News Items

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Federal Court sets Preliminary Injunction hearing in Schiavo Case for October 10th
Chief counsel Christopher A. Ferrara will be apprearing in the United States District Court for the Middle Disctrict of Florida before the Hon. Richard Lazzara, along with co-counsel, Pat Anderson on October 10th 2003. The hearing is to consider a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent removal of the feeding tube which has sustained Terri Schiavo for the past 13 years. A state court has ordered removal of the feeding tube on October 15th, which will result in Terri's death by starvation and deyhdration over a period of 7 to 14 days. The motion for preliminary injuction is based on a Second Amended Complaint which alleges, among other things, that Terri's husband, who is now cohabiting with another woman, has refused to allow therapy to wean Terri off of the feeding tube yet now insists that Terri be starved and dehydrated to death because she depends upon the feeding tube. The district judge has ordered a filing of key portions of previous testamony by Mr. Schiavo in which he promised to care for his wife the rest of his life.

Pro-life activist and mother of 10 acquitted of criminal charge.
On October 3rd, 2003, after two and half years of civil and cirminal proceedings, Victoria Kraeger, mother of 10 and committed pro-life activist, was acquitted of a charge of "criminal interference" with health care services. Mrs. Kraeger had been indicted by the Lewis County Grand Jury and stood trial in the Lewis County Court where she was defended by Chief Counsel, Christopher A. Ferrara. The acquittal, after a non-jury bench trial in the Lewis County Court, was announced in a written decision by the trial judge that received local media coverage. The acquittal ends all further proceedings against Mrs. Kraeger in the matter. It is believed that this case represents the first attempt to prosecute a pro-life activist criminally under New York's Clinic Access Law. "God bless the ACLA and Chris Ferrara for all the help they have given me and my family," said Mrs. Kraeger. "This is an important case for the First Amendment Liberty of pro-lifers in western New York and elsewhere," said Mr. Ferrara.

Denis Brenan elected president of the National Lawyers Association.
The Association is proud to announce the election of Denis V. Brenan, the Association's Pennsylvania Litigation Counsel, to the presidency of the N ational Lawyers Association. Mr. Brenan will be installed as president at the NLA's upcoming convention, July 31st - August 2nd, 2003 at the Kent School of Law in Chicago. We extend our congratulations to Mr. Brenan.

Injunction hearing scheduled for U.S. District Court in Trenton, NJ.
Lawsuit filed seeking preliminary injunction against mayor and police department of Seaside Heights, following expulsion of pro-life protesters from boardwalk on account of their explicit pro-life signs. The court has agreed to hear a motion for preliminary injunction on short notice. Hearing is scheduled for August 4 at 10 AM.

Supreme Court denies certiorari in "Nuremburg files" case.
On June 27, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in the celebrated "Nuremburg files" case, involving an aggregate $109 million verdict imposed on a national coalition of pro-life activists based on two posters and a non-party's website deemed to be "threats" in violation of FACE and RICO. The verdict had been reversed by a unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit (following arguments by the Association's chief co unsel, Christopher A. Ferrara), but was reinstated by a 6 - 5 vote of an en banc panel. Since the en banc panel vacated the massive punitive damage award, while upholding the liability verdict, the judgment in this case remains non-final pending further proceedings in the District Court in Portland, Oregon. Further appeals and a second petition for certiorari are anticipated. The non-final posture of the case may have contributed to the initial denial of certiorari.

Clinic Access trial concluded; verdict awaited.
In what appears to be the first trial court application of New York's Clinic Access Law, pro-life activist Victoria Kraeger was indicted and tried for alleged "interference" with clinic acces s based upon a sidewalk encounter with the client of a local Planned Parenthood clinic. The indictment was based on precisely the same incident that gave rise to a prior federal contempt proceeding in which chief counsel Christopher A. Ferrara obtained a dismissal following an evidentiary hearing. The Association has submitted a post-trial memorandum and is awaiting a verdict in this non-jury criminal trial.

Stay granted in Florida starvation case.
The District Court of Appeals has granted a 30-day stay of its decision affirming the trial court's order to starve and dehydrate to death Theresa Schiavo, has been sustained by a feeding tube for t he past 13 years. The Association has filed an amicus brief in this case of national importance. The record include a videotape of Theresa smiling and responding lovingly to the presence of her mother, although the trial court concluded that Theresa is in a "persistent vegetative state." The decision to starve and dehydrate Theresa has provoked a national support movement on behalf of Theresa and her fight to live. Meanwhile, Theresa's "guardian," her husband, has fathered a child out of wedlock, and the attorney representing the husband has been paid nearly the entirety of a trust fund established to care for Theresa from the proceeds of her medical malpractice case. ACLA will file an amicus brief in the Florida Supreme Court if the court accepts th e case.