aren’t a jack-ass.

  10. Bwana said on 5 Sep 2006 at 7:38 pm:
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    There is an assumption here that since a judge decided to hear the case, then Chapman must have something.

    May be…but isn’t it true that in filing a case the plaintiff only has to show prima facie evidence of a wrongdoing, and that from the filing until a motion for directed verdict that the evidence must be viewed in the light best for the plaintiff? If that is the case, then it is entirely reasonable that a judge agreed to hear a case that is in fact quite weak.

    Again, not an attorney here, just something I read one time in the Washington Times…hence, you know it just has to be right!

    But something an attorney could answer for me, and I have been asking for months w/o response…when all this was going on, if Chapman was still an active candidate, why did it behoove him to not respond to the BVBL charges? If he had proof that the BVBL allegations were without merit, why not publish the evidence and nip the whole thing in the bud?

    I understand that he might have no responsibility under the law to respond, but from a political standpoint-at a time when politicos of all stripes rush to refute charges leveled by the opposition-why did Chapman choose to not do so?

    I am still trying to figure that one out…and would be grateful to anyone who can explain to me the political advantage to Chapman of not replying to the BVBL allegations.

  11. AWCheney said on 5 Sep 2006 at 7:53 pm:
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    He probably needs the money Bwanna. Perhaps his business has never been as successful as he would like others to believe and, given the distraction of constantly attempting to get himself sent to Richmond, perhaps THAT is the reason he really needs the money now.

    That’s another reason that I’ve been suggesting that Greg should counter-sue for, at the least, attorney fees. Chapman has little to lose (it very much looks like his legal council is doing this pro-bono, or very close to it), but very much to gain by proceeding with this. It might not have been quite so attractive to proceed if he found himself defending his own actions.

  12. James Young said on 5 Sep 2006 at 8:52 pm:
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    Well, bwana, you accurately state the legal standard, assuming arguendo that Greg’s attorney (I don’t even know who it is) acted like a potted plant. I assume that he or she has not. The normal course of things is for a case to go through pretrial motions, including motions to dismiss and/or for summary judgment (decided by the judge), and go to trial (I think a jury trial has been requested) if they are denied. Therefore, I presume (concededly, perhaps inaccurately) based upon what Greg has said that his attorney has filed and lost such motions.

    You ask “why did it behoove him to not respond to the BVBL charges? If he had proof that the BVBL allegations were without merit, why not publish the evidence and nip the whole thing in the bud?” My guess is that, among other things, it would not have done any good at all with the hatemongers (such as the poster after you) who would never forgive Steve for winning 45% of the GOP primary vote against Harry Parrish. Were I in Steve’s position, I could easily have asked myself “Why bother? Why cast pearls before these swine?”

    As for the previous poster’s comments, once again, that free legal advice is worth even LESS THAN Greg paid for it. It demonstrates that attempting to respond to serial idiocies is an exercise in futility, because the purveyors of such fertilizer will simply come up with more and increasingly elaborate constructions.

  13. Interested In Manassas said on 5 Sep 2006 at 9:06 pm:
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    Blah blah blah, ya ya ya…your words are so tired and feeble. Where were you, when Chapman was being attacked? I can hear your answer now: Blah blah blah, anonymous posters, blah blah blah, ya ya ya. Who is the real coward, you Monday morning quarterback? Oops! I said something mean. Please don’t sue me! I didn’t mean to slander you by calling you a coward and a Monday Morning Quater Back, when I knew, or should have known, that my accusations were materially false. Please don’t send me a joke of a letter, full of misspellings, and grammatical errors. I just might take you seriously….

  14. AWCheney said on 5 Sep 2006 at 9:46 pm:
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    Now, not being an attorney I could be wrong about this, but would not a summary judgment motion come from the plaintive and, if denied, would that not indicate that Chapman lost that pretrial motion?

  15. James Young said on 5 Sep 2006 at 10:21 pm:
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    Yes, AWCheney, as usual, you’re wrong about that.

  16. James Young said on 5 Sep 2006 at 10:22 pm:
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    Re: “”the purveyors of such fertilizer will simply come up with more and increasingly elaborate constructions.”

    See what I mean?

  17. AWCheney said on 5 Sep 2006 at 10:46 pm:
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    Actually Jimmy…I was hoping a real-world attorney would answer that question. Claiming certitude for a statement you, yourself, made is hardly what I would call a credible response. I am constructing nothing, just asking a legitimate question.

  18. NoVA Scout said on 5 Sep 2006 at 11:45 pm:
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    Greg: I certainly would be glad to contribute to the defense fund, but we need to work our the method of transferring the monies. Give me a shout on my e-mail address on TC.

    I never took Steve Chapman very seriously. In my opinion, it was a political anomaly that he would challenge a substantive figure like Harry Parrish. One would have to be fairly out of touch politically to think that guy could measure up to someone with the military and civic background of Mr. Parrish.

    I advocated that people focus on Chapman’s lack of political substance rather than quibble about his past. It seemed to me that was enough to disqualify the fellow for any position of public trust. I have no idea whether he dropped out of high school (although people have told me that he has told young ladies this in social settings to imply that his vast business success was more spectacular given his status as a dropout (this is getting into levels of hearsay that only occur on law school exams)), or whether he “lost ” a contract to clean headstones at Arlington.

