Unless you have been in a courtroom and been cross-examined by a tough litigator, you have no idea what Madam Justice Lori Douglas’ accuser, Alex Chapman, is putting up with.
What is puzzling, however, is the commentary from media pundits who seem ticked off because Mr. Chapman is fighting back and who, in my view, are misinterpreting the significance of the questions and answers flowing from Judge Douglas’ counsel’s cross examination.
Judge Douglas’ counsel, Sheila Block’s apparent “gotcha” moment came as she suggested to Mr. Chapman that he had taken up his neighbor’s offer to have sex with his wife for $500.00 a week, allegations Ms. Block made based on her review of Mr. Chapman’s diary.
Mr. Chapman denied the allegations saying that what his neighbor wanted was for him to teach his wife computer skills. Mr. Chapman maintained that Ms. Block’s allegations were incorrect and that she could call his neighbors as witnesses, if she really desired the truth.
My question is who cares and how does this advance Judge Douglas’ case?
Lawyer Sheila Block has already produced convincing evidence that Alex Chapman is willing to lie when he needs to. He admitted to her that despite his previous claims, he did not have a degree in computer science. He also admitted that he did have access to money to retain a lawyer, when earlier he said he did not, and also, that he was not accurate when he suggested he had been fired from his job because of the media fall-out after going public about Judge Douglas and her husband, lawyer Jack King.
The real issue between Mr. Chapman and Judge Douglas is whether Judge Douglas knowingly participated in her husband’s seduction scenario. Did she touch Chapman’s arm when her husband arranged for them to meet with Chapman for a drink? The Judge says she did not. I can’t imagine how this “controversy” will significantly impact the issues before the Judicial Council.
Presumably, they will believe Judge Douglas and not Alex Chapman, but how does that really assist the Judge to rebut allegations that she knowingly engaged in a plan to involve Alex Chapman in her private life?
Her counsel also pounced on an even less relevant line of questioning, accusing Mr. Chapman of violently abusing his former wife during their marriage. Mr. Chapman’s retaliatory retort was that he was not there to debate his divorce. No, he wasn’t, but it’s not unusual for presiding judges to listen to reams of evidence that make not a whit of difference at the end of the day.
I guess her counsel’s theory is that if she can make Mr. Chapman out to be a twisted sex addict who lies, beats his wife, and is a vexatious litigant, the Judicial Council will welcome Judge Douglas back to the bench with open arms.
In my view, none of the evidence elicited by Ms. Block adds anything to Douglas’ defence to the main allegations, namely, did she make a change in her diary to hide the truth about Chapman?; did Judge Douglas omit to advise the judicial committee that vetted her application for judgeship of her nude internet photos?; and can she carry on her judicial duties with the integrity expected of judges while the internet reveals all?
Another typical day in court… I wonder when they’ll start dealing with evidence that really matters.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang