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I need a theme for the Whitney vs. Reed trial The Whitney vs. Reed trial is October 4, 2005 in Fort Myers federal court. I need a theme. Jury trial This is a jury trial. Juries are typically a cross section of people from the area surrounding the court. Cynics would say they are a cross section of those who could not get out of jury duty. In any event, they typically run the gamut in terms of age, education, experience, intelligence, political viewpoint, management vs. labor, entrepreneurs vs. employees, and so forth. To get your defense across you must choose a simple theme that can be understood easily by the entire jury. 85 heads are better than two You"ve heard the old saying that two heads are better than one. That' true as far as it goes but it doesn"t go far enough. When I was in graduate school, I studied my cases every evening. When I was done, I thought I had them figured out. Then I went to my study group. That' a group of five or six students in the same section. A section is 85 people who spend all day every day together for the first year. Invariably, I was astonished at the stuff the other members of the group came up with that I had overlooked. By the end of the study-group session, I was very grateful for the study group and figured, "OK, NOW I have it figured out!" The next day, we would go to the section and discuss the case with the other 80 people. Once again, I and my fellow study group members were astonished at the important stuff we had overlooked. Lesson learned: 85 heads are better than two. And I suspect, 10,000 heads are better than 85. So I am asking the readers of this Web site for a trial theme. Simple The themes that good lawyers use are simple. It may be a word or a phrase or a sentence. Parables and fairy tales are often used. Preparing for a trial that never happened in a previous litigation, I was going to use the Little Red Hen story to state my case. That' the one where the Little Red Hen repeatedly asks the other animals in the barnyard who will help growing wheat. At every stage, she got the answers, "Not I," from the various animals. Then, when the wheat had been harvested and the smell of fresh bread was wafting from the kitchen, the answer to who will help me eat it was, "I will" from everyone. In a nice fairy tale way, the Little Red Hen told them to eat her shorts. The point is that the story is simple and familiar and powerful. That particular story does not apply to my current trial with Whitney. In one of the biggest jury awards ever, $10.6 billion in Pennzoil v. Texaco, the winning lawyer Joe Jamail pounded on the theme of when a man shakes hands on a deal he has a duty to honor his word. Possible themes The theme needs to be simple and brief. Here are some of

the things it could be: "¢' a word "¢ a phrase "¢' a one-sentence saying "¢ a fairy tale "¢' a Biblical parable "¢' a catch phrase like "Where' the beef?" "¢ a slogan "¢ a prayer "¢ an ethical code "¢' a quote like one I have at my Whitney page, "He who behaves badly hates the light." David and Goliath? A number of people have suggested a David-and-Goliath theme. Nah. That requires proving Russ Whitney is Goliath. To me, he seems like a pygmy. The guy has failed disastrously at almost every phase of his life. All you have to do to succeed at being a teenager is go to school and do your homework. That was too much for Russ. He ran away from every relative who was willing to give him a place to live. He was sent to a school for troubled boys. He was repeatedly in more trouble as a teenager than anyone I ever knew when I was a teenager. Apparently, his first act as an adult was to commit robbery and get caught and sent to prison for it. He describes his corporation as being a big leader in the "post-secondary education business." He himself has never completed any "post-secondary education" as far as I can tell. Educationally, his greatest accomplishment was to get a G.E.D. in prison. He is a failure as a husband as evidenced by his multiple adulteries including one that led to his losing a paternity suit. As a father, he said in one of his books that he was going to send his kids to college. Total college degrees earned by Russ Whitney' now-grown children: zero. When it comes to "post-secondary education," Russ Whitney is a "do as I say, not as I or my family do" kinda guy. When his second son was born to a co-worker, he denied paternity until a DNA test proved otherwise. Then he talked the court into only requiring him to pay $800 a month child support. In Florida, child support amounts are determined by the income of the parents. Then he had to be threatened with an arrest warrant to get him to pay the court-ordered child support which was in arrears. Not Father of the Year material. He tried to found and take public a company called Fun Rentals. It failed miserably and dissolved in acrimony. He finally managed to head a public company by buying an empty shell of a public corporation and putting his name on it. Throughout its existence, that corporation has had a cumulative net loss and a "stockholder deficit" (liabilities exceeding assets). His efforts to make money in real estate in "upstate New York" were a total failure, although he now falsely claims he was a big success there. On the way home from long hours at a job at which he says he worked long hours and got paid absolutely zero, he hit a pedestrian with his pickup truck. That could happen to anyone. But what happened immediately after the collision could only happen to a slimeball like Russ Whitney. Instead of telling the ambulance crew that was a short distance away working on another injured pedestrian, Whitney left the scene. Neither did he call the cops. When he later spoke to the police, it was only to find out what they knew, not to tell them what he knew. While he was quizzing a police officer, his victim was lying nearby in a ditch, unconscious, bleeding, severely brain damaged, and freezing. Only another pedestrian finding him