Main Menu

Turning up the heat in Mississippi

First it was “misprision of felony,” and then “uttering,” and now, just when you thought it safe to take the pro se bar exam, out of the blue come the latest wacky legal terms out of Mississippi:

Barratry, champerty, and maintenance

Barratry  is the act of repeated legal actions for the purpose of harassment.

Champerty and maintenance are doctrines in common law jurisdictions, that aim to preclude frivolous litigation. “Maintenance” is the intermeddling of a disinterested party to encourage a lawsuit. It is “A taking in hand, a bearing up or upholding of quarrels or sides, to the disturbance of the common right.” “Champerty” is the “maintenance” of a person in a lawsuit on condition that the subject matter of the action is to be shared with the maintainer.

Barratry, champerty and maintenance are abuses of the legal system, and they are crimes in Mississippi, were attorneys defending the Democratic Party of Mississippi have used them in a motion to examine Orly Taitz under oath to find out if she is bringing a string of lawsuits against President Obama to harass him (barratry)  or if someone else is behind her campaign against the President (champerty and maintenance).

The Motion filed by the Democratic Party claims:

[T]he Plaintiff is using the media attention she receives from filing lawsuits questioning the legitimacy of the President for the primary purpose of generating monetary contributions to support her “celebrity” and her declared candidacy for the 2012 United States Senate election in California.

… The Plaintiff is a prolific “birther” litigant. Her discussions of her lawsuits fuel her website … which boasts being the “World’s Leading Obama Eligibility Challenge Web Site.”

Orly TaitzOrly Taitz, exhibiting her own brand of non-linear thinking, says that if she’s going to have to testify under oath, then she gets to examine President Obama, Eric Holder,  Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, former White House counsel Bob Bauer, Hawaii Department of Health Loretta Fuddy, and State Registrar Alvin Onaka. [link to Taitz web site]. Apparently, the Democrats had the audacity to point out Taitz’s litigation history against Barack Obama. Taitz says:

The word insane does not even begin to describe it. They want the judge to allow them to put me on the stand to testify if someone induced me to file all the law suits against Obama. They printed out 21 law suits that I filed against Obama,they are saying that I make the President suffer and they want to examine me.

Taitz, according to her own web site [link to Taitz web site], states that she is currently prosecuting 7 cases in multiple states. Well, perhaps Orly Taitz should be examined.

Read more:

, ,

41 Responses to Turning up the heat in Mississippi

  1. avatar
    ASK Esq March 24, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    I’ve participated in some odd depositions, both of my client and the other side’s witness. Sometimes people just decide to answer what they want the question to be, rather than what it is, or they spend the entire time going off on tangents. I know how frustrating it can be. I wonder if they know exactly what they’re asking for. I can’t imagine anything valuable coming out of Orly being deposed.

    Entertaining, yes, but valuable, no.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 24, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Sounds like a political debate.

    ASK Esq: Sometimes people just decide to answer what they want the question to be, rather than what it is, or they spend the entire time going off on tangents

  3. avatar
    J. Potter March 24, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Can’t wait for the legal version of, “I’m rubber, and you’re glue ….”

  4. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter March 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    There once was a challenge in Mississippi
    Til the Democratic Party got snippy
    And sued Orly T.
    Alleged barratry
    And asked, “How do you like that, Skippy???”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  5. avatar
    Lupin March 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    You do know that those terms and concepts come from the Old French baraterie, champartie and maintenance?

  6. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter March 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    DrC:

    Here is you a quote of the day, from me:

    This could have a chilling effect on barratry and champerty everywhere.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. avatar
    donna March 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    lol

    what happened to “Vexatious Litigant “?

    “perhaps Orly Taitz should be examined” by a psychiatrist

  8. avatar
    justlw March 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Possibly off topic: Barratry, Champerty, Maintenance, & Jones, Ltd. was considered by most critics to be the best of the Monkees’ albums, and held the number one spot in the Billboard Hot 100 for serveral weeks.

  9. avatar
    Black Lion March 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    More birther nonsense….

    http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com/2012/03/ins-record-found-showing-certificate-of.html

    INS DOC FOUND: U.S. CERTIFICATE ISSUED TO ONE
    EAST AFRICAN-BORN CHILD OF U.S. CITIZEN IN 1961!

    IMPLICATIVE DISCOVERY: A government document found buried in the online reference section of a Boston Public Library archive bolsters a growing mountain of evidentiary data against Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president. The document indicates that a consular officer issued a single certificate of statutory citizenship, within the time frame including August 4, 1961, to a child born to a U.S. citizen between July 1st and December 31st, 1961 in the Kenyan region of Africa. The record also reveals that the certificate was the only one issued for this specific type of arrival in the U.S. over a span of more than 18 months, among thousands from other parts of the world.

