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Jonathan Emord - Emord & Associates

This site was Highly Commended in the 2009 Millenium Awards. The award citation read:

It takes it takes a strong mixture of hide, gall and chutzpah for a lawyer who prides himself on a total commitment to free speech and even advertises this on his web site to take on a case where the single objective is to punish someone for speaking out and to silence their voice. You might say that lawyers are supposed to take on any case that comes along and perform the best advocacy that they can for the client, but in this case we have a lawyer who is so closely identified with the anti-vaccination liar movement that we can only assume he is performing this hypocrisy by choice. And we all know what that makes him.

Dear Mr Emord,

Congratulations. Your web site was Highly Commended in the 2009 Millenium Awards presented by The Millenium Project. The judges felt that the award was a suitable recognition of the way you have put your client's needs ahead of your personal principles by acting for Barbara Loe Fisher in her defamation action against Dr Paul Offit et al. The award citation read:

[see above]

Please feel free to publicise your award and display the award logo on your web site. If you wish to collect the physical prize (a tube of haemorrhoid cream and a wire brush applicator) you can do so at your own expense, but please give me sufficient notice so that I can organise the location for the public application of the cream and the accompanying media coverage.

You can see the other award winners at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2009/2009awards.htm


Anti-vax hypocrisy (9/1/2010)
Irony meters were shattered across the Internet when Barbara Loe Fisher from the National Vaccine Information Center published a screed on the NVIC site and elsewhere headed "2010 Needs a Fearless Conversation About Vaccination". I will remind you that it has been less than three weeks since Fisher sued Dr Paul Offit, journalist Amy Wallace and publisher Condé Nast because she was afraid of their conversation. Even I was amazed at the blatant hypocrisy of someone asking for a free exchange of ideas while suing someone for expressing ideas. I wasn't too amazed, of course, because long experience has taught me that pragmatism always overcomes society's principles with anti-vaccination liars. I was also less than amazed that Fisher would hijack the tragedy of September 11, 2001, to her deranged cause, or that she would invoke the name of Franklin D Roosevelt while ignoring the fact that vaccines prevent the disease which crippled him.

As my comments about the article posted on the NVIC site, Age of Autism and Fisher's own blog didn't manage to get through the approval process and as I just happen to have an email address for Fisher, I thought a Kind and Gentle email was in order.

Dear Ms Fisher,

I am writing to you about your article "2010 Needs a Fearless Conversation About Vaccination" which has appeared in several places. I am emailing you directly because there seems to be technical problems at the NVIC site, Age of Autism and your blog which have prevented my comments from being published. I assume that the problems are technical as I understand your want "fearless conversation" and are therefore opposed to censoring contrary views.

This brings me to my question. There is much publicity about your lawsuit against Dr Paul Offit, Amy Wallace and Condé Nast. How does your suing a doctor, a journalist and a news publisher fit in with your need for a "fearless conversation"? It seems to suggest that you must be fearful of something. I would hate to think that you are just a hypocrite who wants different rules to apply to different people.

As is my normal policy, this email and any reply will be published on my web site at www.ratbags.com.

Thank you.

While I'm in a Kind and Gentle mood, I thought I would get in touch with the lawyer handling the case against Dr Offit et al. His name is Jonathon Emord, and on his web site he lists a lot of papers he has published about freedom of speech and unequivocally states "Emord has maintained an abiding conviction to achieve full First Amendment protection for the freedoms of speech and press". That seems rather clear to me, but it doesn't seem to fit in with initiating court cases which attempt to stifle "freedoms of speech and the press".

Dear Mr Emord,

I see on your web site that you have "maintained an abiding conviction to achieve full First Amendment protection for the freedoms of speech and press". This seems strangely inconsistent with the fact that you appear to be the lawyer acting for Ms Barbara Loe Fisher in her attempt to silence the press and her critics. I realise that there are subtle nuances in the law that might not be apparent to a layman, but there does seem to be a contradiction between your expressed enthusiasm for free speech and your active involvement in Ms Fisher's case against Dr Offit et al. I know that lawyers often have to take on matters which are distasteful (particularly in criminal cases), but surely you should have been able to find a lawyer with less commitment to the ideals of free speech than yourself to handle Ms Fisher's assault on the principle.

As is my normal policy, this email and any reply will be published on my web site at www.ratbags.com.

