Fee??? Fie!!!, Foe Fumes.

Not Knowing Jack Led To A Giant Fail

Well, Van Irion and Dummett and The Liberty Legal Foundation got some major pie in their face. The Federal judge in the Tennessee version of their Birther lawsuit assessed attorney’s fees against the Birthers for filing vexatious litigation and making frivoulous claims.

Here is an interesting part from pages 10 and 11 of the order. I have paragraphed and bolded it a little to make it easier to follow:

Finally, counsel for Plaintiffs should have reasonably concluded that Liberty Legal Foundation lacked standing to assert any claims in this case. Liberty Legal Foundation asserted associational standing based on the fact that its members, the individual Plaintiffs named in this suit, had standing. For the reasons already discussed, the Court has determined that the standing claims of the individual Plaintiffs were frivolous and wholly without merit in this case.

It follows that the associational standing claim made by Liberty Legal Foundation was equally unsupportable. Having determined that counsel for Plaintiff reasonably should have known that all Plaintiffs lacked standing to bring this suit, the Court holds that Plaintiffs’ claims were frivolous and without any arguable basis in law. As such, counsel for Plaintiff has multiplied the proceedings in this case unreasonably and vexatiously and should therefore be required to satisfy personally the attorneys’fees reasonably incurred by Defendants because of such conduct. Defendants’ Motion is GRANTED as to this issue.

This particular awarding of attorney’s fees was done pursuant to a statute (28 U.S.C. § 1927) , for sanctioning vexatious litigants, or litigants who unnecessarily run up the costs of lawsuits. The Defendants had also sought the same relief under Rule 11, which is usually how Courts sanction frivolous lawsuits. However, the Defendants did not give the required 21 day notice to Van Irion and crew, so the Court could not grant relief under that rule. It is very apparent from reading the case, that the Court would have sanctioned Van Irion for that if the proper notice had been given.

It is fun to read the language in the order relating to that Rule 11 claim. From pages 3 and 4 of the Order:

In the Motion before the Court, Defendants now seek sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or in the alternative, under 28 U.S.C. § 1927. Defendants argue that Plaintiffs have brought a frivolous suit without any legal or factual support for their claims. According to Defendants, Plaintiffs claims essentially contest the citizenship of President Obama, and courts around the country have rejected claims of this kind in eighteen previously-filed suits. Defendants assert that on March 11, 2012, they addressed a Rule 11 safe harbor letter to counsel for Plaintiffs demanding that Plaintiffs withdraw their Amended Complaint in this case. Defendants argue that had counsel for Plaintiffs conducted a proper investigation before filing suit, he would have discovered that his claims lacked any merit.

Among other things, Defendants contend that Plaintiff should have known that no entity known as the National Democratic Party of the USA, Inc. is associated with any of the Defendants in this case. Thus, Plaintiffs had no colorano colorable claim against this entity, and venue was not proper in this District. Defendants further argue that Plaintiffs should have known that a lawsuit is not the proper means to test President Obama’s qualifications for office under Article II of the Constitution. Defendants also claim that the Tennessee party is the entity responsible for certifying the Democratic Party’s nominee to the Tennessee Secretary of State, making Plaintiffs’ claims against the DNC and its chair frivolous and unfounded.

Above all, Plaintiffs should have known that under the circumstances they lacked standing to bring this suit. Based on Plaintiffs’ failures to investigate the claims of the Amended Complaint prior to filing suit, Defendants seek an award of their attorney fees incurred as a result of filing the instant Motion as well as their various Rule 12(b) motions.