    By Dan Crosby of THE DAILY PEN

    NEW YORK, NY – A recently discovered rare immigration record found by researchers working on behalf of an ongoing investigation into the Constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of the U.S. presidency reveals that an American consular officer issued a single Certificate of Citizenship to only one passenger arriving in the U.S. from the Kenyan region of Africa between July and December of 1961.

    The record shows demographic and status classifications for a passenger who was explicitly recorded at the INS Arrival Inspection Station as an individual being born to a U.S. citizen parent arriving from the Kenyan region of Africa between July 1st and December 31st, 1961.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    If Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, he wouldn’t have been a US citizen in 1961. Therefore, this document would not refer to Obama.

    Also, The Daily Pen has presented fake and/or misrepresented old documents before.

    Black Lion: The document indicates that a consular officer issued a single certificate of statutory citizenship, within the time frame including August 4, 1961, to a child born to a U.S. citizen between July 1st and December 31st, 1961 in the Kenyan region of Africa.

  11. avatar
    Sef March 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Black Lion: More birther nonsense….

    http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com/2012/03/ins-record-found-showing-certificate-of.html

    Doc had an article on this faked info recently. As I recall the fakers even acknowledged it.

  12. avatar
    elmo March 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Sef: Doc had an article on this faked info recently. As I recall the fakers even acknowledged it.

    Well, ok. Even if this document is not another forgery, I fail to see how the fact that an American gave birth to a son in Kenya in the same general time period as Obama’s birth proves that this was actually Obama, even without taking into account all of the evidence that proves he was born in Hawaii.

    But I guess that’s because I don’t think like a birther.

  13. avatar
    donna March 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    to “think like a birther”, one has to take ALL SIDES of an issue “just in case”

    thereby NEVER being wrong

  14. avatar
    Thrifty March 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Taitz, according to her own web site, states that she is currently prosecuting 7 cases in multiple states.

    I thought only government appointed or elected district attorneys could prosecute cases.

  15. avatar
    Suranis March 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    donna:
    to “think like a birther”, one has to take ALL SIDES of an issue “just in case”

    thereby NEVER being wrong

    You mean, all sides of the issue that give an excuse to believe barack Obama is not the president.

  16. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    LMAO! 🙂

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter: There once was a challenge in MississippiTil the Democratic Party got snippyAnd sued Orly T.Alleged barratryAnd asked, “How do you like that, Skippy???”Squeeky FrommGirl Reporter

  17. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    That’s a cool tidbit of additional history on the terms. Good to know, thanks.

    Lupin: You do know that those terms and concepts come from the Old French baraterie, champartie and maintenance?

  18. avatar
    Jamese777 March 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Orly, Orly income free!

  19. avatar
    nbc March 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    I can’t imagine anything valuable coming out of Orly being deposed.

    Orly on the stand would be a hostile witness to her own case. Just let her talk and she will explain in clear details why the Court should grant the motion for sanctions against her.

  20. avatar
    Jules March 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    The Democratic Party of Mississippi indicates that it wishes to seek sworn testimony from Ms Taitz. However, by stating that it believes that Taitz may have violated criminal law and considers Taitz’s testimony potentially probative in this respect, it creates a situation in which Taitz should be able to assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify.

    Then again, it would be a major accomplishment to get Taitz to exercise her right to shut up.

  21. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Lupin:
    You do know that those terms and concepts come from the Old French baraterie, champartie and maintenance?

    Barratry comes from Italian baratteria.and means any cheating or fraud by the Captain of a ship that has negative consequences for the owners or charterers. A captain who sold part of the freight or even the whole ship and then claimed it was taken by pirates, was a typical barrator. In his Inferno, Dante gave barrators a special place in hell.

    Champerty, maintenance and barratry are obsolescent legal concepts now, slowly on the way out – though the acts described as such are still illegal under common law. By the way, outside common law countries, Baratterie stil exists in German law, but refers to any willful act by a ship’s captain that causes harm to the owners or charterers. Even smuggling or blockade running is now Baratterie. Outside the Anglo-Saxon law system, the acts decribed as champerty, maintenance and barratry under the Anglo-Saxon system were (or are) illegal under the provisions against abuse of process.

    Abuse of process happens when the plaintiff is not pure of Treu und Glauben, “bona fides et ratio”.

    In England, the notorious 1856 case (or rather cases) of the Swynfen will, where an heiress countersued against her lawyer in the first case for barratry and then dumped her second lawyer, got sued by him and won that case on a claim against him of, wait for it, champerty and maintenance (rather funny because the two had been lovers) caused the legal profession to clean up its act, and the same thing happened elsewhere in common law countries. As a result, most Commonwealth countries have dumped laws on champerty, maintenance and barratry as no longer necessary. Many US states never had them.

    There is also a belief that such laws can be seen as intimidation and thus be a breach of a basic internationally recognized human right: the right to seek recourse in the courts.

