Are you sick and tired of watching people who act on fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and/or defamation, getting arrested and ending up in jail? I know I am.
To simplify, hereinafter, "fake news" refers to "fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and/or defamation."
Have you had enough of learning about children who were killed, police officers committing suicide, and scores of individuals, including judges, being defamed, trolled, harassed, and needing to take security precautions because people believe fake news and act on it? I know I’ve had enough.
Maybe some of this fake news has happened to you or to someone you know.
If you’re sick and tired of any of this than join me as I show you How to Legal, so you can be a part of the solution to this fake news crisis before it becomes even more dangerous out there in the real world.
What’s How to Legal?
How to Legal is about using the good side of the Internet to combat the dark side. It’s about becoming informed, should you choose to become informed.
It’s about knowing where to look so you can verify facts, news and information about the justice system so you won’t be duped or led astray by fake news, bad actors, oath breaking lawyers, or judges, or by politicians who will say anything to feed their voter base even if they know it’s BS. This has happened on both sides of the political aisle.
Do YOU want to live your life freaked out, enraged over BS, or possibly get sued for defamation, or end up in prison or dead because of fake news? Pause.
I didn’t think so…. Are you in?
I hope so because I’ll be pointing out some open source legal resources that I came across while I was learning How to Legal, as a pro se (self represented) defamation, false light plaintiff.
These are legal resources that anyone, non-lawyers, can use to learn about the justice system and different cases in this hyper politicized era. If you know where to look it will help you distinguish fake news about the justice system with proper judicial process.
How to Legal demonstrates this by following court cases with judges who are faithfully and impartially discharging their duties under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
By learning from the judges who follow their oaths will also help to identity the judges who don’t, like we saw among the oath breaking, law breaking judges in the recent Reuters and Wall Street Journal investigations.
See: Michael Berens, and John Shiffman, “Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws or oaths remained on the bench“; see also, James V. Grimaldi, Coulter Jones and Joe Palazzolo, “131 Federal Judges Broke the Law by Hearing Cases Where They Had a Financial Interest,” Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2021.
It’s a win, win for everyone who respects the rule of law and cares about the truth, right?
As such, let’s take a look at some judicial oaths. Again, the oaths are good to know because they are like benchmarks between proper and improper judicial proceedings. Judges who adhere to their oaths conduct proper judicial proceedings and due justice can be served — whether you like or dislike the outcome of the case. It’s that simple.
According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute — an excellent legal resource anyone can use, following is the oath or affirmation that “each justice or judge of the United States shall take …before performing the duties of his[/her] office”:
28 U.S. Code § 453 – Oaths of justices and judges
“I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute
You can find the Constitutional oath below at the United States Supreme Court’s website with some history of the oaths.
5 U. S. C. § 3331 taken by all Federal employees, except the President.
“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”United States Supreme Court, Oaths of Office
How to Legal will also show you how easy it is to translate legalese. It’s easy because of the good side of the Internet. You can use How to Legal as a go-to guide, and the open source legal tools (the good side of the Internet) to find out what is true or false about a case and the justice system.
For me, I want to do what I can do to make the Internet a safer and a more honest place for everyone.
I don’t want to see anyone else harmed by fake news and that includes you and your children.
See: QAnon’s Deadly Price: Church-loving surf instructor Matthew Taylor Coleman fell into online conspiracy theories, then allegedly admitted to killing his kids to save the world. How did no one see it coming? ” Kevin T. Dugan, Rolling Stone Magazine, October 9, 2021.
The only rule about How to Legal is to pace yourself. Take lots of breaks.
There’s a reason why lawyers spend years in law school. You’re not going to learn everything over night and there’s always something else to learn. But by starting to learn you’ll know where to go to verify facts and proper judicial procedures so we don’t have a repeat of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capital.
It’s horrific. Over 600 people in 40 States were arrested because they believed, in part, fake news that was disseminated by lawyers, officers of the court, who broke the Model Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys.
As such, it’s a really good idea to read the Model Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys, officers of the court, so you won’t be deceived or duped by lawyers who break them.
Don't be duped by fake news. If I can read the rules governing attorneys you can too.
I’m not a lawyer and I’ve read the Model Rules of Professional Conduct a bunch of times. You can read them too thanks to the good side of the Internet.
What’s an Officer of the Court?
According to Nolo, another excellent, credible legal resource anyone can use (the good side of the Internet), officers of the court are all the people listed below:
Officer of the Court:
Any person who has an obligation to promote justice and uphold the law, including judges, clerks, court personnel, police officers, and attorneys (who must be truthful in court and obey court rules).Nolo
Thus, in an upcoming How to Legal I’m going to show you where you can find all the rules.
In addition, by learning How to Legal will also give you the confidence, respect and an appreciation for the ethical judges, who live by their oaths; who faithfully apply the laws, and stand firm against corruption. These are the judges who are preserving the integrity of the legal system and democracy. The same applies to all ethical officers of the court.
We here at How to Legal (it’s just me, actually) respect, appreciate and admire the judges who live by their oaths and who follow the canons and rules. I don’t want to see ethical judges or anyone else for that matter harmed by fake news and defamation—or harmed from the fallout created by the oath breaking judges‘ judicial misconduct.
So we How to Legal.
In this era of tweets, postings, salacious headlines, and red meat soundbites, I will break down How to Legal into installments and categories to make it as easy as possible for you to be able to scroll down to whatever it is you’re looking for, skip the rest, bookmark How to Legal, and you come back later.
This way you won’t feel overwhelmed, burn out, and give up. Learn as you go. Learn as you need to know. Take lots of breaks.
Again, do you want to live a life freaked out over BS, or end up sued for defamation, in jail or dead over fake news? Pause.
Periodically, I’ll be inserting musical interludes to ensure that you take breaks. Learning How to Legal can be intense and draining. You have to be good to yourself, your mental and physical health, especially in these changing times. What’s better than taking a music break, stretching, dancing, moving around after sitting in front of your computer for a while?
So are you going to take back your power, think for yourself, invest in yourself, and be a part of a solution to the fake news crisis so we can focus on fixing real problems? It’s up to you.
Please decide what you want to do and take this quick survey so I can better understand your goals. Thanks.
If you decide to come back to How to Legal, next we’ll look at the real problems facing the justice system and real, peaceful solutions, so you won’t be duped by any fake problems, then we’ll move on to where you can find the justice system’s rules.
So for my music pick, it’s Men without Hats, “It’s the Safety Dance.” (Men without Hats’ official website) What’s your music pic?
Legal Disclaimer +
None of the information I publish on this website is legal advice. This information is for educational purposes, and a public service to help combat fake news. That may include some of the readers here. I don’t know. You know your story.
If you need legal advice, please consult with a licensed professional in your area.
If you are stuck in a media echo-chamber and need help breaking out, or know someone who is, check out The Break Free from Media Echo-Chambers 30 Day Challenge.
There are problems on both sides of the political aisle and real problems that need to be fixed. Acting on fake news just creates more problems that need to be fixed.
If you would like to show support for my efforts in making the Internet a safe and more honest place, you may send donations here. Thank you. If you are stressed out by fake news, real news, or for any reason you might want to check out Stuff for Stress. Here’s some merch too.
If you see any typos or mistakes kindly send me an email so I can fix it. No text messages please. Thanks.
* This installment of How to Legal was updated to include the Wall Street Journal investigation and latest horrific Qanon related arrest.