Sergeant Friday and Officer Smith are on assignment helping with an investigation being conducted by a small town police department in the Midwest. Since the topic of shoddy answers to discovery has been in the air of late, this vintage episode seemed like a good one to recycle this evening—
MUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.
NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
MUSIC: Up, then under …
NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A noted anti-First-Amendment activist has sued a group of bloggers trying to shut down their free speech and free press rights. Your job … get the facts.
MUSIC: Up then under …
ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.
MUSIC: Up and out.
SOUND: Footsteps in hallway.
FRIDAY: It was Thursday, July 10th. It was hot and clear in Westminster. We were working the day watch out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The boss is Twitter Town Sheriff W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 3:06 pm when I returned to Room S-140. Internet Detail.
SOUND: Door opens. Footsteps across room.
SMITH: Hey, Joe, it looks like you got the stuff.
SOUND: Heavy box dropped on table.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh. There must be close to 3,000 pages here.
SOUND: Chair pulled out.
SMITH: Did he deliver it in that old cardboard box?
FRIDAY: Yeah. It’s just a jumble of paper. It doesn’t seem to be organized in any way. Nothing’s tagged as being a response to any specific interrogatory or document request.
SMITH: No surprise there.
FRIDAY: We need to get this organized.
SOUND: Stack of paper removed from box and placed on the table.
FRIDAY: The first thing to do is to get this paperwork sorted according to which defendant it addresses. Here. You can start in on this stack.
SOUND: Paper shuffling.
SMITH: What the … ? What was Timberland thinking? This bunch of tweets is from outside the dates covered by his suit. How does he expect to get them into evidence?
FRIDAY: Who knows? Let’s get started on sorting. We’ve got a while to go on this shift, but this is gonna spill over into tomorrow.
FRIDAY: Well, this mess proves one thing.
SMITH: What’s that?
FRIDAY: He can’t be accused of organized crime.
MUSIC: Stinger and under.
FRIDAY: Friday, July 11th. The jumbled mass of documents required much more work to get organized that we expected.
Monday, July 14th. 11:29 am.
SMITH: I think that’s the last of ‘em, Joe.
SOUND: File folder dropped on table.
FRIDAY: Right. So what have we got? More than half the paper relates to one defendant, but most of it doesn’t relate to the remaining counts in the lawsuit.
SMITH: This last file relates to the defendants who won’t be a part of the trial because they haven’t been served yet.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh. This blogger’s file has a lot of paper in it, but none of it relates to the allegations in the suit. It’s butthurt not evidence.
SMITH: This file doesn’t relate to any of the defendant’s in the state lawsuit. It’s really about one of the defendants in Timberland’s RICO suit.
FRIDAY: The rest of ‘em are pretty much the same. There’s a bunch of paper, but no real evidence.
SMITH: We’ve spent a couple of days trying make some sense of this. There doesn’t seem to be any.
FRIDAY: OK. Let’s get this and our notes to the defense attorney.
MUSIC: Up and under.
NARRATOR: On August 11th and 12th, a trial was held in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County on Timberland’s lawsuit. In a moment the results of that trial.
ANNOUNCER: Once a matter reaches final judgment in a court case, the doctrine of res judicata means that future case should consider the matter closed. It should not be retried. There’s lots of nifty Hogewash! Res Judicata stuff available at The Hogewash Store. There are shirts and drinkware and other interesting items. Loyal members of Team Lickkspittle can show their support by shopping today. And did you know that there are others way to show your support? You can hit the Tip Jar, or you can use the link on the Home page to do your Amazon shopping.
NARRATOR: On August 11th, a trial began in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. On August 12th, the court found no evidence to support Timberland’s allegations had been presented and entered a directed verdict in favor of the Defendants. Such a verdict is a finding on the merits against the claims made by the Plaintiff. All counts of his suit were dismissed with prejudice.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.
Be sure to tune in on Monday evenings at 6 pm Eastern Time for the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous Internet investigator—Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.