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Blogs from July, 2011

Potentially historic brief was filed today in the Northern District of Illinois (case #10cv 6682) taking aim at an Illinois Statute that seeks to narrow the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Indian Business owners, Sharad and Harish Dani, wrongfully accused of bribing a former Illinois State Representative Paul Froehlich, fought back against News Corp. and Fox News Defendants, along with tabloid blog, Illinois Review, by making an argument not previously made, that giving absolute immunity to the press, under the Illinois Citizen Participation Act is unconstitutional. Counsel for Plaintiffs point out that Illinois law can never trump the United States Constitution.

The Illinois Citizen Participation Act ("CPA") and acts virtually identical to it in nearly 26 states were well intention legislation designed to allow citizens to speak out about matters related to their governance without the threat of being hailed into court and sued by far more well-heeled defendants. However, in practice, these acts, which promise the losing party must pay crippling legal fees, ensure that private citizens never sue the media. These participation acts have been hijacked and used by Fox News and other media titans in almost 26 states to ensure that no one sues the media for publishing falsehoods or engaging in tabloid yellow journalism-giving the media absolute immunity-in addition to existing freedoms of the press.

The lead attorney, R. Tamara de Silva commented that, "Would the grant of absolute immunity for media titans under these state participation acts, as characterized by Fox, mean that if the current phone hacking scandal involving News Corp and News of the World were to have occurred in the State of Illinois, Rupert Murdoch would simply invoke the CPA and say that it barred his ever having to be hailed into court? This would be a preposterous occurrence, yet one possibly allowed in Illinois. These state acts were not intended to provide absolute immunity to media titans, but rather to level the playing field so that an ordinary citizen, much like the Plaintiffs in this case, would not be denied their First Amendment rights of participating in matters involved in their governance and from seeking redress."

R. Tamara de Silva also said, "Citizen participation acts may have been well-intention like so many of the hundreds of laws that are put on the books every year, but what was intended to protect David against Goliath's club has been wholly usurped by Goliath and hangs over all private parties victimized by tabloid yellow journalism like the Sword of Damocles-ensuring that the media is never sued when it fabricates facts and publishes untruths. These laws as they are applied today are unconstitutional and violate of the right of privacy and the right to petition the government. They should never have been drafted because they are vague to the point of lacking meaning and as such also unconstitutional."

Pivotal Lawsuit Defies Unlawful Prosecution of Largest Pain Management Doctor in the United States

A lawsuit with far reaching consequences for all pain doctors and people that seek treatment for chronic pain was filed today by Dr. Joseph Giacchino in Cook County's Chancery Court. This suit may be the first time, a physician is standing up to what the medical profession calls a "government jihad" on pain doctors by the DEA, Justice Department and local agencies staffed with government lawyers and investigators.

Many medical schools and medical associations like the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, among others, are warning doctors not to treat pain at all. Worse yet- lawyers and prosecutors with no medical training whatsoever have hijacked this field of medicine by determining what is acceptable medical protocol-and prosecuting doctors without first establishing any standard for what conduct they themselves consider unacceptable. Law enforcement is making up the rules of medicine ad hoc and with deadly consequences for all physicians in their field of vision.

According to a leading medical journal, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic and acute pain due to traumatic injuries, botched surgeries, cancer, etc. Class II Scheduled drugs are taken by over 30 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain and are able because of medical pain management to live without crippling pain and to even work and function. Contrary to popular wisdom and myths of raw media driven culture, most medical literature states that less than 1 percent of the users of pain drugs are addicts (usually within this less than 1 percent, many of them were prior addicts, who hid their previous drug use from their physicians). Yet most of the 100 million Americans that suffer from chronic pain (a fact that cost American business almost $100 billion dollars an year)-are under-treated because doctors are afraid to treat them.

This has led many in the medical community to question whether the DEA's loss of the War on Drugs has led them to pursue a different war, one which seeks to bend the line between what is legal and what a DEA law enforcement officer can determine as illegal medical protocol on an ad hoc basis. There are horrific tales of DEA agents using SWAT tactics to burst into medical offices, holding guns to the heads of physicians (never indicted or arrested on legal charges) threatening imminent bodily harm and paying indicted drug users to solicit physicians for sex in exchange for money-money outrageously paid by the DEA.

The lead attorney, R. Tamara de Silva commented that, "To allow lawyers and investigators to determine what is proper medical protocol is outside the legislative intent of the Controlled Substances Act and it constitutes an excessive exercise of state and Federal power based on a complete misapplication of the Federal Law." Attorney de Silva went on to say that, "the problem is that there are no pre-determined standards of what specific conduct a medical doctor engages in to cross the line between legal and illegal conduct-at least not according to the DEA and an Illinois department. This is an absolute abuse of government power. Before you prosecute someone, you must first state what conduct is legal and what is not and announce it beforehand—that is a fundamental principal in our Constitution and sine qua non to our basic freedom as Americans."

R. Tamara de Silva also said, "The determination of which analgesic drug to prescribe, in what dosage, for how long to achieve pain management is never a determination that should be made by investigators and lawyers on an ad hoc basis, who have never practiced medicine in the specialty of medicine at issue in this case anymore than surgery must be attempted by the public with a hammer."

Attorney Jonathan Lubin, Ms. de Silva's associate added, "Administrative agencies like DPR are charged with protecting the public from medical malpractice, and the like. The assumption, therefore, is the decision-makers at these agencies are people who have superior knowledge of the subject matter. But in this miscarriage of justice, Dr. Giacchino was prosecuted by a lawyer-bureaucrat, in front of a lawyer-bureaucrat turned Administrative Law Judge with no more qualifications to adjudicate medical licenses than any member of the bar."