The Curious Case of Fred Leatherman

I’ve been posting for a little bit over at The Frederick Leatherman Blog about the George Zimmerman case. Debate is good for the mind and, except for my one “devoted” commenter, I don’t have people to debate here. Mr. Leatherman is a former defense attorney who specialized in criminal law and practiced in Washington State. Mr. Leatherman is one of the few lawyers, that I’m aware of, that not only believes the evidence against Mr. Zimmerman is sufficient to get a conviction, but that it would be easy for him to do so, if he were prosecuting the case. Obviously, I disagree and I’ve debated several people, including Mr. Leatherman, over there in this regard. Recently, Mr. Leatherman banned me from being able to comment on his site anymore. First, let me say that I have no problem with Mr. Leatherman exercising his right to ban whomever he wishes. It is his blog and he, alone, decides who stays and who goes. With that said, Mr. Leatherman setup a few guidelines (prior to me ever commenting there) for people to follow to avoid being banned after his site started receiving more attention:

You are welcome to stay and discuss the case, so long as you engage in an evidence-based discussion and refrain from personally attacking people with whom you disagree.

If you cannot abide by those two simple rules, go someplace else or start your own blog.

If you remain and break those rules, I will ban you.

These guidelines are easy enough to follow, but there are many examples of those that typically agree with Mr. Leatherman’s viewpoints, and vice versa, that have violated the guidelines with no repercussions. Here is one such example:

As I said, it is his choice, alone, who stays and who goes, but if one does not enforce rules/guidelines uniformly, why even have them? Suffice to say, I never came close to reaching the level of vitriol that had been directed against me. With that background, here is the discussion that got me banned (with some additional commentary interspersed):

Prior to my reply, I had been made aware of a case Mr. Leatherman handled in the 90’s, which will be brought up in subsequent posts. However, I alluded to circumstances Mr. Leatherman found himself in in that case in this next reply.

To reiterate what I said in this last post, if one wants to use the word “lies” about some of Zimmerman’s claims, that is their prerogative. It would probably be more appropriate to use the word “inconsistencies,” but I can understand painting his tales with a more damning brush. Regardless of what one calls them, however, they are not an admission of guilt. An admission of guilt is very specifically defined as “a statement by someone accused of a crime that he/she committed the offense.” Lying about circumstances surrounding the crime he is accused of is clearly not an admission of guilt.

Already we get into the personal insults, with Mr. Leatherman implying that I lack “a functioning brain cell.” Instead of stooping to that level, I ignored that attack and focused on the point of his comment. The point is that he is looking at this case, in my opinion, with the blinders a prosecutor might have. This is strange territory considering his former career focus. It is important to note that, with my next post, I began to construct an argument, with the knowledge of the case from the 90’s I mentioned already,  that would require one of two things to occur: 1) Leatherman would see that there is merit to seeing Zimmerman’s case as an uphill battle for the prosecution, as many other legal scholars have, or 2) Leatherman would further indicate his bias in this case. Also note, that neither of those scenarios requires that Mr. Leatherman change his mind, only approach the evidence with a different perspective if it were the first scenario.

This reply, in my opinion, shows that Mr. Leatherman has a bias and does not see any merit in an opposing view. Further debate with these types of individuals is typically futile, except for illustrative purposes for those that happen to read the comments. There were two interesting parts of this reply that I noticed. One is that Mr. Leatherman says that Zimmerman “committed the crime.” This, again, goes to why I posted the John Adams’ quote about the presumption of innocence. I would expect a defense attorney to hold to that principle and not make such pronouncements prior to a conviction. The second part that is interesting is Mr. Leatherman’s description that “the case is unwinnable.” Again, I had been studying a case that Mr. Leatherman worked on and that specific description had been used in that case, as well. As such, I found it relevant because of the outcome of that case and Mr. Leatherman’s revelations, years later, about how he handled that case.

Again he decided to personally insult. As it stands, circumstantial evidence is very powerful, but it loses its power when there is so much exculpatory evidence for the Defendant.

Admittedly, I was getting a little frustrated with Mr. Leatherman. One, you would think, would typically admit that they are fallible and that perhaps their judgement is not absolute. With that, I asked the very pointed question above “were you ever so confident of someone’s guilt that you went for the easy plea deal instead of doing your job?” I suspected this question would antagonize Mr. Leatherman, but I was still hoping for an acknowledgement that he could be wrong. Instead, this was the reply:

At this point, I’d seen enough from Mr. Leatherman and I decided to post excerpts from an affidavit he submitted about his actions on that case from the 90’s.  This was a longer post and my screen capture couldn’t get it all in one shot, so it is split into two screen captures. I overlapped the captures so that everyone can see that this was a continuous post and I didn’t leave anything out.

Admittedly, I should have clarified why I posted that the Supreme Court ordered a new trial. I was focused on the more relevant statements, in my opinion, by Mr. Leatherman and how they mirrored his statements regarding Mr. Zimmerman’s case and how that affected his handling of that case. Specifically, I found it interesting that Mr. Leatherman considered Mr. Stenson’s case “unwinnable,” a term he uses for Zimmerman’s case, and, as he said, the result was that he “may have failed to recognize and develop exculpatory evidence.”

Obviously using the affidavit antagonized Mr. Leatherman, but they are his words and he submitted them for a court to consider.

The court did reverse the case and order a new trial based on prosecutorial and police misconduct as Mr. Leatherman noted. The court also specifically stated that had Mr. Stenson’s counsel been given information that could have been used in a cross-examination, the result may have been different. Regardless of this, it changes nothing about Mr. Leatherman’s own words in describing how he handled that case. It changes nothing about Mr. Leatherman’s summation that he “would do it differently.” The fact that he wrote this affidavit, prior to the new evidence coming out, only cements the opinion that he would, and should, have acted differently. Mr. Stenson, himself, has done some research of his own in order to provide his opinion of Mr. Leatherman and there are virtually no positive words that he has to say about him. For those really interested you can check out his blog, here. In bringing up Mr. Stenson’s case, I am not hitching my wagon to his innocence or guilt, only to the relevance, as I see it, in Mr. Leatherman’s actions then and now.

What are your thoughts? Was this an underhanded attack by me? Or, was it relevant to the discussion?

As a side note, the issue of whether I was trying to undermine Mr. Leatherman’s credibility came up directly after this exchange. Credibility is a funny thing, in that people often accuse others of trying to undermine it, when, in many cases, we are responsible for our own credibility issues.


About justincaselawgic

I could go into my background, but none of that really matters. I like to put out factual analysis, using multiple citations for the basis of the analysis. Dissent is expected and encouraged. Debate is expected and encouraged.
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138 Responses to The Curious Case of Fred Leatherman

  1. Vess18 says:

    I dont think you are guilty of an underhanded attack at all. You understood that the things he was saying were ridiculous and counter intuitive for a defense attorney and decided to do a little digging. I think you gave him more than enough chances to explain himself or to bring up any lessons that he learned from other cases. You chose to finally resort to bringing his own words into the equation to see if he world finally understand the folly of his ways. Lying is now a signed sealed and delivered confession? Seriously? It’s a good thing that you didn’t bring up his teaching experience at an unaccredited law school cuz that would be the final nail in the coffin. Awesome argument, you have an eye for flawed logic, inaccuracies and he should have watched his words to you more carefully.

  2. stormreaper says:

    Leatherman is a “curious case” indeed. All you need to know about him in re: to Zimmerman can be found here: Any attorney worth a damn, presumes innocence and at least waits until the bulk of the evidence has been released through discovery before forming definitive conclusions about a case. In his very first post on the matter, Leatherman confidently pronounced Zimmerman guilty of murder before a prosecutor had even decided whether to charge him. For this, and other reasons, he discredited himself re: the Zimmerman case on day one.

    He does not even make an effort to appear objective in the case, has an obvious propensity towards leaping to conclusions, and an unwillingness to alter those conclusions in the face of clear, contradicting evidence. He fancies himself a forensic expert, and often presents his own personal, pseudo-scientific speculation as forensic findings. His findings are, predictably, in the form of leaping conclusions based on ambiguous or even contradictory set of facts. He simply rejects expert findings he doesn’t agree with.

    And when the evidence just doesn’t match up, he turns to conspiracy theories involving Zimmerman’s friends or family, and even some of the witnesses in the case. His posts and comments regularly include personal attacks, name-calling, and over-the-top, hyperemotional, anti-Zimmerman rhetoric. (Anyone who thinks Zimmerman may have acted in self-defense is a “racist”. Anyone who contributed to his defense is “stupid”. Etc.) In other words, he is in general, a typical anti-Zimmerman zealot. The only thing that distinguishes him from the rest is that he can plausibly claim to be a former attorney and former professor.

    If Leatherman is going to support his arguments and findings by referring to his credentials as a former attorney and professor (and he often does), then they become fair points for debate. Most importantly, Leatherman et al., as anyone who has posted there can tell you, is very forthcoming with personal attacks. His condescension and personal statements began far before you even entertained the notion of giving back. There is enormous irony in his statement “You do not hold up under pressure or defend your arguments very well.” You provide evidence to do exactly that, and he has a temper tantrum.

