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abb
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Nifong files for bankruptcy
« on: January 15, 2008, 03:30:33 PM »

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=aCZsc7aJFP5k&refer=home

Michael Nifong, Former Prosecutor, Seeks Bankruptcy (Update1)

By Dawn McCarty

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Nifong, the former North Carolina district attorney who unsuccessfully prosecuted Duke University lacrosse players for rape, sought bankruptcy protection from creditors including the athletes.

Nifong, listed debt of $180.3 million and assets of $243,898 in documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Durham, North Carolina. The prosecutor stepped down last year. North Carolina officials stripped him of his law license for unethical conduct in the 2006 investigation of the allegations against the players.

The three former players who had rape charges against them dropped sued Nifong in federal court in Durham in October. Collin Finnerty, David F. Evans and Reade Seligmann were listed as unsecured creditors each owed $30 million.

``This looks like a smart move for Mr. Nifong,'' said Charles ``Chuck'' Tatelbaum, a Florida bankruptcy lawyer who has represented doctors who have used Chapter 11 to protect themselves from the fallout of lawsuits.

If a bankruptcy judge decides that the prosecution was willful and malicious, the debt to the players would not be erased under federal bankruptcy law.

The case is: In re Michael B. Nifong, 08-80034, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Durham).

To contact the reporter on this story: Dawn McCarty in Wilmington, Delaware, at dmccarty@bloomberg.net .
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2008, 04:07:40 PM »

   Collin Finnerty, David F. Evans and Reade Seligmann were listed as unsecured creditors each owed $30 million.

   To whom does Nifong admit owing  the other 18.3 million?
    Possibly the bribes he has promised to his previous witnesses?
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2008, 06:18:37 PM »

   Apologies to all.Mike admits to owing an additional 90.3(not 18.3) million. Ninety million of this goes to the three unindicted Lacrosse players who have thus far sued him. Moreover he admits that he must owe  at least a dollar to each of the remaining forty-one Lacrosse boys.
    Like Linwood,he seems to be now admitting that he committed (or at least would certainly be held liable in a federal court for) many of the offenses charged. But Linwood says he was only obeying orders and Mike says he hasn't got any money.
    So what,once even Linwood and Mike admit there was a frame, do Gottlieb,Himan,Bake(and many others too numerous to mention ) now plead?
     The first tenpin has gone down.Can it set off a clean strike?
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Sarah
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2008, 07:57:20 AM »

This is the first time I have seen someone petition for bankruptcy on the basis of potential (anticipated) liabilities.  Is that common practice?

It appears to assume that he will lose any civil case.

 
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Mr X
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2008, 10:39:55 AM »

saw he listed Tara as one of the $1 creditors.
wonder when she will get back to collect on that?
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Sarah
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2008, 11:42:46 AM »

saw he listed Tara as one of the $1 creditors.
wonder when she will get back to collect on that?

My guess is she cut her losses and stay in hiding!
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2008, 06:31:03 PM »

   Nifong is temporarally off the hook.A federal judge has removed his name from the suit pending action on hiis bankruptcy plea-which oleawill almost certainly be rejected.The real question is how  long he can stall.Many of his fellow defendants will certainly be better of if he is not sitting right next to them.
      http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/s...t-3176737.shtml

   Otherwise everything right now is happening behind the scenes.
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 03:42:12 PM »

   Here is the Judge's twelve page decision.Nifong gave the players no mercy .Now,he is receiving none.
           http://www.wral.com/asset/news/local/2008/02/19/2457911/nifong.swf
                       
                         
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 04:28:35 PM »

   Despite everything Nifong still has his supporters.In fact a comic book has recently been issued in his defense as reported by longtime Crystal advocate Barry S.
   And Victoria Perterson (still best remembered for her attempt on national tv to torch the Lax house) is as hot as ever to get Mike vindicated.
   She may,eveentually  have better luck  with her other Mike,Mike Peterson,best-selling Durham novelist who,despite the testimony of Dr. Henry Lee and screaming  suppport from some prominent international gays, has been convicted of the murder of his wife.
  Some of you may remember Twin Peaks"a town where even the owls were not what they seemed." Michael Peterson's supporters have more recently put forward the theory that Mrs. Peterson died as the result of a malevolent owl attack.
  Plus  Satanic abuse,academics inciting their pupils to arson and castration,women being raped on broom sticks six feet in the air,the only DA ever disbarred in North Carolina history;has HBO considered  hirinig David Lynch to direct its version of "Till Proven Innocent"?
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2746/story/1149712.html