    Of course, the problem in this case is mainly that one particular body that should look at the (un)ethical behaviour of the lawyers in its jurisdiction, is not doing a very good job of it.

  22. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    nbc: Orly on the stand would be a hostile witness to her own case. Just let her talk and she will explain in clear details why the Court should grant the motion for sanctions against her.

    Hm, I think you hit a nerve there. Obviously, no one should even be allowed to testify against themselves, unless they expressly wish to do so. That is why the Judge should first ascertain whether Orly is mentally capable to comprehend that she is in fact incriminating herself.

    I do not think we’re looking at sanctions here, actually. Apart from the sanity angle there is also a little hint that the DNC may actually countersue Taitz or lodge a criminal complaint.

    I think she might need a lawyer. And a psychiatrist.

  23. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    LOL! True. Very true.

    Jules: Then again, it would be a major accomplishment to get Taitz to exercise her right to shut up.

  24. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Fascinating! Thanks for providing all of that! I always learn a lot from your posts Paul. Thanks for always contributing your talents and unique perspective here!

    Paul Pieniezny: Barratry comes from Italian baratteria.and means any cheating or fraud by the Captain of a ship that has negative consequences for the owners or charterers. A captain who sold part of the freight or even the whole ship and then claimed it was taken by pirates, was a typical barrator. In his Inferno, Dante gave barrators a special place in hell.
    Champerty, maintenance and barratry are obsolescent legal concepts now, slowly on the way out – though the acts described as such are still illegal under common law. By the way, outside common law countries, Baratterie stil exists in German law, but refers to any willful act by a ship’s captain that causes harm to the owners or charterers. Even smuggling or blockade running is now Baratterie. Outside the Anglo-Saxon law system, the acts decribed as champerty, maintenance and barratry under the Anglo-Saxon system were (or are) illegal under the provisions against abuse of process.

  25. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Well said!

    Paul Pieniezny: Of course, the problem in this case is mainly that one particular body that should look at the (un)ethical behaviour of the lawyers in its jurisdiction, is not doing a very good job of it.

  26. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    I would argue that she has needed both of those things for a long time… 😉

    Paul Pieniezny: I think she might need a lawyer. And a psychiatrist.

  27. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter March 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Actually, the etymological root of “barratry” stretches back to the Ur word “bar” meaning “happy waters.” This is the same root word from whence we get “beer.” Babylonia, which was once known as Bar-by-lonia, which meant “city of many happy water places.”

    In fact, there were numerous bars in Babylonia, and the city was so dependent on those who came there to drink, that Hammurabi’s Code:

    also regulated the liquor traffic, fixing a fair price for beer and forbidding the connivance of the tavern-keeper (a female!) at disorderly conduct or treasonable assembly, under pain of death. She was to hale the offenders to the palace, which implied an efficient and accessible police system.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/hamcode.asp

    “Barratry” was thus originally the crime of “watering down the beer.”

    “Bar” is also the root word for:

    “bar-ista” or “woman who serves happy waters”;

    “bar-barians” or “people who trash happy water places”;

    “bar-ter” or ” swapping stuff for happy waters”;

    “bar-fing” or “getting sick from drinking too much happy waters”.

    “bar-itones” or “people who sing after drinking happy waters”;

    “bar-rel” or “big round wooden thing that holds happy waters”;

    “crow -bar” or “device to open big round wooden things that hold happy waters”; and

    “wheel-barrow” or “way to get person home who has drunk too much happy waters.

    I hope this helps.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  28. avatar
    G March 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Wow… now that was the most fun of all the cool learning tidbits today! Kudos for sharing that. 🙂

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter: Actually, the etymological root of “barratry” stretches back to the Ur word “bar” meaning “happy waters.” This is the same root word from whence we get “beer.” Babylonia, which was once known as Bar-by-lonia, which meant “city of many happy water places.”
    In fact, there were numerous bars in Babylonia, and the city was so dependent on those who came there to drink, that Hammurabi’s Code:
    also regulated the liquor traffic, fixing a fair price for beer and forbidding the connivance of the tavern-keeper (a female!) at disorderly conduct or treasonable assembly, under pain of death. She was to hale the offenders to the palace, which implied an efficient and accessible police system.
    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/hamcode.asp

  29. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter March 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    G: Thank you!!! You can count on me, bar none.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  30. avatar
    richCares March 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Orly will definitely fail in Mississippi, her only success to date is her role as the witch in the Wizard of Oz, nothing else! And now she has a new fan Gier Smith, what a pair!