Thank you.


A lawyer is defended (20/2/2010)
Lawyer Jonathon Emord was Highly Commended in the 2009 Millenium Awards for his ability to be totally committed to absolute, universal freedom of speech while simultaneously getting ready to argue in court that some people should not have freedom of speech. He is the tame lawyer for the National Vaccination (dis)Information Center, an organisation which shares his ambiguous attitude to free speech. Someone mentioned the awards on the Australian Vaccination Network's mailing list and one of the responses is an excellent example of how people will believe anything if it fits their agenda and ideology. I replied to the poster (directly, of course, because I am banned from the list) but I have not yet received a reply. Somehow I don't expect to ever get a reply.

From: Eileen Landies
Sent: Sat, 13 February, 2010 9:36:49 AM
Subject: [AVN] Re:Ratbags goes too far

For those of your unfamiliar with him, I met Jonathan Emord at the NVIC conference back in October. He gave a phenomenal talk and I have recommended his book (The Rise of Tyranny: How federal agencies abuse power and pose risks to your life and liberty) to many people. He was successful in suing the FDA regarding their suppression of information regarding folic acid and birth defects. He is a strong supporter of health freedoms.

Hello Eileen,

Did he happen to mention when this suppression of the information about folic acid and birth defects took place? As there are papers indexed in PubMed going back more than 60 years dealing with this matter either Emord is close to 90 years old (to allow time to get established as a lawyer by 1958), he was a child prodigy who was able to conduct a complex legal battle as an infant, or he is a liar.

But don't let the facts interfere with a good story.


Here comes de judge! There go the anti-vaccination liars (13/3/2010)
In January I reported that Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine (dis)Information Center had sued Dr Paul Offit, journalist Amy Wallace and publisher Condé Nast because an article in Wired magazine had hurt her feelings by suggesting that when she tells lies she is not telling the truth. To make her point more forcibly she followed up three weeks later by calling for a free discussion of vaccination issues in an apparent attempt to redefine the meaning of the word "free" in the context of free speech. These actions led directly to NVIC and her sharing the Anus Maximus Award in the 2009 Millenium Awards. She was ably assisted in her attempt to stifle Dr Offit's and Ms Wallace's freedom of speech by absolute free speech advocate Jonathon Emord, who also picked up a Millenium Award for his efforts.

Well, here it is only half-way through March and the legal system has moved with unusual alacrity and tossed Ms Fisher's suit into the garbage where it belongs. You can read the full opinion of the Judge here, and note that the case was dismissed because Fisher and her powerful lawyer were not able to even establish that any cause for the suit existed. In lawyer speak they "Failed to make a claim". As I had suggested to Ms Fisher that she might like to produce some proof that she wasn't lying, such as some science, I particularly liked the final paragraph in the opinion:

Plaintiff may wish to defend in court the credibility of her conclusions about the dangers of vaccines, the validity of the evidence she offers in support of those theories, and the policy choices that flow from those views - as well as her own credibility for having advanced those positions. These, however, are academic questions that are not the sort of thing that courts or juries resolve in the context of a defamation action. Rather, an actual statement of fact that is capable of being proven true or false is required as a matter of law. In this context, Plaintiff has not alleged such a statement and has therefore failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. An appropriate Order shall issue.

She couldn't produce a "statement of fact that is capable of being proven true or false". Perhaps she needs to get a new lawyer.

In the sprit of generosity that I like to show even to people with whom I disagree, I sent the following Kind and Gentle email to Ms Fisher and Mr Emord.

Dear Ms Fisher and Mr Emord,

I was teaching a class today and the matter of people suing other people to shut them up arose. I immediately thought of the frivolous action that Ms Fisher had brought against Dr Paul Offit, Amy Wallace and Condé Nast. You can imagine my surprise when I got home and checked my email to find that Judge Hilton had thrown the suit into the rubbish bin where it belonged. People often say that the legal system moves at glacial speed, but in this case the court obviously felt that having a case as transparently silly as this one on the active list was an embarrassment to the law.

I assume that the judge's opinion will be given prominence on the web sites of both the NVIC and Mr Emord's law firm, as it will be on my site. Perhaps the opinion could be featured next to the awards that both of you won in the 2009 Millenium Awards.

As is my normal policy, this email and any reply will be published on my web site at www.ratbags.com.

Thank you.


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