    I had to laugh at the suggestion that your post was part of some sinister conspiracy to discredit him. Why? His influence is limited to preaching to a choir of like-minded sycophants. His pseudo-scientific forensic findings and his pseudo-legalistic analyses give them much needed hope that the object of their hatred will surely be found guilty. In return, they lavish praise upon him and call him “professor” (though he only had a short stint teaching at, a for-profit, unaccredited law school that went out of business after four years. The “professor” fits him though- especially if you add “nutty” in front of it.). He has even added a link to receive donations from his readers, who have the privilege of reading his keen insights.

    My comments have been hard on Mr. Leatherman. But he has been 100-fold harder on a person that, by most appearances, is undeserving of the vitriol spewed against him. Leatherman has lent a form of credibility to this hatred by virtue of his former profession. He has called Zimmerman “evil”, and has made (or allowed) a number of comments that are quite disparaging to not only Zimmerman, but to his friends and family, who had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to Trayvon. Like a lot of radical leftists, he believes his heart is in the right place. But, like all radicals, he goes too far. I can’t say I have a lot of respect for the man. He is an absolute hypocrite.

    • Thanks for the first link you provided. I really hadn’t looked into when Leatherman formed his opinion on the Zimmerman case and didn’t know about the Stenson case until another poster brought it up in another forum. When I read Stenson’s words, I took them with a grain of salt. This guy was convicted and must feel some animus for his defense lawyer, especially considering their rocky relationship. Then, I read Leatherman’s affidavit, and corroborated some details from Stenson’s detailed description. His description is still tainted, in my opinion, but it has, at least some, validity, it appears.

      The most relevant issue for me, as it relates to Zimmerman, is the idea that Zimmerman’s case is “unwinnable.” It is that idea that, I believe, clouds Mr. Leatherman’s analysis of Zimmerman’s case. It is also, perhaps, why he thinks that others are delusional, and ascribes some reason for that delusion, for thinking Zimmerman may be innocent or that the State’s case lacks evidence.

      • stormreaper says:

        I think Leatherman’s analysis of the Zimmerman case, like many convinced of his guilt, is heavily influenced by his personal feelings, as well as his political leanings. He strongly identifies with a lot of the thinking/ideology of those on the far left.

        They are naturally inclined to side with the African American party almost out of a sense of duty, are more likely to suspect racial profiling on the part of Zimmerman, racial bias on the part of the police, racial bias on the part of the prosecutors, etc.

        They also have a tendency to see the government (in this case, police) as the sole solution to problems, even on the neighborhood level. They are far less likely to understand why a citizen would take it upon themselves to try to keep an eye on a suspicious person- or why they would possess, much less carry, a firearm.

        Like many convinced of GZ’s guilt, I believe the initial media narrative fit right into Mr. Leatherman’s personal and political proclivities, and he just couldn’t help himself. (In the same sense that some on the far right have naturally taken Zimmerman’s side.)

        The first enormous irony being that George Zimmerman is a self-identifying hispanic, Democrat and Obama supporter, and far, far more closely aligned politically and personally with the professor and his other persecutors than his defenders.

        The second enormous irony being, of course, that George Zimmerman is perhaps one of the *least* racist one could find. He went into business with a black friend, protested on behalf of a homeless black man, and mentors black children. It doesn’t get much more ironic.

  3. KA says:

    You attempted to disparage a well known and well respected defense attorney. You published something you did not understand and somehow felt the need to further rub salt into the topic by getting validation from those that agree with you here.

    You understand that it is standard practice and the best result for that client for that type of affidavit to be written. This would mean that Prof Leatherman put his own practice and pride on hold to assist this defendant in getting a new trial. Your misunderstanding of that is an indication of your limited knowledge in the practice of criminal law.

    His issue with representing Zimmerman does not have to do with his guilt or innocence, it has to do with the fact that GZ is a willfully ignorant defendant that stop talking when it is in his and his case’s best interest. He has apparently lied to his counsel, hid funds, and pushed for unwise TV interviews that will be used against him now. Even O’Mara admitted that they would “deal with any damage” from it. You did not understand what Fred Leatherman was saying about that topic and further misrepresented that comment above in your blog post.

    Several other attorneys have also expressed concern about O’Mara continuing in his role as Zimmerman’s lead attorney after it was obvious that the motion he filed for bail was done without his knowledge of significant financial resources held by the Zimmerman’s. In a household that barely made ends meet and suffered years of financial trouble and lawsuits, do you honestly believe that they “forgot” to tell O’Mara about over $100,000 dollars in their bank accounts? O’Mara offered to represent pro bono. It is obvious he had no gratitude nor empathy or that. Many attorneys would have not stuck around after that.

    In closing, you would still be posting your contrary position and debating at the Fred Leatherman site if you had not published something you obviously had little understanding of in an effort to shine an inaccurate, incompetent light on Prof Leatherman in order to win an argument. If you think you took the “high ground”, you have yet another area of deficit to work on.

    • Actually, I attempted to get Leatherman to see merit in the opposing argument. That attempt failed and meant there was really only one other avenue left. It’s all right there in the OP. My question, here, I expected would be met with some push-back. There aren’t many people that comment here, but you can see that the most vocal disagree with me, albeit on previous topics, and I welcome that.

      I also understand, full well, what an affidavit is supposed to represent. It is supposed to be a sworn statement of fact. I do know that there are lawyers that use affidavits of this nature in an attempt to help a client, former or not, to get a new trial, regardless of their opinion on the “facts” they offer. I attributed a higher level of integrity to Mr. Leatherman than those characters originally. It seems you think that was a misplaced judgement. That is the only misunderstanding you may attribute to me in this matter. Considering you feel comfortable speaking on Mr. Leatherman’s behalf, perhaps you are more “in-the-know” than I am.

      Bringing up O’Mara is misplaced here. I’ve not discussed O’Mara’s role with Mr. Leatherman, nor have I really discussed the notion that Zimmerman should have kept his mouth shut, which, I agree with Leatherman, he should have.

      Lastly, as I said, you seem comfortable speaking on Mr. Leatherman’s behalf, but I’m going by his words. He said he suspected I was something I am not, “a troll”. This presumes that he was looking for a reason to ban me. Incidentally, a troll “is someone who posts inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.” My last exchange with him is the only such instance that could be argued to fit that description. Why he suspected it previously is beyond me, considering the numerous occasions where it would have been perfectly reasonable to respond to attacks in an “in-kind” fashion.

    • stormreaper says:

      “You understand that it is standard practice and the best result for that client for that type of affidavit to be written. This would mean that Prof Leatherman put his own practice and pride on hold to assist this defendant in getting a new trial.”
      — This is true. Leatherman does deserve some credit- as it relates to his *intentions* as a human being. He believes he is acting for what is right. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for someone as obstinate as he to make the admissions he did.

      Having said that, I believe the affidavit was accurate. Based on the other things Stetson has written- as well as the judges in their rulings- it seems clear to me that Leatherman’s defense of the man was less than stellar. Of course, that’s not the point.

      The point is.. WHY was it less than stellar? And the reason for this appears to be that Mr. Leatherman jumped to conclusions about the guilt of his client and refused to acknowledge the possibility he was innocent. He has done the same thing in the Zimmerman case.

      “His issue with representing Zimmerman does not have to do with his guilt or innocence, it has to do with the fact that GZ is a willfully ignorant defendant that stop talking when it is in his and his case’s best interest.”
      Doesn’t have to do with his guilt or innocence? Really? Then why did Leatherman say “Yes, I would have difficulty, because he committed the crime…”? The idea that Leatherman would tell Zimmerman his case was “unwinnable” and to go for a plea agreement is a cringe-worthy statement, and completely undermines his credibility as a former defense attorney.

  4. hoffstyle71 says:

    Frederick Leatherman [snip] claims he blew the whistle on Barkley School of Law but I am willing to bet you Thomas L. Osborne would have something to say about that (you know, since he was the one who took the school to court). He blushed and was aww shucked when his followers congratulated HIM on Stensons conviction being overturned, when he obviously did not contribute. [snip] how did this [snip] 30 year defender of truth and justice stand idly by and let his own wife get “railroaded” with an 8 year prison sentence is beyond me.


    Moderator: This comment has been edited because it goes beyond the boundaries I would like to keep discourse within for this blog. If this is not acceptable, I can delete it.

  5. hoffstyle71 says:

    Perfectly understandable. Leathermans record speaks for itself. I apologize as I am not restrained from using tact as I have no professional interest in Fred, merely an observer, so I may have crossed the line. Those not blinded by Fred love can find out all of this on their own.

  6. KA says:

    Yes, “he must have taught at an unaccredited law school” with the exception he taught at University of WA in the 1990s, was involved in starting with Innocence Project at the UW Law School and is professionally published.

    I do not need to speak for him, I just need to point out your inconsistencies and misrepresentations. Some of us are emphatic about doing our homework before posting a blog.

