From The Ethics Alarms Mail Bag: “Does It Matter If A Lawyer Is A Neo-Nazi?”

"Anyone who would hire this lawyer is evil! EVIL!!!"

“Anyone who would hire this lawyer is evil! EVIL!!!”

“…What if he’s hired for a government job?”

This is a great question, and I’m going to bedevil the lawyers in my upcoming ethics seminars with it. It’s not a hard question, though.

The answer is, “No, it doesn’t matter, just as it doesn’t matter if the lawyer is a Republican, a vegan, a libertarian, a creationist, a global warming denier, an Adam Sandler fan, a Donald Trump loyalist, a Muslim, an ISIS sympathizer, a Druid, a Celine Dion worshiper, a New York Yankee fan or anything else. Lawyers have First Amendment rights. Lawyers can think what they want to, believe what they want to, donate where they want to and spout whatever unpopular or offensive opinions they want to, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their representation of their clients.

What prompted the question was this post on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) website, which attempts to use guilt by association and classic McCarthyism tactics to smear the City of Baltimore because of what the lawyer defending it in a law suit believes. The SPLC—which itself often resembles a hate group–writes,

Attorney Glen Keith Allen, 65…has a long history of supporting one of the most notorious hate groups in America, the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA)…Allen’s history with organized racism and anti-Semitism is deep. Records obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) show he was a dues-paying member of the National Alliance for years. Allen was also a subscriber to the NA’s racist publications, purchased entrance to a Holocaust denial conference the group held and bought a Holocaust denial DVD the group sold…A simple search would have revealed that he has made political contributions to a racist political party, the American Eagle Party (AEP) National Committee, according to FEC records. An offshoot of the racist American Freedom Party, the American Eagle Party is run by perennial fringe presidential candidate Merlin Miller. Miller traveled to Iran in 2012 to promote a film project. In an interview with Iran’s Press TV, Miller claimed the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Allen also appears to be an officer in the AEP. A post on the neo-Nazi web forum Stormfront identifies him as the group’s national secretary, though he is identified in an AEP newsletter as the group’s “Vice Chairman/Parliamentarian.” The party was promoted heavily on Stormfront last year. FEC records show Allen is the AEP’s largest contributor.

All of this is an unethical tactic to impugn the City of Baltimore’s position by attacking the absolutely irrelevant political activities, philanthropy and beliefs of its lawyer, none of which is remotely relevant to anything, including the matter of how good a lawyer he is. I often rail here—yes rail, because it is maddening that so many citizens are so ignorant about the legal system—about how the false idea that a lawyer necessarily approves of or personally supports the objective or beliefs of her clients is harmful to the justice system, and that lawyers who perpetuate this fallacy are cynically misleading the public, because they know better. Do you think the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t know that this kind of attack is baseless and dishonest? And that what it is doing here is even more ridiculous than than that: it is arguing that a client should be held accountable for the beliefs, words, objectives and motives of the client’s lawyer!

Would evidence relating to Allen be admissible in the Baltimore law suit’s trial? No; in fact, a plaintiffs lawyer mentioning anything about Allen’s politics would probably cause a mistrial. Only one thing matters: how good a job attorney Glen Keith Allen does representing his client. If he wins the case, it doesn’t matter if he’s a Satan worshiper. If he loses, it is no consolation to his client that he is a devoted husband, a loving father, a hard worker, devout Christian, Scout leader, soccer coach, generous with charities, representing dozens of poor clients pro bono and his bar’s Ethical Lawyer of the Year.

What’s unethical, based on what we know, is the SPLC’s disgraceful effort to tilt a lawsuit by attacking the lawyer representing the side it opposes, misleading the public by implying that a litigant’s case should be judged by the private life of its lawyer, suggesting that the First Amendment shouldn’t apply to lawyers, and that groups like the SPLC get to decide what political beliefs a citizen can hold without penalties.

Next question?

_______________________

Pointer: Fred

70 thoughts on “From The Ethics Alarms Mail Bag: “Does It Matter If A Lawyer Is A Neo-Nazi?”

  1. They are intentionally trying to try the case in the court of public opinion and in-turn corrupt the real court with outside influence. This is something that if a related jury trial is going on and the jury is not shielded from this kind of influence it will likely corrupt the jury or any jury pool that they try to get.

    Right in line with something that Bill Fallon would have likely done.

    • Observations:

      1. I can’t blame her.
      2. If you are going to care about such things, you should vet your contractors better.
      3. Nice: a third party loses a professional a client by publicizing his protected speech and associations, BUT the same group supports the efforts by the Obama administration to bar employers and landlords from inquiring about felony convictions.

      • Jack:

        “3. Nice: a third party loses a professional a client by publicizing his protected speech and associations, BUT the same group supports the efforts by the Obama administration to bar employers and landlords from inquiring about felony convictions.”

