Judge Debra Nelson Throws Out Zimmerman Lawsuit Against NBC – States Zimmerman Was “Public Figure”…

As a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y expected, Judge Debra Nelson agrees with defendant (NBC) motion and dismisses the lawsuit by George Zimmerman against NBC for slander/defamation.

There really was no other way this court was going to rule.   Judge Debra Nelson was the same judge from the original criminal trial.   Two things were brutally obvious:

judge nelson 2

Firstly,  she is horridly inept in legal analysis and opinion.    Nelson relies heavily on her judicial clerks to form and write her decisions.   Subsequently,  in the higher profile Zimmerman case, her staff level decision making was exposed and she was twice reversed in pre-trial rulings by the 5th Florida DCA.

Those ruling reversals were before the Zimmerman trial formerly started – and there were at least 4 or 5 more pre-trial decisions the defense team could have easily appealed and won, but just chose not to.   Including the actual start date of the trial itself which she refused to delay even after the 5th DCA reversed her deposition rulings -in favor of defense- 3 days before trial start was scheduled.

Secondly, Nelson’s actual trial rulings were generally flawed; and most legal analysts would agree she was/is legally weak-minded.   However, worse than the absence of legal acumen was her visible bias against the defendant, Zimmerman, and his defense.

There were more than several trial rulings which placed easy appeals wins on “Tees”.   [Let’s not forget Nelson demanded to know, before the witnesses were finished, if Zimmerman himself was going to take the stand].

Fortunately, and despite Nelson’s earnest efforts to the contrary, the jury found Zimmerman not-guilty and there was no further need to track appellate issues.   However, that does not remove the blatant bias exhibited by Judge Nelson toward the Defense.

NBC Screenshot apology

So does it really surprise anyone that today Judge Nelson ruled that NBC can take action to make George Zimmerman a public figure, and then hide from their conduct liability by claiming he was a public figure ? 

LegalInsurrection has more if you care to self-flagellate into depression – CLICK HERE 

Or the familiar Orlando Sentinel, and Martin Family apologist, Rene Stutzman who opines:

ORLANDO – A Sanford judge today put an end to George Zimmerman‘s libel suit against NBC Universal.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled that the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer is entitled to no money from the media giant.

She issued a summary judgment in the network’s favor, meaning that unless an appeals court reverses her, the case is now dead.  (read more)

Yes, yes, yes…. of course the Zimmerman attorney’s (Beasley Group) can appeal, and yes, of course, they would easily win the appeal.   But to what end ?

Just like the Criminal trial, the civil team will win the appeal, and will find themselves back in Judge Nelson’s courtroom yet again – facing her, yet again – as she has been smacked down, yet again- and hope for what ?

A change in her perspectives ?    A sudden infusion of impartial consideration ?

Go to the root of the matter and you will find….  Judge Debra Nelson was/is the “be careful what you ask for judge” whose control of the case is a direct outcome of the insufferable ineptitude of legal representation(s) of George Zimmerman himself.

Everyone should learn a valuable lesson.

When you sense it ain’t right,….. it ain’t right.

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This entry was posted in Ben Kruidbos, Cultural Marxism, Day By Day Trayvon Lies - The Story, media bias, propaganda, Typical Prog Behavior, Uncategorized, Zimmerman Post Trial Threads, Zimmerman Trial Threads. Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to Judge Debra Nelson Throws Out Zimmerman Lawsuit Against NBC – States Zimmerman Was “Public Figure”…

  1. LetJusticePrevail" says:

    Yup. Totally expected, and totally wrong. Nelson’s bias was obvious throughout the pre-trial hearings, and the trial itself. She must have choked on the words “You have no more business before this court” after the jury rightfully acquitted him.

    Funny though, that Nelson obviously usurped a civil jury’s duty of determining whether or not NBC had acted “with malice”, yet no one seems to have noticed this usurpation. This could be the very basis for a Beasley appeal.

    Like

  2. Daniel says:

    I can think of one reason to do the appeals ad infinitum — the prove she’s a horrible judge to the world.

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  3. Chip Bennett says:

    Nelson (i.e. a public figure, so you can go pound sand if you don’t like what I’m about to say, Debbie) is either utterly incompetent or utterly corrupt.

    Here’s the legal definition of the term public figure in the context of such lawsuits:

    A term usually used in the context of libel and defamation actions where the standards of proof are higher if the party claiming defamation is a public figure and therefore has to prove defamatory statements were made with actual malice. Harte-Hanks Communications v. Connaughton (1989) 491 U.S. 657, 666-668.

    The “public figure” issue is not cut and dried. To begin with, a fairly high threshold of public activity is necessary to elevate a person to public figure status, Brown v. Kelly Broadcasting Co. (1989) 48 Cal.3d 711, 745, and, as to those who are not pervasively involved in public affairs, they must have “thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved” to be considered a “limited purpose” public figure. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) 418 U.S. 323, 345.

    A “particularized determination” is required to decide whether a person is a limited purpose public figure, Bruno & Stillman, Inc. v. Globe Newspaper Co. (1st Cir. 1980) 633 F.2d 583, 589, a standard ensuring that reasonable minds may differ on this subject.

    And back to the Appellate courts Zimmerman’s lawyers must go…

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    • doodahdaze says:

      I would call it bias. Not impartial.

