OF FIREBRANDS AND FILES

The man has other things on his mind.
To assist the clean firing of his synapses, Jack carries a portable computer with him everywhere. Unfortunately, the machine is dependent for its memory upon, you guessed it, Jack's memory.

Now, months later, Jack has told the court that he was concerned that anyone might have viewed the FBI file other than an attorney.

What was the difference between my looking at files in Jack's office and looking at files in Moon's?

In both instances, the operating principle was adherence to Rule 88, an understanding that one doesn't disclose anything that would risk a fair trial.

There was no difference.
There was only this: Between my visit to Shreveport and the Rule 88 motion by the prosecution, Moon and Jack began to have significant disagreements over the conduct of the case.

In my opinion, Wellborn Jack Jr. used the prosecutor's motion as a cover to push the disagreeable Moon out of the case.

When I mentioned to Jack that there had been no Rule 88 violation, that he could have easily attacked the prosecutor's position, he replied that it was up to the press to protect its own First Amendment interest.

Fair enough.
It's not necessary for a lawyer to believe in a press that is free to print all the facts in order for that attorney to be effective in the courtroom. Nor is it even necessary to be a standup guy to do an effective job for your client. Many glib weasels are persuasive in front of juries. Certainly Wellborn Jack Jr. has the background, and even the credentials, to be a winning advocate. In his five-page, single-spaced letter of introduction to defendant Mark Davis, Jack demonstrated an agile wit able to move both the mind and the soul with passion.

But he also pointed out an interesting legal dilemma: " . . . It appears that there may be a certain amount of antagonism between Foreman's defense and the defenses of the other four defendants . . . ," wrote Jack.

No kidding.
It is unlikely that the prosecution can convict its principal target, Dave Foreman, based upon his book and the small amount of taped conversation that currently exists in the case.

The prosecution dearly wants Mark Davis to testify against Dave Foreman.
They are charging three counts that carry ten-year sentences and $250,000 fines each against Davis. The government is even in the position of being able to file additional charges. Yet Davis has refused all offers to give up Foreman in exchange for a lighter sentence.

But if the government nails Davis to the wall at the trial, will his attorney Wellborn Jack Jr. tell him that it is time to cut a deal if he ever hopes to see his children again? Will Jack put his client's interests above those of Jack's hero Gerry Spence?

Maybe Jack won't ever have to confront this situation because he'll walk his client. This is only one of many dramas that will play out during this summer.

And throughout these many weeks of upcoming trial we will all get to inspect the actions of Earth First! as well as the behavior of the FBI.

Gerry Spence has marched through this case challenging the outrageous conduct of the government over fundamental issues of free speech.

When Wellborn Jack Jr. was presented with the same opening, he chose instead to attack his co-counsel and promise the court that he, Jack, knew how to behave.

Under these circumstances, Wellborn Jack Jr. will always be the lawyer in the back of the room, bobbing his head up and down and pointing with envy toward Gerry Spence.

To be continued

People in Prescott are both committed to their neighbors and frightened of their government.

A lifetime spent on one's knees creates an insatiable appetite to control and demean those of lesser rank.

Davis was an endangered species, a man of convictions on the verge of extinction.

Jack, dear soul that he is, can't remember if he's wearing loafers or lace-ups.

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