Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Berg's Simple Question

Below is a sample of a not untypical response which those of us who have been writing about this case have been receiving. Note particularly the smug condescending tone of the opening insult. The commenter has reluctantly agreed to descend from the rarefied atmosphere of his purported legal expertise to clarify these obtuse issues for us woefully uninformed laymen.

I think it might be helpful here to remind commenters such as the above mentioned that we are all of us laymen. For all of us there are innumerable subjects about which we may know little or nothing. To allow oneself to get puffed up over one's accumulation of knowledge in one particular field of expertise lays one open to questions about one's ignorance in all of those other areas. For most of the genuine experts I have had the pleasure of meeting or corresponding with, they have all seemed to share an easy familiarity with this concept of comparative ignorance. It is simply called humility. But for some, unfortunately, this character trait is noticeably absent. And for those of us who by force of circumstance must deal with these arrogant pomposities we must choose to either try to deflate them or if possible to just ignore them. Read the small sample below and you'll quickly see what I mean.

"Ok, I will try to explain this as simply as I can because it’s obvious that none of you know a thing about how this works:
1) The order filed by Berg requesting certain items regarding Obama’s citizenship is a BLANK ORDER. It’s not signed by the court’s judge (Surrick). It’s common practice for attorneys to draft up orders in their favor so all the judge has to do is sign it if he/she grants the attorney’s wishes. However, the court already DENIED Berg’s first motion back in August [1], and Berg submitted another motion asking Obama and the DNC to submit documents by October 15th. This motion is moot because the judge has NOT signed it and will most likely dismiss it (again) for reasons I explained earlier (Berg lacks legal standing to sue ..."
The now famous Berg v. Obama case to which this commenter refers is a perfect example of this problem. It is by definition a legal issue which calls for a certain degree of legal competence to comprehend the complexities involved. Yet we need not have a law degree to recognize these attacks for what they most certainly are. They are simply rebuttals. Not just professional dissenting opinions, but hot angry and impassioned denials. These respondents are not just interested in refuting the facts of this case; they are seeking to totally discredit and destroy the opposing advocate, whom they repeatedly characterize as an incompetent -- or worse.

However, to this particular layman it seems -- despite the labyrinth of legalise with which the liberal opposition has attempted to obscure the real issue involved here -- that if the Obama supporters are resting their case on their desperate attempts to define Atty. Berg as a 'nutcase' they have little ground to stand on. His resume alone would preclude this assumption. Yet how often have we read this same line of defense -- that Berg and his whole absurd case are inconsequential because he's a nutcase?

Well, to me, this nutcase's simple question -- "If you are a natural born citizen, Mr. Obama, what are you hiding?" is simply overwhelming. And the silence is simply deafening.

Well, Mr. Obama -- What are you hiding?

Update: H/T to Entwife of RCP


  1. I agree with you. Only nutcases or alleged nutcases raise this kind of issue. But the issue is genuine. It might be in wrong court. Another nutcase will raise it in the right court. And the issue will have to be decided by the right court.

    By the way most litigants are nutcases, at least insofar as their opponents are concerned.

    By the way 2, courts have procedures to get rid of frivolous claims or vexatious litigation. Berg's case is not one of these cases: he might be in the wrong court, that's all.


  2. "It’s common practice for attorneys to draft up orders..."

    Uhm, well, it's not exactly just "common practice..." It's actually required by the Court rules. Any time a motion is submitted for consideration, a proposed order MUST accompany the motion.

    As a paralegal, I submit filings to Federal Courts on a routine basis, so I guess I should know:)

    The other poster is just a poser.

  3. Plaintiff's generally don't file motions until after a defendant's motion to dismiss is determined, so Berg's Aug 1 motion must have been a motion for early discovery. These are routinely denied if there are challenges to standing, since a court must determine standing before making any decision on the merits of a case. The pending defense motion challenges standing. Since there is no reason for discovery if there is no standing to sue, the court will not allow early discovery before ruling on standing. Bottom line, the court has made no ruling on the merits of this case, one way or the other.

    PS: are you surprised that some liberal lawyer out there is arrogant and condescending? I'd be surprised if you could find one that isn't.

  4. Thanks Denise-Mary.
    When I wrote my first article about this I came right out and said that I had no expertise in this area whatsoever and asked any readers who were lawyers or legal professionals to clarify the issues involved.

    Some -- like yourself - responded politely and gave us some valuable insight. You can imagine what side of the aisle those folks were on.
    But we also got some of these other guys. I just can't tolerate arrogance like that. I know too many nice smart people.
    Take care

  5. Denise-Mary:

    I don't think you can accuse me of being a poser. I was referring to other rules, which deal with frivolous litigants. My point was that these attacks against Mr. Berg are irrelevant or meaningless.

    I have no idea of what the rules say in this particular case, but I would not comply with an order without checking the court record or registry unless, of course, I was there when the judge gave his or her decision.

    I'm a lawyer, but not in this jurisdiction, therefore I'm not a lawyer insofar as this case is concerned.

    I'm not saying you're wrong. You're most likely right, but in the cases I've been involved orders were drafted and approved by both lawyers, the winning party submitting a draft to the losing one and, if there is a problem, the winning party gets the court or the judge to approve the formal order. BA

  6. To Anon/BA -- I may be wrong but I think DM was referring to that original commenter in my article and not to you.