    • KA,

      Please also be emphatic about doing your homework when it comes to replying. Your comment doesn’t address any person or persons. I have not gone down the path of Mr. Leatherman’s professorship on this OP, as it is not relevant to the OP, yet you’ve replied to the OP. There are reply links on each of the comments, so you can address a specific poster.

    • stormreaper says:

      I’m the one who made the comment you’re referring to. His credentials as a professor are not of immense important to me. But to defend my assertion, here is an article written in the late 90’s:

      I found this article that shows this connection:
      “Yakima Herald-Republic
      July 11, 1998

      SEATTLE (AP) – Taking their cue from a project in New York, defense lawyers are mobilizing on behalf of 16 people who remain in prison for convictions in Wenatchee child-sex-abuse cases, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Friday.

      Frederick Leatherman, a Seattle lawyer, and Jackie McMurtie, a University of Washington law lecturer, organized Innocence Project Northwest… ”

      I was aware of the Innocence Project (which the professor should be commended for), which was indeed connected to the University of Washington. I don’t know whether his relationship with the University of Washington extended any further than this, but there is certainly no indication he ever held a professorship there.

      I could be mistaken, however, and you are welcome to demonstrate this.

    • stormreaper says:

      This is another article in 2000 that still doesn’t refer to Leatherman as a current or former professor at University of Washington:

      My point is that Mr. Leatherman didn’t spend a significant part of his career as a professor, to my knowledge, and so it normally wouldn’t be customary to call him that. That being said, especially in the context of his legal blog explaining legal concepts, I think it is fitting.

      Also, especially since I haven’t been a professor *any*where, his professor credentials (and his attorney credentials for that matter) blow mine out of the water. *That* being said, I think credentials are often overrated, (as Mr Leatherman has demonstrated in his analysis of the Zimmerman case.)

      I don’t want to be too hard on Professor Leatherman. As I say, I think he is a well-intentioned person. The most important part of the I just referenced is not the lack of reference to Mr. Leatherman as a professor, but the references to people that were freed, in part, due to his efforts.

      • storm,

        I came across something Leatherman posted elsewhere where he corrected someone who thought he suggested he was a professor for UW School of Law. I was going to leave this alone, but it seems harmless to simply re-quote Leatherman.

        “I did not say that I was a law professor at the University of Washington.”

        For those interested, I’m sure you can find where this was posted, but it is not really that important, except to show KA that, even when you are emphatic about doing your homework, you can still be wrong. Mr. Leatherman has recently proved that and I applaud him for doing so.

    • As am I (emphatic about doing homework). Fred Leatherman did not teach at the University of Washington. He says so himself. Leatherman [snip] represented white supremacists. Not once, but twice.

      Moderator: I left the bulk of your comment intact, but I edited out something that might take this in a direction I don’t want it to go.

      • I won’t ever judge a lawyer by the clients he represents. I am a firm believer in the 6th Amendment, which guarantees the right to a fair trial. Not always does a lawyer get to choose his/her clients, so it would be unfair to characterize Leatherman as agreeing with any particular philosophy of whomever he defended.

  7. ajamazin says:

    Grow a pair.

    Moderator: This is an off-topic attack and will not be tolerated in the future. It has served its purpose.

      • ajamazin says:

        So Justin,

        What’s the deal with:

        ““Devout Player Hater says:
        August 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm
        Justin, I initiated a background investigation into this Blog for Security purposes and as it turns out, you are in fact, [snip] ”

        This entire blog history has been made part of the investigative file and is being referred to the Florida and North Carolina Bar counsels for whatever action they deem necessary.”

        Who is Devout Player Hater and who is [snip]?

      • I have no idea who either of them are. Just like you and me, Devout remains anonymous. Devout did some sort of check and came up with a lawyer with the first name Justin. I don’t think he was located in North Carolina and I don’t know why that was brought up. I forget what all the information was in the first place, but suffice to say, if Devout wants to waste his time, it is his to waste, but I wasn’t going to be a party to it.

    • What’s odd about the supremacists is an email I read that describes him as a sandal wearing abolitionist. It’s almost as if there are two Fred Leatherman’s. There was a Fred Leatherman at all the same addresses as Fred and Rachel, but he would be 99. I can’t see an abolitionist representing members of a white supremacist group.

      • ajamazin says:

        Re-News It,

        “I can’t see an abolitionist representing members of a white supremacist group.”

        I can!

        “There was a Fred Leatherman at all the same addresses as Fred and Rachel, but he would be 99.”

        Few Americans realize the importance that others place on “pedigrees”.

        Family trees, records, and documents are meticulously maintained for a reason.


  8. bets says:

    I just reviewed the thread you’re referring to. I’ve deliberately tried to read various interpretations of the evidence. I didn’t read all of yours when I first went through the thread b/c I didn’t find your arguments to be convincing. You tended to keep beating the dead horse in too many instances. Further, you’re attack on the professor was uncalled for, imo.

  9. raiikun says:

    Just posted this on another thread about the same guy, but it’s germane so reposting it.

    Somehow this does not surprise me. With every post he makes about the Zimmerman case, I wonder more and more if he’s gone off the deep end.

    He’s operating from a presumption of guilt, and interprets everything from that view, no matter how much of a stretch he has to go to make it fit. From claiming that the encounter occurred where the body was despite several witnesses who say otherwise, to calling W6 a liar for his testimony that devastates the case against George.

    He’s claimed George was absolutely lying for ages in his claim that Martin spoke after the gunshot; he was absolutely sure there was no way that Martin spoke. Now, experts say otherwise, so he flips his stance to say that proves a depraved mind. The double standard there is obvious if you look.

    George had the same opinion that Fred originally had in regards to Trayvon’s ability to speak after a gunshot to the chest; and so thought his speaking meant he wasn’t wounded. But according to Fred, sharing the same opinion is proof of his depraved mind.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in regards to his absurdities regarding the case. So it really is little surprise to me that he has a history of absurdities before the case.

  10. raiikun says:

    And to add; he greatly exaggerates the inconsistencies in George’s story. The one you posted here (the “walking the same direction” one) that he gave is an easy one to explain for example. George had a tendency to get ahead of himself in trying to retell the events of that evening. He did say he got out of the car to find an address to Singleton, and repeated that the next day at the reenactment,

    But on the scene he remembered the part of the conversation with dispatch and said the dispatcher asked him if he was following and he said “yes.” And so after correcting himself in the reenactment, he stays consistent explaining that he was following until advised not to. He wasn’t trying to hide that he followed Trayvon to try and keep an eye on him before that point.

    But then during the 3 part interview with Singleton and Serino, Singleton accuses him of trying to hide that he got out of the car to follow by throwing his first statement that first day in his face, even though she heard him acknowledge the following at least twice since. They push that issue on George until he ends up being forced to defend a position he never was taking. It’s no wonder his memory got frazzled there.

    But since that doesn’t support Fred’s presumption of guilt that he’s had before the evidence ever was released, he just doesn’t bother with it.

    • I would chalk these up to inconsistencies, as well. They could be lies, but they could not be, also. The one big thing I agree with Leatherman on is that Zimmerman should not have started talking. Any inconsistency, no matter how small or irrelevant one thinks it is, or how innocent he knows he is, can be used against him. The more a person talks, the more there is to hang him with. Notice, Miranda requires law enforcement to say “anything you say can and will be used AGAINST you.” One gains nothing by talking to police.

      • raiikun says:

        Yep, that I totally agree with. George is going to give the prosecutor a great cross examination if he testifies, and O’Mara will have to do some damage control on the redirect.

        I don’t think it’ll be a fraction as bad as Fred will make it out to be though. Most of the inconsistencies are minor at best and not self serving at all, and the ones that could be the most damaging due to seeming self serving are easily explainable. People made fun of O’Mara for saying that the inconsistencies will be “explained away” when it’s time to; but that’s IMO a good way to put it.

        And then after the redirect, O’Mara will be able to follow up with the number of witnesses and evidence that corroborate George’s story.

      • It seems to me that the Prosecution has put a tremendous weight onto Dee Dee and once she falls, the case goes with her. Some within the group over there do a great job of dissecting every little detail, but they are lead astray, in my opinion, by thinking that much of what they discuss is relevant or admissible. Right now they’re determining “depraved mind” by actions after the alleged criminal act. Murder 2 requires that the act evinces a “depraved mind,” which requires actions during or prior to the act that resulted in Martin’s death provide evidence of a “depraved mind.” Getting on top of Martin after the gunshot may seem cruel to some, but it is not a part of the series of actions that resulted in Martin’s death, the gunshot did that.

      • nameofthepen says:

        justincaselawgic, you said, “One gains nothing by talking to police.”

        Ha! So true. Here’s two videos which I think are absolutely superb. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did/still occasionally do:

        “Don’t Talk to Cops, Part 1”

        “Don’t Talk to Cops, Part 2”

      • nameofthepen,

        I’ve seen these before, but thanks for posting them here. They are always great for refreshers and everyone should watch them.

      • nameofthepen says:

        justincaselawgic says: “ ‘anything you say can and will be used AGAINST you.’ One gains nothing by talking to police.”