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    • rumpole2 says:

      By no stretch was GZ a “public figure”, by any reasonable definition, before the TM incident. The shonkey reporting in question was about that incident. That incident is the ONLY reason GZ might now (or then) be described as a “public figure”
      This dopey ruling means that EVERYBODY involved in a crime incident immediately becomes a “public figure”. They can have complete falsehoods broadcast about them as if they were facts by “MSM”. The is what the wilfully ignorant lynch mob posters at True Gossip Forums do now…. but nobody takes them seriously. They are only for laughing at and for keeping daft old dingbats occupied. The Judicial System increasingly seems to be “broken” so lets give “Trial by True Gossip Forum Lynch Mobs a whirl. Whe there is a crime… DECREE somebody to be an “innocent victim” just as a stepping stone to define a PERPETRATOR who you evaluate with a presumption of guilt and a willingness to ignore or deny evidence. It just might work. It wont get at the truth or be “justice” in a real sense, but it will ensure “Justice for xxxxxxx”

      Beyond that… we are not talking about some negative detail inadvertently released to the public (“slipsies”) We are talking about a DELIBERATE falsifying of information that was inserted into an already “inflamed” situation. There was already what amounted to a “Lynch Mob” threatening violence and death to GZ .
      If this ABC thing is not GROSS defamation then nothing is.

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  4. Josh says:

    An appeal would put them right back in her courtroom?

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  5. Attorney says:

    The Florida legal system never ceases to amaze.

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  6. Sibyl S. says:

    Wonder if Nelson’s retirement fund been augmented by an overseas bank account?

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  7. daman12013 says:

    Cant they get a different judge for the next one. She sure seems biased and I cannot believe this but no shock here. How can you claim a private citizen is a PUBLIC FIGURE simply because msnbc and nbc decided to post about every second of this mans life? Funny so we can MAKE you a public figure, doctor something up and then claim we arent liable because you’re a public figure? Wow…..

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  8. P.Spinach says:

    NBC is a national network, hence GZ should be able to move to another more favorable GOP state and launch again? GZ was a public figure only after NBC did a number on him. He WAS NOT A PUBLIC ENTITY KNOWN TO PUBLIC AT LARGE until NBC’s broadcasts. This is so simple, like B Hussein’s lies that no one will challenge it because it seems too simple to be an obfuscation.

    The NSA must have something on this dimwit judge.

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  9. scaretactics says:

    So very sad. Hopefully the Beasleys will find a way around this horrid judge. George has been through he!! at the media’s hands and deserves better.

    Praying for you, George!

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  10. P.Spinach says:

    The ramifications of this outcome whereby NBC gets away with editing evidence for public edification will set a terrible precedent for news media. NBC must NOT get away with this. This is as important to us as GZ’s acquittal.

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  11. Sarah says:

    Well I did not expect her to rule against zimmerman because he was a “public figure”. Nope, didnt expect that reasoning at all. So when does one become a public figure? When Sharpton talks about you? My son can be a public figure if Al wants him to be? I did expect her to rule against him, but not for this reason. Got to find a way around her, this is just too important.

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    • doodahdaze says:

      When did this person become a judge? A total incompetent. The 5th DCA should open a branch office outside the door of her courtroom.

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  12. doodahdaze says:

    Off to the 5th DCA. They must really be getting tired of the judge. Public Figure was her only loophole possible. She took it.

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  13. John Galt says:

    Not a bad result if you are representing NBC. First, you bill a zillion dollars for writing the motion to dismiss. Then you report your brilliant victory to the client. Next, you bill NBC a zillion dollars for the appeal. If you lose, you report that to NBC, but hey, this judge likes us and we expect to ultimately prevail on the merits. Then you bill NBC a zillion more dollars for an extensive series of motions, wins, reversals.

    As far as the merits go, read the Richard Jewell opinion finding that Jewell was a public figure. Generally, if you insert yourself into the limelight, you are a public figure. Timing is also important. You have to be a public figure at the time of the defamation. Next comes the question of malice. A public figure can still prevail if defamed with malice. Here, Nelson apparently dismissed without even allowing discovery on the issue of malice. Might be a problem for Nelson on appeal.

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    • doodahdaze says:

      I think she boots up Westlaw Next and searches for anything she can find that will support her biased point of view. That is how she administers her court it appears. Debbie the Menace.

      Like

  14. doodahdaze says:

    In order for lack of malice to apply to the suit she had to first find him a public figure. (NYT v. Sullivan). She is a menace and should be removed from the bench.

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  15. ctdar says:

    Even if GZ was a public figure at the time, what NBC did was not just posting his images on line without permission, they altered fact in hopes of a favorable outcome for the State of Florida & sell “their story.” Corruption & graft.
    Next lawsuit, GZ ought to include the name judge nelson to be sure she doesn’t reside over case.

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  16. mung says:

    I just wish that Judge Farley wasn’t protected until 2018. I really think she would get voted out if she were on the ballot this year.

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  17. michellc says:

    It’s beyond me why she was allowed to judge this case?

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  18. arttart1983 says:

    Jonathan Turley is a GZ advocate from the beginning of the case & thought GZ was overcharged. He written countless articles based on GZ’s case & the legal aspect

    Turley’s opinion 2 yrs. ago predicted that GZ would lose the argument on limited/unlimited.private person:

    From Jonathan Turley’s legal opinion:

    Here remains the question of the status of George Zimmerman in any defamation action. A status as a public figure or limited public figure would subject him to the higher standard of “actual malice” and the need to show actual knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of the truth under New York Times v. Sullivan.

