Geoff Fieger Acquitted

Update: The jury acquitted on all counts. Congratulations, Geoff and Gerry and Van!

The U.S. District Court jury returned its not guilty verdicts Monday afternoon in the case against the 57-year-old Fieger, of Bloomfield Hills, and 46-year-old Ven Johnson of Birmingham. It heard 18 days of testimony, then deliberated over parts of four days.

Geoff had this to say:

Im very pleased with the American system and the jury. I thank the jury for listening. I hope this puts an end to political prosecutions in the age of Mr. Bush, Fieger said.



There's a verdict in the Geoff Fieger trial.

It will be read this afternoon. The jury deliberated a total of three days.

Prediction: Not guilty on all counts.

(Background here, here and here.)

With such a short deliberation time given the length of the trial, it sounds to me like they didn't buy the Government's theory.

They had to find Geoff believed it was illegal to reimburse campaign contributions and from what I've read, the evidence was completely to the contrary.

Stay tune for updates, Go Geoff and Gerry! Gerry Spence has said this will be his last trial.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Acquitted (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by cmugirl on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 01:47:43 PM EST
    Great News (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kaleidescope on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 02:09:28 PM EST
    This should be a major black eye for the government, which has been going after lawyers Republicans don't like -- witness Mel Weiss and Bill Lerach.  Unfortunately, there's so much else going on right now, I doubt the government will get the media spanking it deserves.

    Is the jury low information? Would have (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 01:43:47 PM EST
    to be.  Even I know a lawyer cannot reimburse campaign donations.

    Heh (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 01:50:02 PM EST
    In the best of all possible scenarios, Fieger would emerge from a not guilty verdict as a humbler and quieter man.  I don't see that one happening, though.

    He wouldn't be Geoff (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 01:51:54 PM EST
    if he were humble and quieter.

    Heh! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 01:58:18 PM EST
    And, if indeed this is truly Spence's last trial, he will be going out with possibly the best record of any lawyer, anywhere, ever.

    No defeats.

    Well done to everyone involved (on the defense side)!


    yay. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 02:20:03 PM EST
    They were holding this over Edwards head were they not?

    OT but still relivant to the law. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 02:22:35 PM EST
    Anythoughts on the digitization of Law Library materials?

    Seems like my library at UofA chucked out half their collection during the remodelling.

    Anyone trust Westlaw and Nexis as far as you can throw em? What's the word for a paper lover?
    Not quite the same thing as a Bibliophile.

    I have had a crush (none / 0) (#12)
    by magisterludi on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 02:38:49 PM EST
    on Mr.Spence for years!

    So glad he's going out screwing the Bush regime in the process. The man is a legend.

    Wow. (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:05:04 PM EST
    I'm delighted, but kinda dubious about the sense of the verdict.  Honestly, it strains credulity to think somebody as politically active as Fieger didn't know this is illegal.

    If any info comes out about how the jurors got to that decision, I hope somebody will post it here.

    The jury said it wasn't (none / 0) (#15)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:20:36 PM EST
    and that's enough for me.

    Sure (none / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:26:45 PM EST
    But "reasonable doubt."  You can't send a man to prison, at least not in our legal system, because of the sense that "come on, he must have known that."

    Scienter. (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:28:29 PM EST
    I suspect that not only was there no (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:33:26 PM EST
    scienter, but by the time the cross of the government's witnesses was done, there was no doubt in the jury's minds as to Fieger's actual innocence and the real motiviation - Bush revenge against Kevorkian's lawyer - behind this case.

    It was another political hit job, stopped by good lawyers and good lawyering.


    "revenge" (none / 0) (#22)
    by diogenes on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 09:39:12 PM EST
    Unless we have juror interviews, all we know is that the jury believed that the case was not proven.  Whether the jurors believed that Fieger bent the law but couldn't be convicted (test-would everyone be as happy if this were a Republican lawyer funneling money to Bush) or whether they believed that the entire prosecution was revenge for Kevorkian is open.

    He and other lawyers like him (none / 0) (#14)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:09:25 PM EST
    Are one of the major reasons health care costs are so high, doctors are afraid of patients, and the best and brightest are leaving medicine to trade stock.  

    There is at least 1 comment a month about this guy made in fear in the medical school I go to.

    Though if he was innocent, I am glad he got off.

    It's places without lawyers who (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:31:15 PM EST
    go after doctors that you gotta worry about.  

    A case in point:  
    A relative recently has been going through a series of illnesses which could have been fatal if they hadn't been caught early.  That relative lives in a doctor-friendly/lawyer-averse state.  That relative also has an acquaintance in the same town with the same situation.

    When considering which doctor to see, the relative was advised "don't go to this one - his nickname is 'killer'", and "don't go to that one, they've been monkeying with their diagnostic equipment for months now".  The acquaintance didn't listen to much the same advice and got treatment locally.  The relative did, and managed to get treatment in a much more defensive-medicine-oriented, lawyer-friendly state.

    Two years on, the relative is doing well - what problems there were seem to have been caught extremely early by all those lawyer-fearing, defensive-medicine doctors.  Knock wood, the problem will go away entirely.  The acquaintance - not doing so good.  Another course of chemo for acquaintance.

    I once advised a friend, then in medical school and getting all the indoctrination into fearing lawyers, the following:  "the vast majority of malpractice suits stem from bad communication by the doctor to the patient.  People know that not everyone gets well - that's not the point.  The point is taking the time and making the effort to communicate in such a manner that, going in, the patient has neither illusions nor misconceptions.  Then, if there is a bad result, they'll understand why.  And, studies show, be much less likely to sue."


    There's some opinion there (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 03:38:03 PM EST
    but saying that medical malpractice lawyers are one of the major reasons health care costs are so high is just factually false.

    No it is true (none / 0) (#21)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 08:34:15 PM EST
    It certainly is not one of the direct costs.  But the indirect costs are just huge.  From doctors giving extra tests to make sure they are covered, to having to fill out tons of needless documentation.  It is a shame.  That being said, I am a medical student (with a mother that is a neurosurgeon), who understands that there has to be balance.  No lawyers is bad, and total fear is bad.  I personally think the answer is in adding another category to malpractice.  That is, I think there needs to be malpractice, which I would define as drinking and then operating or something just no okay like that.  Then there needs to be a category of mistake (you know the human kind).  Doctors are so afraid of being demonized for a few errors throughout their careers that it effects the health care.

    Also, let me add, this is only one of the many problems facing medicine.   The other equally bad problem is doctor arrogance.


    agreed (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 03, 2008 at 12:46:32 AM EST
    it's false.  The need for tort reform is a right-wing myth.

    As doctors we need it (none / 0) (#25)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jun 03, 2008 at 07:38:16 AM EST
    If tort reform is not needed, there needs to be more  self regulation on ambulance chasing folks.  The other questions is why do doctors feel this way?   Why is OB and neurosurgery non existent in some states?