        Yep. And many people (especially me, until recently), will confabulate in their minds the words WILL BE with MIGHT BE.

        Nope. WILL BE is what it is. Probably everyone has already seen this old video, “Don’t Talk to Cops”, but just in case, it’s a gem. The guy (Mr. James Duane, former defense att’y and now law prof) is funny, entertaining as heck, and will absolutely drill it into your brain by the end of the vid – Don’t talk to cops!:

        Moderator Edit: The Professor Duane video was posted previously here. (Or you can just scroll up)

        But…recently, I also watched this, by Masaad Ayoob. It doesn’t really trump the above video, but it does delineate a very limited, very precise litany one should memorize, and use in first contact with police, after a situation where one has been forced to use violence to protect themselves from a violent attack:

        I kinda wish George had seen the Masaad Ayoob video first…

      • Thanks again for the videos. I edited your post, because you had posted the Professor Duane video and its second part in a previous post, so I just linked to that post.

  11. nameofthepen says:

    Hello, justincaselawgic. 🙂

    I found this blog because on TheConservativeTreehouse, Stormreaper posted a link to it:

    Here, Stormreaper shows a link to LEATHERMAN’S 30 March 2012, “I already know he’s guilty!” blog:

    Also, Stormreaper shows a link to a little data about the very, er…questionable “college” where LEATHERMAN was a “professor”:

    I read that short Wiki article, and the brief, peculiar history of this “college”, which, in the 4 years it was alive, passed through 3 sets of controlling hands.

    Two years after being founded, it flunked its first bid for accreditation. Three months later, in November 2007, Osborne, shareholder, as well as their board chairman and attorney, resigned in what I assume, reading between the lines, was a situation I’d LOVE to have been a fly on the wall observing. He then filed a lawsuit against them.

    Three months later, in February 2008, the founding deans, Hendrick and Turner, resigned.

    In February, 2008, they appointed new deans.

    There was some sort of out-of-court settlement of the lawsuit., and new owners took over. In the settlement agreement, they agreed to assume all debts.

    One month later, in March 2008, “Dean Team #2” resigned. Also, the place was renamed, “Alben W. Barkley School of Law”.

    Six months after that, the new “owner” announced the place would be closing at the end of the year.

    I looked up the guy who ultimately ended up controlling the place. I had to lol. If this guy doesn’t remind me of an “ambulance chaser”, no one does. He’s an anesthesiologist who owns a bunch of (ahem) “pain clinics”:

    Now back to LEATHERMAN.

    1. I’m curious how a “good” lawyer, who had a practice in WA, ends up moving to Paducah, KY, to become involved in an unaccredited college being run out of a rental space in an Industrial park?

    2. What’s a “good” lawyer is doing with a PayPal button on his little minimalist blog?

    In summation, it seems to me like he threw his client, Darrold Stenson, under the bus. And, without blinking, later did the same thing to George Zimmerman, via the internet.

    Is LEATHERMAN still a practicing attorney?

    • nameofthepen,

      One of the main contributors at the conservative treehouse delves too much into speculation and conspiracy for my tastes. When challenged about the baseless viewpoints of this contributor, he takes to complaining that there is some ulterior motive other than disagreement. Sound familiar? There are some really good posts by very informed people over there, though. The conservative treehouse and Leatherman’s blog seem to be polar opposites. One might assume this is because Leatherman possesses a law degree and experience in the field, but that would be a false assumption. It is already well known where many legal analysts, well known lawyers and former Judges fall on this case and the majority, as much as I can see, of them do not espouse the same ideas found at Leatherman’s site. A good site that I like is TalkLeft. The local legal mind analyzing the Zimmerman case there is Jeralyn Merritt and she does a good job staying objective and not delving too much into speculation.

      Your questions are interesting, but I feel comfortable answering only one, since I know it is something Leatherman has covered previously. Leatherman is not a practicing attorney anymore. He said he stopped to teach and now writes and blogs. I don’t know the reasons.

      • ajamazin says:

        Leatherman is in his 70’s.
        It is not unusual that he would retire.

      • ajamazin,

        It is not uncommon for lawyers to retire from active practice as early as their late 50’s, so your conclusion is correct, but Leatherman is not in his 70’s. He is 65 and resigned from the bar at 57-58 years old.

      • nameofthepen says:

        Hello, justincaselawgic. Thanks for the reply. Nice to “meet you”. 🙂

        I found The Treehouse about 3 months ago, because DiwataMan put a link to it on one of his excellent YouTube videos re: the George Zimmerman fiasco. It’s the first blog with which I’ve ever been involved. And, now, yours is the second.

        I haven’t really sorted out the posting personalities yet. I mostly read just the GZ stuff, and occasionally browse the daily “Open Thread”. I’m full of admiration for the leading edge research, and the continual media-bias exposés they’ve done, and continue to do!

        Thanks for the link to TalkLeft, and the special mention of Jeralyn Merritt. I”ll be reading there now, too. Wow…that bio! Whew! 😀

        As for Leatherman, appreciate the response. I had heard another “reason” for his retreat from the practice of law, but seen no documentation, links, etc. to back it up. So it’s still stashed in my mind as, “Maybe. But also likely it’s just malicious gossip.”


      • nameofthepen,

        You’re welcome for the link. Ms. Merritt is very impressive and does a great job citing case law.

        I have an informed guess about Leatherman’s resignation and I’m 99% certain it is accurate, but it is ultimately irrelevant to this discussion.

      • stormreaper says:

        “One of the main contributors at the conservative treehouse delves too much into speculation and conspiracy for my tastes.”
        There are some posts and avenues of thought that I completely disagree with on CT. But there have been some that I have been extremely impressed by. (There is almost nothing I’ve read on Leatherman’s blog that I have been impressed by. Frankly, he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. From his very first post, to his latest post, the guy is a fanatical crackpot. His latest avenue of thought seems sad in its desperation.

        “A good site that I like is TalkLeft. The local legal mind analyzing the Zimmerman case there is Jeralyn Merritt and she does a good job staying objective and not delving too much into speculation.”
        Yes, hers is probably the very best. There is also some intelligent (sometimes) of the case (sometimes) over at the Straight Dope.

      • storm,

        There definitely has been some interesting developments brought about by some of the contributors over at the treehouse. I don’t want to take away from that.

    • stormreaper says:

      I read about the college. Leatherman actually writes quite a bit about it in one of his blogs under some name.

      I would have been very frustrated if I were Stenson and had to deal with Leatherman. And if Stenson is actually innocent? Oh man.. I would really despise him.

      I have read a lot of stuff on the Stenson case at this point, and am curious about discovering more details about it.

      • KA says:


        So, if you had a professional or personal conflict with the president of your company, would you want everyone to judge your character based on his recommendation? Attorneys are in a tough stop sometimes. I saw his version of the story and it seem reasonable for an attorney. In fact, you know that Fred Leatherman has a community of attorneys that follow him, I have seen a few comments from them that also say that his course of action is “business as usual”.

        When did we quit giving someone we disagree with the benefit of the doubt? It seems we are all back in grade school again telling the teacher on the playground when someone climbs the slide.

      • stormreaper says:

        Leatherman’s poor skills as an attorney have never been what bothered me about him. It’s been entirely about his anti-Zimmerman hate-mongering and his hypocrisy. If he got rid of those two traits, I wouldn’t have a negative thing to say about him.

    • KA says:


      If you have seen anything Leatherman has written or stated in postings or videos in the “blogsphere” you would know he is a very different type of attorney. In reading various things about him I can ascertain that is a minimalist in his lifestyle and has robustly embraced a full minimalist existence. He seems to believe in preserving the earth, in having little waste in this world, in alternative education, treating others fairly and equitably, and lastly, the restoration of the law and the constitution.

      It seems others have critiqued him for leaving law after 30 years and moving to KY to start the school, but maybe this is core to his beliefs. A school that teaches in real life application and is not cost prohibitive such as the others. Being accredited via regional accreditation and then also ABA accredited is no small task. The regional accreditation takes 100s of thousands of dollars and years of time. Simultaneously, getting accreditation from the ABA is much tougher still. The ABA has yet to approve a law school that follows nontraditional education models, on line classes, or project based education. I believe in his minimalist lifestyle he, most likely, had no need to keep an expensive bar membership as he was not going to be an attorney. That, I believe, is the reason he resigned. It would stay true to what I, or anyone else knows about him.

      I think that knowing what I have read on Fred Leatherman and his wife, they took this chance to make a change in the world they feel so passionately about. He wants to respect the earth, they live a life that does. I wish I was so passionate and dedicated to do that. It is weird that we judge someone for a choice that we are not required to make as well. It is their life and lifestyle and whether their priorities are different than mine or anyone else’s truly should be respected.

      I was formerly president of a technical standards body. My predecessor was a Yale MS graduate, top of his class. After being president for several years he began to study and connect with the minimalist communities. He had upper middle income parents and he had all the support he required to support himself. He decided to drive a bus to Central America to deliver wheelchairs and modify an engine to run on fast food grease traps. He lived in a communal arrangement with self supplied electricity and a community committed to 100% recycled waste. He resigned from the organization and the board subsequently chose me for the position.