    If Zimmerman tries to sue as an average citizen, he could face the same problem of my former client, Eric Foretich, who was declared a limited public figure due to a brief comment to the media in Foretich v. ABC. Zimmerman’s family made early efforts to frame his image in the media. This is understandable but could be viewed as triggering the higher standard if done with his knowledge or consent. It seems likely that he will be declared either a public figure or limited public figure.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/12/07/zimmerman-sues-nbc-over-alleged-misrepresentation-of-police-tape/

    “Public Figure, and Possibly ‘Libel-Proof’” (a later article)

    Turley explains that since Zimmerman will likely be considered a “public figure” for defamation law purposes, he will have to meet the higher burden of proving that NBC acted with “actual malice” instead of mere negligence.

    “It is truly hard to see how a ‘mistake’ like that could occur without malice, but at best it was gross negligence,” Turley opines. “It certainly, in my view, raises a legitimate defamation claim.”

    There is also the chance that Zimmerman’s fame could be his lawsuit’s undoing. NBC could defend the case by claiming that Zimmerman is such a creep that he should qualify as a “libel-proof” plaintiff, points out Turley.

    His complaint does admit that “Zimmerman has been transformed into one of the most hated men in America.”

    http://blogs.lawyers.com/2012/12/zimmerman-sues-nbc-for-libel/

    imo, the limited/unlimited use of GZ in this lawsuit will stand, there are too many cases that validate the position of National/Cable networks that were sued w/countless plaintiffs losing the argument. The Washington Post had a good article in 2014 on the “limited person/libel aspect,” I am still looking for the article.

    Turley did think that GZ would lose the “private vs, personal” argumnt, but Turley does think GZ had merit bring the case for NBC employees willfully editing the tape. I emailed Turley to see if he would do another legal opinion as to Judge N’s legal opinion.

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    • Chip Bennett says:

      Here’s the problem with even that argument: the material “statement” is prima facie evidence of malice. There is simply no plausible, non-malicious explanation for the intentional editing of the NEN call audio – especially when combined with the racial editorializing that accompanied the broadcasting of the edited audio.

      Whether Debbie Dimwit prevails in her declaration of Zimmerman as a limited public figure, the evidence constitutes more than sufficient grounds to let a jury decide if the intent was malicious.

      Like

      • nivico says:

        “There is simply no plausible, non-malicious explanation for the intentional editing of the NEN call audio”

        Ditto, the way the call was edited speaks for itself…

        “”Res ipsa loquitur” is a legal term from the Latin meaning, “the thing itself speaks” but is more often translated “the thing speaks for itself.” It signifies that further details are unnecessary; the proof of the case is self-evident.”

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      • arttart1983 says:

        Chip ~ that was my point! the case could have moved forward, INSTEAD, Judge N threw it out completely! The only difference is the bar would be higher for the Beasley Firm to prove “malice” when GZ was declared a “limited private person.” imo, James Beasley expected that ruling to happen as his argument was weak for GZ as being a “private citizen,” no legal analyst nor law professors thought Beasley would prevail w/his argument. James Beasley, imo, didn’t expect the entire case to be thrown out for “summary judgement” which is what happened. The case could have proceeded & at least been heard allowing jurors to make up their minds. The likelihood if Judge N had allowed the case to move forward, NBC may have possibly settled w/a smaller settlement because the bar would have been raised for the Beasley Firm to prove malice, BUT, GZ would have likely still gotten a settlement of some sort. It would have been cheaper for NBC to settle than to put on a case.

        Summary Judgement definition:
        In law, a summary judgment (also judgment as a matter of law) is a judgment entered by a court for one party and against another party summarily, i.e., without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued on the merits of an entire case, OR on DISCRETE issues in that case.

        Judge Nelson COULD HAVE allowed the case to proceed by choice, or “Discrete issues,” in the malice of the NBC workers that willfully edited the tapes to disparage GZ, to pile on the sensationalism & they were fired for their actions by NBC w/NBC apologizing for their actions. Judge N took away GZs right imo.

        Turley even stated that rarely are these cases dismissed in summary judgment, Turley thought that even when GZ was deemed to be “unwilling or limited private person, the case would still proceed as to the blatant negligence of NBC.” Turley stated “that the few cases he had seen dismissed in summary judgement were that the person was as awful as Charles Manson which rarely ever happens!”

        The appeal, imo, would be over the “malice” issue.” Judge N threw the case out because the bar to prove Malice was raised immediately in the case, but instead of allowing a jury to decide, she ruled on the entire case & that would be that she didn’t think Beasley could meet the burden to prove the higher malice, she DIDN’T know if Beasley could prove that or not!

        Turley’s past legal opinion was that the case still had legal merit to proceed EVEN after GZ was deemed to be “limited public person.”

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  19. jello333 says:

    “Nelson’s actual trial rulings were generally flawed; and most legal analysts would agree she was/is legally weak-minded.”

    If this was the only problem with Nelson, I wouldn’t have any real emotional reaction to the woman. Sure I’d want her off the bench before she could do any more damage, but it wouldn’t be personal ya know. But of course there is more, MUCH more…

    “… worse than the absence of legal acumen was her visible bias against the defendant, Zimmerman, and his defense.”

    All of us here, and anyone around the world who paid even the slightest attention, know what this woman is all about. Her incompetence and weakness as a legal mind is FAR outweighed by her complete and utter bias, dishonesty, HATRED toward George and anyone who supports him. This woman is DANGEROUS, and she knows FULL WELL what she’s doing. She’s doing it intentionally, and should be held to account. I know I’m dreaming, but it’s a shame this person can’t be locked away for the good of society.