  31. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter:
    Actually, the etymological root of “barratry” stretches back to the Ur word “bar” meaning “happy waters.” This is the same root word from whence we get “beer.” Babylonia, which was once known as Bar-by-lonia, which meant “city of many happy water places.”
    In fact, there were numerous bars in Babylonia, and the city was so dependent on those who came there to drink, that Hammurabi’s Code also regulated the liquor traffic, fixing a fair price for beer and forbidding the connivance of the tavern-keeper (a female!) at disorderly conduct or treasonable assembly, under pain of death. She was to hale the offenders to the palace, which implied an efficient and accessible police system.

    “Barratry” was thus originally the crime of “watering down the beer.”
    “Bar” is also the root word for:
    “bar-ista”or “woman who serves happy waters”;
    “bar-barians” or “people who trash happy water places”;
    “bar-ter” or ” swapping stuff for happy waters”;
    “bar-fing” or “getting sick from drinking too much happy waters”.
    “bar-itones” or “people who sing after drinking happy waters”;
    “bar-rel” or “big round wooden thing that holds happy waters”;
    “crow -bar” or “device to open big round wooden things that hold happy waters”; and
    “wheel-barrow” or “way to get person home who has drunk too much happy waters.

    I hope this helps.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    You had me going for a second there. I get a kick out of trying to detect if you started with a real factual reference or not, and if so, where you jumped into hyper-space. But then some of your comments are fully non-fiction. Quite the challenge.

    Here I was first tipped by “barbarians” which I’d always heard was a parody of uncivilized speakers: “bar bar bar…” so they were ‘hoi babaroi,’ “the stammerers.” The same sense is thought to go back as far as Proto-Indo-European, and connected to “babble.” But not, as far as I know, to “Babylon.”

    So is the “Ur word ‘bar’ meaning ‘happy waters'” on the level? I seem to have misplaced my Ur/English lexicon. Enquiring minds want to know!

    If your comment actually started out in pure fiction, you spun it out to righteous lengths. Most inventive, as always. Deliciously risible.

  32. avatar
    bgansel9 March 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Jamese777: Orly, Orly Income Free

    Ah, come on, she still has her dental practice to fall back on.

  33. avatar
    misha March 25, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Paul Pieniezny: Obviously, no one should even be allowed to testify against themselves, unless they expressly wish to do so. That is why the Judge should first ascertain whether Orly is mentally capable to comprehend that she is in fact incriminating herself.

    It should be a given that Orly knows about the 5th Amendment. That would not stop her from yammering, though. Popcorn.

  34. avatar
    misha March 25, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    bgansel9: Ah, come on, she still has her dental practice to fall back on.

    That’s some practice she has. How many times has she been sued for malpractice?

  35. avatar
    Keith March 25, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    misha: It should be a given that Orly knows about the 5th Amendment. That would not stop her from yammering, though. Popcorn.

    I’m trying to corner the market on popcorn even as I type. I reckon there’s a fortune to be made on this one.

  36. avatar
    BillTheCat March 25, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    This is a wonderful development, and I truly hope that it results in the ultimate conclusion – full sanctions and maybe even criminal proceedings. One can only hope.

    And it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

  37. avatar
    Jim March 25, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    misha: It should be a given that Orly knows about the 5th Amendment. That would not stop her from yammering, though. Popcorn.

    Even if she knows and understands about the 5th, what she’s been posting on her blogs, her interviews, etc. would still be fair game. A good lawyer will have a field day making his case with all that evidence she freely provided.

  38. avatar
    The Magic M March 26, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    misha: It should be a given that Orly knows about the 5th Amendment.

    I wouldn’t bet on it. Probably she thinks it gives her the right to have her opponent shut up.

    Paul Pieniezny: There is also a belief that such laws can be seen as intimidation and thus be a breach of a basic internationally recognized human right: the right to seek recourse in the courts.

    226 of the German Civil Code says you cannot enforce a right if that enforcement only has the aim to harrass/damage your opponent.

    I’m not sure it comes into play except in constructed cases, such as “A lends B a brick, B builds a house around that brick, then A sues B for returning the brick although that would mean B would have to tear down his house” (so in that case A can only sue for damages, i.e. the value of the brick).

  39. avatar
    Reality Check March 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    It looks like the Democrats in Mississippi are getting prepared for Hurricane Taitz. http://rcradioblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/attorney-intimately-familiar-with-taitz-and-her-birfer-legal-history-to-join-the-mississippi-democratic-team/

  40. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Reality Check: It looks like the Democrats in Mississippi are getting prepared for Hurricane Taitz.

    Is it the election commissioner from Indiana?

    Man, that would be sweet!

    Roooooooooound TWO—FIGHT!

    (Sorry, i don’t recall her name. Anyone familiar with the hearing knows the one I mean)

  41. avatar
    G March 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    That event could turn out to be quite entertaining…

    Reality Check: It looks like the Democrats in Mississippi are getting prepared for Hurricane Taitz. http://rcradioblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/attorney-intimately-familiar-with-taitz-and-her-birfer-legal-history-to-join-the-mississippi-democratic-team/