The strange behavior of Philadelphia lawyer Philip J. Berg
Why would a Philadelphia lawyer file frivolous claims in federal courts about Barack Obama? Is it possible the lawyer is trying to divert attention from serious questions that exist about Obama’s birth certificate and troubled and confusing family history?
Andy Martin speculates on the bizarre litigation behavior of Philadelphia lawyer Philip J. Berg
“Factually Correct, Not
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PHILADELPHIA LAWYER PHILIP J. BERG SAYS HE IS AN OPPONENT OF BARACK OBAMA; IS HE?
BERG’S PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS MOTIVES AND COMPETENCE.
(NEW YORK)(November 11, 2008) Some time in mid-August I began to get phone calls from a lawyer’s office in Philadelphia. The lawyer was Philip J. Berg.
I eventually spoke with Mr. Berg. He explained that he was preparing to file a lawsuit against Barack Obama and a number of other parties. Berg asked if I would review the case before it was filed, and I agreed.
I carefully read Berg’s initial complaint. (Some of the confirming e-mails are in the hands of Patriot Brigade Talk Radio Network.) I advised Berg’s office that his lawsuit would not fly in federal court. His joinder of the Federal Election Commission was utter nonsense. Naming the Democratic Party was questionable. Seeking to enjoin the Party’s convention was silliness. For an ordinary voter to sue Obama was a lost cause; I explained that already this year two judges had ruled individuals lacked legal standing to file such a claim. Berg sent me a revised version of his lawsuit that was equally deficient.
Berg has tried to pretend that his lack of “standing” is a technicality. On the contrary, in federal courts standing is a threshold jurisdictional issue. State courts have broad “general” jurisdiction. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. I explained to Berg how he could file a meritorious lawsuit in state court but he was frantic. “I want to file before the Democratic Convention so I can apply for an injunction,” he said. At that point I decided Berg was a loon and had no further contact.
Mr. Berg did file his loony case, and it began to attract a lot of attention. My initial reaction was sadness at the gullibility of the public. People obviously had no idea that the form and forum of Berg’s lawsuit were totally deficient.
I did not become concerned until a New York radio talk show host who is a friend called me and said “Andy, what about the order for Obama to produce his birth certificate?” I explained to my friend that there was no such order. Berg and his supporters were spreading disinformation or allowing it to be disseminated.
I began receiving more calls and e-mails about Berg’s lawsuit. Berg was escalating the idiocy of his behavior to attract frustrated voters. “Obama admitted he was born in Kenya,” screamed one Berg release. Obama had admitted nothing of the sort. The more irresponsible Berg became, the more e-mail he generated from desperate voters.
Berg’s lawsuit was promptly dismissed, as I had anticipated before it was even filed. Berg was ready with an explanation: there was a conspiracy to deprive him of justice. No such conspiracy existed.
Last month my staff and I discussed whether we should do a column about Berg’s harmful behavior. We decided to ignore him and hope he would go away. Mr. Berg is not going away. He keeps manufacturing false claims to stay in the news and to keep soliciting money.
After Berg lost in the district court, he filed an appeal to the U. S. Court of Appeals. But there was no “juice” in a mere appeal. Berg was soon asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the national election—on the basis of his crackpot lawsuit. Once again Berg was denied relief. And once again Berg was ready with a new round of disinformation.
I started to get e-mails telling me the Supreme Court had ordered Obama to produce a birth certificate. No such order existed. The Rules of the Supreme Court allow thirty days to respond; Berg converted that into an “order” from the Court compelling his opponents to respond. Sheer disinformation. There was no “order.”
The false claims about the Supreme Court are what convinced me to reverse my earlier view and write a column questioning Berg’s behavior.
Enough, Mr. Berg.
What’s next from him? What ridiculous claim will he concoct to continue attracting attention?
During this entire period of idiotic behavior Berg was going on talk radio and soliciting funds for his doomed mission.
What should all of this teach us? I have several thoughts for the reader to consider.
First, no one is more opposed to Barack Obama and his hard left warriors than I am. Obama’s minions were not attacking Berg during the campaign; they were attacking me. I was the first one to focus attention on Obama’s evasiveness and deception, four years ago. But while I have attacked Obama, I have also worked hard to anchor all of my claims in evidence, interviews and traditional forms of legal research. That’s what really scares Obama.
When I asked Berg in August how he was going to prove Obama was born in Kenya, he said “I saw it on the Internet.” Not good enough for a federal judge.
Second, Berg likes to identify himself as a “supporter” of Hillary Clinton. That’s garbage. He’s smearing Clinton. Clinton must cringe every time Berg does some new stunt and misuses her name. Berg has no connection with Clinton. More misuse.
Third, is Berg’s motive to collect money from frustrated voters? I don’t know. He does ask for cash, so that may be the explanation. To be sure, my Committee also receives donations, but we have funded two trips to Hawai’i for Obama research and investigation, and a birth certificate lawsuit scheduled for a hearing on November 18th in Honolulu.
Fourth, could Berg be professionally incompetent? Berg has been criticized by judges: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1122023117263
Finally, is Berg really an Obama operative? Berg’s behavior is so far outside the normal confines of legal practice that his conduct is aberrant as well as abhorrent. To date, only Obama has benefited from Berg’s misbehavior. When an Obama opponent acts crazy, Obama’s people say “See.”
There are very legitimate questions about Obama’s birth certificate and family history. By filing frivolous cases (a case filed in the wrong court seeking the wrong relief against the wrong defendants is frivolous) and misusing legitimate issues, Berg obscures the seriousness of the underlying questions about Obama’s past. And, inevitably, journalists link Berg and others (such as myself) together, despite the fact that we have absolutely no connection. I, for one, do not enjoy being joined to Berg in any form, even a news story. http://www.thebulletin.us/site/index.cfm?newsid=20193200&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=8
Likewise, Berg’s use of Clinton’s name benefits Obama by discrediting Clinton as a possible behind-the-scenes Berg supporter, when nothing could be further from the truth. Dirty tricks? Obama and Axelrod are masters of smears by association and deception. Although I am not an enthusiastic believer of the Berg-for-Obama explanation for Berg’s behavior, it still makes a lot of sense.
Certainly no competent attorney who regularly practices in federal court would engage in Berg’s hijinks. At some point Berg could face sanctions for his misconduct and abusive behavior.
So we are left with no clear explanation for why Berg is acting out: (1) is he “crazy” or ill? (2) is he an Obama saboteur? (3) is he a financial flim flam artist using false claims to collect money? (4) is he an incompetent attorney? I can’t say for sure which of those apply. I leave it to the good reader’s common sense to reflect on Berg’s behavior and to decide for him or herself just what Berg’s motivation is.
Helping the anti-Obama movement is not Berg’s mission. Quite the opposite. Berg has helped Obama by discrediting Obama’s opponents. So what is Berg’s game? Let me know what you think.
Readers of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, say the book is still the only gold standard and practical handbook on Barack Obama’s unfitness for the presidency. Buy it.
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Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of broadcasting experience in radio and television. He is currently based in New York selling his new book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.
His columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com. Andy is the author of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, published in July 2008, see http://www.OrangeStatePress.com.
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