    I do know that the current candidate, Jackson Miller, is an excellent choice and that it is hard to conclude that monetary damage was incurred by Chapman as a result of BVBL posts, even if one assumes, arguendo, that they were, in some respects, inaccurate. The guy had no political chance in a rational world. He is in no different position now than he would have been had the posts not be published. It’s straightforward enough to determine what the actual facts are. it’s another issue to establish that cognizable harm has occurred. Damnum absque injuria and all that.

    Good luck.

  19. anonymous said on 6 Sep 2006 at 12:04 am:
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    “I have to ask why you and Charles never took the time to find any information that would have refuted the charges leveled against Chapman by BVBL.”

    I have to ask why anyone would think that those accusations should have been dignified with an answer.

  20. James Young said on 6 Sep 2006 at 12:12 am:
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    Once again, the OWW resorts to name-calling when her ignorance is demonstrated. ‘Fact is, a “real-world attorney” did answer that question. Or are you suggesting that your “old friend,” my boss, isn’t a “real-world attorney,” either? Isn’t it interesting how the only thing offered in your defense is your own bilious and ill-informed posts?

    And “NoVA Scout,” apparently 45% of the GOP voters in the 50th District thought that what a candidate stands for — like holding the line against unnecessary tax increases, a position which you cavalierly dismiss as a “lack of political substance,” typical Liberal-speak for “a compelling political principle that I can’t address” — was more important than a warm and fuzzy resume. While I would agree that Miller was/is probably the better candidate, in a head-to-head race, Chapman’s vote in the 2005 primary was still impressive. Arguably, only a political dirty trick denied him the GOP nomination.

  21. AWCheney said on 6 Sep 2006 at 2:30 am:
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    Jimmy, it’s really hard to imagine you in a courtroom arguing a case when all I’ve seen of your “debate” on the blogs is attended by vitriole and GENUINE name-calling. It boggles the mind. Your brand of adversarial confrontation more resembles that of a schoolyard bully than that of a legal advocate so, yes, I find it difficult to look upon you as a “real-world” attorney. There was never any such question with regard to my “old friend.”

  22. Interested In Manassas said on 6 Sep 2006 at 6:19 am:
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    “Arguably, only a political dirty trick denied him the GOP nomination”

    Are you kidding me? Which trick would that have been?

  23. NoVA Scout said on 6 Sep 2006 at 7:04 am:
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    James: you think Chapman could have defeated Miller? That’s an embarrassing public display of political tone-deafness. Oh well, we can’t protect you from everything.

  24. Bwana said on 6 Sep 2006 at 8:27 am:
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    Re: your 9/6/06 2052 comment above…and I can see the logic of the “Pearls before swine” argument.

    The reason I keep coming back to this is that the recent practice (certainly since the 1992 Clinton War Room concept gained such attention) has been for candidates to immediately refute inaccurate information for fear that it takes root and is accepted as truth.

    You are likely right that refuting the claim would not have changed the views of those lined up against Chapman. My thought has been about how the undecided would view it, not only in a primary but also in the general election. It seems to make political sense, and is in line with current practices, to have gone on the offensive, produce the refutation, and demand an apology…

    Oh, well…until the trial happens, I imagine all we can do is speculate.

  25. James Young said on 6 Sep 2006 at 11:22 am:
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    Well, that’s pretty funny, OWW, since your “old friend” is my supervisor and authorizes my raises and bonuses. Of course, your skewed and bilious observations are so much more accurate than an actual record of accomplishment. But then again, your contrived ignorance over that is a matter of public record, too.

    As for your characterization as a “schoolyard bully,” I suspect that most will simply read that as your self-serving malphemism (is that a word?) of someone who tells inconvenient truths about you. After all, you can’t refute the truth, so you simply attack me. Of course, your complaints against “bullying” are rather contrived, since you enlisted a Commonwealth’s Attorney to file politically motivated and later-dismissed charges against Chapman, bullying on an extreme order. As for the tone of my comments, I offer what the likes of you can understand.

    “Interested” and “NoVA Scout”: I was obviously referring to the 2005 nomination, so I was referring to the later-dismissed felony charges provoked by the Parrish campaign and the aforementioned OWW. Your contrived effort to mischaracterize my statement is some childish, especially for one like CJB … er, “NoVA Scout.” Obviously, one may feel free to characterize his failure in his abortive 2006 run in many ways, and I certainly wouldn’t dispute many, if any, of them.

    And bwana, you make an interesting point, though I — for one — don’t think that emulating the Clinton example is something a Republican should do (or have to do), particularly if the serial charges were false. Comparing Chapman to Clinton is something only that Kool-Aid drinkers like the original BVBL and AWCheney would do. There is almost no way one could keep up with the lies and slanders of the blogosphere. Likewise, apologies are not only frequently meaningless: they’re useless and of almost no consequence (see: Macaca-gate). Witness, for example, the recent revelations about the source of the Plame leak. Leaving even one unanswered would doubtless bring charges of tacit admission. Moreover, I think you attribute to the purveyor of those charges a readership that it just didn’t have … at least until Chapman sued him.

