Skip to comments.Court Likely Ends Suit Over Beating at Rally (DON ADAMS UPDATE)
Posted on 01/23/2007 7:12:16 PM PST by Physicist
A federal appeals court refused yesterday to revive civil-rights claims against Gov. Rendell, District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, and Teamsters Local 115, part of a lawsuit filed eight years ago by a man who says he was beaten and falsely prosecuted after protesting a 1998 appearance by President Clinton.
The opinion by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is likely the end of the federal suit filed by Don and Theresa Adams, although Adams has said he will press civil claims involving state law in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
Neither Adams, 46, of Cheltenham, nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.
At issue before the Third Circuit panel was whether a lower-court judge properly dismissed the Adamses' lawsuit.
The suit by Adams and his sister, Theresa, 47, contended that members of Teamsters Local 115 ended their anti-Clinton demonstration by beating them on Oct. 2, 1998. The suit contended that Rendell had earlier called Local 115's leader, John "Johnny" Morris, and requested a strong union presence at Clinton's City Hall appearance and that Teamsters should "drown out" anti-Clinton protesters.
(Excerpt) Read more at philly.com ...
This effectively ends all question of pursuing a civil rights complaint against...anybody. Rendell is officially off the hook.
For EIGHT YEARS Don and Teri Adams have fought this battle, now only to be told that their only remedy is to sue the small fry in state court for whatever they can get. The ringleaders skate away.
Rendell's powers are truly vast. He controls the courts, even reaching up to the Federal level. He's wildly popular. Politically, he seems invulnerable. Watch what opinions you express within his long reach.
I do have to say that the Inquirer article is fair and balanced. It's a pity I can't reproduce it in full here. Do follow the link.
There is also an article in the Legal Intelligencer: http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticleFriendlyPA.jsp?id=1169473054137. I do not recommend it. First, it requires a subscription. Second, it is badly written on a number of levels. Third, it links the Adamses, detrimentally, I think, with another case that was also coincidentally decided today. I mention it only for the historical record.
Don never asks me to do this, but they always, always need help with their legal bills. Financially, the last seven years have taken an inhuman toll on the both of them. If you care to help out, donations can be sent to:
The Adams Legal Defense Fund
P.O. Box 306,
Cheltenham, PA 19012
Most Recent articles:
There was I time on FreeRepublic when I didn't have to introduce the topic of Don Adams. Other than Whitewater, it was FreeRepublic's first cause celebre.
In as few words as I can bear to muster, this is what happened. On October 2, 1998, Don and his sister Teri were beaten by members of the Teamsters Union for the crime of protesting against Clinton in Philadelphia.
(I myself had been attacked by the same mob earlier in the day, and I witnessed the Adams incident. I reported the events on FreeRepublic. One famous result was that it prompted Jim Robinson to call for a march on Washington, DC, which drew around 4000 people on October 31, 1998, to demand Clinton's impeachment.)
The DA filed no charges, so Don and Teri Adams pursued private criminal complaints against two of the Teamsters (Kevin McNulty and Marc Nardone), along with Teamster Local 115 boss Johnny Morris. In response, the Teamsters filed charges against Don Adams. McNulty and Nardone copped a plea and got probation. Morris walked. Don Adams was subjected to the indignity of a trial, and was acquitted in July, 1999. Meanwhile, three other Teamsters were identified from video: Charlie Davis, Mark Hopkins, and Norma Bottomer. Don and Teri Adams filed another private criminal complaint, to which the defendants copped pleas and received probation.
In November of 1999, IBT President James Hoffa ordered that Teamsters Local 115 be placed into trusteeship, and that Johnny Morris be stripped of his powers, partly as a result of the Adams beating incident. Morris contested this bitterly until the end of his life.
The civil phase has been lurching along slowly since the end of the criminal phase.
Why you should care:
It is the business of Freepers to exercise our rights under the First Amendment. When we talk back to power, we have an expectation of being secure in our persons, in our property, and in our liberty. If Don and Teri Adams lose, none of these expectations are valid. It will mean that the men in power can silence us at will, without serious consequences. Five foot-soldiers of the totalitarians have received probation. That's something. But unfortunately Don and Teri have been made to pay a long series of terrible prices over the last five years, and much more lies ahead. I expect it to get worse for them before it gets better.
Would YOU be up to it?
Here is the Don Adams Page, back again in its full glory!
Johnny Morris criminal case:
Davis, Hopkins, Bottomer criminal case:
McNulty and Nardone criminal case:
(If you want on or off this ping list, let me know.)
"Nifonging" should properly be referred to as "Abrahaming", since Lynn was well ahead of Nifong with egregious prosecutorial abuse.
Just wait til Hillary is president too. No one will be safe.
Bad news. Very sorry to hear it, and thanks for the update.
It seems clear that Rendell is a very capable machine-type politician of the corrupt old school, so this doesn't entirely surprise me, although it's certainly very disappointing when justice is not done.
I do think that Don Adams' brave fight for justice has helped protect other Freepers who have protested since then but have not been similarly attacked, as they might have been. I'm sure the experience has been unpleasant for the Teamsters involved, and deservedly so.
As usual Physicist, a job perfectly done! : ) Thank you!
Thanks for the update, as painful as it is. Sucks.