        I’m missing the contradiction as far as landlords; being hired as someone’s lawyer isn’t a public accomodation. You have a better case for hypocrisy with the issue of employers, but even there, people who hold racist views aren’t a protected class–you can kick someone out of your restaurant for being a Klan member, but not for being a Christian or a Muslim, and if I’m not mistaken the same goes for hiring (correct me if I’m wrong). As I understand it, the group you’re referring to wants to make people with felony convictions a protected class.

        • The point is the administration is going out of its way, with SPLC’s enthusiastic support on this issue, to keep information directly relating to trust, honesty and past criminal conduct from those who have a legitimate reason to want to know it, but is itself using irrelevant information about an individual’s completely legal and protected speech and private activities to prejudice his job prospects. Seems like a pretty clear double standard to me.

          • It isn’t irrelevant information. If my mechanic is a racist, it doesn’t affect his ability to do his job; a lawyer has to sort through the best evidence and know how to differentiate persuasive arguments from unpersuasive ones. A lawyer who has concluded that the races should be segregated and whites are superior can’t be trusted to do that, as they’ve already shown that they *can’t* do that.

  2. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nasty organization. In the past they listed as “hate groups” immigration reform groups such as the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and Californians for Population Stabilization. Why these groups are labeled as “hate groups” along with the Neo-Nazis, KKK groups, and Holocaust deniers well demonstrates the agenda of the SPLC.

    • “Why these groups are labeled as “hate groups” along with the Neo-Nazis, KKK groups, and Holocaust deniers well demonstrates the agenda of the SPLC.”

      It does, but not in the way you think. The “why” for each of those groups is explained perfectly well by the SPLC itself, and it is certainly not because they are “immigration reform” groups:

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/national-coalition-immigration-reform

      https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2012/02/07/nativist-%E2%80%98environmentalists%E2%80%99-enraged-exclusion-conference

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/federation-american-immigration-reform

      As you can see, Wayne, each of those groups has deep ties to white nationalists and white supremacists, in some cases even having white nationalists as their leaders.

      I’m not sure why you’re defending them, and I’m not sure why it’s wrong for SPLC to accurately describe their rhetoric as hateful.

      • SPLC unethically uses “hate group” as a group version of an ad hominem attack. It’s own rhetoric can get pretty hateful, and so what? Hateful rhetoric isn’t unconstitutional, and SPLC’s efforts are designed to marginalize groups they disagree with, as with the groups that oppose gay marriage. They use “Hate Group” as the equivalent of a criminal indictment, as well as lumping all such groups with the Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan. The Family Research Council is not the equivalent of the Klan.

        • Jack, you accuse the SPLC of using language sloppily by designating groups as different as the FRC and the KKK as “hate groups,” but you yourself are using language just as, if not more, sloppily:

          “They use “Hate Group” as the equivalent of a criminal indictment”

          No, they don’t. Show me where they’ve called for criminal prosecutions against any of the groups they’ve identified. They haven’t. They also don’t claim that hateful rhetoric is “unconstitutional,” as you imply they do; you’re arguing with strawmen. Aren’t your statements here at least as hyperbolic and inaccurate as the designations you’re critiquing?

          “It’s own rhetoric can get pretty hateful”

          Do you have an example?

          “The Family Research Council is not the equivalent of the Klan”

          No one says they are, least of all the SPLC. They are both hate groups. I’m not sure what else you’d call a group that calls homosexuals perverts who are possessed by the devil and who are mostly pedophiles, but that’s what the FRC states.

          In addition, you’ve labeled Black Lives Matter as a hate group. Do you really think they are the equivalent of the KKK? If so, you’re wrong, and if not, your critique against the SPLC has no merit.

          • “They use “Hate Group” as the equivalent of a criminal indictment” No, they don’t.

            Sure they do. I didn’t say they actually called for criminal prosecution: there’s no law. But the hate group accusation suggests that there should be, that the group is the equivalent of criminal, an abuser of human rights. It’s the tactic of isolating an individual or group from civilized society, but based only on words. It’s a sinister game.

            Yes, I think that BLM is very close to a mirror version of the Klan. Right now, it is causing more death than the Klan is—every police officer shot— and is equally racially divisive. It also deals in terror, like the Klan. It avoids direct identification with the terror it provokes by being disorganized, but that doesn’t acquit it of accountability.

            At this point, both political parties and the extreme polls on the left and the right deal in hate, and labeling the other side as a hate group, which the SPLC does from some imagined place of authority, is part of the hate tactic.

            I called the SPLC a hate group to point out its inherent double standards, but you’re right, that’s excessive. I won’t do it again.

            Black Lives Matter, however, is built on a hateful, racist, and white and anti-law enforcement ideology. If any group is a hate group, it is.