    Hey Debbie! You are a disgrace to the legal profession. You are a disgrace to women everywhere who have worked so hard to prove they’re just as capable as men of holding difficult, complex, powerful jobs. You are a disgrace to… eh, let’s just make it simple: You are a disgrace to the human race.

    Like

    • mung says:

      Wait Judge Nelson is a woman?

      Like

    • arttart1983 says:

      Judge Nelson could be voted out of office at the next election just like Angela Corey, that is if enough people cared to get out to vote against them or even challenge either one.. I don’t think Judge N was challenged the last time, can’t remember. Sadly, it seems most people in their district don’t care.

      I too think Judge N is of weak legal mind & a disgrace, but enough documented case law will have to suffice for a successful appeal if an appeal is even brought, more cases law sides with Media/Publications. We don’t know if James Beasley will appeal investing more of his money in the case or cut his losses until he tells us. I pray he does appeal.

      The documented successful wins for Media/Publications far out weigh the individuals suing them. With Media/Publications given such a wide latitude in documented law, they are difficult to win against. Example: when NBC fired the employees/made a local apology for the airings of the edited tapes, they immediately took action to correct the malice of the employees, that went in favor of NBC to correct the damage that had already been done. GZ was still damaged by 4 different airings, GZ was damaged by a lot of media/cable/publications, sadly, none have been or likely will be taken to task for the defamation. We, as GZ supporters wanted GZ to get a big pay day, but we’ll have to now wait & see.

      I had hoped GZ would have considered GZ a “limited person,” I knew he wouldn’t be considered a “private person” for the reasons Turley/legal analyst have stated for 2 yrs. Had Judge N decided GZ was a “limited person,” the case could have proceeded & the bar raised for James Beasley to prove their case, but it could have moved forward. NBC most likely would have settled w/GZ w/a smaller settlement, but what Judge N did was toss the whole damn case out.

      Like

  20. Murse says:

    Ugly is as ugly does!

    Like

  21. nivico says:

    The way Judge Nelson mischaracterized George Z’s holding Neighborhood Watch meetings in his neighborhood as “public” meetings, ergo making him a “public” figure, is right up there with her mischaracterizing Crump as part of the prosecution team to prevent his deposition…

    Like

    • nivico says:

      She is also shifting the burden to George Zimmerman to prove that he didn’t use the racial epithet that NBC claimed he said (c–ns)…

      …isn’t that backwards?!

      Isn’t it NBC that has to provide a reasonable basis for claiming he said that word. Emphasis ‘reasonable’… not some unintelligible bit of recording.

      Like

      • jello333 says:

        Well, considering how George looked to the heavens and proclaimed “These shall be!!” as he shot poor Trayvon, we should put nothing past the guy.

        Like

      • Chip Bennett says:

        I haven’t read the ruling. She actually used that as justification?

        Were neighborhood watch meetings presented in in record by the Respondents? If not, then Debbie Doofus just introduced facts not in evidence in her ruling, which should be pursued as grounds for recusal.

        Like

        • jello333 says:

          This is pretty cool, eh Chip? If you or I have ever, EVER attended any kind of public meeting, esp. if we spoke there, or if we ever wrote a letter-to-the-editor… or maybe even signed a petition or whatever…. guess what? WE’RE NOW PUBLIC FIGURES.

          (I’m so proud of Little Debbie… she’s still on her game!)

          Like

        • nivico says:

          The SCRIBD link is a photocopy so I can’t cut n paste (grr, lol), but on page 2 of 15 she writes:

          “Zimmerman held public meetings about the Neighborhood Watch Program and provided reports of its activities in his homeowner’s association newsletter. Thereafter, Zimmerman took charge of the Neighborhood Watch Program and took an active role in patrolling his community and in assisting his neighbors in matters relating to public safety.”

          Then on page 8 of 15 she uses it as her basis for claiming he is a public figure:

          “Based upon the undisputed facts as stated herein, the court finds, as a matter of law, that Zimmerman became a limited purpose public figure. He voluntarily injected his views into the public controversy surrounding race relations and PUBLIC SAFETY [emphasis mine] in Sanford…”

          Like

        • arttart1983 says:

          I don’t think the legal arguments were ever released to the public that Judge N made her decision on by either side, we don’t know. The arguments were available for the media at a cost for copying to get & furnish on their web sites, they chose not to. Media doesn’t seem that interested in the fine details, just the final rulings. I, like the rest of you, would have liked to read all the arguments for both sides.

          Since MOM isn’t participating in this case any more, I assume he didn’t post the arguments for either side on his web site like he did in the criminal case.

          Like

      • arttart1983 says:

        nivico ~ I understand your confusion but in Civil Suits, the burden is ALWAYS on the plaintiff, in this case, it was for the Beasley Firm/GZ to prove negligence against NBC as they brought the Civil case making GZ the “plaintiff.” GZ was the defendant in the criminal trial w/the Burden on the State to prove their case, but GZ brought this Civil case placing the burden on himself/the Beasley Firm as the “Plaintif” to prove their case. I agree, it seems backwards but since my family participated in the wrongful death of my sister, I knew the burden was always on the plaintiff, which is GZ.

        Here are a few links/definitions as t the differences in Civil/Criminal & their meanings.

        Legal definition:
        In criminal cases, the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt is on the prosecution, and they must establish that fact beyond a reasonable doubt.