      Most people in those communities are quite intelligent and highly educated, yet want to use their gifts for a higher calling. I believe the Leatherman’s to be similar to this. I can only stand back and respect as I wish I had that same passion. I do not care what things people on the blogs consider to be character flaws. If there were more people like the two of them, we would, most likely, not be in the position we are now.

      Somehow the Leatherman’s conviction has given several sites plenty of fodder to discredit him. I am not sure he cares. He stands by his choices, and I suspect, enjoys his new life.

      These expose’ type articles have got to stop. I am aghast at the cutting down of someone who went to very respectable law school, yet those that have education and a career that pale in comparison are the ones actively cutting him down for his professional accomplishments. That is called hypocrisy.

  12. ajamazin says:

    justincaselawgic says:

    “It is not uncommon for lawyers to retire from active practice as early as their late 50′s, so your conclusion is correct, but Leatherman is not in his 70′s. He is 65 and resigned from the bar at 57-58 years old.”


    Rachel is in her 70’s, IIRC.

    Pictures in Rachel’s online photo albums show a man who I judge to be in his 70’s.

    • ajamazin,

      I don’t know much about his wife and I don’t care much either. I’ve heard of others that have gone after Leatherman personally, including his family, and that is not something I am comfortable with. I prefer to stick to his career. Having said that, you’re assuming Leatherman’s age based on his looks and his wife. I shouldn’t have to explain how that can lead to inaccuracies. Zabasearch is a great free tool that one can use to locate people. Leatherman comes up twice, so far as I know, for his previous residence in Seattle and his current residence in Kentucky. The address in Kentucky matches the address he provided to the WSBA. The great thing about Zabasearch is that it often provides an age and it is very rarely wrong. You can check it out for yourself by putting your own name in. It says Leatherman is 65 and I’m more apt to accept this program’s conclusion than yours. Sorry.

      • ajamazin says:


        “Leatherman and his wife have written about the charges and the subsequent trial. ”

        I have not found an article that clearly answer a simple question.
        I don’t want to read a “book ” and I don’t want to read “Deputy Bill Joe Bob Lies

        “Addiction affects us all, in my opinion. Some of us have more or less healthier addictions than others”

        Addiction affects us all and that is a tremendous problem.

        Florida needs stricter penalties on DUI and zero tolerance enforced.

        Angela Corey see apparently little problem with repeat offenders who
        have kill others.

        There is no ‘healthy’ addiction to illegal drugs or alcohol.

      • ajamazin,

        I agree there is no healthy addiction to drugs or alcohol. One can have healthy addictions, such as working out, though.

        I know you know of Leatherman’s wife’s site, so you should be able to find your answers there pretty easily.

        I’ve expressed my opinions on Ms. Corey previously. It appears we’ve reached the same conclusion, albeit possibly due to different reasons.

      • ajamazin,

        Here is the answer you seek:


        “The Defendant having been convicted by a Jury of the crimes of Count 1 – First
        Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance – Cocaine, First Offense; Count 2 –
        Tampering with Physical Evidence; and Count 3 – Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the
        Influence of Alcoholor Drugs; and the Court noted the Jury’s recommendation of sentence
        of Count 1 – four (4) years; Count 2 -four (4) years: and Count 3 – forty eight (48) hours
        incarceration, $200.00 fine, and thirty (30) days license suspension, with a
        recommendation by the Jury that the sentences run consecutively to each other for a
        total of eight (8) years.

        Defendant’s date of birth is July 28, 1960.

    • Rachel is 52.. If you go to my blog you will see two different Frederick Leathermans and they graduated at different times in different states. One is no longer allowed to practice law and one gave up their law licence voluntarily. He is in his sixties, either way. The past owner of the school, Hendrichs, that everyone speaks of said, in a press conference Leatherman was instrumental in the school’s demise. Hendrichs is also involved, or was involved, in a very successful and accredited college in Florida. Leatherman was fired within a year of going to Paducah to teach business law. He also taught, or was going to teach, legal writing at a school in Idaho – it does not seem he ever made it though the school announced his arrival. The owner of this blog is much more forgiving than I am when it comes to the railroading and not-so-subtle demonizing of George Zimmerman, so you won’t find my blog nearly as PC (or as well written), as Justincase’s blog here, but I have a lot of referenced information as far as the past cases Leatherman has tried.

      • Re-news it,

        I’ve read a couple reports on the Alben Barkley School of law, one here and another here, as well as references provided by wikipedia. It appears that Mr. Leatherman was involved in a process to get the school on a stronger footing, as there were many complaints that ultimately were dropped when the school was sold and a new Dean employed to replace Mr. Hendrick. I see nothing untoward about Mr. Leatherman’s conduct in this sequence of events. The question I would put out is why would one leave an established practice in Washington to go work at an unaccredited law school in Kentucky when Kentucky doesn’t allow people to take the bar if they graduated from an unaccredited school. I’m fairly confident of the answer, but it is irrelevant, in my opinion, to the focus of the OP.

      • ajamazin says:

        Ahh, Rachel is 52 .
        I finally found her.

        I am ashamed to admit that I am more than a bit curious as to the reasons for her incarceration.

        I still have no idea what led to her arrest or the charges against her.

        I believe them to be alcohol or drug related and I have zero tolerance for those who abuse alcohol or drugs.

        With all the available information on alcoholism and drug addiction, addiction is a choice one makes [save rare situations].

        Disagreement with the laws re: drugs does not justify breaking the law.
        And one had best be aware of the attitudes of law enforcement and the courts in the state in which one resides.

      • ajamazin,

        Leatherman and his wife have written about the charges and the subsequent trial. It was in relation to drugs. As far as alcoholism, I do believe Mr. Leatherman has discussed his issues with that, as well. Addiction affects us all, in my opinion. Some of us have more or less healthier addictions than others.

      • ajamazin says:

        Incidentally, I think nothing that is said by Leatherman or on Leatherman’s blog will influence the outcome of the Zimmerman case.

      • ajamazin says:


        “”I’ll say it again.Anyone who believes George Zimmerman is a racist.
        Anyone who contributes money to his continuing dog-and-pony show is a racist and stupid.” – Frederick Leatherman”

        I admit I am confused by what Leatherman is saying.
        Perhaps, I am having a “blond moment”.

        Is he saying Zimmerman is or is not a racist?

      • ajamazin,

        Frederick Leatherman says:
        August 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        “Zimmerman’s depiction of Martin is a trite and dated stereotype of a gangsta thug 10-20 years ago and speaks for itself in all its nasty racist glory.”


        Frederick Leatherman says:
        July 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        “I’m going to take my comment one step further and say only a racist would have thought up the crazy-Black-teenage-gangsta-assassin-speaking-bad-movie-lines who-tried-to-kill-me-with-his-bare-hands story.

        To conceal that racism, he has been desperately depicting himself as a Hispanic-American rather than White because he assumes no one will think he is a racist, if he isn’t White.”

      • ajamazin says:

        Re-news It ,

        Idaho or Indiana?

      • KA says:

        Re-news it,

        I posted above. I gave up a relatively easy family life, plentiful vacation money, and a nonstop executive lifestyle to adopt a 10 year old with severe Aspergers and emotional issues. It doesn’t make sense does it? I had it easy. My life now if really hard.

        Maybe priorities for some are not the same as others. Maybe practicing law (especially with a specialty in capital cases) took a toll of his health and life. Maybe he wanted to follow a dream he had to be part of a law school with larger dreams than being affluent and making money. It is weird you look at this very narrowly and then assume you are right. It seems a severe lack of maturity.

        Moderator: I fixed the typo and deleted your correction for you.

      • KA,

        Bravo for deciding to adopt a child with special needs.

      • KA says:

        Thank you Justin for the clean up- The comment is intended to reply to Re-new It specifically in case that needed clarified.

      • You’re welcome. It didn’t for me, but thanks. I see who it was intended for. I’ll edit your comment again, so others know, as well.

    • KA says:

      Justin –

      I read the the briefs on Rachel Leatherman. Her conviction was unusual as she had no drugs in her system at arrest for alcohol nor cocaine. Here “driving while impaired” was a judgement call by an officer that said she had her left turn signal on too long. The changes stem from an incident when Ms. Leatherman was put in the back seat of the police car for arrest (suspected impaired due to an “eye” reaction). When she got out the officer claimed there was “crack” in the back of the car. At first they said it was found down in the seat after an intensive search and then in later testimony changed that he found it “next to Ms. Leatherman”. Ms Leatherman has emphatically maintained her innocence as the police officers claim “they cleaned the car two days ago and she was the last one in it, so it must be hers.” .The evidence was not compelling and solely rested on the officers statements. I think although she has discussed a possibility of previous addiction issues (I have no idea), this incident was not reflective of one.

