BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
In my year end piece last year, I predicted we’d be seeing a lot more action on the judicial front of our struggle. Little did I realize how right I could be.
We’ve had, on the sad front, the conflict come up among the attorneys working on the Genocide era insurance claims cases. I’ve heard there will be some interesting developments in the next few weeks. Hopefully things will be cleared up simply, quickly, and unembarrassingly.
On the positive side, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Bruce Fein, a Turkish lobby hack, (oh, whoops, he’s actually described as working “for the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund (TALDF)”). This vermin has finally started to get reined in. The judge hearing the case which U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (Ohio) has brought against her erstwhile election opponent, David Krikorian, has ruled that Fein can’t represent Schmidt because he might be called as a witness in the case, creating a conflict of interest. You’ll remember that this “defamation” suit was brought by the Turkish government’s lackey in the US Congress to prove that she… isn’t the Turkish government’s lackey in the U.S. Congress.
Courts of law can be slow. They can also render unjust verdicts in the name of abiding by the law (our communities have certainly seen a good share of such). But when they get things right, it is delightful. The judge ordered Schmidt’s Ohio based attorney to turn over payment records to Krikorian that could show who’s been paying her bills. Alas, the judge did not order Schmidt to turn over her lawyer-related billing agreements and invoices. In all this resides the possibility that TALDF was paying for the services, hence the potential conflict for Fein.
Meanwhile, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) is conducting an investigation of Schmidt over whether she received unpaid legal services, a violation. She has also sought permission, from the very same OCE, to start a legal defense fund to cover her legal costs in this case. Think she’s a little worried?
Other good legal news is the dismissal of the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) suit against the University of Minnesota. This waste of the courts’ time came because our denialist friends at TCA felt defamed after the university’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies briefly listed this Turkish outfit’s website as an unreliable one when it comes to the Armenian Genocide. Guess who the attorney for TCA was in this case? Want a hint? None other than… Bruce Fein.
Keep watching the legal/judicial fund, and start budgeting for donations to our own legal defense fund(s). There’s chatter out there that will eventually lead to the creation of such entities.