        In civil cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his case by a preponderance of the evidence.

        “Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Lawsuit?”

        http://www.cochranfirm.com/resources/PersonalInjury/burdenofproof.html

        The person bringing the lawsuit, the plaintiff, has the burden of proving the elements of his lawsuit. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove his case.

        “What is preponderance of evidence needed to prove the plaintiff’s Civil Case?”

        the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence

        https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=preponderance%20of%20evidence%20definition

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      • arttart1983 says:

        nivico ~ no, the burden is on GZ/Beasley firm, they brought the case & have to prove the case, GZ is the plaintiff, the burden is on them in a Civil Suit to prove their case, not NBC.

        Like

        • nivico says:

          Art,

          I understand that the plaintiff has the burden of proving their case against the defendant, but the matter of whether NBC claimed on air that GZ used a racial epithet is not in dispute.

          So doesn’t that put the ball back in NBC’s court to justify that claim?

          Nelson seems to be saying that because a segment of the call was unintelligible, NBC can just fill in the blank and claim that George said whatever NBC wants to claim he said.

          To put that into perspective, imagine two kids on a playground running up to their teacher:

          Kid A: “Kid B called me a #@!$”

          Kid B: “I did not!”

          Teacher: “Now, now, Kid B. Please prove to me that you didn’t call Kid A a #@!$ or I’m going to have to wash your mouth out with soap.”

          Like

          • arttart1983 says:

            nivico ~ I get what you are saying now in your comment, I agree w/you, I would think NBC would have to provide proof of their claim, NBC can’t fill in the blank w/whatever they want. Because something is “unintelligible,” doesn’t mean/prove it’s a negative against GZ & NBC’s word should be taken for it.

            You are right, good point, I agree.

            Like

    • LetJusticePrevail" says:

      Those meetings were not public. They were a part of the meetings of the HOA. Last I knew, HOA meetings are NOT open to the general public.

      Like

      • arttart1983 says:

        LJP ~ I think you are exactly correct, HOA meetings at the complex weren’t open to the general public, but open to those paying their HOA dues & lived there in the complex. The meetings were held to improve their complex & for the safety of the members of the complex that lived there.

        Just as if thee was a Pool located within the complex, it wouldn’t be open to the public! The pool is provided for that complex community & for those paying their HOA dues, anyone that doesn’t live within that complex & pay their HOA dues, DOESN’T get to swim, it’s not open to the public nor any of the other facilities on their premises. I don’t recall seeing if there was a pool there or not, BUT, I know from experience HOA dues pay for pool maintenance & are for the complex residents only, NOT, the public as Judge N would have some believe HOA meetings were for.

        Like

  22. justfactsplz says:

    While heartbroken I am not at all surprised. I expected she would do this. She is a piece of you know what as a judge. I am not going to click on the links Sundance provided. My stomach is too week to take it. What I learned from Sundance’s post and from the comments was enough for me. Poor George.

    Like

  23. AdukeLAXobserver says:

    I don’t remember anyone here thinking this case going before Nelson was a good idea. We all knew he was going to get screwed.

    Like

  24. lepanto says:

    It would seem that the name of George Zimmerman would never have become known outside of his Florida neighborhood except for the NBC-edited non-emergency call. When NBC broadcast their very “creative” version of his phone call, George Zimmerman became instantly “famous” for the “cut and spliced” statements NBC concocted. Some public figure.

    Like

  25. During the trial we saw she was biased and this ruling only enhances the credibility the claim.

    Like

  26. NaomiB says:

    So, you can create someone’s celebrity, then turn around and use it as a defense?

    Like

  27. arttart1983 says:

    I tried to piece together a time-line of the events in the lawsuit, NBC made claims “family/friends stated GZ wasn’t a racist before the tapes were edited/released,” Judge Nelson states family/friends claimed GZ wasn’t a racist. I stopped after a few links, there were more.

    (1) 2-26-22 Trayvon Martin attacked GZ & died

    (2) TM/GZ’s story was reported in National Media/Cable/Publications daily making it a sensational story, & the Zimmerman family responded as did Taffee to the media back lash.

    3-15-12 George Zimmerman’s father: “My son is not racist, did not confront Trayvon Martin” This was before the release of any of the edited tapes.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-03-15/news/os-trayvon-martin-shooting-zimmerman-letter-20120315_1_robert-zimmerman-letter-unarmed-black-teena

    3-24-12 “Who is George Zimmerman, and why did he shoot Trayvon Martin” (Taffee speaks out in defense of GZ)

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0324/Who-is-George-Zimmerman-and-why-did-he-shoot-Trayvon-Martin

    3-24-12 Taffee had already been interviewed by CNN/HLN & the Washington Post about GZ before the article at the above link appeared, they quoted from Taffee’s previous interviews.

    (3) Note the dates of the edited NBC tapes, the story was widely reported before the NBC tapes were edited. That doesn’t excuse the intentional/deliberate editing of the tapes to make it more sensational, it’s just a fact the story was widespread in the public/media due to all the reporting on the case daily, hence the dates family/friends responded to the media, in some cases, BEFORE the tapes were released.

    3-19-12 NBC edited tape played
    3-20-12 NBC edited tape played
    3-22-12 NBC edited tape played
    3-27-12 NBC edited tape played

    It’s hard to remember what happened 2 yrs. ago, but NBC wasn’t the first to make the story sensational, due to the families responses to media & almost 3 weeks later, NBC released the edited tapes. A lot had been reported daily on the story making it sensational, I stopped looking at responses after a few.