            • “But the hate group accusation suggests that there should be,”

              No, it doesn’t. You’re making this up. I don’t think that hate groups should be criminally prosecuted for being hate groups, and neither does the SPLC. This is your baseless interpretation of what that term means.

              A “hate group” is simply a group that promotes hatred toward a specific group. That’s it. It means exactly what it says, and is unambiguous. You are attributing meaning that isn’t there.

              “It’s the tactic of isolating an individual or group from civilized society, but based only on words.”

              Do you realize this is EXACTLY what the groups SPLC labels as hate groups do against minority groups? Family Research Council, for example, “isolates groups from civilized society” by calling homosexuals deviant perverts who molest children. What do *you* suggest we call them?

              There’s also the basic principle that gays don’t deserve to be marginalized, while groups that attempt to marginalize gays absolutely should be relegated to the fringes of society. Why take away the most powerful weapon–identifying people who hate them as hateful–that an unfairly marginalized group has to weild against their oppressors? If opposition to homosexuality was not correctly identified as “hateful” by a large and growing portion of our society, gay marriage wouldn’t be federally recognized by now.

              “every police officer shot”

              This is even more ridiculous, and you can’t possibly mean it. Every cop shot is shot as a result of BLM? That’s nuts. Why would you say this?

              • “There’s also the basic principle that gays don’t deserve to be marginalized, while groups that attempt to marginalize gays absolutely should be relegated to the fringes of society.”

                Nobody deserves to be marginalized for a point of view. Anti-gay bigots are archaic, and slow to adjust, or religious, or a lot of things. Objectively, hate directed against them for their sincere beliefs is no more helpful or ethical than their refusal to accept gays—and most such citizens don’t hate gays. But their organizations ares still called hate groups. That was my point about SPLC often sounding like what they call a hate group when the group’s targets aren’t to their liking.

                Your shrugging off the label “hate group” is disingenuous. Hate is bad. Hate is evil. “Haters” is how people without principles dismiss critics. Hate is the scourge of the world. Hate is lynching and the ovens. “Hate groups” is a condemnation, and yes, the equivalent of the equivalent of calling someone an outlaw, which was originally someone who didn’t deserve the protection of the law.

                Police shootings are increasing. Of course, some of those police officers might have been shot without BLM, just as some lynchings in the South didn’t need the KKK to happen. I know of only one movement representing police officers as executioners and the agents of a murderous white majority. So with your leave, I’ll continue to hold them responsible, because that’s what irresponsible incitement like “extra-judicial shootings” deserves. Tell an entire struggling population that a profession exists to kill them and a rigged judicial system will allow it unless they fight back, and the results are predictable.

                So yeah, every cop shot in this environment is presumably blood on BLM hands until proven otherwise.

              • And Chris, let’s not run past the issue of the post. A lawyer, who by all accounts is a competent one, was fired because a group didn’t like his politics, and did the equivalent of sending compromising photos of a woman’s husband to her to break up the marriage…except that how a man exercises his rights of free expression and speech should not be used to denigrate his trustworthiness as a professional, whereas photos of a man having sex with a goat has some nexus to his trustworthiness as spouse.

                We’ve seen CEOs fired because they supported propositions on a ballot years before. People expressing favor for a Presidential candidate are being ostracized. Is this just fine with you as long as those being clotheslined hold opinions and join clubs you don’t like, or will you take a stand against the whole trend of strangling free thought? Because your association could be labeled a “hate group” next.

                • “Nobody deserves to be marginalized for a point of view.”

                  It depends what you mean by “marginalized.”

                  Certainly we don’t want Nazi views to be considered mainstream. We want the views marginalized, if not necessarily the people.

                  Maybe this lawyer can go get a job at a 7/11. I asked if employees could be fired or not hired for being Nazis; no one answered that. I’d be fine with laws that protected an employee’s right to not get fired for having Nazi views, provided they worked in an arena where they could be reasonably expected to put their views aside. But a client choosing to fire a lawyer because they are a Nazi is very different from that. Clients can terminate lawyers for any reason–including if they are gay, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or a woman.

                  I also continue to see nothing wrong with publicly exposing Nazis and condemning them. This is not like outing homosexuals. There is nothing unethical about being a homosexual, and the social shame that goes with outing is unwarranted. Joining Nazi groups, which advocate for Nazi causes, is of course unethical.

                  I’ll let you visit the SPLC’s page on the Family Research Council. Look at the quotes. The FRC absolutely is motivated by hatred toward homosexuals. They make that clear in their own words. They are a hate group.

                  https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/family-research-council

                  “So yeah, every cop shot in this environment is presumably blood on BLM hands until proven otherwise.”

                  This is completely irrational. What about cops shot during the process of a crime? What if they’re shot by a white criminal who hates Black Lives Matter movement? BLM now has to “prove” they had nothing to do with that crime? Absurd.