Here is a link to the entire order (Thanks to Friends of Fogbow):


And here is a pdf copy of it, in case you have problems with scribd:

Van Irion Tennessee Smack Down

This whole thing coincides with the Internet Article here yesterday about the Kentucky Anesthesiologist who said one thing in court, and then another thing to a news crew. That type of conduct is ripe for sanctions. Sanctions like these are often “judge dependent” and some judges take a more dim view of frivolous lawsuits than others. It looks like Van Irion ran into a judge who don’t put up with no crap in his courtroom

I look for Van Irion and other Birthers to say they lost on a standing technicality. They will probably fail to mention that the 21 day notice technicality probably saved them from a worse fate.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. The Image. This is from a 1907 illustration of Jack and the Beanstalk by Peter Newell. I found it here:


Note 2. The Title. Well, for ESLs, this is a word play on Fee Fi Fo Fum, from the fable Jack and the Beanstalk. Wiki has some interesting things to say:

“Fee-fi-fo-fum” is the first line of a historical quatrain (or sometimes couplet) famous for its use in the classic English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. The poem, as given in Joseph Jacobs’s rendition, is as follows:

I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he live, or be he dead
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

Earlier variants of the fairy tale Jack the Giant-Killer found in chapbooks include various renditions of the poem, recited by the giant Thunderdell:

Fee, fau, fum,
I smell the blood of an English man,
Be alive, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum.
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he living, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to mix my bread.

In William Shakespeare’s play King Lear, the character of Edgar exclaims:

Fie, foh, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man.

The verse in King Lear makes use of the archaic word “fie”, used to express disapproval. This word is used repeatedly in Shakespeare’s works, King Lear himself shouting, “Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah!” and the character of Mark Antony (in Antony and Cleopatra) simply exclaiming “O fie, fie, fie!” The word “fum” has sometimes been interpreted as “fume”. Formations such as “fo” and “foh” are perhaps related to the expression “pooh!”, which is used by one the giants in Jack the Giant-Killer; such conjectures largely indicate that the phrase is of imitative origin, rooted in the sounds of flustering and anger.

Darn, me and Old Willie Shakespeare must think alike!

Note 3. The Image Easter Egg.  The word pasty means:

1. resembling paste in color; pallid; “he looked pasty and red-eyed”; “a complexion that had been pastelike was now chalky white”

2. (usually used in the plural) one of a pair of adhesive patches worn to cover the nipples of exotic dancers and striptease performers.

Note 4. Dreams Do Come True!!!  Just the other day I made this statement about Van Irion:

To summarize all this, Van Irion has rolled another big wheelbarrow full of legal manure into a courthouse. I hope the judges come right out and say:

Ordure in the Court!!! Ordure in the Court!!!

and then sanctions the crap out of the whole bunch.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. Ordure. A fancy word for manure.



About Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

Hi!!! I am a Girl Reporter on the Internet. I am 31. Plus I am a INTP. I have a Major in Human Kinetics, and a Minor in English. I have 2 cats, and a new kitten! I write poetry, and plus I am trying to learn how to play guitar. I think that is all??? Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter View all posts by Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

3 responses to “Fee??? Fie!!!, Foe Fumes.

  • Sam the Centipede


    I look for Van Irion and other Birthers to say they lost on a standing technicality. They will probably fail to mention that the 21 day notice technicality saved them from a worse fate.

    The judge seems to have been unnecessarily kind to the birther nutters and unreasonable towards the defendants. He’s got picky about the Rule 11 timings, which seems disproportionate compared with tolerating the plaintiffs’ persistent and unrepentant campaign of untruths, harassment and smear.

    The judge says the case failed on standing so nothing else matters; that’s fine. But he then says because of lack of standing meant other factors played no part in the rejection of the case, he’s not going to grant sanctions relating to the defendants’ harassment of Ms Schulz and Mr Forrester. Although IANAL and I don’t know if that means that the birthers still have to pay the defendants’ fees and costs for those.

    It’s good to see a bit more intolerance of the birthers’ campaign of paper terrorism, but I remain unimpressed at the courts’ and bars’ failure to take responsibility for finding a way to rid the courts of this paper terrorism while still allowing good access to justice for ordinary folk with complaints that have some small shred of sanity about them.

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      Hi Sam the C!!!

      I agree with you that judges ought to be a lot more proactive with this stuff. But some of them have to run for office, sooo they probably just let it run its course and lose.

      Sometimes judges give a warning to attorneys, and don’t sanction them as severely as possible as a form of teaching them to behave and get their sh*t in order.

      Van Irion should not go in front of this judge again with this crap, or the full weight of sanctions is likely to fall on him.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

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