  26. charles said on 6 Sep 2006 at 2:22 pm:
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    NovaScout: It’s clear James was talking about the 2005 race, not Chapman’s aborted 2006 run.

    IIM, that’s also the election that James asserts a “dirty trick” cost Chapman, I presume he’s talking about the since-dismissed politically-motivated charges of voter fraud filed against Chapman in 2005 after a Parrish campaign operative, after researching for dirt to use in the campaign, turned that dirt over to a friendly prosecuter to file charges against Chapman.

    That prosecuter then recused himself, making it certain that the charges couldn’t be dealt with before the primary. Then supporters of Parrish, and people in the Parrish campaign, used the charges against Chapman, while insisting falsely that nobody in the Parrish campaign had anything to do with the charges.

    The BVBL stuff was part of the campaign from this year to replace Parrish after his death, not that 2005 primary.

  27. AWCheney said on 6 Sep 2006 at 3:18 pm:
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    Those charges have not been dismissed Charles…they were “no-prossed,” I believe the term is. They can be brought back anytime. If I remember correctly, BVBL (the original) mentioned something about that in a thread of comments over at Jim Riley’s blog.

  28. AWCheney said on 6 Sep 2006 at 3:33 pm:
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    I’m hoping that Greg will chime in on this when he gets back. He would know who filed what motion that was dismissed, making the greater part of this thread entirely academic.

  29. James Young said on 6 Sep 2006 at 3:59 pm:
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    That’s amazing! AWCheney manages to get something partially right.

    The proper phrase is, of course, “nol pros’ed,” from “nolle prosequi,” and Black’s Law Dictionary defines it as “A formal entry upon the record … by the prosecuting officer in a criminal action, by which he declares that he ‘will no further procecute’ the case….” It is, indeed, distinct from having been dismissed (which can be with or without prejudice), and does not bar later prosecution for the offense. It is, however, nearly tantamount to dismissal, but there is a slight, technical difference (were I a judge, I would be highly skeptical of any subsequent decision to revive the charges), so I apologize for confusing the issue.

    Of course, that evades entirely identifying the reason for the prosecution’s decision (certainly, such an offense has been prosecuted in Prince William County, against Debra Wilson), or explaining the “good cause” necessary to sustain such a motion (presumably, he or she did so to the court). One wonders whether it entered to avoid the embarassment of a straight dismissal, and to leave the charge hanging over Chapman’s head, in light of his political ambitions. Frankly, in this context, I believe it does a disservice either to Steve, who deserves an acquittal, or the voters and citizens of the 50th District and/or its GOP, who deserve to know that one of their candidates was not objectively qualified to appear on the ballot.

  30. AWCheney said on 6 Sep 2006 at 5:16 pm:
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    It is the same “dismissal” that Stoffregen got from the court…and we all know what happened to him after his political dust settled.

  31. James Young said on 6 Sep 2006 at 6:06 pm:
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    No, we all don’t, and from what I know of the two prosecutions, they have little in common. Stoffregen’s was charged well after leaving office, and those charges were resolved with some sort of plea deal; Chapman was charged based upon information advocated by the campaign of a political rival, and the charges were “nol pros’ed” after the political damage had been done.

  32. Not Jack Herrity said on 6 Sep 2006 at 7:03 pm:
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    One thing I want to point out is that motions for summary judgment are extremely disfavored in Virginia courts. The moving party basically has to prove there is no legal issue whatsoever, and clearly this is not the case in this instance. Whether Chapman was defamed to the point where he should be awarded damages is clearly an issue of evidentiary proof.

    This is much different than the federal level, where judges are much more favorably disposed to summary judgment motions as a way of clearing their congested dockets. So even if Greg’s attorney filed a motion for summary judgment, denial of such hardly provides insight on the merits of the case.

    I wanted to clear this up lest anyone believe Jimmy Young’s bluster.


  33. anonymous said on 6 Sep 2006 at 8:10 pm:
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    “The moving party basically has to prove there is no legal issue whatsoever, and clearly this is not the case in this instance.”

    In other words, there is a legal issue.

    “So even if Greg’s attorney filed a motion for summary judgment, denial of such hardly provides insight on the merits of the case.”

    It does provide insight that the moving party couldn’t prove there is no legal issue whatsoever.

  34. Not Jack Herrity said on 6 Sep 2006 at 9:09 pm:
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    Correct, anon, but don’t ignore that the legal bar for defamation of a public official is set impossibly high. This is an evidentiary matter and I do not believe Chapman can win unless he can demonstrate that BVBL knew the truth and acted anyway.

    All summary judgment looks at is whether there is a legal complaint stated. It says nothing about whether there is any evidence to back up this complaint.

    Greg’s previous statements on this site are very shrewd, because they are demonstrable evidence of his intent to set the record straight if he receives documents indicating that the statements about Chapman’s past are demonstrably wrong.