      • KA,

        I don’t want to make this long and drawn out, but I read some of her posts on her website and it appears the jury did consider the officer’s statements to be more credible. They were not the sole reasoning. According to documents Mrs. Leatherman provided on her site, the jury also listened to a call to police that caused the officer to start tailing her in the first place. It sounds like the phone call, a signed statement from the caller and the officer’s statements lined up, in the jury’s eyes.

      • KA says:

        Except the part about “driving under the influence” when the blood and Breathalyzer were completely clear. The physical evidence did not support the officers assumption nor the witness testimony. It would assume to many that to be given more weight. It sounds like a disastrous mess.

        I know of no one who gets an 8 year sentence for “driving under influence” who had a completely clear UA and blood sample.

      • KA,

        I posted the sentencing previously. You can find it here. The possession and tampering with evidence, 4 years each, is what amounted to the 8 years. The DUI was rather insignificant for sentencing. However, it was necessary to keep the other charges in play.

  13. ajamazin says:

    Regardless, I am quite sure that Mr. Leatherman did not shoot Trayvon.

    I seriously doubt that those who read Frederick Leatherman’s Law Blog
    will be selected to sit on the jury for the Zimmerman case, should it go to

    And keep in mind the jury will consist of residents of Florida.

    • sherpa says:

      For sure most of the people writing on Fred’s blog would no be selected for the jury whether they live in Florida or not due to extreme prejudice on their part. I loved the blog when the discussion was the case but now it is filled up with boring, repetitious hate filled Zimmerman messages.

    • ajamazin,

      That seems like a gratuitous statement. It’s never been suggested that Leatherman was involved with the death of Martin.

      I agree that those on any of these blogs are unlikely to be on this jury, if it is ever convened, especially if their activity on blogs becomes known. Regardless, the irrelevant speculation helps no one.

  14. ajamazin says:

    IN RE: the PERSONAL RESTRAINT OF Darold J. STENSON, Petitioner.

    No. 66565-6.

    — January 04, 2001

     Ronald D. Ness,Judith M. Mandel, Ronald D. Ness & Assoc., Port Orchard, WA, for Petitioner.Honorable Christopher O. Shea, Prosecuting Attorney for Clallam County, Lauren M. Erickson, Deputy, Deborah S. Kelly, Deputy, Port Orchard, WA, for Respondent.

    In a personal restraint petition (PRP) Darold J. Stenson asks this court to reverse his conviction and death sentence, which this court affirmed in State v. Stenson, 132 Wash.2d 668, 940 P.2d 1239 (1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1008, 118 S.Ct. 1193, 140 L.Ed.2d 323 (1998).   Petitioner Stenson claims he received ineffective assistance of counsel, which violates the Sixth Amendment because “the right to counsel is the right to the effective assistance of counsel.”  Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 686, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984) (quoting McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 771 n. 14, 90 S.Ct. 1441, 25 L.Ed.2d 763 (1970)).

    Petitioner’s strongest claims are those which are supported by Ninth Circuit precedents interpreting the ineffective assistance of counsel test in Strickland.   However, a close inspection of those precedents and later cases, and applying their reasoning to the facts of this case, lead to the conclusion that Stenson’s counsel was not constitutionally ineffective.   We deny Stenson’s personal restraint petition as to all claims.

    • ajamazin,

      The particulars of Mr. Stenson’s petition were not my focus at Leatherman’s blog, nor here. In fact, I stated that I don’t hitch my wagon to his innocence or guilt. I used Leatherman’s affidavit that described his opinion of his own actions. His opinion was important because he realized he was wrong to prejudge the situation and allow his actions to be guided by that prejudgement. I saw the same thing in his opinions on Zimmerman, so that’s why it was relevant to me.

      • ajamazin says:


        “His opinion was important because he realized he was wrong to prejudge the situation and allow his actions to be guided by that prejudgement.”

        To acknowledge that one is incorrect is of great value.

        I suggest that all of us learn to freely do so.

      • ajamazin,

        You found one of our agreements. Leatherman has also recently admitted he was wrong about another aspect of the case. However, it didn’t affect his thinking one bit, only seemed to solidify his original conclusion. So long as he characterizes those that disagree with him as “racists,” he will never truly be open to rational dialogue.

      • ajamazin says:


        “So long as he characterizes those that disagree with him as “racists,” he will never truly be open to rational dialogue.”

        The term “racist” much like “antisemitic” has been misused and overused to the point
        that it has lost its sting.

        But you are indeed correct in that those who cry “racist” have little of value to contribute
        to a constructive discussion.

        “It’s something we say to shut them up.”

      • ajamazin,

        I agree that it has been overused, but it has not necessarily lost its sting. It just depends on who uses it and how it is used. For the purposes of this discussion, it has been used to either shut people up or sideline their opinion. It is something I very, very rarely say as I consider it almost an admission that you consider your own argument too weak to stand on its own.

    • You left off the conclusion:

      The conflict between Stenson and his attorneys far exceeded any dispute about trial tactics or strategy.   When both attorney and client complain the relationship has broken down to the point that there is no communication and unanimously ask for the appointment of new counsel, it is unclear whose interests are being served by denying their collective request.   Certainly not the interests of justice, nor the interest that the constitutional rights of the accused be upheld at all cost.”

  15. ajamazin says:

    This seems like a ‘gratuitous’ blog written because you are miffed that you were banned.

    And your math skills suck.

    Incidentally, political power trumps the law.

    • ajamazin,

      Am I miffed that I was banned? A little, but not much. Since Leatherman had the ability to characterize me how he wished, without my ability to reply on his site, this was my only avenue to get my own characterization out. I’m sure you understand.

      What was the point of bringing up math skills? The site I mentioned provides an age, it doesn’t require one to use any math skills. Did you look it up and find out you might be wrong, so you retorted with an attack?

      And, political power can, at times, subvert the law, but it does not trump it. We are a nation of laws, not a nation of kings. I’m certain I read that somewhere:

      “in America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” ~ Thomas Paine

      We are “a government of laws and not of men.” ~ John Adams

      • ajamazin says:


        “I’m sure you understand. ”

        No. I understand “inconvenienced”, but not “miffed”.

        I was banned from Huffington Post 5 times in 2 months.
        It was an inconvenience to invent 5 user names and create 5 email accounts,
        but I was not miffed.

        “What was the point of bringing up math skills?”

        Your were is error in attempting to calculate the distance using the Pythagorean
        theorem due to the absence of a 90 degree angle.

        And I still await your tutorial on trigonometry.

        ” And, political power can, at times, subvert the law, but it does not trump it”

        Quibble with words, but quibble with power at your own peril. Power
        and wealth will out.

        “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws”
        Mayer Amschel Rothschild.

        If you choose to be an idealist, I suggest you harbor no illusions.

      • ajamazin,

        It would be an inconvenience, if I were to try to go around Leatherman’s restrictions. I abided by them. If I decided to do what you suggest, then others from that site would have chided me for doing so. It is a no-win situation if my goal were to try to please you or others at that site.

        The distance calculated by the numbers and method used was not in error. The math was not incorrect. You suggested it was not a true right-triangle, so the Pythagorean Theorem should not have been used and I agreed. But, the measurement required to make it an actual right-triangle was so insignificant that it wouldn’t have rendered my calculations off by twice as much calculated, which is what you were suggesting. The discussion started from the premise that Zimmerman’s description of where the ground struggle occurred was off by more than 45′. This was preposterous, since the distance from the “T” to the body was less than 45′, as calculated by others and Zimmerman had moved 10′-15′ south of the “T” in the reenactment video. That discussion ended with me stating that the likely distance that the ground struggle occurred was between 35′-37′ south of the “T”.

        The distance from the “T” was made a big deal because Zimmerman’s reenactment was not accurate in providing the exact location of the ground struggle. I’ve never subscribed to that thinking. I consider it a discrepancy because of the nature of our perceptions between nighttime and daytime and the drama that was occurring. I made it a point to refute the poster’s (I don’t remember the name) conclusion that Zimmerman was off by more than 45′ when it looked like he was off by around 20′, but there was nothing more to it. As for the Trig, I’m not going to do that. Explaining math in person is hard enough.

        Power and wealth are great obstacles, but they are not insurmountable by those with the will to act and the law on their side. Just ask Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, Tom Delay, Samuel Kent, Duke Cunningham, William Jefferson, Jim Traficant, etc, etc.

      • nameofthepen says:

        justincaselawgic, loved your reply, but…

        “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

        “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

        ATTRIBUTION: The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.

        (sigh) Methinks we haven’t done so well. 😦

      • naemofthepen,

        Thanks. I think we’ve done as good a job as any could expect. Our politicians continue to disappoint, but our people continue to show that America is that beacon of light that draws people, from all over, for a better life. You might be interested in this video about American exceptionalism:

      • ajamazin says:


        We, as a society, have sadly failed in fulfilling our responsibilities.

      • ajamazin says:

        justincaselawgic ,

        “If I decided to do what you suggest, then others from that site would have chided me for doing so. ”

        There you go again, Justin.

        Did I suggest that you should attempt to circumvent Leatherman’s restrictions?