Justice grinds on ... and on

Ever heard "It ain't over till it's over"?
Forget that. When it comes to two of the most infamous legal cases in recent Durham history, it appears that even when it's over it's not over. Supporters of both convicted murderer Michael Peterson and disbarred former District Attorney Michael Nifong are trying to resurrect those long-thought-dead cases and get new trials or reversals.

Most of us assumed that by now, five years after Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife, the dude had settled in at Nash Correctional Institution and made peace with what will likely be his home for the rest of his life.

Yet, because Peterson prosecution witness Saami "Shy 'bout telling the truth" Shaibani lied about his credentials in that capital case as well as others, Peterson's backers want a new trial.

Shaibani testilied -- that's when you testify and lie simultaneously -- that he was a professor at Temple University. Perhaps he meant he may have once had lunch on Temple's campus. Calls to Temple turned up no one by his name ever on the payroll, and a previously published report said he had but a "courtesy affiliation" with the school that entitled him to a free parking pass.

Shaibani, a physicist by training, makes himself available as an expert witness. His testibaloney has already led to at least one new trial for a defendant he helped put away for murder.

If the Peterson trial staggered Durham's reputation, the Nifong case nearly KO'd the city by focusing unflattering national attention on it.

Rabid Nifong supporters -- both of them -- contend the former prosecutor was unfairly persecuted for, as Sidney Harr said, "going after defendants who were from families of privilege."

Harr is a retired physician and an artist. He has drawn a color pro-Nifong comic strip called "The Mis-adventures of Super Duper Cooper" about a "mild-mannered ... bumbling attorney general dispensing selective justice based on color and class."

He portrays state Attorney General Roy Cooper, aided by a barely dressed "curvaceous assistant," wondering, "Let's see ... What else can I do to make the Nifong's life miserable?"

In arguing that Nifong deserves reinstatement to the bar, Harr noted Monday that Nifong is the only district attorney ever disbarred in the state -- despite instances of egregious prosecutorial misconduct by others.

Pretrial statements made by Cooper and Gov. Mike Easley, respectively, that Nifong was "a rogue prosecutor" and "the worst appointment I ever made" damaged Nifong's chances for justice, Harr said. "How was he going to get a fair trial after that?" he asked.

How many members, I asked Harr, are in the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong? "If you join, that'll be three," he said. "You can have any title you want, as long as it is not president."

That title belongs to Durham community activist Victoria Peterson, who, because of her advocacy on behalf of Michael Peterson as well as Nifong, could soon become known as the patroness saint of lost causes.

"The wheels of justice move slowly," Peterson said when I asked whether she thought they'd get Nifong's license reinstated, "but they move. You must have people willing to stick their necks out. There are a lot of people who feel that he didn't get a fair trial."

None, apparently, who are willing to, in Victoria Peterson's words, stick their necks out and join the committee. 


barry.saunders@newsobserver.com or (919) 836-2811
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MarkRougemont
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2008, 12:49:52 PM »

 That is too funny SC.  Any links to the comic strip and have any papers published any?
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2008, 02:52:12 PM »

   I am working on this,Mark.
      I hate to enrich the Nifongs but this one could really be a collector's item and it is,in its perverse way,a really brilliant move ,one well calculated to reach the audience who would  still most likely to credit  Nifong.
   In fact I think Crystal should get the same guy to illustrate her autobiography,"If I Did It" as a comic book. Should be a Durham best seller.
   And the final beauty of the whole concept is that Nifong and Crystal will  not be allowed to profit from the fruits of their crime and will have to turn over all the lucre to Collin,Dave and Reade.
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2008, 12:18:26 PM »

  Nifong is back  in Federal Court still reiteratering his previously dismissed claims that the players cannot sue him because he is bankrupt. Ho-hum.
   A lawyer for Mike Nifong said in court documents today that three exonerated lacrosse players cannot expect any money from the fallen prosecutor.
Nifong's lawyer, Jim Craven, filed a 19-page document in federal court in response to a suit filed by the former Duke players, who are seeking damages for malicious prosecution and conspiracy. Craven said the case should be handled in bankruptcy court.

