There is a saying that goes something as follows: “Be careful what you wish for.” Buoyed by their unimaginable success in shaking down Duke University in the amount of seven mil for each of the three Duke Lacrosse defendants, greedy attorneys representing their greedier clients, went after the cash-strapped city of Durham seeking more dinero. Their reasoning being that if a school is willing to shell out a total of $21,000,000.00 in an out of court settlement to make the notoriety of a vague complaint against it by the “alleged aggrieved” Duke student athlete party-goers go away, then surely a big city, like Durham, would have no problem turning over $30 million for a similar deal. Call it hush money, or nuisance money, if you will, but the plaintiffs obviously considered it to be easy money.
Having believed too much of the biased media’s take on the Duke Lacrosse case, they launched their civil case aggressively and with the assistance of the favorable media. However, when the attorneys realized that the city was not going to rollover, as they had expected, reality began to set in, and they had to take an objective look at their case. Their conclusion, I would bet, is that they had none. First of all, nearly a third of the lacrosse team members had run-ins with the law. They, of course, were smoothed over by an unwritten protocol the university had in place with prosecutors in the city. (The problem of the Duke Lacrosse case occurred when then Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong refused to play by those slanted unwritten rules… a major reason he was persecuted and made an example of.) Duke lacrosse team captain Dave Evans, one of the Duke Lacrosse defendants even pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Another defendant, Collin Finnerty, had assault charges on his record for his part in the beating of a person presumed to be gay. Then, the lacrosse player who phoned the escort service seeking the services of two exotic dancers (strippers) used a false name and stated the event was a bachelor party of four or five. The pretenses under which the dancers were hired were false, especially when they knew that the event was a spring break beer party for nearly fifty young men with raging hormones. As if that is not enough, factor in the fact that the lacrosse player who made the arrangement requested two “white” dancers, and two African American dancers were showed up (the lacrosse team had only one African American player who did not attend the party). Under these circumstances, it is not hard to believe testimony from neighbors that the partygoers were hurling racial epithets at the dancers as they left.
The media did its best to downplay the negative aspects of the actions of the partygoers, but if the trial were to go to court, other negativity would surely be exposed. For example, I have it from a secondhand source that there was drug use at the party (I cannot personally vouch for the accuracy); therefore, if he case was to go to trial, this would most definitely be brought up, if it is true. Also, the evidence collected by the Attorney General’s Office would be made available; evidence of which it refuses to release copies to the accuser and her representative. Evidence presented to the media by defense attorneys, such as the time stamped photographs would come under scrutiny for signs of possible tampering, etc. And once the police were called, the partygoers scattered like cockroaches deserting a sinking ship, so the place was essentially emptied by the time authorities arrived.
In seeking damages, attorneys for the three defendants take aim at police, doctors, nurses, and practically everyone who may have spoken out against the Duke lacrosse team or its actions. But these attorneys also know, about the reputation of the Duke lacrosse team when it comes to partying. They have such a raucous history in the Duke neighborhood when it comes to hosting parties, that the president of the university had warned its team coach to rein in its players… something he was incapable of doing. Yes, the possibility of hitting the jackpot when taking the case to trial seems bleak. Especially if one is looking for a big payout. The most likely outcome of such a trial would be exposing the Duke Lacrosse partygoers for what they were… and that is not too flattering.
So, now, after so much bluster and bravado, it seems as though the attorneys for the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants have decided to just allow things to die down. Yes, they succeeded against Duke University, but they bluffed once to often when they took on the cash-strapped city of Durham. The city is eagerly awaiting the confrontation, conversely. Stay tuned.