Free Dick Simkanin

Friday, July 29, 2005

Comments on Simkanin Appeal


I would like to offer a short comment on this post relating to the oral argument of Dick Simkanin's appeal before the Appellate US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans on July 6, just to set the record straight.

I was physically present at the hearing. I don't know whether Charlotte Smith was there or not; if she was, I didn't notice. As far as I know, other than the lawyers, the only observers were myself and two companions. She could not know how the legal team felt afterwards; I was with the team for several hours afterwards, and no one who could have been Charlotte Smith asked them that question. They did not predict victory to me, although they did feel it went as well as or even better than they had hoped.

The government did NOT go first, as Mr. Simkanin was the appellant and it was his attorney that spoke to the court first. Peter (who had spent the previously day prepping for the argument with Bob Bernhoft [Dick's appellate co-counsel, who was also one of the winning attorneys for Joe Banister] at their hotel) spoke for the allotted 20 minutes or so, answering many questions from the three judges, which showed they were concerned about the fairness of Dick's trial. After his time, the government gave their oral arguments. It is true that the Justice Dept. lawyer mentioned several times that Dick was a "notorious tax protester" and "leader" and that the judge could verify this "by Googling his name." To this, the Chief Judge rebuked him, "Is that in the record?" (Appeals must be based on the district court record.) However, the government attorney also argued his legal points, and the court gave him the same attention as Peter received. They did not cut him off or tell him to sit down.

To close the proceedings, Mr. Simkanin's attorney had reserved several minutes for which to rebut the governments arguments, which he did, focusing not only on Dick's unfair trial but also on his excessive and illegal sentence. I felt that Peter did a fantastic job. However, I do not remember the court making the remarks that Charlotte mentions (thanking him, etc.) and the judges gave no indication of which way they would rule, or when.

I appreciate your willingness to update this post.

Bryan Malatesta

Monday, July 25, 2005

Simkanin Appeal Update

To: Show Me The Law

Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 9:06 AM

Subject: Update on Simkanin

On July 6, 2005, the oral arguments regarding Simkanin's Appeal were quite favorable. Each side had 15 minutes to present their case or facts. The government went first and proceeded to lambast Mr. Simkanin by calling him names such as anti-government, tax protestor, etc. The judges listened for about 8 to 9 minutes, then asked the D.C. prosecutor if they had any facts to present. The prosecutor simply said that the facts are what he was presenting. The judge told the prosecutor to sit down if that was all he had, which he did. Peter Goldberger then told the 3 judge panel that he would do his best to finish his presentation in the 15 minutes allotted to him. However, the panel allowed Peter to speak for 45 minutes. After Peter was through, the panel thanked him for doing an excellent job in preparation for the oral arguments, and not wasting the court's time. The Simkanin legal team came away from the hearing feeling they (the judges) will find in favor of Simkanin! Yipeeeeee!!!!!! We will all be waiting anxiously to find out if David Cay Johnston of the New York Times reports in Simkanin's favor the way he blasted Dick after the trial.

Through the grapevine there is another petition floating around among the Ft. Worth Attorneys to impeach Judge John Henry McBryde from the bench. If this petition hits the 5th Circuit before they make a decision in the Simkanin case, it should surely help in his favor. September 24th or before, is the time frame for results of a decision. They expect the court to reverse the felonies (2), but are not sure how they will handle the misdemeanor. Even if they confirm the misdemeanor, it will be time served and Simkanin will be out!!!!!!!!!!!!

So please keep the judges in your prayers that the Lord works through them for a favorable outcome!


Charlotte Smith