        “You suggested it was not a true right-triangle, so the Pythagorean Theorem should not have been used and I agreed.”

        You did not agree.
        Rather, you chided me for pointing out your error.

        “That discussion ended with me stating that the likely distance that the ground struggle occurred was between 35′-37′ south of the “T”.”

        You finally agreed with the likely distance calculated by others.
        You originally had stated 17′ to 21′.

        “Explaining math in person is hard enough.”

        If you can’t explain it, you do not understand it.

        “………Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, Tom Delay, Samuel Kent, Duke Cunningham, William Jefferson, Jim Traficant, etc. etc.”

        NEVER had the type of power of which I speak.

        Rather, true power is never granted, only seized.

      • ajamazin,

        I didn’t make up your suggestion out of thin air. You suggested that you would understand being “inconvenienced,” since you were “banned from Huffington Post 5 times in 2 months” and “It was an inconvenience to invent 5 user names and create 5 email accounts …”

        I did not chide you for pointing out the error. I asked if you were arguing that using the Pythagorean Theorem would throw the calculation off by more than 20′.

        I did not agree with the calculation that was suggested in the post I originally replied to in which it was stated that Zimmerman was over 45′ off from where the ground struggle occurred. That would have put it about 55′-60′ from the “T”. I was wrong about the ultimate distance, but not because my “math skills suck,” as you stated.

        It is not a question of whether I can explain the math or not. It is a question of whether this is a sufficient medium to explain it. I don’t think it is and I’m not going to waste my time providing a tutorial on arc functions that you should already know, since you have a Mathematics degree.

        I suspect we will agree on very little in life. Your last comment sounds like you align with the “Occupy” crowd, as does Leatherman. Our basis in disagreement is not confined to small issues, it encompasses our entire outlook on life. I provided evidence for why the law is king and power and wealth do not trump it and you come back with theories of totalitarianism or absolutism.

  16. sherpa says:

    I have just about quit on olde Fred. Between begging for money with the donation button, pages and pages of hate filled post about George Zimmerman is BORRRRRRING.

    • Teatime says:

      “I have just about quit on olde Fred. Between begging for money with the donation button, pages and pages of hate filled post about George Zimmerman is BORRRRRRING.”
      — I have too. There was a moment where I hesitated about him. I thought Leatherman showed signs that he had a modicum of intellectual honesty when he took responsibility for three of his incorrect assumptions. I was wrong.

      Even when an intellectually honest person would have had to concede error, his only motivation for doing so was to pursue his latest line of hateful rhetoric. I have no more sympathy for Leatherman given his recent posts.

      Here are some excerpts from his latest one, “Why Did George Zimmerman Kill Trayvon Martin?”

      “He wanted to be respected and he believed he would be respected, if he could get away with killing an expendable person whom no one would miss or care about.”
      “His life is a tapestry of massive failure for which he appears to compensate by lying and manipulation.” “I believe George Zimmerman probably would have killed any apparently “expendable” stranger he encountered that night on “his turf” who did not willingly submit to his authority as the self-appointed sheriff of the neighborhood. That person could have been you or me or anyone else on foot in that neighborhood that night looking for an address.” “It’s almost as if he killed a projection of the person whom he most despises in the world, a nobody. In other words, I suspect he killed a projection of himself.” “Trayvon Martin’s life appears to have been no more important to him than a cockroach.” “I think he is a danger to others and belongs in a psych ward or in prison.”

      The professor has the nerve to finish with:
      “In the discussion that follows, please do not demonize him.”

      • Teatime,

        Thanks for the update. It would be laughable if this was some satirical joke. But, these people are serious enough to think that they are right, to the point of typing it out for others to opine about.

        The people who despise Zimmerman and then support their opinion with further instances of “I think” or “I believe” seem to have completely taken over that site. Objective and reasoned debate is few and far between there.

      • ajamazin says:

        And then leaves the comments w/o moderation for 2 days……..

      • ajamazin says:

        “I cried myself to sleep.”

        “The beautiful young prince…”

  17. ajamazin says:

    What do you hope to accomplish by attacking or discrediting Leatherman?

    Since my father opened a law practice after serving as chief of staff for a politician for
    three decades, he has been subjected to attacks by our state’s widely read Pulitizer Prize winning newspaper.

    Do you think he has lost one moment’s sleep or one thin dime?

    Of course not!
    He is thinking of running for office.

    • ajamazin,

      I think you’re asking someone else this question, but you haven’t addressed it to anyone.

      • ajamazin says:


        It is your blog. I was addressing you, but anyone can feel  free to answer w. your approval.


      • ajamazin,

        I feel like I’ve previously answered this, which is why I was confused by the question. You’ll also probably notice that I’ve made a point of defending the man when necessary, so there is more nuance than what your question implies. For the answer I previously gave, here is the link. If that doesn’t answer your question to your liking, I would suggest asking it differently.

      • ajamazin,

        You’ve trailed off. What are you posting?

      • ajamazin says:


        I gave you the Foreign Service Listing for January 1950.

        Peru, Ecuador?

      • ajamazin says:


        Do the math.

        Frederick Leatherman’s and Robert J. Zimmerman’s father had something in common.


      • I’m aware. I didn’t need the Foreign Service List for that. It is a common link for 1,000’s of people their age. Why is it significant to you?

      • ajamazin says:


        Yeah right.

        Silvia Brull Baralt’s father was 2nd in charge in  at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. in the exact same time period.

        But you knew that….


      • ajamazin,

        No I didn’t. Is that supposed to mean something important? I don’t know who Ms. Baralt is. Again, why is this significant to you?

        By the way, when I said I was aware, I meant I knew that both men had spoke about past military experience in their family. Considering the amount of people that served in the forties, it’s not shocking that this was a common link.

      • ajamazin says:


        Silvia is the wife of Robert W. Zimmermann.


      • ajamazin,

        Ok … why is this significant to you?

      • Perhaps you should explain why this is significant to you.

      • Just an observation:
        As I’ve combed through Professor Leatherman’s blog tonight, and many other days, including the subject where “Ajamazing” made claim to her account being hacked. Eventually, I was linked to this one. While reading I’m constantly reminded of the defensive tweets that Ajamazing interjected (out of the blue) while a couple of us were discussing some publicly released evidence. That same theme continues being intertwined throughout these posts. While reading I’m constantly distracted at the interjections and ponder what purpose is Aja’s objective of trying to discredit each of the posters well written, thought out positions by picking them apart? And each responder replies in a debate-like style offering a positive comment to start before following up further. These exchanges are likened to being on a schoolyard playground watching someone trying to show superiority over peers and if there isn’t anything to contribute in the debate Aja trails off into unexpected waters and sarcasm. IMO, we are here to share opinions and viewpoints not berate one another. The passive-aggressive tones are disheartening.
        And what is the relevance of how young/old Leatherman and his wife are and the age he retired? IMO digging up his personal dirt is a waste of space and time on these blogs sifting through the jabs in order to get back on track because that space has, IMO, absolutely ‘no’ bearing on the Trayvon Martin murder case …which is the common bond that has brought each of us together.

        Not only have I learned a lot about how Florida’s legislator’s have written their laws, but I’ve enjoyed reading all the opinions and passionate point-of-views expressed from each and every person seeking justice for either an innocent, 17-year young man with a promising future ahead of him OR a former federal magistrate’s son whose mother is Peruvian; a 28-year old who floated around from several different jobs, a wanna-be cop who could not pass Introductory criminal justice classes at the Community College level nor other pre-tests leading into a career as a public servant. Instead, his caliber of character flaws are such that beginning as a young, Catholic alter boy, he was allegedly molesting a female family member and threw around his heavy stature to overpower her and grew to bully others; he would later choose to self-appoint as a neighborhood watchman who is medically/psychologically unstable enough that he requires doctor prescribed downers for anxiety and amphetamine uppers to stay focused, all the while carrying a concealed automatic 9mm gun on his person and concealed other guns in his truck and home. This high profile case will prove to be awesome for studying in legal classes, as well as for the layperson such as myself who has only dipped her toes in this fascinating, yet many times frustrating arena of our lives. IMO, the passive-aggressive attacks/jabs are not in the spirit of what brought us all together and would be better served if kept in check so as to respect each other regardless of what side of the fence one is on. This isn’t a schoolyard playground. Thank you for this time and please do forgive my grammatical errors and run-on sentences. It’s been a long day and I’m tired.

  18. sherpa says:

    I can’t resist. The 1950 Foreign List is obviously part of a Conspiracy Theory that resulted in the tragedy that occurred in nowhere, USA, Sanford Florida resulting in poor Martin’s death.

    • sherpa,

      That certainly looks like what ajamazin is trying to insinuate. I’ve asked, multiple times, for the significance behind this information, but she doesn’t want to answer for some reason.

  19. nameofthepen says:

    justincaselawgic – Oooops. Sorry for double-posting the “Don’t Talk to Cops video”.

    And, sir, as for the one you posted to me regarding “American exceptionalism” (“What We Believe, Part 7”), I tried, but I couldn’t finish watching. I SO disagree with him. I consider his version of what really happened to be naïve at best, and, jingoistic fraud at worst.

