Patterico's Pontifications

10/18/2007

Who Said It?

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 7:16 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

“I don’t know why I continue to expect people to do the right thing.”

Mike Nifong’s attorney quoting former DA Mike Nifong.

Classic.

(H/T Instapundit. Background here.)

— DRJ

16 Responses to “Who Said It?”

  1. Was he talking about his client getting sued, or just his client in general?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  2. But he didn’t do the right thing.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. When the ultimate Race Wars break out per Chs. Manson’s predictions (only it will be:

    Whites
    Blacks
    Latins
    Asians) all fighting to the teeth, Mike Nifong will be remembered as a catalyst.

    Look for this in 2027, if not sooner.
    It will make Burma look like a pie-eating contest.

    King Pandeen (87ec7f)

  4. Scott,

    Nifong was bemoaning the fact that the State refused to pay for an attorney to represent him in the civil suit filed against him by the lacrosse defendants. Nifong wanted the State to pay because he is being sued for acts committed in his capacity as Durham DA. The State refused because the charges were based on fraud/wrongdoing and thus not within the course and scope of his employment.

    King Pandeen,

    That’s bizarre. Please don’t go there.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  5. slight digression, K.C.Johnson was one of my professors at Brooklyn College in NY. I almost changed my major to history because of him. It’s been a joy to see how he covered the Duke lacrosse story, not that I’m surprised, but disheartening that the press stumbled so badly.

    Edward (e752f8)

  6. DRJ – Is the State self insured?

    JD (ba4c77)

  7. JD,

    In the past, most governmental entities were self-insured but it’s more common these days for them to buy high deductible policies, especially for coverage like this. I imagine it varies from state-to-state and even city-to-city unless the state has a mandated coverage plan.

    That’s a long-winded way of saying I don’t know.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  8. I handle primarily these types of public sector claims for a very large insurer. High deductibles would be the exception, rather than the rule, depending on your definition of high deductible is.

    Based on what I know about this particular incident, there is little to no likelihood that an insurer would be able to provide coverage for this matter. The course and scope of his employment part is not really applicable. The fairly standard language for these is that the defendant was engaged in unlawful behavior or criminal conduct, or otherwise engage in an deceptive activity. Just my .02

    JD (ba4c77)

  9. … the defendant was engaged in unlawful behavior or criminal conduct …

    For which he was disbarred. I don’t think he’s figured out yet that he went over the line, big time. “Ethically Challenged”, I’d say.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  10. No lie. If you do something that gets you disbarred, and all but fired, I don’t think your former bosses have an obligation to help you defend yourself in a lawsuit from the victims of the very actions that got you tossed out on your rump.

    Come on, Nifong… Represent yourself!

    That should make for some quality CourtTV…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  11. I’m not so quick to let the insurance company off the hook just because I’d like to see Nifong’s wallet lightened. If the insurance company only pays when you have supposedly performed outside your job description, then their coverage is worthless by definition.

    This is a pet peeve of mine.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  12. This request isn’t “unusual”, as the article states. It’s pretty common for government’s to indemnify officials in suits that arise out of acts taken in their official capacity, though it’s easy to see why they wouldn’t want to here. I’d imagine the big issue here will be whether Nifong unreasonably violated a clearly established constitutional right and is therefore entitled to qualified immunity.

    Moops (444e9b)

  13. spongeworthy – In my experience, I have never seen coverage denied because something was done outside of the job description. When the person is engaged in unlawful behavior, that is an entirely different issue.

    Moops – I do not know that jurisdiction, but in the areas I deal in, I do not know one Judge that would afford him qualified immunity, or find that his actions were anything but unreasonable.

    JD (133ebd)

  14. A co-worker sues another for harassment along with the employer. The company’s carrier refuses to cover the fees because the accusation lists behavior outside the job description. Coverage denied. JD, sounds like we should have used your carrier, but, and no offense intended, I put insurance companies and trial lawyers in the same boat. And then hopefully push that boat to sea aflame, too.

    Like I said, a pet peeve.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  15. spongeworthy – I have not seen coverage denied for that, unless they did not carry the applicable coverages. I have seen them defended, routinely, under a Reservation of Rights.

    JD (133ebd)

  16. What’s that? They have recourse if it turns out the employee did a bad thing? That makes sense, nobody ought to subsidize somebody’s harassing behavior, but it makes the insurance superfluous.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)


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