Posted by parhad (220.127.116.11) on October 05, 2001 at 12:33:43:
I realize that to most people, and forums and Castrators...this whole lawsuit business is about me making money by suing Assyrians...where I can't seem to get it by selling sculpture. But then most Assyrians are mistaken for A-rabs and can't even seem to be disliked for who they actually are.
I never should have settled with John...and I wont this time. Fortunately the lawyers will not take this case on contingency but expect to be paid up front. That's good for the reason that when the offers to settle start flying, there wont be any pressure from them to settle...as they'd get a percntage...instead they'll be all for going on to trial cause that's the ONLY way they'll make more money. To actually file a suit with the court and have a trial date set, doesn't cost that much(the other side can play delaying tactics once or twice to buy time, but beyond that they'll have to appear eventually...I'm in no hurry)...it's the courtroom process that eats up the clock and money.
But I'm not asking the lawyers to come to court with me. I'll get their legal advice, precedent, chapter and verse etc...you can even get para-legals to research the Law and find similar cases,,,,though where they'll get a match for this case I don't know.
Once you know the case Law and precedents...and there are lots of them for all sorts of breaches of contract, conspiracy, loss of income, boycotts and frauds of all sorts...what remains is a basic knowledge of the procedure, how you address the court, rules of evidence and cross examination etc. Beyond that it depends on your strategy and wits, the ability to think on your feet, shift course, seize on comments dropped in court, recognize contradictions...LEAD people into contradictions....review the court testimony from the previous day or hour seeking a slip here a goof there. There are good books about this blood and guts part of presenting a case...and I've got the time to study them.
But really, I'm not the one on the hotseat here...what did I do to be treated this way? Jackie may have told the general manager of the Doubletree that I was the trouble maker in Chicago etc. But I've spoken with the Chicago Hilton security people and they remember...and besides Alladin Khamis knows, so does William Youmarran...so does Jackie for that matter...these people will not perjure themselves no matter what they've been used to lying about to us out here...court is very different.
You see, it's always been a secret desire of mine to be a lawyer. That's why I worked with the Public Defenders for three years in Seattle, in order to see if Law School was for me...it wasn't. I know my way around criminal court at least and have already had to present written material etc...this is Tort law, but I'm a quick study.
I will be the one to examine witnesses and the defendents....Jackie, Atour, Alphonse, Alladin Khamis etc. Those whom I don't need out here in San Hose, I can get depositions from...that's legal testimony given under oath and just as enforceable. The others will need lawyers of their own, unless they want to share expenses...but I have a feeling each is going to cut and run from the others. "Unity" wont last long no matter how unified they appear now.
I don't care if I don't get a penny out of it, though I imagine there will be an award. The most important thing here is hauling these people to a place where they will feel less cocksure about saying and doing the kinds of things they have been to us and about us all these years. I don't mean Atour personally, but certainly our organizations have behaved in the last twenty years as if they were a law unto themselves...engaging in all sorts of dubious, unfair and illegal acts as if they were above the Law. What they have been is beneath contempt, and the anonymity this bought for them, their increasing irrelevance to our community and its needs...the loss of interest in anything but dancing and drinking and issuing invitations to foreign heads of State and meeting with undersecretaries of undersecretaries of this or that...have sufficed for "action on our behalf", and allowed them a free hand and the mistaken notion that they represent us at all...or stand for any meaningful policy where our manifest and various needs are concerned.
To that end it will be a duty and a pleasure to ask them questions, review their Books and policies over the last several years in a setting where they will be observed by professionals who have seen it all...not yet, and where there is no good or legal excuse NOT to answer a question and where you don't want to be vague or lie outright.
By framing the complaint as wide as possible, we get the opportunity to probe and ask relevant questions. I believe there was indeed a conspiracy between Sargon Lewie, John Nimrod, Carlo Ganjeh, Jackie Bejan, Alphonse Odishoo, Alladin Khamis, Willima Youmarran and unfortunately my good friend Atour Golani, to ruin my reputation by spreading rumor but mostly by blocking and frustrating my efforts to install public monuments reflecting our Assyrian Heritage generally, and specifically to damage my ability to continue making Assyrian sculpure as a way of both supporting my family and instilling pride and raising interest and therefore expectations in our community...leading our younger generations to take an active part in guiding our wanning Heritage. It will not be difficult at all to establish this. And this will be where an American audience, one that knows what Art means and also what it costs will be stunned to learn that I've done this at or below cost...whereas my own people have been accusing me of profiting handsomely etc. This exposure is JUST the tonic for what ails us, for the young professional Assyrians I want to reach are not impressed or inspired by the Jackies and Alladins and Nimrods...but rather by these small first steps I've tried to take, and which it will not be hard to show these others conspired to ruin for no good or plausible reason except to
have their way"...":maintain control" AND most important and damning of all, drive away anyone who seeks a change through whatever unjust and illegal method possible...ways in which they NEVER dreamed they would ever have to testify to. By the way spouses who were privy to information can also be called...and I know of ONE male spouse who's gonna be pissed as hell!!!
Once the complaint is framed this way, it becomes possible to call many people to testify in order to recreate the steps by which this has taken place, and that means delving far beyond the contract or convention in question.
After all...what can they actually offer in their defense to explain why they have behaved as they have towards the one sculptor we have ( I wonder why) who has done this much for our Heritage? The fact that they were afraid, or angered, or just plain resentful, will not suffice. If you don't like a sculptor, you don't buy his work...you don't donate money to him for monuments, you don't allow him to show sculpture for years at your conventions, and you don't own thousands of dollars worth of his sculpture which you display proudly in your homes...and you don't work "with" him to install his monument, then turn on him when it doesn't work and take it out on HIM!
My suit is partly against the AANF. How will they explain it as NOT a conspiracy when they had Rabel Shmoel's painting summarily removed because he used the color purple? Will Atour, as the president now, wish to explain what policy, what objective the AANF has in place to wound a young Assyrian artist in his OWN home town? Will this not appear to be part of pattern to stifle dissent, not to mention creativity? Is there a more obvious sign that these people haven't the faintest idea of where they live and what constitutes fair play in this country...or how we detest censorship and for such flimsy reasons as" the color purple is ZOWAA's color". Even if they were justified in doing so because it was THEIR convention, still it cats them in an unfavorable light and shows what kinds of things they resort to in order to maintain control.
You have to remember that the AANF is not a local club, one of several etc. It's own charter declares as its very reason for existance...and I'll give a brief history of its noble beginning and how it's been highjacked by thugs and brutes since then...that it must strive to strengthen and promote Assyrian Heritage...to improve the lives of Asyrians both here and abroad. How does this square with removing rabel's painting? How does this jibe with stopping me from circulating a petition, something the Constitution almost sanctifies, to install a second monument honoring Assyrians worldwide....how does it sit with the court when they learn that I was stopped from raising funds for a third monument, while other artists who were selling to profit themselves (and us of course)...were allowed to carry on business? How do you justify being the sponsoring fiscal agency for a project and also shutting down the one chance we have of reaching the greatest number of people we can at annual conventions...and for TWO years in a row???
They feel justified now, now when there is no one to cross examine them...cross examine them as I will...as they've been able to avoid everywhere else...but which they wont be able to avoid in court...under oath...with a courtroom full of observers, and maybe the media as well.
It will come, it will come.
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