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  • Lemon Law

    Stories like the Aurora mass murders generate enormous press interest. So it was no surprise when a representative of the family of the accused shooter held a press conference.It was a surprise at what a bad job she did.

    Lisa Damiani, a criminal defense attorney, addressed a large gaggle of reporters in San Diego this afternoon.  The main purpose seemed to be to read a statement from James Holmes’ mother pushing back on an ABC report from Friday which suggested that Mrs. Holmes essentially expressed no surprise that her son had shot scores of people.  “You have the right person,” ABC quoted her as saying.

    Arlene Holmes’ statement, read by Damiani, said that when she said “you have the right person” she was referring to herself — yes, she is the mother of James Holmes.  Not that she was confirming anything more.  That is a correction well worth making  (interestingly, ABC continues to stand by their initial report — which seems unwise to us.)

    In the 19+ minute press conference, Damiani had about two minutes of useful information.  She spent the rest of the time saying “no comment,” laughing inappropriately and giving the impression the event was more about her 15 minutes of fame than about the needs of her clients.  Quite annoyingly, every few seconds Damani does something with her mouth suggesting that had she sucked on a lemon just before meeting the press.  A clip from the press conference is above.

    There are many things wrong with this press outing.  To start, someone should have handled the logistics better.  The media surrounded Damani and were much too close to her.  As a result when she turned to answer someone on the right — the people (and cameras) on her left got to see the back of her head.

    In addition to reading the statement from Arlene Holmes, her purpose seemed to be to ask the media to respect the privacy of the Holmes family (good luck, with that) and to express concern for their safety.

    Rather than annoying people with 18 minutes of “no comment” Damani should have made a statement and made an exit.  And before mentioning her concerns for the safety of her clients — she should have, on behalf of her clients, expressed heartfelt condolences for the families of the shooting victims.  Doing so would in no way have admitted guilt for the (clearly guilty) James Holmes.

    Our other bit of advice is that the next time Damani feels the need to address the press, she have a table with a glass of water nearby. That way perhaps people could focus fully on what she was saying and not on her annoying lip licking.

  • Good Reporters Welcome Feedback

    If a journalist screws up something about you in their story — we recommend that you politely let them know.

    Tom Paul apparently missed the “politely” part of the lesson. 

    The former auditor for Erie County (Ohio) didn’t like a story in the Sandusky Register over the weekend. So he left a colorful voicemail message for the reporter involved.

    You can listen to the call below.  Warning: the call is not for those of gentle sensitivities.

    Among the highlights, Paul tells the reporter:  “You don’t know your @@@ from a ####ing hole in the ground….” and ends with “Call me back…ya %%% head!”

    Yeah, that’ll guarantee a good story the next time.  Way to go, Tom, ya ####head!

    SDRG Video  – 

    h/t JimRomensko.com