  35. Anonymous said on 6 Sep 2006 at 9:32 pm:
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    NJH: Summary judgment is disfavored in Va. state courts, as you say. However, the standard is that there must be no material facts in dispute, and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. If there is a genuine dispute as to facts material to the case (i.e. one that could affect the outcome of the case), then the case must go to the jury. The jury decides the facts, the judge applies the law.

  36. Virginia Lawyer said on 6 Sep 2006 at 11:12 pm:
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    Every libel and slander case I have ever been involved in in Virginia courts (6-7 cases) was dismissed at the Demurrer stage. Chapman’s case against BVBL is far beyond this stage, which indicates to me that BVBL failed to convince the court that the Motion for Judgment against him lacked legal and factual merit. The fact that the case is going to trial shows pretty conclusively that the case is much stronger than BVBL would like to admit.

    In addition, a counter-claim for “attorney fees” would now appear to be not only meritless, but frivolous. Virginia adheres to the “American rule,” which dictates that each party bears its own costs unless the Court determines that the original suit was meritless as a matter of law. This is 99.9+% of the time determined when a Defendant files a successful Demurrer. In this case, there was either no Demurrer or the Demurrer was denied by the Circuit Court.

    BVBL’s brave face aside, the suit appears to be a substantial one, and I for one would never describe a case at this advanced juncture as anything but extremely bad news for a Defendant.

  37. James Young said on 7 Sep 2006 at 12:17 am:
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    NJH, “Jimmy Young” is my son, and while quite precocious for a youngster of ten, he is not an attorney. Of course, the fact that my single case in Virginia Circuit court going to judgment waw resolved favorably on a summary judgment motion belies AWCheney’s contemptuous aspersions, your belittling reference, and your dismissal of it as “bluster.” The only “bluster” of significance here is that which declares that Chapman will undoubtedly lose this casel, or that his bar “is set impossibly high.” While I would concede (from my memory of New York Times v. Sullivan) that it is set quite high, “impossibly high” is an extreme overstatement.

    But that presumes that you correctly state the legal standard for summary judgment, which you don’t (you clearly confuse it with a motion to dismiss). As I wrote in the brief in the case I successfully litigated: “In discussing the efficacy of summary judgment, the Supreme Court of Virginia has held that:
    While the summary judgment rules and the discovery rules are not intended to substitute a new method for trial when an issue of fact exists, these rules “were adopted to allow trial courts to bring litigation to an end at an early stage when it clearly appeared that one of the parties was entitled to a judgment in the case as made out by the pleadings and the admission of the parties.”
    Carson v. LeBlanc, 245 Va. 135, 140 (1993), citing Kasco Mills, Inc. v. Ferebee, 197 Va. 589, 593 (1956). However, it “is a drastic remedy which is available only where there is no material fact genuinely in dispute…. It applies only to cases in which no trial is necessary because no evidence could affect the result.” Shevel’s, Inc. v. Southeastern Ass’n, 228 Va. 175, 181 (1984) (citations omitted).”

    In that case (Orr v. NFLPA, 147 LRRM (BNA) 2845 (VA.CIR.CT. 1994), cert. denied 150 LRRM (BNA) 2191 (VA. 1995)). In short, the standard is very similar to the Federal standard.

    As for the merits here, I spoke to one of Chapman’s attorneys this evening, and it seems that my surmises from Greg’s statement are not correct: Greg’s attorney has not lost (or even filed) the pretrial motions which I had presumed (based upon Greg’s expectation that the case is going to trial) that he had. The basis for his statement is therefore a mystery, though I wouldn’t expect Greg to comment further since I believe that wise legal counsel would urge him to withhold further comment, lest he compound his legal difficulties. Given the nature of the blogosphere and the anonymous/pseudonymous rantings of those who cannot be held responsible for their misstatements, he may well “win” the argument here. Whether he can win it in court remains to be seen.

  38. Not Jack Herrity said on 7 Sep 2006 at 9:26 am:
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    Okay, it was late. I admit it, I got my signals crossed. I was loosely citing the standard to the federal 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. I’m a federal court junkie, what can I say?

    Jimmy and anon are correct about the issue of material fact. The difference is that in a motion to dismiss there are facts in dispute, but the facts don’t add up to a legal injury or claim. Summary judgment usually assumes there is a legal claim but attacks the factual basis for the claim. The person moving for summary judgment says there are no material facts in the limited evidentiary record warranting the need for a trial.

    A “material fact,” by the way, is lawyerese for a fact that is disputed and may affect the outcome of the suit. It is very easy under Virginia’s case law for a plaintiff to escape summary judgment with production of very tenuous evidence because summary judgment is so disfavored.

    I’ve seen the bill of complaint, and I believe Chapman has stated a legal claim. If a motion for summary judgment has not yet been filed, Greg’s lawyer is a doofus (yes, that’s a legal term) if he fails to file one before this thing goes to trial. Judgment as a matter of law, which is similar to summary judgment, is usually filed after the opposing party has presented his case. So in this case, Greg’s lawyer would wait for Chapman to present his case, then ask for judgment as a matter of law (formerly called a “directed verdict” in federal parlance). I’m not as familiar with Virginia practice on this point, so my terms might be off.

