As a follow up to the post just below this one about Matt Diaz and my efforts to help him get into Trial Lawyers College, I received this email:
Thank you for the kind comments on your blog. I know the workshop would be an awesome experience. In the run up to my trial, I listened to Mr. Spence's book, "Win Your Case," on my Ipod during my long runs. I was close to doing my case pro se and had I done so, I would have definitely used what I learned from the book.
I would love to attend Mr. Spence's workshop, but don't know if I'm eligible. My Kansas license has been suspended pending my appeal - which could take at least 18 months to get through the Navy's intermediate appellate court. I'm not expecting any relief at that level, so it'll most likely be a longer wait while I take an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. In the meantime, I'm flooding the market with my resume for almost any job that will take me. I'll miss practicing law (I already do, greatly).
I'll keep tuning in to your blog. Thanks for doing it. Lots of good topics. I watched the video of Mr. Spence talking about the Mayfiled case you posted on Sep 20. I really do envy his work.
That's quite a compliment to Gerry Spence and everything Trial Lawyers College is about. Matt strikes me as a modern day Rosa Parks, but most heroes aren't recognized at the time they act heroically but only when we look back on what they did through the lens of hindsight.
Right now Matt needs a bar license, but his is suspended pending his appeal. He also needs a job. Helping him out, if anyone knows of one or is willing to give him a chance, seems like a great way to reward Mr. Diaz's courage and willingness to do the right thing. The names were later released via a FOIA request by the CCR later, but Diaz was still prosecuted. Unlike Scooter, no pardon was granted. I wonder if we will say the same thing about Alberto "Fredo" Gonzalez, if his possible prosecution ever takes place.
I'm still going to try to help him get into TLC this summer, but, like the status of his bar license, that's up in the air as I'm not sure whether the rules would allow an unlicensed lawyer to get in . Also, the Board members might not want to give up a spot that a licensed lawyer could occupy.
The way I look at it, however, do you know anyone who's sacrificed more for our legal system in recent years?
He believed in the importance of legal representation enough to take a tremendous chance. He got caught after a likely terrified plaintiff's lawyer (Don't you bet she thought she was being set up by the government she was suing?) told a federal judge about what she'd received. The judge then told her to notify the Justice Department which easily traced the information back to Diaz's computer at Gitmo.
For taking this chance, Diaz lost (1) his freedom for six months, (2) his military career and, (3) his civilian law license.
Now he just needs a job. Can anyone help him out?