    There’s no doubt that GZ was harmed by NBC imo, but some of the comments here seem to reflect NBC was the first to make this story sensational, that’s simply not true. GZ’s story had been reported daily for 3 weeks before the edited tapes were released.

    Like

    • nivico says:

      Agreed.

      NBC absolutely doesn’t bear sole responsibility for what the media at large did to GZ.

      NBC’s contribution to the situation did, however, throw a 500 pound man onto the existing dogpile already crushing the life out of Zimmerman.

      Like

      • arttart1983 says:

        nivico ~ I agree w/you, NBC heaping more poop on the dog pile was “crushing the life out of Zimmerman.” The thing that is so irksome to me about the NBC editing, was that it was intentionally/deliberately done imo to ratchet up the hate/racial unrest deliberately making the story more sensational than it was on the part of the fired employees.. NBC being a National outlet should be held to a higher standard, should have been more responsible, imo. I can’t see any clear or understandable reason or excuse why the fired employees would have done this otherwise, for this behavior, imo, NBC is guilty of negligence at the very least, their employees caused damage to GZ.. They were clearly wrong & the action of their employees is indefensible.

        I don’t think GZ’s family had any choice but to defend GZ when Media continued to spin GZ was a racist! GZ wasn’t a racist, seemed nobody wanted to say that at the time but GZ’s family & Taffee. GZ couldn’t speak out for himself, he feared for his life, I too don’t think it should have been used against him that his family defended him when they claimed he “wasn’t racist,” that is a proven fact! . Any family imo, would have done the same for their adult child. Seeing GZ lied about day in & out during this time period is something I can’t comprehend & I feel for all the Zimmerman’s, they have all been damaged by the media promoting false hoods.

        Like

  28. Sha says:

    I strongly dislike that women…….. I don’t know how she lives with her own self. 👿

    Like

  29. Chip Bennett says:

    Wow. Just wow. Nelson actually wrote the following in her decision:

    Based upon the undisputed facts as stated herein, this Court finds, as a matter of law, that Zimmerman became a limited purpose public figure. He voluntarily injected his views into the public controversy surrounding race relations and public safety in Sanford and pursued a course of conduct that ultimately led to the death of Martin and the specific controversy surrounding it.

    Obvious grounds for reversal, and recusal.

    He voluntarily injected his views into the public controversy surrounding race relations and public safety in Sanford…

    This statement applies to Zimmerman’s efforts to start a neighborhood watch program at RATL. To claim that such efforts make him a limited-purpose public figure is asinine. First of all, as has been stated, a Homeowner’s Association meeting is a private, not public, meeting. Second, the claim that such efforts constituted injecting views into the public controversy surrounding race relations is factually incorrect. The neighborhood watch program did not involve race. Further, at the time of those private HOA meetings, there was no particular “public controversy surrounding race relations…in Sanford.”

    …and pursued a course of conduct that ultimately led to the death of Martin…

    This statement in itself is libelous. Zimmerman was found not guilty in [redacted]’s own courtroom. His actions were determined, by a jury of his peers, to be an act of self-defense. Martin died because of his own actions. In case you’ve forgotten, Debbie Dipwad, let me remind you of the words of 5DCA (you should know them well by now; they’ve slapped you down enough):

    That the attacker sustained a mortal wound is a matter that should have been considered by the deceased before he committed himself to the task he undertook.” – 5th DCA, Stinson v. State (Fl)

    Martin is dead because he decided to commit a felony assault against an armed victim, whom he put in mortal fear justifying the use of deadly force in self-defense. It is thus Martin, and not Zimmerman, who pursued a course of action that led to his own death.

    …[and pursued a course of conduct that ultimately led to] the specific controversy surrounding [the death of Martin].

    Again, factually untrue. Zimmerman was in hiding, trying to avoid all of the hounding media and actionable death threats against him and his family. He was not making public appearances or public statements.

    In fact, a key point of the lawsuit is to demonstrate that the malicious defamation of Zimmerman by NBC fueled the very controversy Dunderhead Debbie now blames on the victim: Zimmerman.

    Nelson lays bare her own bias, for the entire world to see – bias that is so prejudiced against the Petitioner, George Zimmerman, that Nelson demonstrates who abject disregard for blind justice and the utter inappropriateness of her continued presence on the bench if any Zimmerman is in the courtroom.

    Like

    • lovemygirl says:

      My first thoughts were the 5th DCA would overturn another of her decisions but can and would a civil lawsuit follow the same appeals process?

      Like

    • John Galt says:

      The most glaring problem that I see in Nelson’s ruling is that she grants summary judgment on the issue of actual malice, which includes question of fact http://www.paranzino.com/libel.html without any opportunity for discovery. Actual malice = publication with actual knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard as to truthfulness.

      Anderson v. Liberty Lobby is probably the seminal case in this area. Note that case involved a motion for summary judgment AFTER DISCOVERY and specifically criticized trial by affidavits. Discovery typically consists of depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents and requests for admissions.

      If GZ’s lawyers specifically objected to summary judgment as untimely prior to discovery, I expect reversal on appeal.

      http://openjurist.org/477/us/242/anderson-v-liberty-lobby-inc-a

      On the ultimate issue: It seems to me that somebody that edited the NBC tape would have actual knowledge of falsity, or, at a minimum, would constitute a material disputed fact for resolution by a jury.