                  • Certainly we don’t want Nazi views to be considered mainstream. THAT’s your slippery slope, though, Chris. Democrats want to remove capitalism from the mainstream. I think “open borders” and “ignore the debt” shouldn’t be mainstream. What’s special about fascism, other than the fact that you and I think it’s bad?

                    • Well, now you’re getting into moral relativism, which is strange from an ethicist.

                      Are they any views you would say should not be in the mainstream? How about the views of BLM?

                    • What? My point is that everyone has their own ideas about what ideas shouldn’t be “mainstream.” Society makes that choice, not groups, not the SPLC, and not me. We have input into the discussion and decision, that’s all.

                    • “What? My point is that everyone has their own ideas about what ideas shouldn’t be “mainstream.” Society makes that choice, not groups, not the SPLC, and not me. We have input into the discussion and decision, that’s all.”

                      Where is the SPLC saying they have or should have any more say than anyone else? It’s not like they’ve unilaterally decided that calling gays child molesters or referring to immigrants as disease-ridden animals is hateful; these are decisions society as a whole has come to. SPLC shines a light on organizations that promote hateful ideals that exist within the fringes of society.

                      And they do valuable work. “Hate group” is a more honest description of the FRC than “pro-family organization,” which is what they are called by most mainstream news outlets (not just FOX). Groups like FRC rely on the fact that news media will usually not call them out for their hateful rhetoric (gotta stay “balanced”), which legitimizes them in a way they don’t deserve. The public has a right to know about FRC’s hateful and discriminatory rhetoric and policies, and the MSM is failing at informing the public and instead giving them a platform. SPLC picks up the slack. I fail to see what is wrong with this.

                    • SPLC get awards from groups all over the country for its charitable work, then uses that influence and credibility to tar groups it opposes ideologically as being in the same class as the KKK and the American Nazis. The Family Reserach Council is backward, ignorant and wrong, that’s all. You defeat them with facts and logic, not by “declaring” them as sinister “hate groups.”

                      Al Capone and Jesse James did good works. Doing good work has been used as a platform for abuse of power and influence for centuries. It’s an old game, and its apparently irresistible. I used to work with an organization allied with SPLC. I discovered that they were bullies, and as intolerant and narrow minded as the groups they condemn. Very disillusioning. But true.

                    • “SPLC get awards from groups all over the country for its charitable work, then uses that influence and credibility to tar groups it opposes ideologically as being in the same class as the KKK and the American Nazis. The Family Reserach Council is backward, ignorant and wrong, that’s all.”

                      That’s not all. They’re also hateful. Hence the term “hate groups.” That’s a pretty broad “class,” including groups that are violent and groups that are non-violent. (And in fact, the modern KKK isn’t even all that violent.) I’ve no problem putting them in the same “class” as the KKK and Nazis when they fit there just fine. They’re all bigots; that’s not me “labeling” them, that’s by definition. “Hate group” is a perfectly fitting label, and you’ve not really made any argument against that label fitting other than “They’re not Nazis, so…”

                    • I guarantee you that members of the SPLC would say that they don’t hate gays or same sex couples at all, and would be absolutely sincere in saying that. They don’t want to kill them, and don’t wish them ill. They just think how they live is sinful, as most of civilization believed until very recently, and destructive to society and morality. That position is not per se hateful. It is convenient to represent it as such, because that eliminates the need for persuasion and rebuttal: after all, then their whole position can be attributed to emotion and passion.

                      Like the SPLC, the FRC is involved in “good works”: it is currently raising funds for flood relief. Is opposing abortion “hateful”? I’m sure a lot of abortion advocates will argue that it shows a hatred fort women.

                      I’ve read the whole website. Deluded, biased, archaic, doctrinaire, ignorant, wrong…but not hateful. I’ll even give you bigoted. BLM has a hateful website. But the SPLC hasn’t called it a “hate group.” When the label isn’t passed out with an objective standard, then it’s not a true definition. It’s a weapon, and an unethical one.

                    • “I guarantee you that members of the SPLC would say that they don’t hate gays or same sex couples at all, and would be absolutely sincere in saying that.”

                      I guarantee you that there are KKK members who would say that they don’t hate black people. They might say that blacks are just inherently intellectually and physically inferior to whites. They might not percieve this as “hateful.” Who cares? Why are their feelings more important than the minorities they defame?

                      If you can call BLM a hate group but not FRC, you have a bias problem. FRC is at least as hateful toward homosexuals as BLM is toward cops. BLM accuses cops of killing blacks; FRC accuses gays of molesting children and destroying society.

      • I’ve looked at some FAIR literature and the organization appears to be primarily a research group that does do some advocacy for enforcement of current immigration laws. I suggest that you check out their website: FAIRUS.org before you take the SPLC’s opinion as fact that they are a hate group. I’m surprised that one of these organizations that I named haven’t sued SPLC for libel.

