**NOTE** – As of this posting an official court decision has not been announced, but we are cautiously optimistic of a positive outcome. Win, lose or draw, it’s been quite the experience and the positives far outweigh the negatives.
After getting some much needed rest and having a chance to reflect a bit on the Georgia Supreme Court Appeal hearing dealing with Marietta Poet author Linda Ellis (of “The Dash” fame) I think I’m prepared to start my series of posts covering the 40 some minutes I sat in that courtroom and mostly watched in awe and then in total disbelief as the opposing side made their oral arguments. I will be touching on almost every aspect of the hearing, going forward in a series of posts but at least want to get my general thoughts down in this initial post to set the stage as it were.
It’s not often one gets to sit in on a Supreme Court hearing, much less when one is named more than several times in the original transcripts and elsewhere. For those that are not aware, it was I that made some of the posts in question, specifically I posted the home address of Georgia Poet / Author & Public Speaker Linda Ellis and also included an embedded image from Google Street View of said address. All of which is in public record and easily accessible via the web, among other things.
I felt compelled to fly up to Atlanta on 2 hours sleep, to not only support my friend, but also to be present to fight for my rights to free speech. It did not take long for adrenaline to keep me going, along with some strong coffee! We collectively decided that we would attend the earlier hearings, so we could get a feel for the procedure, but also get a feel for the justices that would handle our case. Unfortunately I missed the opening part where the chief justice actually quoted a part of “The Dash” poem (coincidence??). Funny thing is after his quote he apparently stated that he did not agree with The Dash or it’s meaning.. rather he suggested always looking forward in life and to not waste time and energy looking back (or something to that effect, as I was not present for this)
I was surprised that the opposing side was not present until almost 1:30. I assumed they didn’t feel the need to be present before hand, not that it would have helped them, but I do believe it was helpful to us. You’ll also notice in the last video segment, that as soon as the timer sounds, Timothy B. McCormack abruptly abandons his last thought/sentence. If they had been present earlier, they would have realized that for the more part the court was lenient in this regard and allowed the lawyers to finish their statement.
A few funny, awkward, amusing, and strange things happened before we entered into the court room for our 2pm hearing, that should be shared, only because I find them rather ironic.
As we were standing in the rotunda outside the courtroom, at one point we were approached by Elizabeth W. (Betsy) McBride and Timothy B. McCormack, Betsy proceeded to ask if were the people for Chan v. Ellis, then asked which of us was Oscar, clearly he was not present, and one really has to wonder, did she not know what Oscar even looked like?? I mean his face has been on ELI for years, did she never bother to Google Oscar to see his Linkedin profile to see for whom she’d be squaring off with? To top that, Timothy B. McCormack was there as well and you can bet your bottom dollar he knows what Oscar looks like, hell he visits this site and ELI on a regular basis!
The second odd moment came when I was exiting the courthouse at street level and low and behold I held the door open for McCormack and McBride. I find it hard to believe he did not recognize me, since he sent me 2 cease and desist letters over the use of his head shot, which can be seen here and here.
Marietta “Poet” (I use that term lightly) Linda Ellis appeared with her sidekick and copyright “enforcer” John W. Jolin, maybe 30 minutes before the hearing. She had no other support that I could see except for her attorney and Timothy B. McCormack. There were no signs of any family members including her husband who has never appeared anywhere to support her (which I also find odd, I wonder if perhaps they are seperated, or if he just distances himself from her activities). I won’t go to much into how she looked, but let’s just say she looked NOTHING like her Facebook cover image.
Well it’s time to get to the good stuff…the hearing itself! Segment #1 coming soon!