After the Verdict

I can't write anything specific about the jury's verdict yesterday. The process is not really over. So there's not a lot I can say right now, other than to echo my attorney's disappointment and disagreement with this result.

I'm grateful to everyone who stood by me, and continues to stand by me, during this mess.

There are many silver linings to this episode — nothing is all bad. At least three come immediately to mind:

Silver lining #1 is the discovery of the quality and depth of my relationships and the character of the people who matter the most to me — my wife, my son, my parents, my brothers and their families, my friends, so many of my former co-workers, people with whom I'd lost touch but who found me to express support, and to my total surprise, readers of this blog. I cannot thank all of you nearly enough.

Silver lining #2 is getting to know the brilliant and devoted people at Howrey Simon who represented me in this case, Jan Handzlik and his magnificent team.

silver.jpgSilver lining #3 is the opportunity this period of my life has given me to write this blog, to write a screenplay, and to delve into the seismic changes underway in the industries where I worked for the past 25 years. I will find outlets for the things I've learned so that I can share them with other interested people in the media and PR industries, with readers, and with future clients.

Samuel Beckett ended one of his novels with this famous, haunting phrase: "…you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on." Life deals out hard knocks to everybody. They can be painful. But you absorb them, catch your breath, and continue along your merry way.

And as I continue, so will the parade of topics on this blog. So if you liked it before, please keep reading, okay?


10 thoughts on “After the Verdict

  1. John,

    I was at a loss for words yesterday when I heard the verdict. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now, but if this post is a window into your world, it sounds like you have not changed at all – optimistic as ever.

    Be well, John.


  2. D4P — I hope I haven’t shocked you or anyone else. My first post back in December (“Backstory”) mentioned my indictment, and I’ve alluded to it in a few other posts. But the purpose of this blog isn’t to talk about the case, except when events make it silly to avoid it. For now, I need to keep my opinions of the case to myself, frustrating as that is, because the case is not over. What news coverage my trial attracted was…what’s a nice word here…incomplete. It’s worth reading if you want to know what the issues were, but take it all with a grain of salt. I’ll go out on a tiny limb and say one thing, though: There is a grand American tradition of skepticism when it comes to our government, especially from the media. It is healthy to be skeptical of the president, the governor, the mayor, or government agencies. I did not see that skepticism applied to the government in this case, except from people who know me, and know the circumstances.

  3. Yes, well, I had not read “Backstory” (until just now), and was completely unaware of your situation. Our justice system presumably (debatably) functions on the assumption of “innocent until proven guilty.” Of course, “proof” is a nearly impossible standard, and the fact that the jury ruled the way they did in no way “proves” your guilt, no more than your innocence would have been “proven” if they had ruled differently.

    I mean no offense when I say that I am the kind of person who generally errs on the side of assuming a defendant’s guilt, given that the probability of an accused actually having committed the crime of which they are accused is presumably (much?) greater than .50. Of course, most defendants proclaim their innocence, and most are (probably?) lying. But there are always exceptions, and some percentage of innocence-proclaiming defendants will in fact be telling the truth.

    While I am the type of person who prefers to believe that people are “good” and honest and law-abiding, I’m also the type of person who doesn’t like to be duped.

    Anyway, I don’t know you or the circumstances, so it’s probably best that I don’t form an opinion either way. I certainly hope that you did not commit the crimes of which you are accused (though that raises uncomfortable questions about why the case was brought in the first place). It’s kinda like the Duke lacrosse team rape allegations: on one hand, I hope (for everyone’s sake) that no rape occurred. But if no rape occurred, then that would (essentially) mean hoping that the accusor is lying, which is also not a good outcome. The world would be a better place if people were always nice to each other…

  4. I completely understand how you feel. It’s not appropriate for me to get into the details, except to say that my plea of “not guilty” was sincere, and based not only an examination of my own heart, but also on my understanding of the law. I value the relationships I had with my clients thus would never have presented a bill to them for services they didn’t receive. Obviously the jury differed with my position. I don’t expect anyone to lightly dismiss the weight of that verdict. So until I’m at greater liberty to explain myself, I just have to deal with the fact that many will conclude the jury is right.

    Back in 1980, when I worked for a newspaper in New Jersey, there was this funny old guy named Forrest Clark who did swing shift general assignment work. He was a member of MENSA and a bird-watcher, but the newspaper mostly assigned him to cover fires. He always wore a badge that said “Question Authority,” which at the time I took to be one more eccentric quirk. After this trial, I’m ready to put on one of those badges. But, perhaps that means I’ve become a funny old guy.

  5. It’s always puzzled me that the commandment “Question Authority” appears to require some authority in order to be heeded. What if the “Authority” I choose to “Question” is the “Authority” behind the commandment “Question Authority”?

    Anyway, I saw no mention of possible sentences in the articles I found on Google. Of course, you may not wish to discuss that, which is understandable. And, I’m assuming there’s some sort of appeals process…?

  6. John,

    This is to you and anyone who reads this blog. How many years have I known you? Too many to count and too many since we last spoke. What do I know of you? I know I have never met a more honorable person or reliable friend. Your integrity is impeccable and irrefutable. There is no amount of evidence that anyone, anywhere could present to me that would convince me that you are guilty of the charges that were brought against you. I hope this miscarriage of justice gets resolved as quicly as possible.


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