        • Wayne, I’ve been to the FAIR website. I’ve also read about them from other sources that are not explicitly designed to make them look good. They’re bananas.

          You apparently don’t know how libel works. Nothing the SPLC has said about FAIR is false; they quote the organization and its members in their own words, then conclude that they are a hate group (opinion). If you can show me exactly *how* the SPLC has misrepresented FAIR in any way, then I’ll take your argument seriously, but so far you’ve merely stated that as fact without backing it up.

  3. Isn’t it at least bad optics for a city defending itsef against charges of racist police harassment to hire a neo-Nazi as a lawyer? I feel like you’ve said that extreme bad optics can be unethical in and of themselves. In that case, SPLC did the city a favor by bringing this to light, as it seems the city was unaware of this lawyer’s extreme views, and will be happier and more secure with a less racist lawyer.

    I’d also argue that lawyers should at least be considered somewhat credible, and this guy’s ties jeopardize his credibility. I wouldn’t want a lawyer who runs a website saying that the moon landing was fake and JFK was killed by Ted Cruz’s father, because I want a lawyer who is able to collect and present evidence in a rational and sane way, and a person who holds such beliefs isn’t able to do that. I’d say the same about a white supremacist lawyer; their thinking isn’t just wrong, it’s illogical to the extreme, and shows them to be someone who is terrible at critical thinking and evaluating evidence.

    His views don’t preclude him from being able to argue the city’s case, but they certainly do jeopardize the prospect.

      • I don’t know. About as far as what I just said. If you’re anticipating a slippery slope argument, I’m not about to make it for you.

        • But you can’t eliminate a slippery slope by saying it isn’t there. How is this different from getting someone fired by sending his employer copies of documents showing he’s a member of the Communist Party in 1953?

          Ethical conduct is what you do. An ethical individual’s beliefs and thoughts are irrelevant, if what he does is ethical. White supremacy groups are repugnant, but what criminal, harmful substantive activities do they engage in? I don’t see them running rampant in Dartmouth’s library, intimidating students. Threatening to shut down schools unless they adopt apartheid housing.

          When a lawyer becomes a (non-legal) spokesperson for an organization that incites violence and riots, then the issue becomes a bit tougher: even then, without a breach of honesty and integrity implicating trust, the professional standing of the lawyer should not be diminished until he become such a pariah that he can’t do his job. But making him a pariah to punish him for his beliefs…why can’t that be done to anyone?

          • That’s tough, because is a lawyer getting a better deal then others then? Yes, it should only matter how he represents his client, at least to that client. I agree with that. But would that be much different then, say, a police officer who is a member of the Klan. Should that matter if it does not effect how he does his job? People are constantly fired for what they say, or think, long before it is shown it has any bearing on how they perform their job (if it ever does).

            Part of this is he’s being paid by taxpayers. And certainly his employers ARE definitely effected by the viewpoint of who they hire and employ. A company would certainly fire any employee who said/did things to put the bosses (and the company) in a bad light, with good reason. Not sure that is much different here.

            • “But would that be much different then, say, a police officer who is a member of the Klan. Should that matter if it does not effect how he does his job?”

              I don’t think it’s possible for a police officer’s Klan membership to not affect their job. No one is that good at compartmentalization; a Klan member police officer is almost certainly going to treat black people differently than white people. It would be irresponsible and stupid to take a “wait and see” approach and just assume a Klan member cop would treat suspects and other citizens he interacts with equally regardless of race.

              I agree with the rest of what you wrote, though.

          • “But you can’t eliminate a slippery slope by saying it isn’t there.”

            I didn’t say the slippery slope wasn’t there; you just hadn’t yet articulated a slippery slope argument.

            “How is this different from getting someone fired by sending his employer copies of documents showing he’s a member of the Communist Party in 1953?”

            It’s different because Nazis and Communists are different. Communism was a political ideology that, while stupid and harmful, did not target minority groups for persecution and differential treatment, and did not impact anyone’s ability to do their job. Being a Communist doesn’t automatically make someone unfit to be a lawyer. Being a Nazi almost certainly does.

            “Ethical conduct is what you do. An ethical individual’s beliefs and thoughts are irrelevant, if what he does is ethical.”

            Joining an organization is an action, not just a belief or thought. Joining an organization that advocates discrimination based on race is an unethical action.

            “White supremacy groups are repugnant, but what criminal, harmful substantive activities do they engage in?”

            You’re doing that thing again–conflating “criminal” with “harmful” as if they have the same meaning. They don’t. Most white supremacy groups these days don’t engage in criminal activity, but they certainly engage in harmful activity by advocating discriminatory actions and policies.

            “But making him a pariah to punish him for his beliefs…why can’t that be done to anyone?”

            It can, it just shouldn’t. Some people should be pariahs. Nazis. Donald Trump.

