Alarmed by Donald Trump’s record of filing lawsuits to punish and silence his critics, a committee of media lawyers at the American Bar Association commissioned a report on Trump’s litigation history. The report concluded that Trump was a “libel bully” who had filed many meritless suits attacking his opponents and had never won in court.

But the bar association refused to publish the report, citing “the risk of the ABA being sued by Mr. Trump.”

“It is more than a little ironic,” David J. Bodney said, “that a publication dedicated to the exploration of First Amendment issues is subjected to censorship when it seeks to publish an article about threats to free speech.”…

Trump has made frequent threats in recent weeks to file more lawsuits, including ones against The New York Times for publishing parts of his tax returns and accounts of women accusing him of sexual misconduct. On Saturday, he threatened to sue the women themselves.

Members of the committee expressed dismay with the bar association’s actions.

“It’s colossally inappropriate for the ABA to sponsor a group of lawyers to study free speech issues and at the same time censor their free speech,” said Charles D. Tobin, another former chairman of the committee.

RTFA for all the forth-and-back discussion. True hypocrisy on the part of the ABA Executive. All somehow fitting.



  1. NewFormatSux says:

    So lawyers are scared of Donald Trump. And these are supposed to be the best lawyers in the country. So either

    1) They are not as good as they claim, and ABA should close.

    2) Trump is on solid legal ground, and the report is a sham.

    3) Trump is a master lawyer better than the best.

    • Jill Stein Supporter says:

      4) The cost of defending themselves against a baseless lawsuit is not worth the amount of good publishing the report will do

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Basically, a good review….. but let’s parse:

      So lawyers are scared of Donald Trump. /// No. No lawyer is “afraid.” Is about risk assessment, costs, expected outcome.

      And these are supposed to be the best lawyers in the country. /// I don’t think anyone thinks that….especially not if you are talking about the “staff” of the ABA….or its Board or Executive Committees selected for their “influence” and connections rather than their lawyering skills.

      So either

      1) They are not as good as they claim,/// They make no such claims.

      and ABA should close. //// Open question…. but at least be recognized for their do nothing lack of advocacy.

      2) Trump is on solid legal ground, and the report is a sham. /// I think he is on shaky ground that gives rise to the investigation/study of censoring him==>actually the lawyers that he uses, but likewise gives the ABA reason not to publish. Shaky is shaky…. for all involved.

      3) Trump is a master lawyer better than the best. /// Trump is an idiot, a business man or bankruptcy troll, and NOT an attorney. He hires attorneys who will sue as he directs/pays them to do===ie, about 99% of any attorney actively practicing…but Trump has his own long term social activist attorneys…mainly Roy Cohn from the McCarthy Hearings who uses lawsuits as a means of intimidation. Its weird: tools using tools.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        Risk assessment that concludes not to do something means they are scared of the consequences.

        ABA is THE association of lawyers, responsible for accrediting of every law school in the country. They would not have the top lawyers on staff, but would be able to get the top lawyers as needed.

        The article suggests it may be that they are trying to appear nonpartisan, and avoiding certain inflammatory language like ‘libel bully’. Sounds like they should find another outlet to publish this.

  2. Ah_Yea says:

    This ABA article is complete BULLSHIT.

    What we are talking about are Frivolous Lawsuits i.e. ( “libel bully” who had filed many meritless suits). There exist HUNDREDS OF YEARS of precedent disallowing such practices.
    In fact, both Trump, his lawyers, and their law firm can be severely fined and even jailed for the practice.

    Which means, Trump’s lawsuits were within the law and with merit.

    Read this and be educated:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frivolous_litigation

    • Ah_Yea says:

      BTW; the Gloria Dawn Ironbox and Sirgiorgio Sanford Clardy lawsuits made me laugh.

  3. NikElectric says:

    Instigators should be legally obliged to cover court costs of these baseless lawsuits. It’s much riskier to attempt to sue someone here in Canada because of this. We are much less litigious because of this.

    • NikElectric says:

      wish we could edit comments, just noticed how repetitive I sounded there….

    • NewFormatSux says:

      No you’re not. Canada had a whole series of Human Rights Commissions whose business was to criminalize speech of which they disapproved. When Mark Steyn got sued, he fought back and got the whole scheme thrown out. Nevertheless, we saw Michael Mann sue Tim Ball in Canada for declaring ‘He belongs in the State Pen, not Penn State’. That case is unresolved some 6 years later.
      So the message from Canadian courts is if you speak out against the global warming consensus, you might end up in court for 6 years or more. Same if you criticize Muslims.

      • NikElectric says:

        You are referring to a few specific instances. I’m talking about the overall results in our system. As a whole we are far less litigious with each other. If I slip and fall on someone’s step and injury myself, I’m not likely to take them to court for damages for example, unlike the impression I get of the USA. Nuisance lawsuits to intimidate are much less likely up here since the plaintiff will have to cover the defendant’s court costs if the suit is shown to have been brought without merit.

        • NewFormatSux says:

          Just don’t say anything about Muslims.

        • Ah_Yea says:

          Covering the cost of the defendants is how it should be here. Lawyers got in the way because they shouted “that wouldn’t be fair!!”.

  4. Phydeau says:

    “Donald J. Trump is a libel bully,” the report concluded. “Like most bullies, he’s also a loser, to borrow from Trump’s vocabulary.”

    There are probably a lot of rich lawyers who are Republicans. Who wouldn’t want this unflattering critique of Trump to come out.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Do you not read your own posts. All these rich Republican lawyers are for Hillary, er Against Trump and also Against Hillary.

      • Phydeau says:

        Really, 100% of lawyers are in favor of Clinton? Do tell. Show us your evidence.

  5. NewFormatSux says:

    Grammar question, ordinarily I would ignore this, but we are talking about lawyers who are supposed to get this right.

    “the risk of the ABA being sued by Mr. Trump.”
    Should this be ABA’s?


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