"These creditors, certainly their counsel, have to know that they will never collect so much as $35 from Mike Nifong," the response says. "They must know that, yet still they come."

Former players Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann filed suit in October, alleging that Nifong, the city of Durham and its police department played a key role in pushing forward with a gang-rape case that was flawed from the start.

The players spent nearly 13 months fighting charges that were dropped in April 2007 by State Attorney General Roy Cooper. The attorney general declared them innocent of the allegations brought by the escort service dancer hired to perform at a lacrosse team party in March 2006.

In his response, Nifong also questions the claims of personal injury by the players, who did not spend a night in jail and received an undisclosed settlement last year from Duke University.

"We suggest this is nothing more than hyperbolic pleading, unworthy of belief without considerable more specificity," Nifong's response says. "Upon information and belief, all defense costs were paid or reimbursed by a non-party Duke University alumnus."

Nifong's response comes seven months after all the other parties named in the suit responded. The city of Durham, which has the deepest pockets of the defendants, denied any legal responsibility for the arrest or prosecution of the three players. In a motion asking for the case to be dismissed, the city downplayed the suffering of the three.

Nifong filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 15, in a legal maneuver that put the federal suit on hold for months.

Nifong listed assets of $243,898 and potential debt of $180.3 million -- including $30 million to each of the lacrosse players who sued him.

Bankruptcy rules would not protect Nifong from financial claims if a judge finds that he willfully and maliciously prosecuted the players despite the gaping holes in his case.

As Nifong sought to keep his case in bankruptcy court earlier this year, Dave Rudolf, a lawyer representing Seligmann, said the players would persist with their claims.

Rudolf said Seligmann was more interested in airing his complaints against Nifong in court than in any financial awards.

In his response today, Craven referred to Rudolf's comments.

"If they don't want money, what do they want?" Craven said. "They want control over the Durham police Department."

Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann also are seeking broad reforms in the Durham Police Department, including a court-appointed monitor who would pre-approve public statements by the police and have the power to hire police chiefs, among other duties

http://www.newsobserver.com/front/story/1179406.html#MI_Comments_Link

  Thanks to "J".
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2008, 01:55:37 PM »

   Quasimodo comments as follows on certain choice bits and pieces of  what are (in a perverse  way)Nifong's pleadings for mercy( from a federal court!),not justice:

   It must be noted that in Paragraph 336 the plaintiffs claim to have
suffered physical injury, among other things. We suggest this is nothing more
than hyperbolic pleading, unworthy of belief without considerable more
specificity.

[Nevertheless, isn't that a matter of fact for a jury to decide?]

The plaintiffs also allege in Paragraph 334 that they incurred
defense expenses in the criminal case. Upon information and belief, all defense
costs were paid or reimbursed by a non-party Duke University alumnus.

[IIRC, the Seligmanns had to borrow heavily in order to meet these expenses. There was
also the matter of the (absurdly) high bail. That was a burden, emotionally as well as financially.]

U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 15 (1963), premised upon reckless
disregard, and with the same specious claim of physical injury.
No. 3. Fabrication of false evidence, also under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the Civil
Rights Act of 1871, with the same claim of physical harm and the same reckless disregard as before.

[Specious? Does it become so merely by saying, "You're lying!"]

No. 5. Further violations of 42 U.S.C. 1983, the Civil Rights Act of 1871,
against Nifong and eight others, referencing Monell v. Department of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). It should be
noted that Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, No. 07-854, in which the Supreme Court
granted certiorari on April 14, may have much to say on this particular cause
of action.

[Noted.]

No. 8. Conspiracy and obstruction of justice, in violation of 42 U.S.C.
1985(2), the Civil Rights Act of 1861, against Nifong and 15 others. It should
be noted that 42 U.S.C. 1985 is not one of the Reconstruction Civil Rights Acts,
but was signed into law by President Lincoln on July 31, 1861, in the early
days of the Civil War.