            • Chris, I didn’t say they have the same “meaning” …they carry the same stigma, and both suggest harmful conduct.

              The bars have generally held that political view of any kind do NOT disqualify someone from being a lawyer, though a Nazi would have a harder time getting admitted to the bar. No bar would take away a lawyer’s license for holding Nazi-ish positions, once he was a lawyer.

              Also: we’re talking about neo-Nazis not Nazis.

              • “Chris, I didn’t say they have the same “meaning” …they carry the same stigma, and both suggest harmful conduct.”

                Being a Nazi should carry stigma.

                “The bars have generally held that political view of any kind do NOT disqualify someone from being a lawyer, though a Nazi would have a harder time getting admitted to the bar. No bar would take away a lawyer’s license for holding Nazi-ish positions, once he was a lawyer.”

                I’m not saying being a Nazi should get a lawyer disbarred. I’m saying firing one’s lawyer for being a Nazi is totally acceptable. Outing a Nazi is also totally acceptable. Hiring a Nazi lawyer to defend your city against charges of racist harassment is incompetent in the extreme.

                “Also: we’re talking about neo-Nazis not Nazis.”

                What’s the difference?

  4. Sorry I have no sympathy for a fucking NAZI, anyone who is a member of a political movement that has show its true colors when they tried to take over the world deserves what he gets. Fuck him, cut him up and use him for crab bait.

    • THE Bill,
      No one’s asking you to have sympathy for a Nazi; I don’t have sympathy for them either; however, our country is governed by laws and the Constitution guarantees specific rights whether you or I like how people choose to exercise those rights or not.

      If these Nazi’s are breaking our laws, then prosecute them to the full extent of the law just like any other criminal; but, to demonize the client because the lawyer has view points that are “disagreeable” or “disgusting” is reprehensible.

      THE Bill said, “Fuck him, cut him up and use him for crab bait.”

      I find this part of your comment to be anti-Constitutional, it’s reprehensible bull shit. It’s that kind of shit filled emotional responses that people use to rationalize intentional homicide.

        • Jack Marshall said, “That comment was, at least in substantial part, satirical hyperbole.”

          Okay; but isn’t there some unspoken reasonable social limits to such things and once someone chooses to step well beyond those limits claiming “satirical hyperbole” just becomes an excuse to rationalize that which in any other circumstances would be considered reprehensible?

          I think the unspoken reasonable social limits were tossed aside in favor of an emotional response knowing full well that the response was reprehensible.

          • Bill’s heart rate never budged. It wasn’t emotional: it was a way of saying “This is fine, but from a personal perspective, I don’t feel sorry for the guy, and as far as I’m concerned, white supremacists and neo-Nazis deserve whatever public condemnation they get, as well as the financial consequences of it.

            The printed word, as social media shows every day, is not very good at communicating tone and nuance. I could hear TB saying those words as I read them, and picture the look on his face, since you couldn’t, your reaction is fair and reasonable.

            • Jack Marshall said, “The printed word, as social media shows every day, is not very good at communicating tone and nuance. I could hear TB saying those words as I read them, and picture the look on his face, since you couldn’t, your reaction is fair and reasonable.”

              You’re right, having the tone and nuance can make all the difference in the world! I promise to at least try and remember what you’ve said about THE Bill in the future.

      • “No one’s asking you to have sympathy for a Nazi; I don’t have sympathy for them either; however, our country is governed by laws and the Constitution guarantees specific rights whether you or I like how people choose to exercise those rights or not.”

        No one has a constitutional right to be hired as someone’s lawyer. A client can fire their lawyer at any time, for any reason. Firing a lawyer because they are a Nazi is not only constitutional, but also perfectly ethical.

      • Zoltar:

        “If these Nazi’s are breaking our laws, then prosecute them to the full extent of the law just like any other criminal; but, to demonize the client because the lawyer has view points that are “disagreeable” or “disgusting” is reprehensible.”

        I read the SPLC article. This is its’ conclusion:

        Allen may well be a skillful attorney. But at a time when Baltimore and its police department are facing devastating criticism over their policing practices, and a crisis over their treatment of minority residents, the hiring of a known neo-Nazi to litigate for them surely raises questions.

        If this is “demonization,” then the word has lost all meaning. I don’t see any demonization here, I see the SPLC as saying hiring a neo-Nazi lawyer to defend against charges of racist police brutality is unwise. They’re right.

        • Chris,
          You’ve previously missed the point of another paragraph, now you’re raising this point to squabble about my use of the word “demonization”; to what end are you raising these issues with me?

          • Huh? I thought my “end” was clear: you are exaggerating what the SPLC says and does. One might say you are doing so to “demonize” them. I’d agree that the SPLC does demonize some groups, but they have not demonized the city of Baltimore.

            • Chris said, “Huh? I thought my “end” was clear”

              If the end game of the idiot was clear I wouldn’t have asked the idiot the question.

