This week Eric Bland discusses the grievances filed against him and what it is like to be pro-prosecution in the Alex Murdaugh crimes. We also learn two new law terms this week!


Happy Valentine’s week guys, EB here. Good morning to all of our Premium Members. As far as the week, it was a good week. Had a great Valentine’s Day with Renee. We played with the dogs. The dogs got gifts, we watched them tear apart their gifts. So it was a lot of fun. 

Had an interesting week, you know, I like to live close to the flame. I always say if you’re not out of your comfort zone, you’re not living and I like to get as close to the flame as possible in my life. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing things but you can also get burned when you’re close to the flame. This week, I had two more grievances filed against me. One by someone that I have never met, hasn’t been a client, hasn’t been an adversary. Person had been tracking me obviously on my TV interviews, our podcast Cup of Justice, and my Twitter and different things in and even in interviews that I’ve given to the newspaper and to journalists over the past two years. And it was a A to Z, you know, grievance complaint about almost everything that I do. 

A little disappointed in the fact that the ODC essentially is making me respond to every one of these grievances by this person. There was a second grievance that was in connection with a Tweet I sent out after the special referee made a decision to not give any money to my clients, the Satterfields and Plylers, and I expressed the disappointment that my clients felt and that’s another grievance that I got. So now I have a total of four up there. I’ve had one since November of 21 that Dick Harpootlian when he tried to “gag me” in connection with interviews that I was giving during the fall in connection with the Satterfield case and Alex Murdaugh and then there was one filed in 2023 in connection with Parker Convenience Score.

So now I have four. I don’t view them as badges of honor, but I do view them as it tells me that I am close to the flame, making progress and getting good results for my clients and it requires, you know, to put your chin strap on and buckle up because it’s going to be full contact. And this entire Murdaugh thing has been full contact, it’s been full contact with the target defendants and their lawyers, certainly with Dick Harpootliann and the Murdaugh contingent. It’s been nonstop. But certainly some of the things are arguable that I could justify why I said what I said and somebody could take issue with it. Do I think it rises to the level of violating the rules of professional conduct? Absolutely not. But some of these things that were raised really go to the heart of, you know, free speech, the right to have friends. I  now have to answer because I posted a photo on X of my friend David Owen, who is the SLED officer. I’ve gotten to be friends with him over the past two years. I met him on September 21 in our Charleston office to talk about the Satterfield matter and we’ve become very close friends since that time. 

I know a cousin of his who is a vulnerable adult. His mother makes the best pimento cheese you’ll ever have. And so whenever we’re together, we talk about his cousin, we talk about Orangeburg Country Club where I golf. Very rarely do we talk about anything having to do with the Murdaugh case. Just stay away from it, it’s not something that we talk about. He doesn’t tell me about his business. I don’t tell him about mine. And so one day I was in Jimmy John’s and I took a photograph with him and I said hey, this is a good friend of mine, David Owens, look who showed up. I was eating with my partner, Ronnie Richter. And I had a grievance filed against me because I’m trying to “influence judicial proceedings.” 

A second thing was I getting gifts from our listeners. You know, the listeners out there are so kind, so benevolent, it absolutely humbles me and floors me that they take time to knit stuff or paint stuff or buy stuff and send that to me. And so I post them, because I’m just grateful. And some of them are fun, some of them are neat. You know, Stephanie Truesdale doing the EB doll and, and knitting dogs for Coco Bella and Stella. She knitted me a hat with EB on it. I mean, just incredibly generous. And so someone sent, you know, a knitted thing that said, “there are too many dicks in the world. We need more Newman’s,” and I posted. Now I’m being accused of posting something that’s uncivilized. Where’s the humor in the world? Where, you know, I think it’s funny. I think it’s also nice. And I do think that there are too many nasty people in this world, and we need more. Judge Newman’s, I think it’s a true statement. 

A good friend of mine, who’s a judge who listens to our podcast, every single episode. And I go to lunch with him. We socialize. We exchange books, and exchange gifts, and he gave me a coffee cup. And I was really touched by it and I posted that and now I’m being accused of influencing judicial proceedings. One it’s ridiculous. I haven’t been before that judge in over 10 years, I don’t have anything pending in front of him, and it’s stupid of me to post it because if there ever is a matter in front of that judge, you know, somebody would make a motion to recuse it and then I get in front of the judge, and presumably someone would argue I could get the benefit of the doubt. I guess if I’m at a baseball game and a Supreme Court justice comes up and I take a photo with that justice, I guess somebody could say I’m influencing judicial proceedings because there could be somewhere down the road that I could get before the Supreme Court. Does it make me disappointed? Yes. Frustrated? Yes.

You know, I have to spend my time now not practicing law for my clients, not fighting for justice for my clients, but responding to a lot of these things that take time. And I know we have bigger problems out there, I know that there are bigger things than people posting photos of a gift that they got, or things that, you know, I tweet or may say on the podcast, you know, I have a free speech, right. I have a voice, a voice that people listen to. And certainly there have been a number of grievances filed against lawyers and judges over the past couple of years that we don’t hear anything about. And I’m going public with this because I just think it’s wrong. Here, I have fought so hard to get justice for our clients and Alex Murdaugh’s victims who were his clients that he stole money from.