[Thank you for the history lesson. But a law remains a law and applicable even if it was not part of the post-war Reconstruction acts.]

No. 15. Intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy,
against Nifong and either others.

That leaves ten separate alleged causes of action in which Nifong is not
named. . . The specious claim of physical
harm appears as well in the prayer for relief, and we suggest it may be subject
to serious Rule 11 inquiry. We know not whether any of the other defendants
have raised that issue.

[Again, it is impossible to determine at this stage whether the claim is specious or not.
No depositions have been taken and no testimony given.]

Similarly we know not quite what to make of the claim for damages
against Nifong in the complaint, for at oral argument on April 24 in the
Bankruptcy Court the plaintiffs’ counsel were pretty unequivocal in disclaiming
any interest in the $3389 held by the Trustee for the benefit of the creditors. If
they don’t want money, what do they want? The Eighth Amendment precludes
any recovery of a pound of flesh.

[Nice Shakespearian reference. But in a legal brief I might expect more restrained language.]

The bulk of the prayer for relief we suggest
really answers that question. They want control over the Durham Police
Department.

[Ridiculous misstatement. Plaintiffs want the federal government to oversee
and monitor the DPD. Plaintiffs do not control the federal government.]

ARGUMENT

[Proceeds to discuss three cases where personal injury was claimed, but there was no physical injury. However, the three cases cited all involve discrimination of some kind--against, age, race, or the handicapped. These seem to be tangent to the issues in this case, which IIRC asserts a malicious prosecution and a conspiracy to deprive plaintiffs of their civil rights.

[Proceeds then in a somewhat wandering argument to assert via other case examples
that personal injury cases cannot be tried in bankruptcy court, and that Nifong has immunity
as a city official; that city supervisorial personal likewise have immunity and cannot be sued for improperly overseeing their staffs; and repeats the supposed requirement for physical injury. Not, IMHO, a very cogent, logical, or well-assembled Argument.]
 
"The whole damnable thing was a frame-up of two irresponsible women." --Samuel Liebowitz addressing the Scottsboro jury (NY Times, 4/9/33) 
     
 



  Judge Stocks, we suggest, may have been taken in by the lacrosse
players’ allegations of bodily injury. They have indeed alleged bodily harm, but
those allegations must be tested by common sense, and ultimately by Rule 11.
At least two books have been published about what is known as the Duke
lacrosse case. Entire forests have fallen to produce the newsprint containing
all the articles written about the case. The Internet has overdosed on it.
Nowhere in all of this has there appeared so much as a hint of bodily harm suffered by these creditors.
The common sense conclusion is that it is because
it never happened. We can, if inclined to Rule 11 risk, allege that
hippopotamuses breed in the Cape Fear River. That would however not make
it so, and we should not expect a court to take such allegation seriously. What we have from these creditors is in effect a hippopotamus allegation.

[The whole story has not been told yet. We have not heard from the families, the three defendants, or the majority of the other team members. In any event, this Argument should be based upon law, and not assumptions drawn from media reports.
As the adage for lawyers says, "Never ask a question to which you do not know the answer".
I think this is doing just that; and the attorneys in this case may be surprised.

I would also think that a serious and competent legal submission would do better
than making Arguments from stories about hippopotami. . .and would reference law,
and would leave matters of fact to be determined by a jury.]

The key issue here is the question of
whether in the Duke lacrosse prosecutions Mike Nifong acted willfully
and maliciously, within the context of 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(6). In a
nutshell, that is what the fuss is about here,

[This is proper 'legalese'?]

not Florida or North
Carolina domestic relations law. Note also the heavy emphasis in the
complaint in Evans v. City of Durham on equitable relief, injunctive
relief. The plaintiffs essentially seek to put the Durham Police
Department in receivership, but no equitable relief is sought against
Mike Nifong.

B. Whether modifying the stay will promote judicial economy and
whether there would be greater interference with the bankruptcy
case if the stay were not lifted because matters would have to be
litigated in the Bankruptcy Court. Judicial economy is already the
big loser in this case, though it could get worse.