              Chris said, “you are exaggerating what the SPLC says and does.”

              I exaggerated nothing.

              Chris said, “I’d agree that the SPLC does demonize some groups, but they have not demonized the city of Baltimore.”

              Such blind ignorance is not becoming of an intelligent individual.

                • Chris said, “I see your “end” is being a needlessly confrontational asshole…”

                  Yes Chris; I can be a confrontational asshole towards others when it appears that they’re trolling, needlessly is a matter of opinion and mine was you needed it. I’ll not pointedly call you and idiot if you don’t stay idiotic things and “Huh? I thought my “end” was clear” was an utterly idiotic thing to say when someone specifically asks you “to what end are you raising these issues with me”. You invited a blunt response, you go it, and now you’re complaining; well how ’bout you stop whining and pull up your big boy pants. Enough on you being an idiot and me being an asshole; we’ve earned our titles.

                  Chris said, “…who refuses to articulate his actual point, Zoltar.”

                  Refuses to articulate; hum, r..e..a..l..l..y? I think I articulated my opinion well enough for even you to get my “demonization” point and that is the articulated point that you choose to focus on. So it’s really not that I’ve “refused to articulate my point” it’s that you CHOOSE to go off on some undeserved apologetic tangent to attack anyone that dares to diminish the motives and ethical character of a group (SPLC) that you openly admit demonizes others. It’s like you’ve been assigned an apologist mission by the SPLC Board of Directors, tasked to be the last line of defense at Ethics Alarms.

                  Are you a tool for the SPLC?

                  Are you a troll for the SPLC?

                  Are you an attack dog for the SPLC?

                  After reading all the things you’ve posted in this particular blog, I think the answer to all those questions is yes.

                  Now I’m going to just politely wander off to another blog, but if you’d really like to drag this a bit further into the mud I’m more than happy to low crawl with all my gear through any mud obstacle you choose to throw in front of me. You can “cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war” if you choose.

                  • Calm down.

                    “So it’s really not that I’ve “refused to articulate my point” it’s that you CHOOSE to go off on some undeserved apologetic tangent to attack anyone that dares to diminish the motives and ethical character of a group (SPLC) that you openly admit demonizes others.”

                    First, I never “openly admitted” that they demonized others. I don’t believe labeling a hate group a hate group is demonization.

                    You said the SPLC demonized the city of Baltimore. I showed you that their conclusion on the city of Baltimore’s hiring of the neo-Nazi lawyer included pretty mild language that could not reasonably be referred to as “demonization.”

                    Now, would you still like to argue that the SPLC demonized the city of Baltimore? If so, can you show me exactly where they did so? Because the passage I showed you could not be reasonably referred to as demonization.

                    • Chris said, “First, I never “openly admitted” that they demonized others.”

                      You’re a damn LIAR!

                      I quote YOU from your comment above; “I’d agree that the SPLC does demonize some groups…”.

                      You can’t pull that magical thinking lying crap on me; facts are my friend!

                      I think it’s time for you to politely F O!

                    • “You’re a damn LIAR!”

                      Or, alternately, I forgot.

                      I made two totally contradictory arguments in pretty quick succession, and for that I apologize. Sorry.

                      I’m going to withdraw my second argument and stand by my original statement that “I’d agree the SPLC does demonize some groups.”

                      That said, they did not demonize the city of Baltimore, as you erroneously claimed. If you would like to argue that point, please cite the portion of their article in which they demonized the city of Baltimore.

                    • Chris said, “I made two totally contradictory arguments in pretty quick succession, and for that I apologize. Sorry.”

                      Apology accepted. Thank you for the effort, it makes a difference and is truly appreciated.

                      Chris said, “That said, they did not demonize the city of Baltimore, as you erroneously claimed.”

                      That’s a matter of opinion; so you and I are just going to have to disagree on that point.

        • That’s funny. The SPLC publicizes that the guy is in these organizations, so now he’s a “known” neo-Nazi. I bet they could nake sure he was a “known” homosexual and cross-dresser too.

          He wasn’t hired as a Nazi. He was hired as a lawyer. Now that the SPLC has tarred him as a Nazi—you know, like Joe McCarthy tarring a young lawyer as a communist–he’s a Nazi. Nice job.

          • Being a Nazi isn’t like being a homosexual or a cross-dresser. It isn’t even very much like being a communist.

            All of these groups have constitutional rights, none of which are jeopardized by the SPLC or the city’s decision to fire the Nazi lawyer.

            I believe the constitutional rights of Nazis should be as protected as anyone else’s. Beyond that? Fuck ’em.

      • Sorry but my father grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in New York, all his oldest and dearest friends are Jewish, he keeps kosher and speaks fluent Yiddish. I see someone wearing a swastika I will not be silent nor ignore them. They are vile evil pieces of shit who have made their evil and violent intents towards others clear through both their words and deeds. I will take them at their word that they mean me and others harm and will act in the same way towards them. May they all end up face down in a parking lot like George Rockwell did at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center.