    Where Jimmy continues to muddle facts is in his recollections of NYT v. Sullivan. NYT involves a factually incorrect advertisement during the civil rights movement. The holding was that a plaintiff must prove actual malice before recovering on a libel claim against a public official. As I’ve stated before, there are two things Chapman must prove here:

    1. That BVBL’s statements were factually incorrect. If the statements were true, there is no legal injury and there can be no libel.

    2. That BVBL knew the facts were false or acted in reckless disregard for their truth/falsity. This is the “actual malice” standard and this is what is nearly impossible to prove, unless BVBL or Greg had conversations outside the public arena with Chapman that lend proof to an actual malice finding. There is certainly nothing in the public record that would suggest actual malice to me.


  39. Greg L said on 7 Sep 2006 at 9:38 pm:
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    My apologies to those who had their comments “greyed out”, as your got caught in the moderation queue based on the content of the postings. Normally I’m on top of this, but I’m out of town for a while and haven’t had a chance to get on the internet and do some housekeeping.

    I find the commentary here very interesting, and feel there are a couple of points that I need to make.

    While I am not responsible for BVBL’s comments, I do generally stand behind his right to say what he did. What he said should have been discussed by others in the blogosphere, and for various reasons was not, which might have otherwise robbed voters of their chance to make an informed decision. What I personally said I stand behind to this day as an accurate reflection of the truth as I knew it then and know it today. Both BVBL and myself were always amenable to a correction of the record if only we could be provided with evidence which would show that we were wrong. To this day, no evidence has been presented. We have plead for contrary information, I beg for it to this day, and nothing ever comes.

    When my opponents in this case are apparently uninterested in sorting out the facts and resolving this before trial, it makes sense to me to make this a test case which will make it clear that lawsuit threats against bloggers will go nowhere in this state. A solid decision in our favor, which is without any doubt in my mind what I expect here, will do more good for political discourse in Virginia than anything else I can imagine, and this is a perfect case to bring to trial. It will remove uncertainty about how we present the facts, empower the citizen to speak his mind, and improve the flow of information available to voters.

    I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is, and if I felt in any way uncertain about the outcome of this I wouldn’t be putting my word, my fortune and my sacred honor on the line here.

    My thanks go out to those supporting this effort, and I cannot adequately express my gratitude to them here. That support means a lot to me and my family, and knowing that standing up for the larger principle here is not overlooked by all those whom I hope it will benefit makes this stand feel worthwhile. This is not my fight, it is our fight, and I just have the honor of “taking point” this time. It could have been any of us in this position. I hope to discharge this duty that has fallen to me in a way that makes by fellow bloggers proud to have me as a member of their team.

  40. Greg L said on 7 Sep 2006 at 10:06 pm:
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    It’s also worth mentioning that there have been no motions filed, and that the basis for my belief that a trial is certain is that Mr. Chapman’s attorneys, having been offered the chance to provide information which would have st the record straight, have apparently declined. At this juncture, I cannot forsee any circumstance short of some decision my Mr. Chapman’s attorneys to end this case before trial.

    Regarding motions for dismissal before trial, I have asked my attorney about that and he counseled that this would not be in my interests. I cannot accurately describe why this is the case, but I am sure others out there with law degrees can fill in the missing pieces on this.

  41. James Young said on 7 Sep 2006 at 10:22 pm:
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    Now that the queu is empty, a few responses are in order:

    Interested In Manassas, 5 Sep 2006, 9:06 pm: It’s little wonder that posts with that level of immaturity end upon Greg’s queu.

    Virginia Lawyer, 6 Sep 2006, 11:12 pm: I agree with VL’s assessment, in deference to his superior experience and its consistency with my knowledge of the law. Whereas NJH is making excuses, VL is offering sensible analysis.

    NJH, 7 Sep 2006, 9:26 am: It’s always entertaining when a gutless wonder who hides behind a pseudonym, yet claims a legal credential, makes a mistake that a first-year law student wouldn’t make, particularly when little Not Jackie feels free to belittle his betters, i.e., those who have gotten it right. Then again, he accuses me of “muddling the facts” with my reference the New York Times v. Sullivan, when I didn’t discuss it much at all, save to note (correctly, even according to little Not Jackie), that it sets the standard, and does not set it “impossibly high.” Nothing he says about Sullivan seriously controverts that assessment.

    And Greg, I would strongly advise you to say nothing more about his lawsuit. While I’m sure that such self-congratulatory puffery is ego-boosting, you are not doing yourself any good with comments like your last. Indeed, you may well be digging yourself in deeper, and the people who comprise your “amen chorus” aren’t the ones who will have to pay the piper. Were I your attorney in this matter, I would fire you after a post like that.

  42. Virginia Lawyer said on 8 Sep 2006 at 1:14 pm:
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    Greg, a few points:

    1. While I cannot retrieve the original posts which prompted this lawsuit, if my creaky old memory serves, you endorsed in toto the comments of the so-called original BVBL. You are therefore liable for his comments under the legal concept of “republication.” Liable, I might add, just as much as the originator of the comments. And as I remember the comments you made, they strike me as being classicly actionable.