[This is common 'legalese'? And if there is a cost to the courts
because of endless delays in the case, whose fault is that? Is it the fault of
the plaintiffs? And does their case therefore not deserve to be heard, because the defendants are going to stall and delay and prevaricate endlessly, since they have no other defense?
"Justice delayed is justice denied." Are the plaintiffs going to be made by the court
system to wait ten years for relief, because the defendants are manipulating the system
in order to cause delays?]

If the stay were
lifted, Evans v. City of Durham would then proceed apace in this
Court with the full complement of 15 defendants rather than the 14
defendants, including the only deep pockets, already counted as
present. It is a sure bet

[This is proper 'legalese'?]

that the case will go to the Court of Appeals
in Richmond, and likely to the Supreme Court in Washington. It has
every promise of bouncing back and forth for some years, not unlike
the recent case of Anson Dorrance, the soccer coach at UNC Chapel
Hill, which took only ten years to resolve.

[See above.]

In the meanwhile the
Chapter 7 case here would remain in limbo, for years.

[See above.]

Now suppose
the stay were not lifted. The Bankruptcy Court would then have to
deal with the pending adversary proceeding, Evans v. Nifong, No. AP
08-9015, but there are lots of ways to do this, with judicial creativity
and the parties’ cooperation and consent.

These creditors note that Mike Nifong will likely have to testify, if called
upon in whatever forum these cases are resolved. To paraphrase the Vice
President, so what?

[Legalese?]

Any of us who are witnesses to litigated events run that
risk and are subject to subpoena. The debtor has at no time evidenced any
reluctance to testify, if called upon to do so.

[The mind boggles. . .]

[Proceeds to state that Nifong's conduct did not reach the 'malicious' standard necessary.]

CONCLUSION
As we have demonstrated, the claims of these three creditors are not
personal injury tort claims within the context of 28 U.S.C. 157(b)(2)(B) and 28
U.S.C. 157(b)(5).

[Alleged, because they did not suffer physical injury. (As if emotional damage and stress damage does not manifest itself at times in physical damage.]

These creditors, certainly their counsel, have to know they
will never collect so much as $35 from Mike Nifong. They must know that, yet
still they come.

[Either the plaintiffs are greedy grasping money-seeking students; or they are criticized for knowing they are not going to get any money. Which is it?]

For all the reasons set forth above, the Court should reverse
the May 27, 2008 decision of the Bankruptcy Court and remand the case.
Respectfully submitted,

[Shakespeare is referenced in a footnote: ]

The answer may lie in the Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I, where Bassanio offers Shylock
twice the amount owed, in cash, yet Shylock insists on a pound of Antonio's flesh. And yes, to paraphrase Portia, we do think it is perhaps time for mercy here, and forgiveness and healing. All these lives must go on.

[I noted not a single drop of mercy from the prosecution, nor from Durham, during the entire lax fraud. Even if the defendants there were not guilty, there was a demand that they should be punished anyway, "because of all that had gone on before". And when they were declared Innocent by the Attorney General, a state campus university ran a guest editorial calling
for vigilante violence. Let Durham receive back the same measure of mercy it handed out.]

   Esmeralda and the goat(themselves victims of hideous legal injustices) fully concur in Quasi's aforesaid opinions.

   
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MarkRougemont
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2008, 10:11:05 AM »

"It must be noted that in Paragraph 336 the plaintiffs claim to have
suffered physical injury, among other things. We suggest this is nothing more
than hyperbolic pleading, unworthy of belief without considerable more
specificity."

Perhaps they were going to use the 'hemorrhoids' claim, but are now revising that after the Osteen case.

Or maybe the response is just making fun of the filing itself.  It does not seem that it takes many of the accusations seriously.
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Re: Nifong files for bankruptcy
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2008, 11:11:45 AM »

  Mark,
   When  I  came here( over two years ago!) I first elaborated   the Wonderland  metaphor which shortly became the logo for my better.It was further observed,paraphrasing another of my(and nearly every else's) betters,Rene Guenon,that there was no position taken in jest that would not be taken in deadly earnest before this case was done.
   Should  Nifong now  consciously elect to play the buffoon in this dark carnival,it may well be his  most intelligent move since his oppening gambit.
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