        • THE Bill said, ” I see someone wearing a swastika I will not be silent nor ignore them. They are vile evil pieces of shit who have made their evil and violent intents towards others clear through both their words and deeds. I will take them at their word that they mean me and others harm and will act in the same way towards them. May they all end up face down in a parking lot like George Rockwell did at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center.”

          I don’t like what they represent either; but I have to ask, is that part of your comment an accurate representation of what Jack said about you?

          Jack said, “I know THE Bill. TB is trenchant and funny. That comment was, at least in substantial part, satirical hyperbole.”, “It wasn’t emotional”, “The printed word, as social media shows every day, is not very good at communicating tone and nuance. I could hear TB saying those words as I read them, and picture the look on his face”

          I’m gonna be real honest here; I’m having a problem connecting the dots between what you’ve written, twice, and what Jack said about you. I cannot resolve this perceived contradiction on my own. I’m really trying to take into account what Jack said but there appears to be a contradiction; here’s an honest question; other than not being able to hear the tone of your voice or see your facial expressions what am I missing?

          Am I the one missing something?

  5. From the ABA Journal today:

    The city of Baltimore has fired a lawyer hired on a contract basis to defend police misconduct cases after the Southern Poverty Law Center alleged he has ties to neo-Nazi and racist groups.

    The lawyer is 65-year-old Glen Keith Allen, who formerly worked at DLA Piper, report the Baltimore Sun, the Huffington Post, WBAL and the Washington Post. He was hired by Baltimore in February and was helping defend a wrongful conviction lawsuit by a black man who spent 19 years in prison and was awaiting a new trial when prosecutors dropped charges.

    The SPLC had claimed Allen contributed money to the neo-Nazi group the National Alliance and paid to attend a conference discussing denial of the Holocaust. He also contributed to the American Eagle Party, which the SPLC says is a racist political party.

    Allen told the Washington Post he agrees with the decision to end his contract because of the possibility that the allegations would influence judicial rulings against his clients. He told the Post that he is not a white supremacist and he has no beliefs in white supremacy. “Just look at the Olympics, that’s ridiculous,” Allen told the Post.

    He told the Baltimore Sun that he had not been a member of the National Alliance for many years. “I will acknowledge emphatically that that was a huge mistake,” he said of his prior membership.

    He also said the American Eagle Party “has nothing to do with race” though it is critical of Israel, according to the Washington Post. He acknowledged he is vice chairman of the organization.

    He told the Sun that there isn’t a single person who would say he had treated anyone with disrespect.

    He told the Post he believes it is “healthy to identify with your racial past” and “there’s an amount of identity, pride in your race, that’s not permitted today. I also understand it can be obnoxious and create violence, and that’s not acceptable.”

    • He told the Post that he is not a white supremacist and he has no beliefs in white supremacy. “Just look at the Olympics, that’s ridiculous,” Allen told the Post.

      What a weird thing to say.

      He also said the American Eagle Party “has nothing to do with race” though it is critical of Israel, according to the Washington Post. He acknowledged he is vice chairman of the organization.

      Oh, so he’s lying.

      It would not have taken much effort for the city to find about Allen’s background. A simple search would have revealed that he has made political contributions to a racist political party, the American Eagle Party (AEP) National Committee, according to FEC records. An offshoot of the racist American Freedom Party, the American Eagle Party is run by perennial fringe presidential candidate Merlin Miller. Miller traveled to Iran in 2012 to promote a film project. In an interview with Iran’s Press TV, Miller claimed the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

      Allen also appears to be an officer in the AEP. A post on the neo-Nazi web forum Stormfront identifies him as the group’s national secretary, though he is identified in an AEP newsletter as the group’s “Vice Chairman/Parliamentarian.” The party was promoted heavily on Stormfront last year. FEC records show Allen is the AEP’s largest contributor.

      In a brief, and somewhat odd YouTube video posted last October, Allen introduced the AEP’s debate on the dangers of vaccinations, stating it was “dedicated to truth.” Allen’s video was promoted on Stormfront the day it was released.

      There is more publicly available information on Allen’s association with extremists. Allen was publicly identified as the attorney for the National Alliance on the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network (VNN) forum almost a decade ago, in a post by current NA Chairman Will Williams. The SPLC also reported Allen as the NA’s attorney in an article last year.

      Baltimore’s Litigation and Claims Practice Group is arguably one of the most aggressive and successful defenders of police misconduct in the country. The Burgess case is one of three cases against Baltimore currently before the courts that allege wrongful incarceration.

      https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/08/17/neo-nazi-lawyer-represents-baltimore-suit-over-wrongful-arrest-and-19-year-imprisonment

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