    2. Proving actual malice on your part was made pretty easy when, in response to Mr. Chapman’s lawyer’s letter, you posted something along the lines of “BITE ME.” A jury can surely find this to be evidence of your malice against Mr. Chapman.

    3. There are no “Motions to Dismiss” in Virginia civil procedure. In addition, it is unlikely that a Motion for Summary Judgment will succeed given points one and two.

    4. The outcome of jury trials are notoriously unpredictable.

    5. Getting a decision out of a jury is expensive.

    6. “Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute” might be a good policy for nations, but not for private individuals of modest means. In this case, it’ll probably be “tens of thousands” instead of millions, but even a rich lawyer like me doesn’t like to waste tens of thousands. And that’s if you win (not a high probability of that, I’d estimate it’s more likely 50-50).

    7. You say in this case that you want “justice”. I love it when clients come to me demanding justice. It just means higher billables because I will leave no stone unturned in its pursuit. And turning legal stones is expensive.

    8. James Young is right, you really ought to stop commenting on all of this. Everything you say can and will be used against you by your legal opponents.

    9. By either filing a legal ethics complaint or encouraging others to file complaints against your opponents counsel, all you accomplished was infuriating them even more (and the last thing you want to do is infuriate a lawyer, who can make your life miserable - believe me, I’ve made people’s lives miserable when they’ve unfairly attacked my clients and in the past).

    10. Finally, those complaints, if they can be traced back to you in any way, could potentially be used against you in this lawsuit. In proving, for example, your malice. The fact that the ethics complaint was dismissed out of hand by the Bar Counsel would not sit well with any jury hearing your case, in my opinion.

  43. AWCheney said on 9 Sep 2006 at 1:27 am:
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    Virginia Lawyer, Greg never encouraged anyone to file charges against Chapman’s attorneys…that was Jaded JD’s idea, although a number of OTHER bloggers around the blogosphere encouraged it. And I’m curious…there has been a great deal of speculation about charges, and whether they were in fact filed. You suggest intimate knowlege of that…WERE they filed and “dismissed out of hand,” or are you only speculating and implying intimate knowlege?

  44. Virginia Lawyer said on 9 Sep 2006 at 9:40 am:
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    AW Cheney, I have only the word of another colleague on the dismissal. I could assume he was lying, but since he isn’t a hack politician (or a hack politician’s campaign manager) I won’t assume he’s an inveterate liar.

  45. AWCheney said on 9 Sep 2006 at 12:15 pm:
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    Mr. Davis, I trust you are not referring to Harry Parrish as having been a hack politician. You have certainly picked the wrong forum for that!

  46. James Young said on 9 Sep 2006 at 10:12 pm:
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    Responding to VL’s comment, he clearly references MY post on my website on the ethics charge, and its dismissal. While some might suspect differently, I have no reason to believe that Greg had anything to do with its filing; I don’t recall, and haven’t looked, to see if he “encouraged” anyone to file it in a general sense, i.e., in a blog post. The filer said that he had no connection to Greg (he said that he only forwarded a copy of his letter to “Jaded JD”), and I have no evidence to disprove that statement, i.e., to conclude that he encouraged anyone specifically to do so.

    What we DO know is that Greg learned about the ethics charge, since he references it in a post (describing it in enough detail to suggest that he had obtained a copy of it, or had it — inaccurately — described to him), to which I have linked in my post on the subject. Such documents are held as confidential by state Bars. They forward them to the target of the charge. Thus, there are three possible sources for Greg, and I assume that it was provided to him by neither the Bar, nor by Faisal Gill. Both filer and respondent may distribute them as they see fit.

    I would commend my post on the subject (”Today’s Special: Crow”) to your attention. I have a copy the Bar charge (it was filed, and has a Bar date-stamp on it), and note there that Faisal Gill sent it to me, and told me that the Bar had orally informed him that it had been dismissed.

    So, AWCheney, unless you are calling me, or Faisal, “liars,” you will simply have to take us at our word. Since my Martindale-Hubbell rating is, and has always been, “AV” (you may reference “http://www.martindale.com/ratings_explanation” to learn its meaning), doing so would be just one more idiocy to add to the list. Though such a new low from you — though actionable — would surprise me not at all.

  47. Anonymous said on 10 Sep 2006 at 10:16 am:
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    “[M]y Martindale-Hubbell rating is, and has always been, ‘AV’.”

    Wow, you must really be special if Martindale anointed you with the precious “AV” rating right out of law school.

  48. James Young said on 10 Sep 2006 at 1:06 pm:
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    You are correct, Anon 10:16, that I didn’t have one “right out of law school.” But when I was ranked (I don’t recall if it was five or eight years out, but somewhere in there) it was always “AV.” I had assumed that anyone reading the discussion on the website would understand that.

  49. AWCheney said on 10 Sep 2006 at 6:57 pm:
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    “So, AWCheney, unless you are calling me, or Faisal, “liars,” you will simply have to take us at our word. Since my Martindale-Hubbell rating is, and has always been, “AV” (you may reference “http://www.martindale.com/ratings_explanation” to learn its meaning), doing so would be just one more idiocy to add to the list. Though such a new low from you — though actionable — would surprise me not at all. ”

    You presume much Jimmy…I have NEVER accused you of lying, although you can’t say the same in reverse. I have often disagreed with you; often felt you to be mistaken or exagerating, and said so; but I’ve never accused you of lying so, if that is “actionable,” does it work both ways?