there the next morning saved his life. Whitney finally reported the incident to the police, but only a day later after the police issued an all points bulletin for his pickup truck and his lawyer told him to call the cops. Then when Whitney lost the civil suit and was required to pay the victim $1.2 million, he threatened to declare bankruptcy and got off with paying only a tiny fraction of the amount he was ordered to pay. This in spite of the fact that he was 33 at the time and had long been telling the world that he had been a millionaire. To this day, in spite of taking more than $1 million in salary and bonus from his corporation last year, he has never paid a penny more to the pedestrian he hit, a man who still lives near where Whitney hit him. The corporation Whitney worked for when he hit the pedestrian went bankrupt owing Whitney $12,000 in commissions for the "co-op memberships" he sold. He admits he failed as a vending machine salesman and as a real estate agent in Florida. The only thing he has ever figured out how to do was to get large numbers of weak people into a hotel meeting room and high-pressure them into signing up for expensive, near-worthless seminars"”and he has never figured out how to make a profit at that. $140 million gross income in 2004. Profit? MINUS $30 million. This is Goliath? He reminds me more of the giant in Jack and the Bean stalk. Or the Wizard of Oz who was exposed by Dorothy' dog Toto' pulling back the curtain. Or Joe Btfsplk, a character in Al Capp' comic strip "Li"l Abner." Joe always had a cloud over him as he meandered around Dogpatch. If you pick an ancient story like David and Goliath, I think William Tell is more like it. Tell was ordered to bow down to the king' hat that was on a pole in the town square. When he would not, he was forced to shoot an apple off his son' head. There is no apple-shooting analog in the Whitney v. Reed case. But there is a parallel with a pompous big shot who thinks he can boss everybody around. And I am one of a minority of people who were threatened by Russ Whitney, but refused to bow down to him. Physical size may prevent "Goliath," too I am 5'11". My oldest son Dan, who may attend the trial, is 6'2". We both have broader-than-average shoulders. Dan played Division I-AA college football for four years and looks it. Russ Whitney has a son almost the same age as Dan. I have never seen Russ Whitney in person, but he seems to be of medium build on TV. I have heard his height may be as low as 5'7". So my claiming to be "David" to his "Goliath" simply might not make sense visually in the court room. He sounds to me, and may look, more like Napoleon than Goliath. "If you can"t stand the heat"¦" My view of the Whitney v. Reed litigation is that Whitney thinks he so tough that he can intimidate the whole world out of criticizing him. But he' a public figure. This is America. We have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Anyone can criticize Whitney all they want because of his public-figure status. So one theme that comes to mind is, "If you can"t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Whitney wants to be the big shot, best-selling author, TV infomercial star, Wall Street CEO, international jet-set business mogul. But he doesn"t want to be criticized. Ain"t gonna happen. I also think his efforts to stop people from criticizing him on the Internet are like trying to hold back the ocean. There are now about 20 million Web domains and about one billion Internet users. Whitney is going to shut them all up? Can he even shut up the 288,000 people a year who he says attend his seminars? In his dreams. The Cynic' Golden Rule He also seems to be one of those guys who believes in the Cynic' Golden Rule, that is, "He who has the gold rules." Is that the kind of country we live in? Is this the Home of the Rich and the Land of the Subjugated? He also seems to agree with the statement that, "It ain"t cheatin" if you don"t get caught." He has gotten away with so much in his life that he seems to have concluded that he can get away with everything forever. The original email he sued me about contained a phrase from one of Russ Whitney' unhappy customers. He said, "All this will catch up to him." I now suspect that person is going to turn out to be quite right. I heard that Whitney or one of his executives was asked about what they were going to do about me at a meeting and the answer was, "Reed doesn"t have any money. We"re going to wear him out." That was a couple of years ago. I believe in the Constitution and the Land of the Free and all that. The day I entered West Point, I swore an oath to protect and defend that Constitution. I took it again the day I graduated. I risked my life for those ideals in Vietnam. I"ll be damned if I"ll let some jerk like Whitney use his ill-gotten money and lawyers to take away my First Amendment rights. "Don"t tread on me" One guy suggested "Don"t Tread on Me" as a theme. I think that captures the spirit of the Scotch Irish. My father was Scotch Irish. A recent book called Born Fighting by James Webb tells of how the Scots Irish are one of the most important yet least known of American ethnic groups. In addition to being Scotch-Irish, Webb and I are also both part Cherokee Indian. We are also both service academy grads: he from the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy or Annapolis) and me from the U.S. Military Academy (Army or West Point). The Scotch-Irish have always been disproportionately represented in the ranks of American military. There is an interesting history of the so-called Gadsden Flag, the one with the slogan "Don"t tread on me" on it, at https://www.foundingfathers.info/stories/gadsden.html#history. Christopher Gadsden was the leader of the Sons of Liberty in South Carolina and was later a colonel in the Continental Army. In 1775 he was in Philadelphia representing South Carolina in the Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin once wrote an article complaining about the British policy of sending