I think I’m paying the price because I’m so pro-prosecution in the Alex Murdaugh crimes, I think, because Mandy and Liz and David and the whole crew of True Sunlight had been so pro prosecution and against Team Murdaugh so to speak, that we’re, I’m paying the price. These grievances were filed against me, they attack our billboard, they attack a lone billboard that I took down. I just wasn’t comfortable having a billboard. I was, you know, suggested to try it by our marketing people, I did and I drive by it every day and it wasn’t something that I was comfortable with so I took it down. But that’s a part of the grievance. We send out postings, press releases that announce things about our practice, what we believe in, that we provide big firm representation in a small firm atmosphere; that was criticized, that’s the subject of a grievance. Basically every single thing that we do to educate the public about who we are as attorneys and who I am as a podcaster and someone who has a voice. So not a great week for that, but we will soldier on. 

You know, I know that when you’re in the belly of the beast, you know, things are gonna happen, I can take it, believe me, but I don’t take it lying down. I take it fighting. I will stick up for myself, I will stick up for my right to speak my opinion. Where is the humor in our world today? Some things are funny, you know, you can make jokes of it. People you know, make jokes about my eyebrows or people make jokes about how I talk, that’s fine. It’s good. I don’t mind, you know, I can take it. I put myself out there. But when you attack my profession, and you attack me and my ability to serve my clients, that is laying it down. So sorry to go on this rant, but I’ve been sending some tweets out about it. And there’s, you know, a lot of people are viewing it. And I’m giving you my opinion. I think we’re gonna have a great Cup of Justice episode this week talking about this, you know, grievances in general, how we don’t as a public, find out what the results are. They’re not open to the public. And then we’re also going to talk about obviously the naming of new judges and how the committee is conducting itself and what changes can be made. 

You know, I think the person that has made this complaint, I don’t know, they don’t know me, I don’t think I’ve ever had any personal relationship. But something interesting happened yesterday. My partner Ronnie got a request for an interview from WINKTV or WINK News. They wanted, supposedly, a response in connection with some of my tweets yesterday about the ODC complaints, and they claim that they were a CBS affiliate, and David and my paralegal Larry Blackmer did some good research and found out that this was fake in the sense that this person just formed this WINK news email address like an hour before they contacted Ronnie, that they used a fake identity. And it’s just really, really bad that people would do this, that they would stoop so low to impersonate a news agency and somebody who is in the news to try to get a response so that they could repost it whether it’s a response and anger, it addresses the issues. It’s just, you don’t know who you’re dealing with at this point on the internet when you get these types of things.

So now we’re going to head to the Law Library. We’re going to put on our legal think caps and we’re going to talk some legal terms right now. The first term we’re going to talk about is an amicus brief. It actually is amicus curiae. An amicus curiae is meaning a friend of the court. So if there’s a briefing that’s being done, let’s say in front of the United States Supreme Court, on the abortion issue, or there’s a briefing being done on a gun control issue. Some different organizations will submit their own briefs, either in support or in opposition of a party. For instance, the NRA often submits amicus curiae briefs to support somebody who is championing Second Amendment rights. And so they will do their own brief as an organization to show the evolution of the case law on the Second Amendment or if we’re dealing with Roe v. Wade, you could have Planned Parenthood who would be submitting a brief; they’re not a party to the case, these are not parties. These are friends of the court, that’s what the term means. And they will submit briefs. Let’s say Planned Parenthood on the right to choose or a birth control issue or somebody that has the right to take birth control and so they submit this just like MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, would submit a brief on an issue about breathalyzers or the constitutionality of taking blood from somebody who is accused of drunk driving. If you get stopped for drunk driving, you say, no I’m not going to take the breathalyzer test, you surrender the license, you go to the hospital, they could get a warrant from the court under Schmerber versus California to take blood from you. So amicus curiae are organizations that write briefs that inject themselves into a case where they’re not parties. It usually only happens on the appellate court level, when it’s a real meaty public issue, like we just discussed. Happens more in the United States Supreme Court than it does in our South Carolina Supreme Court, but it does happen. 

The second term we’re going to discuss is motion in limine and limine is spelled L I M I N E, and that means motion to limit or motion to exclude. So before every trial, each party whether you’re the plaintiff in a civil case, a defendant in a civil case, or you’re the state in a criminal case and a defendant in a criminal case, parties make motions in limine. All it means is motion to exclude. We want to exclude a party from introducing certain evidence because it’s prejudicial or it goes against somebody’s bad character evidence, just like in the Murdaugh trial; they made a motion to exclude, Team Murdaugh, the financial crimes because it violated remember the rule 404B, you all heard about 404B, because it impugns somebody’s character, and it’s not a charged crime before the court but they’re getting the evidence in to show that they’re a really bad person and then obviously they would be guilty of these crimes. And so that is what motion in limine means. It’s just to exclude out evidence and it’s usually done before trial. 

And with that, EB out.

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