  50. James Young said on 10 Sep 2006 at 7:41 pm:
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    Well, I know you’ve lied, OWW, and demonstrated it chapter and verse (truth is an absolute defense), which probably explains your antipathy. Take your best shot, cupcake!

  51. AWCheney said on 10 Sep 2006 at 7:46 pm:
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    Would you care to quote chapter and verse, Jimmy, to refresh my memory…and so that I have a recorded record? ;-)

  52. James Young said on 10 Sep 2006 at 9:28 pm:
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    My response to you, OWW, is the same as Chairman Sean’s message to County voters and the County GOP. If you lack the capacity to find it….

  53. AWCheney said on 10 Sep 2006 at 10:10 pm:
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    Well, since I don’t believe that I have lied, it rather falls upon you to offer evidence to the contrary. It is not impossible that I might not have remembered something exactly right, or that you interpreted something differently from the way a normal human being might, but to my recollection I have not lied. Do you lack the capacity to find it?…or is it because it doesn’t exist?

  54. James Young said on 10 Sep 2006 at 10:17 pm:
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    I do not lack the capacity to find it. I lack the inclination to refer you to chapter and verse AGAIN.

    I guess your problem is rather typical. Liars have difficulty keeping track of their lies.

  55. AWCheney said on 10 Sep 2006 at 10:19 pm:
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    OK, then I guess it’s because it only exists in your rather perverse imagination.

  56. Virginia Lawyer said on 11 Sep 2006 at 9:42 am:
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    AW Cheney, you were caught very conclusively in a lie (a slimy one, at that) when you accused Steve Chapman of vote fraud.

    Of course, your intention was not to prove vote fraud, just to stir up enough controversy to cause Mr. Chapman to lose the election. You succeeded in that.

    However, the independent Commonwealth’s Attorney who was forced by ethics to take up your false charge against Mr. Chapman saw through your prevarcations and dropped the prosecution for the obvious lack of evidence.

    AW Cheney, keep running your mouth. I predict you will soon be joining Greg in the Defendant’s dock, a summons and motion for judgment left on your doorstep by the Sheriff.

    And no, I’m not named Davis.

  57. Not Jack Herrity said on 11 Sep 2006 at 10:59 am:
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    VL, tell me how the existence of an ethics complaint (successful or otherwise) would get in front of a jury?


  58. Virginia Lawyer said on 11 Sep 2006 at 12:26 pm:
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    If the false ethics complaint can be tied to Greg, in that he prompted it, actually filed it, wrote it and then asked somebody to file it, or encouraged somebody to file it, it would be prima facie evidence of his malicious intent to harm Steve Chapman by attacking his counsel with false ethics charges.

    Filing false charges against Steve Chapman is becoming a tiresome, repeating theme, one which originated with AW Cheney and her false charges of criminal misconduct fabricated so that her candidate could win an election. From my book, it’s good to see that he has the stones to finally say “enough is enough.”

  59. Not Jack Herrity said on 11 Sep 2006 at 1:01 pm:
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    That’s a stretch. Evidence of the bar complaint won’t get in unless Chapman’s attorneys can establish:

    1. It goes to “habit or practice” and not “character.”
    2. They can demonstrate its relevance since the bar complaint was lodged against Chapman’s attorneys, not Chapman himself. The bar complaint is about their conduct, not Chapman’s.

    “Malicious intent” toward Chapman is not demonstrated merely because someone (perhaps Greg, perhaps not) filed a single ethics complaint and it was dismissed by the VSB. Nor would a dismissed bar complaint ever be prima facie evidence of malicious intent by itself.

  60. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 1:20 pm:
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    Perhaps, Mr. Virginia Lawyer (and I’ll take your word that you’re not Gil Davis, although I don’t know why I should), YOU are throwing around actionable charges because I can prove I didn’t originate any charges against Chapman whereas you cannot prove that I did. Insofar as ME running my mouth, I should like to point out that it is your buddy Jimmy Young who is continually bringing this issue up in the blogosphere whenever Chapman’s name is mentioned by anyone in any context, even when it was never mentioned, out of sheer spite (and, unlike Jimmy, I would be more than happy to go through the blogs and provide a limitless number of examples).

    Now, regarding the charges being filed to enable Harry to win his election, that is quite simply a moronic statement. Harry would have won regardless, perhaps with an even better percentage. Anyone with any knowledge of the 50th District (voter demographics, trends, etc.) could see that, at a minimum, 35% of the vote was purely anti-Parrish or liberal Democrat, and the bulk of the remainder was based purely on his one tax vote.

    If you want the real facts of the Chapman case, I suggest you contact the CA’s investigator in charge and ask him why he was never allowed to testify.

  61. Not Jack Herrity said on 11 Sep 2006 at 1:56 pm:
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    Here comes the time when I make everyone mad.