I'm very sorry to hear this news. It's very sad to see how corrupted some courts are.
In answer to a post the other day ping!
This ruling is wrong. However, it is a good example of things to come if Hillary and the Democrat/Union group get back in power. (Which is happening right now and gradually)
They wuz robbed.
Off topic, but you have not seen anything yet. Just wait until Her Majesty gets elected. I'm practicing bowing as we speak.
The modern Left has favored the Law of Man for more than a century.
You essentially have two schools of legal thought:
#1, the Law of Man (meaning that it matters *who* is being charged with a crime, e.g. a British "commoner" making an accusation against an English Lord would be treated differently than if a Lord was accusing a Lord)
#2, the Rule of Law (meaning that laws apply equally to all and that no one of any "class" has any advantage in Court, e.g. a celebrity, a Lord, a government official/officer, ordinary citizen, etc.)
As patriotic Americans, FReepers think in terms of the latter, the Rule of Law. From that viewpoint the ruling today was a travesty.
However, the Left views these events entirely differently. Morris was stripped of his union leadership. 5 union goons were slapped with Guilty verdicts. Lord Rendell was deposed.
And in the meantime, union leadership, union finances, union membership, and union clout have declined.
Thus, unions are not as strong today as they were in the previous decade. Their ability to coerce declines each week.
Which is to say that the Adams have served to smite the unions in the first place while giving us 8 or more needed years of covering fire in the meantime.
True, unions may be emboldened by the Federal ruling today, but being emboldened when you are *weaker* is just begging to become overextended and vulnerable.
Thanks for posting this and for keeping up with the case.
Sad, disheartening outcome. As you so well state, it means ". . .that the men in power can silence us at will, without serious consequences."
I hope the Don and Teri keep after them!
It sucks. I know the goons, I've stood nose to nose with them. And I know who brought the goons in that time. It's tough to fight the powers that be man but the Adam's have my utmost respect for doing their best.
But you won more by losing that they did by winning. You're a big part of the reason Free Republic is here today.
The cause of Liberty has always had its martyrs. You're one of the lucky ones who's still alive to enjoy the glory.
I, for one, appreciate your sacrifice.
So sorry to hear this......Teri & Don deserve justice!
This is a terrible outcome.....
Apparently, the political speech of some Americans is more protected than the political speech of other Americans.
Thanks for the update; so sorry about the outcome.
Don Adams bump!
Sick. Just sick.
Thanks for the ping.
I want our country back.
You have my respect, and my thanks.
In a day when the tactics of the Left turn more and more toward violence and intimidation, you're an inspiration. One of these days, everyone is going to have to fight back, or submit themselves to slavery or death...not just for themselves, but for their families and everyone they know.
OTOH, this ruling also provides US with some badly-needed guidance as to dealing with protesters.
It would seem to work both ways...
This stinks. One more reason to keep your powder dry.
Yahn's summary judgment seems to rely on his making a factual decision. Here it is:
""But the evidence, Yohn said, showed that "Rendell believed the union's violent reputation only extended to labor disputes and he had no knowledge of the organization behaving violently during political demonstrations."
The fact that they had never been caught engaged in politically motivated violence is irrelevant. It's also irrelevant that Yahn noted no one produced evidence that Rendell threw any punches also. It's a civil trial and findings of fact are to be determined by a jury. What is relevant is that their tool box was well known, especially to Rendell, to contain intimidation, coercion, unjustified violence, corruption, conspiracy, retaliation, ect...
From the stories, I take it that their presence at the event was a commanding presence. IOWs, they took up positions to greet the the opposition protesters and had a major influence on the mood and level of confrontation in the interactions. Out of the 50 groups Rendell is said to have "invited", Local 115 was right up front?
I presume the attys would have been able to present to the jury evidence that Rendell knew that his simple command, not to be violent would be wholly insufficient. That Labor and Politics is intimately connected and this event was intended by Rendell, to be an emotionally high intensity event. That means Yahn didn't make a simple error, he decided the facts in the case. It also means that the appeals court blessed that finding of fact. That Labor and Politics are not connected and that Rendell's invitation was simply to all peace loving Ds in general.
Rendell's actions in the matter after the event, contradict his claims about not wanting violence at the event and indicate, that he had no problem with it whatsoever. IMO, both Yahn and the 3rd Circuit made a finding of fact for political purpose.
Thanks for the ping!
I've given money to the Adams' defense and they are on the "What if I win the lottery list." in the Shrew household. I wish I could do more. I appreciate their efforts and yours.
You could very well be right. There is still a double standard in the US only this is a good one. Most people, even union goons, are reluctant to beat up a woman.
Is this the case you were telling me about?
"District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham" Starts with a 'c', and rhymes with 'hunt'. ............... FRegards
How many on your ping list have been banned? I noted Willie Green.
FReeper women are the anvil. All we are is the hammer.
Really sorry to hear this abomination.
Wow, never knew this.
I don't know of anyone else who has been banned.
This is really a blast from the past. I am sorry it has ended so badly.
Old story, and forgotten by most. Having dealt with Teamsters in negotiations this is typical and fits them. They were always interested in just one thing, members dues.
It appears the courts have blocked us from any more pursuit of civil violations at the FEDERAL level. However, they can still be pursued at the state level and Rendell can still be held accountable there.