      Summary: I think GZ should be able to get to a jury trial even if he is a limited public figure.

      Like

      • arttart1983 says:

        John Galt ~ I agree w/your thoughts, I too think the most glaring error is that Judge N decided the bar for proving “malice” was too high for James Beasley/GZ to overcome, YET, she hadn’t heard their evidence, she’s made a big “legal assumption” that doesn’t have the legal legs to support it denying GZ his right to move forward in the case.

        I agree w/your last point, a point I have made several times today. Even IF GZ is considered a limited public figure, a trial could move forward but Judge N threw out the entire Summary Judgement case. Jonathan Turley made this statement also, he predicted GZ would be deemed a “limited public figure,” but stated GZ’s case had legal merit & should move forward. GZ deserved for a jury to hear the case, which, imo, would have been settled by NBC before a trial.

        Waiting…..Waiting for the Beasley Firm to make a statement. Will they appeal, or are they going to cut their loses? I pray they appeal, if not the Beasley Firm, another firm on GZ’s behalf.

        Like

      • doodahdaze says:

        Avoiding discovery is one of her specialties.

        Like

  30. gena says:

    Will he appeal and can he ask for a new judge? IT IS SO UNFAIR TO THE ENTIRE ZIMMERMAN FAMILY!

    Like

  31. Chip Bennett says:

    According to Debbie I’m-not-a-judge-but-I-did-stay-at-a-Holiday-Inn-Express-last-night Nelson, selective editing of one’s words in order to portray falsely that person as a racist isn’t malicious:

    …Zimmerman cannot base a defamation claim on NBC’s airing of his recorded statement that the man he was following “looks black” when he volunteered precisely that same information at another point during the non-emergency call without prompting from the dispatcher. It is undisputed that Zimmerman volunteered to the dispatcher that the person he was following was a “black male.” The fact that his separate statement that the man “looked black” was preceded by a question, which was not included in the broadcasts, does not result in the kind of material falsity necessary to support a finding of actual malice as a matter of law… [T]he excerpt from the non-emergency call quoted in NBC’s broadcasts accurately captured the “gist” and “sting” of what Zimmerman actually said and were not false in any material sense.

    Debbie, you incompetent twit, let’s revisit the transcript, shall we?

    Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department.

    Zimmerman: Hey we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

    Dispatcher: OK, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?

    Zimmerman: He looks black.

    Dispatcher: Did you see what he was wearing?

    Zimmerman: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes. He’s [unintelligible], he was just staring…

    Dispatcher: OK, he’s just walking around the area…

    Zimmerman: …looking at all the houses.

    Dispatcher: OK…

    Zimmerman: Now he’s just staring at me.

    Dispatcher: OK–you said it’s 1111 Retreat View? Or 111?

    Zimmerman: That’s the clubhouse…

    Dispatcher: That’s the clubhouse, do you know what the–he’s near the clubhouse right now?

    Zimmerman: Yeah, now he’s coming towards me.

    Dispatcher: OK.

    Zimmerman: He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.

    Now let’s look at how NBC aired it:

    This guy looks like he’s up to no good…he looks black.

    If you can’t see the blatant malice in that selective editing, Debbie Dearest, then you’re too stupid to tie your own shoelaces.

    Like

  32. rumpole2 says:

    Like

  33. maggiemoowho says:

    She needs her own “Little Debbie Box” maybe the Nutty Bars. This is just unreal, I’m speachless.

    Like

  34. Mist'ears Mom says:

    Really her mistakes are so egregious that they seem to be made on purpose. Either she needs to get new legal aids or read the crap they are giving her and she is putting out. Seriously how can she still be on the bench when she is so incompetent? I just don’t get it.

    Like

  35. nivico says:

    My brain is pretty fried for the day from defamation information overload, but if I’m understanding the situation correctly at this late hour, the whole issue of public figure vs private figure is actually somewhat moot…. a strawman argument really… because either way the plaintiff will have to prove malice to seek punitive damages.

    That said, and I hope I’m understanding Florida’s retraction law correctly (cited below)… NBC’s refusal to air a retraction/correction on the Today Show needs to be taken into consideration. Even supposing NBC didn’t originally intend to falsely portray GZ’s statements to the NEN operator as racist, NBC did admittedly choose to let that falsehood hang in the air and refused to air a “full and fair” correction on the Today Show because they didn’t want to damage their own credibility. And as a result, to this day there are still throngs of people out there who believe it is the gospel truth that GZ racially profiled Martin and called him a ‘c–n’ because they heard it on the Today Show.

    The law seems to sensibly allow for the fact that journalism is fast paced and that mistakes are inherently going to be made, but it also recognizes that refusing to correct a known falsehood is just as malicious as knowingly broadcasting/publishing a falsehood to begin with.


    770.02 Correction, apology, or retraction by newspaper or broadcast station.—
    (1) If it appears upon the trial that said article or broadcast was published in good faith; that its falsity was due to an honest mistake of the facts; that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the statements in said article or broadcast were true; and that, within the period of time specified in subsection (2), a full and fair correction, apology, or retraction was, in the case of a newspaper or periodical, published in the same editions or corresponding issues of the newspaper or periodical in which said article appeared and in as conspicuous place and type as said original article or, in the case of a broadcast, the correction, apology, or retraction was broadcast at a comparable time, then the plaintiff in such case shall recover only actual damages.
    (2) Full and fair correction, apology, or retraction shall be made:
    (a) In the case of a broadcast or a daily or weekly newspaper or periodical, within 10 days after service of notice;

    Like

    • arttart1983 says:

      nivico ~ I went back to research for any apologies that encompassed the “Today Show.” This article claims NBC’s apology encompassed the “Today Show.” No apology was every forthcoming to GZ.