their convicted felons to America. He suggested that the Americans return the favor by sending their rattlesnakes to Britain. That put the rattlesnake image into the dialog about revolution against Britain. During the Revolutionary War, the rattlesnake was one of the most common images used to represent the revolutionary spirit: lack of interest in aggression or expansion, but ferocious resistance to oppression. In October of 1775, the American started the Marine Corps. Some of their drums had the yellow background with a rattlesnake that had 13 rattles and the slogan "Don"t tread on me." During the revolutionary War era, an anonymous writer to a newspaper said the following about the aptness of the rattlesnake as a symbol of America. ""¦the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America. The rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage ...she never wounds "till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her. "I confess I was wholly at a loss what to make of the rattles, "till I went back and counted them and found them just thirteen, exactly the number of the Colonies united in America; and I recollected too that this was the only part of the Snake which increased in numbers..."Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living." Many historians now believe that Benjamin Franklin was the anonymous author of this discussion of the suitability of the rattlesnake as a symbol of America during that era. Hadrian' Wall Among other things, the Born Fighting book tells of Hadrian' Wall. That is an actual still-standing wall built all the way across the Island that includes England, Wales, and Scotland. Hadrian was a Roman emperor. Rome conquered Great Britain"”except for Scotland, which was inhabited by Scotch Irish. The Scotch Irish apparently went back and forth between Scotland and Ireland repeatedly over the centuries. After trying to conquer the Scotch-Irish for many years, the Romans finally said to heck with it and built a wall to separate their portion of Great Britain and Wales from the unconquerable Scotland. Defense, yes; aggression, no The basic posture of the Scots-Irish with regard to war is that they do not bother anyone. There was never a Scotch-Irish empire like the various other European empires"”British, Spanish, French, German (20th Century). However, that does not mean they are a bunch of pushovers. Their lack of expansionist ambitions notwithstanding, turns out they are extremely fierce fighters when they are attacked. "Tomorrow, da vorld!" There are some parallels on my outlook. Gurus like Russ Whitney and Robert Kiyosaki seem to be trying to take over the world. The Rich Dad Poor Dad author is selling his books all over the world. I have been interviewed by Korean TV and the German newspaper Die Zeit about him. Whitney is in the U.S., Costa Rica, Canada, England, Ireland, and planning to go into Spain. I guess we sent one of our convicted felons"”Russ Whitney"”back to Britain. I, on the other hand, refuse to sell to anyone outside the U.S. I also am militantly opposed to having any employees or working anywhere other than my home office. However, when you file court papers saying your are going to take away my home and its office, as Whitney did in June, 2002, then I have to fight back. Nowadays, the snake has an evil, duplicitous image. In revolutionary days, however, it was seen for what it is: a useful, unaggressive animal that destroys pests like rats. Snakes were also recognized as one of those animals that won"t bother you unless you bother them. Finally, poisonous snakes like rattlesnakes were seen correctly as an animal that will not bother you unless you bother it, but that they will really bother you if you bother them. The bite of a poisonous snake can kill a human and willl, at the very least, make him or her very sorry that they bothered the snake. So, yes, I see a lot of parallels between Whitney' attack on me by suing me and the Revolutionary era rattlesnake symbol and slogan "Don"t tread on me." At the time he sued me, my Web site barely mentioned Whitney. I had a couple of mild criticisms about him and links to a handful of emails from some of his unhappy customers. Maybe five total pages about Russ Whitney. Now, there are around 500 pages and growing. Convince the jury that you are a snake? "Don"t tread on me" explains very well why Russ Whitney' decision to try to intimidate me with threats and lawsuits has gone the way it has. However, I am not sure it would make the best trial theme. There is the problem that depicting yourself as a snake has to overcome centuries of that animal' undeserved bad image. I would have to educate the jury as to the meaning of that slogan when it was coined during the Revolutionary Era. Success at that would not be certain and it would take extra time which may not be available. It would have been more useful as a trial theme if the Revolutionary era folks had used the slogan Don"t tread on us" and had more than one snake in the picture. I feel as though I have a lot of help in this fight and as though I am representing a lot of people. A flag if not a theme I have been inspired to do one thing. The Web site links to another site that sells copies of the original Gadsden flag which has a coiled rattlesnake and the slogan, "Don"t tread on me." I ordered one as an inspiring office wall hanging and as a memento of this fight with Whitney. They also sell patches and decals of the flag. If you read some of my Web pages about this litigation, you can get the idea of what' going on. See if you can come up with a good theme that conveys in simple words, why Russ Whitney should lose this trial. If you can think of something, please let me know what it is. If I use a reader' theme, I will be glad to give them credit and a couple of free books of mine. Thanks, John T. Reed John T. Reed, a.k.a. John Reed, Jack Reed, 342 Bryan Drive, Alamo, CA 94507, Voice: 925-820-7262, Fax: 925-820-1259, www.johntreed.com

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