Thursday, May 13, 2010

Author Gerald Posner Retains Mark Lane to Represent Him in Media Case

PRNewswire / The Lane Law Firm / NEW YORK

Mark Lane, attorney and author, noted for his books on the assassination of President Kennedy, including top N.Y. Times best-seller "Rush to Judgment," has been retained by investigative journalist Gerald Posner, also a noted best-selling author of "Case Closed," on the same subject. Posner, also an attorney, has retained Lane to prepare litigation against the Miami New Times for accusations about his journalism and interfering with his career as an author, according to a letter from Lane to Chuck Strouse, editor of the Miami New Times, regarding recent stories in his newspaper attacking Posner. The Miami New Times is owned by Village Voice Media.

What is noteworthy is that Lane's book, "Rush to Judgment" on the JFK assassination was the first to criticize the Warren Commission Report's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin and Posner's book, "Case Closed," supported the Warren Commission's conclusion that Oswald was guilty. The two authors met at a nationally televised debate about the Kennedy assassination several years ago.

Lane, a former member of the New York State Legislature was also a former campaign manager for John Kennedy when he ran for president.

In Lane's letter to Strouse, he stated, "I have consistently opposed bullies even when they attack colleagues with whom I disagree. That should be appreciated for that is one case that remains closed."

Lane's reference hinted at the interesting combination between himself and his client, Posner, since they both achieved national fame writing about the same subject but with totally opposing views. Posner offered his explanation for hiring Lane to defend against allegations about his work. "Although I'm convinced Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy, I've always believed that had Mark Lane represented Oswald, he would have won an acquittal. That's why Mark Lane was the obvious choice as my own attorney."

"Let us examine the facts. As soon as the first accusations were made about him as an investigative reporter, Mr. Posner admitted his errors, apologized and resigned from his position. As further allegations were made about a book he had written, he promised to correct all errors, apologized again, conducted his own diligent review and promised to correct all transgressions. Now, an apparently well financed campaign is being launched to review other books previously written and to contact a publisher with a thinly veiled suggestion that his book be withdrawn from publication, even before Mr. Posner was given the opportunity to make called-for revisions. Clearly, apologies and efforts to correct errors do not absolve authors from responsibility and it is appropriate to point that out. However, the goal of responsible journalists cannot be the destruction of a career. And long drawn out death by a thousand cuts is inappropriate and, in my view, unsupportable.

"Most egregious was the email letter dated May 5, 2010, from Tim Elfrink, your staff writer for Miami New Times to Mr. Posner's publisher, Random House, making exaggerated charges of plagiarism and seeking to know what the publisher was going to do about it. That letter and other actions constitute tortious interference with a business relationship, tortious interference with a contractual relationship, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. A leading relevant case, Gerber v Keyes, was decided by a Florida appellate court and New York State ruled in a similar fashion in Wegman v Dairylea Cooperative, Inc."

"Mr. Posner is prepared to file a complaint and seek immediate discovery as to the basis and support for the campaign to destroy his opportunity to work in his profession," Lane's letter said.

Lane's letter to the editor closes with a unique challenge he and Posner pose to the New Times. "I do have one further suggestion. Since the issue of the search for the truth may be of interest to you and since, as you must know, a committee of the United States Senate years ago and then again more recently, concluded that the CIA, the FBI and other intelligence agencies have assets pretending to be journalists embedded in the major news media, that might be a subject that could attract your attention. Unlike the Posner affair in which no one was harmed, it is that use of the media and the publishing houses that is a threat to our democracy and impedes our right to a free press pursuant to the unambiguous mandate of the First Amendment. That is a campaign that many of us could support, endorse and relish. Our country needs muckraking journalists who can recognize muck worth raking when they see it."

Source: PRNews / The Lane Law Firm

[Editor’s Note: Oh, the irony. Posner says he retained Lane because he would have gotten the guilty Oswald off the hook had he represented him. Is that an admission? What’s next? David Lifton retaining Roger Feinman? Wake me when we return to sanity.]

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