      From WP article:

      NBC has completed its investigation into the mishandling of the police dispatcher’s conversation with George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. And the process ends with a finding of error, plus an apology. Here is the statement just issued by the network:

      “During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.”

      That apology addresses the “Today” show’s failure to abridge accurately the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher in this high-profile case.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/post/nbc-issues-apology-on-zimmerman-tape-screw-up/2012/04/03/gIQA8m5jtS_blog.html

      Nobody ever believed it was merely an “error,” EXCEPT Deborah cup cakes Nelson!

      Like

      • nivico says:

        That’s the question… can an apology aired only regionally on a local Florida news program truly encompass the national airing of the falsehood on the Today Show?

        I’m guessing not. From what I understand, the ‘full and fair’ correction needs to be broadcast on the same program at the same time as the falsehood was originally aired. Otherwise, the people who were originally exposed to the falsehood would not be informed of the subsequent correction.

        Like

        • arttart1983 says:

          nivico ~ I looked everywhere for the NBC apology specifically for the “Today Show,” I am wondering if it might have been posted on the NBC web site or the Today Show website at the time because the head person at the Today Show was too fired..

          The journalist seemed to think NBC had apologized for everything, including “the Today Show” but I don’t know his source of information, LOL, it was the Washington Post article.

          Like

  36. arttart1983 says:

    nivico ~ there is a big difference in being named “a private person” or “limited public person.” The bar would be much lower to prove “malice” had Judge N decided GZ was a “private person” which is what James Beasley had hoped. When Judge N ruled GZ was a “limited public person,” the bar was raised a lot higher for malice to be proven & made the Beasley Firms job more difficult, I assume Judge N didn’t think Beasley could meet the higher burden but she never heard the evidence! The case could have proceeded regardless, but Judge N threw out the Summary Judgement case in its entirety which infuriates all of us.

    Sundance had stated “that NBC apologized only locally for the editing.” IDK if that’s because that’s where the editing was done & the employees fired. Your reasoning as to why the Today Show chose not to air an apology is valid/plausible. Is this something that could be used in an appeal, IDK?

    This has been an exhausting day, many important stories in the news, I have been trying to follow the immigration debacle but my head is about to explode. I had so looked forward for GZ’s Civil Suit to move forward to eventually reach a possible monetary settlement. I had hoped GZ could live on the monies he rec’d for years to come instead of being destitute. This has been an upsetting set back. I did read that James Beasley was in depositions all day on another case, hopefully tomorrow he will make a statement on what will happen going forward.

    Like

  37. NBC fired some employees over this. Have any of them sued NBC, claiming that what they did was NBC’s policy, not their own? Whatever case Zimmerman had against NBC, I think the case against, the State of Florida is stronger. I assume that awaits the result of the Kruidbos case? Anybody know anything about that one?

    Like

    • arttart1983 says:

      Ricky Jimenez ~ are you talking about GZ/MOM/West against Corey/BDLT for sanctions? If so,GZ decided not to pursue that case because it was part of the criminal trial & had to be concluded before the Civil Case could forward.. That’s over regardless of what happens in the Kruidbos case.

      Like

      • I am referring to a case, that hasn’t been filed yet, against Corey, et al, for malicious prosecution and withholding evidence. For example, the prosecution tried to introduce evidence from some “experts” who could not survive the laugh test that the person crying out for help on the 911 call was Trayvon Martin. That was even too ridiculous for Judge Nelson to allow but their attempt was evidence of how poor the prosecution knew its case was. The Kruidbos matter is relevant to the prosecution coverup of the contents of Martin’s cellphone. On it was clear evidence that Trayvon Martin was capable of acting in a manner consistent with Zimmerman’s claims, enough to make a disproof of self defense impossible.

        Like

        • arttart1983 says:

          Ricky ~ thanks for clarifying. I read somewhere that Kuidbos is due back in Court w/Corey tomorrow, 7-2-14. I’ve had a hard time finding anything on that case, the media isn’t covering it.

          Sundance had an excellent article on BK back in Feb. 2014 & it provided the most information I’ve read yet on BK’s case, it too provided some facts I didn’t know, a good read..

          You probably saw it but if you missed it, here is the link:

          “The Aftermath Of The Zimmerman Persecution Continues – Ben Kruidbos Lawsuit Against Angela Corey and Her Responses”
          (Updated pdf Court Filings Attached)
          Posted on February 21, 2014 by sundance

          Remember when MOM said, “Corey would be seeing a lot of him?” I just knew MOM would make good on his word about Corey but apparently, MOM/West have moved on. Alan Derchowitz made the case over/over that the case was overcharged. Derchowitz said in one of his first opinions that Corey was with holding evidence, he was referring to the colored photos of GZ. 11 months later, BDLR was forced to release those very photos to MOM/West. Seems there was more than enough to bring forth a case against Corey.

          Like

  38. canadacan says:

    That stupid Bill O’Reilly’s on
    saying that George Zimmerman has lost this case.
    Presumptuous jackass – Words of the Day

    Like

  39. canadacan says:

    On a personal note I always think Judge Nelson looks like Cousin
    It on the Addams Family.

    Like

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