Friday, July 11, 2014
Legal Dream Team to Represent Sticker Gang
Three of Northampton County's most prominent criminal defense lawyers have been retained to represent Nazareth's dangerous Sticker Gang, a trio who dared place postage-stamp sized stickers that criticized Police Chief Thomas Trachta. Chained and shackled, they were paraded in front of a delighted press a few weeks ago in what is known as a "perp walk." This one was a staged event. I'm surprised they didn't sell tickets.
These lawyers represent some of the highest-paying clients, and don't need the aggravation of what is essentially a bullshit littering case. But there's a very important principle involved - Freedom of Speech. The Sticker Gang is really no different than the people who criticized King George, or who threw tea in the Boston Harbor. That's what has drawn them to the Sticker Gang.
Who are they?
Phil Lauer, whose disarming style lulls witnesses into a false sense of complacency, was the first. He's representing Trevor Gehret, the most vocal of the three. Mark Minotti, who comes from the Lou Minotti school of hard-nose lawyering, is a wrestler looking to pin Nazareth police in their prosecution of Daniel Logothetis. Batting in the three slot, for Jeremy Peters is Easton powerhouse Gary Asteak, whose cross-examination skills can be compared to a shredder. Though he is still being courted with flowers and love notes, he's expected to complete the team today.
Gary knows what it's like to be dumped on in Nazareth. Years ago, when he tried to open an office in the circle, the good people of Nazareth complained that they'd hold their noses walking by his office. Today, his office building is one of borough's most beautiful buildings. Mark Minotti knows what it's like to be the underdog. It's a lesson he learned as a wrestler. Phil has always hated seeing those with no voice being trampled.
Though they're working for free, there will be costs. A court reporter, for example, will be needed to transcribe the testimony at the preliminary hearing.
I have already made a small contribution. If you have $10 or even $1, you can help. Gehret has set up a "GoFundMe" to help defray defense costs. i have linked to it on my left sidebar as well.
The preliminary hearing, which was set for next week, has already been continued until August. About a week before, I'll let you know when it is taking place.
Updated 1 PM: Asteak is in! - "No need for a defense fund," he says. "The Borough of Nazareth, Chief Trachta, and Ptl. Troxell will ultimately have to foot the bill (civil rights claims pay damages and counsel fees) unless we get a withdrawal and apology soon." I am therefore removing the GoFundMe on my left sidebar, and am asking the person who made a $10 contribution to contact me back cannel at BOHare5948@aol.com. I'll get that $10 spot back to you.