    About the only part of the “official narrative” of the “history” of the World Wars, and all that followed, which I might tend to believe at this point, is the amount of death and debt they produced. I know you are a “true blue American”, so I won’t further elaborate, unless asked.

    Here’s a small taste of how, just in the last century, we have defiled our own Founding Fathers’ intent that we avoid “foreign entanglements”:

    But, we do agree on the fact that the Zimmerman debacle is extremely worrisome in its implications.

    • nameofthepen,

      I understand your sentiments. I would suggest starting at about 3:10 in that video, because the rest is not about our “imperialist” past and I think you might tend to agree with the rest. Maybe not, but there’s only one way to find out.

      As for being an imperial nation, I would disagree with that characterization, for the most part. I know very well the argument you would make, but feel free to make it again, if you wish. The reason I would disagree is because, with the aid of the military incursions cited in the video you posted, there really isn’t, in my view, a strong argument that we, at least in the last century or so, have used subjugation or subordination as one would think an imperialist nation would. Some examples for reference would be the occupation of Albania or the occupation of parts of Russia by Germany during the First World War or the Occupation of parts of Europe by, again Germany, in the Second World War.

      I do, somewhat, agree with the notion that we have injected ourselves into areas of the world for our own selfish interests. However, I would also suggest that there are many incidents in the past that get painted with this same brush unfairly. A good documentary to watch would be The World Without US. You can check it out on Netflix.

      • sherpa says:

        “without America there is no free world” Canadian Free Press

      • sherpa,

        That is the eventual summary of the documentary I mentioned. There is one poignant moment when a Bosnian woman was being interviewed. She spoke about her husband and son leaving their town as forces were coming to either round them up and put them in camps or just execute them on the spot. The men fled to a location they thought was safe due to ongoing humanitarian efforts, but that location had already been taken over. All the men that fled her town were slaughtered. She said there was no hope because Europe was too weak to commit to any resolution and they were waiting for America’s response. Our response came in 1995, three years after the war started, but our response ended the bloodshed, as she had hoped and expected. Incidentally, it is believed that the reaction of Americans after our delayed response in Bosnia caused President Clinton to react more swiftly against Slobodan Milosevic.

    • nameofthepen,

      I got your last message and approved it, but I think it bothered wordpress or something, because it wouldn’t post and remained highlighted in red. I’m not sure what happened. It looked like you were starting to talk about the Illuminati. I’ve read quite a bit about that. You might be interested in the book, The Creature From Jekyll Island. It would seem to be up your alley. I don’t put much stock in those things, but they are interesting.

  20. ajamazin says:


    The result of criticism of and/or attack on Leatherman only increases his popularity
    and credibility with his target audience. His supporters become more vocal in his defense.

    If this is the purpose of those have launched this offensive, they have indeed been

    • ajamazin,

      The purpose has been stated. I’m not sure why you keep missing it. The “target audience” of Leatherman, that you speak of, was not the “target audience” of my blog/post. As I understand it, we see things very differently and it would be futile to attempt any courting of their, and your, opinion.

    • sherpa says:

      Are Fred’s defenders sending in their money to help Fred and Crane along?

    • sherpa says:

      Ajamazin, whats the deal? How come Fred banned you? Of course you are not alone but I thought one of his favorites. Looks like Fred’s blog is shrinking.

      • El Choxee says:

        Shrinking by leaps and bounds, to use a cliche. The constant whine for donations as if he’s entitled serves as a big turnoff to discerning people.

  21. ajamazin says:

    I have a question for anyone with legal knowledge re: the qualifications to practice and/or give legal advice and/or instruction to others in the law, or its application via the internet, and how it could pertain to:
    with the statement:
    “Only active members of the Washington State Bar Association, and others as authorized by law, may practice law in Washington.”

    I specifically refer to the “classes” conducted by the “Professor.”

    Moderator: Edited per request from commenter.

    • ajamazin,

      Giving legal advice is different from providing an analysis on legal matters to which you are not personally a party to. Leatherman is not practicing law in or outside of Washington.

      • ajamazin says:

        “I am a member of the Washington State Bar Association in good standing and have been since 1977. My membership status is inactive because I no longer represent clients.”

        However per WSBA:
        Member Status: Voluntarily Resigned

        Voluntarily Resigned Ineligible to practice law in Washington.
        No longer a member of the WSBA.
        Voluntary status for lawyers not practicing law in Washington, including those who retired.

  22. Malisha says:

    Although I understand the purpose of this thread, one of the first things you did was to object to the characterization of George Zimmerman as having “lied,” when you would have said that there were mere “inconsistencies” in his story.
    I really think it is a pretty simple matter to conclude that Zimmerman lied. A few examples:
    1. Zimmerman told the NEN dispatcher that he was indeed “following” Trayvon Martin.
    * Later, realizing it wouldn’t look good for him to have been “following” Trayvon Martin, he told the voice-stress-analysis guy that he was “not following” Trayvon Martin.
    * * * One of these two statements is not like the other * * *
    2. Zimmerman told the NEN dispatcher that the police-person responding to his call should call him whenever they arrived so that he could “tell them where I’m at.”
    * Later, realizing that didn’t look good for him either, he told the detectives that he was headed back to his truck because he had told the NEN dispatcher he would meet the police at his vehicle.
    * * * One of these two statements is not like the other * * *
    3. Zimmerman told the NEN dispatcher “Shit, he’s running,” and “He ran.”
    * Later, realizing that wouldn’t work with the story he was selling, he told Sean Hannity that Trayvon Martin did not really “run” but that he kind of “skipped” — but NOT OUT OF FEAR.
    * * * The first statement here is comprehensible; the second one is actually absurd * * *
    I could spend another half hour going through the various statements George Zimmerman has given, sentence by sentence, and put up another 10, 12 of these “inconsistent statements” that I would call “lies.”
    We’re not talking about how much time it took somebody to run a race 20 years ago, you know; this is about a criminal investigation of an event in which George Zimmerman admits that he shot and KILLED someone. Killed. It’s pretty serious. And these statements are coming from a time period when the real events, that really took place, were only days old in George’s memory.
    Whether George is a murderer or not remains to be seen. But I think it can be said that he lied.

    • Malisha,

      I think it can be characterized that way too. I also think it could be argued that there is enough wiggle room for many of these to remain inconsistencies. This, however, was not a part of the OP, so it has nothing to do with the meaning of the thread. There is another thread that is specifically devoted to Zimmerman and the evidence. You might consider checking that one out.

    • sherpa says:

      It is so boring to see the constant hash and rehash of miniscule points that come from the Trayvonites.

  23. Pingback: Frederick Leatherman, Crackpot « The Emerald Harlequin

  24. I may be a “day late and a dollar short”, but I just recently ran across Mr Leatherman’s “blog” used as a reference to condemn Mr Zimmerman of criminal murder. When I cross-referenced Prof Alan Dershowitz”s (current Harvard Law professor and popular expert guest on TV and radio) whose opinions discredit everything Mr Leatherman claimed, the poster attacked me and challenged me to address Mr Leatherman. I did. His response was to delete my two posts without responding and flood my email with spam from his blogs. A respectable professional would not act in such a manner… not even an honest individual with just a personal opinion. Mr Leatherman appears to be neither.

  25. Janus says:

    I recently came across Leatherman’s website and attempted to post a comment. I suspected it wouldn’t get through since every comment, out of hundreds, seemed to support his position.

    Specifically, I was amazed at the ridiculous testimony of Rachel Jeantel in the Zimmerman case, but I was even more amazed when Leatherman wrote such ridiculous praise of the witness that I thought he was trolling.

    The man is incompetent. No respectable lawyer could think her performance yesterday was good – much less deserving of the praise he heaped upon it.

    He blithely ignored that all the prosecution’s witnesses had been completely discredited and called it an “excellent day” for them.

  26. Jeanne M. says:

    I don’t understand why Fred Leatherman of the Leatherman Law Blog is claiming his Social Security and Medicare benefits have been cut because of sequestration. That’s simply not true.

    Hello, everyone.

    Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

    As you depend on us, we depend on you.

    Our financial situation is desperate. We have received donations from only five people.

    My social security and Medicare coverage has been significantly reduced because of the sequester and we cannot pay our bills without your help.

    Please contribute what you can afford, no matter how small.

    The survival of this blog depends on you.


    Fred and Crane

  27. dudleysharp says:

    I just got banned there for being a racist.

    I caught him with his pants down would be the real reason.

    Never stated nor implied anything racist.

    Fred’s just a bit of a wimp.

  28. El Choxee says:

    Fred and Rachel Leatherman have fled Paducah Kentucky, claiming all sorts of wild and crazy attacks on their personal safety, and are now (as usual) begging for donations from their new, undisclosed location. PeopleSmart and PeopleFinders will pinpoint their whereabouts in no time flat.

  29. Pingback: Hate Site of the Week – Frederick Leatherman Law Blog | Logical Conservatism

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