    Anke, your denial of involvement would carry more weight if you did not profess in the last paragraph to have internal knowledge of the investigation into Chapman’s residence. For the time being, I’ll accept that Kenny Klinge is the one who originated the charges since he’s said that publicly and privately. However, it strains credulity to think you were not at least aware of what was going on and tacitly approved of it. I do not believe Harry knew what was going on until after it happened.

    Now to make the Youngster mad (I’ve taken to heart his suggestion to refrain from calling him by his son’s moniker of “Jimmy,” so that the son might be as free as possible from the taint of the father). There is no doubt in my mind that Chapman did not live in that rathole condo. The CA caved because he had better things to do than to prosecute a residence case against a candidate who had already lost the election. Despite what Youngster implies, this thing was not decided on the merits nor was it withdrawn on the merits. They had a case; they elected not to press it as a purely political decision.


  62. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 2:08 pm:
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    NJH, after the papers reported that the charges against Chapman were dismissed, I was so angry I called the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office (for the very first time) and asked to speak to the investigator. I left a message because he wasn’t in and, when he eventually returned my call (because he had been out of town), he was stunned when I told him what had happened and I referred him to one of the papers online (Journal Messenger, I believe, maybe the PN). If you recall, the original date for the trial had been changed…and then changed again. That was the first, and last, time that I had spoken to anyone officially involved.

  63. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 2:14 pm:
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    BTW NJH, you didn’t make me angry…it was a legitimate question.

  64. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 2:17 pm:
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    Excuse me, “Commonwealth Attorney’s”…before a typo is construed as stupidity.

  65. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 2:27 pm:
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    Oh yes (and my apologies for not getting this all posted at one time…too quick on the submit), I have never denied being aware of most of what was going on and thoroughly approving of it, not just tacitly. And NJH, I agree with your analysis regarding the outcome. As I understand it, a nol pros’d (did I get it right that time Jimmy?) verdict leaves the charges open for further investigation and possible prosecution later.

  66. Not Jack Herrity said on 11 Sep 2006 at 2:52 pm:
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    You are correct. They can re-indict and proceed against him at any time before the statute of limitations runs. I doubt they are going to waste their time on a washed-up candidate for the HOD who is suing a pseudonymous blogger.

  67. Virginia Lawyer said on 11 Sep 2006 at 3:55 pm:
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    NJH, you make good points which I would make to the Circuit Judge if I were Greg’s lawyer. The only slight distinction I might draw from your thoughtful post is that when I reference “malice” I mean it within the context of a libel action (which is what Chapman v. BVBL is, after all) not within the typical legal use of the term “malice.”

    AW Cheney, you’re not fooling anybody with your non-denial denials. You caused Mr. Chapman to be falsely prosecuted; Paul Ebert was quoted in the press, largely to that effect, but without using your name. Even with your malicious prosecution, Chapman nearly beat your candidate; without the slimy dirty trick that you masterminded he was going to be defeated by.

  68. James Young said on 11 Sep 2006 at 6:11 pm:
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    The OWW says I have a “rather perverse imagination”; the evidence demonstrates only that she engages in serial fabrication notwithstanding her “belief,” which itself evidences a “rather perverse imagination.” She “asks” that I provide her (again) with “chapter and verse” about her lie, “to refresh my memory…and so that I have a recorded record.” Of course, it is the latter, and not the former, which motivates her “request,” and I am disinclined to facilitate her uninformed effort to launch yet another frivolous legal action. Of course, she misrepresents my reasons for declining her request.

    The dispute between VL and Not Little Jackie demonstrates why legal disputes are singularly inappropriate fodder for the blogosphere. Particularly evidentiary questions. Moreover, Not Little Jackie has his facts wrong, insofar as he suggests that Greg may have filed the ethics charge (”someone (perhaps Greg, perhaps not) filed a single ethics complaint”). I have no evidence, and have specifically published the disclaimer, that Greg had anything to do with the ethics charge, to the best of my knowledge. It was clearly filed by someone else, who signed it “Eric B. Blair.”

    Furthermore, Not Little Jackie, nowhere do I “imply” or even comment about the reason for the disposition of the criminal charges against Chapman. Like so much few around here, I don’t comment on what I don’t know, and I certainly don’t know about the merits of those charges, nor do I know why they resulted in that disposition. I only know their disposition, and what it implies. You speak with great assurance for someone who can’t know the merits, either, and therefore speaks with a great deal less credibility on the topic.

  69. Not Jack Herrity said on 11 Sep 2006 at 6:24 pm:
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    Settle down, Youngster. How do you know I don’t know the merits? Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.

    Yeah, yeah. I know…pseudonymous bloggers….the rotten little bastards.

  70. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 6:25 pm:
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    I don’t know what you mean about launching a legal action Jimmy…I’m not the litigious one around here.

  71. James Young said on 11 Sep 2006 at 10:33 pm:
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    If you wished to imply otherwise, OWW, please feel free to explain why you would want (another) “recorded record.” Unless, of course, demands for redundancies are your staple.

  72. AWCheney said on 11 Sep 2006 at 10:49 pm:
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    Half the time, you just don’t make any sense Jimmy. The other half, you’re just plain nasty. Must suck to be you.

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