Public Interest Law Group Seeking Plaintiffs For Possible Lawsuit Against “Anti-Israel” Protesters Who Blocked Traffic

2024-03-24 15:00:32

A pubic interest law firm is calling for plaintiffs in a possible suit against “anti-Israel” protestors who obstructed traffic. The “[f]ree-market public-interest litigation firm” Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute (HLLI) tweeted a call for plaintiffs “stuck in traffic” during the February 2024 “anti-Israel” protests in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, which blocked traffic.

HLLI has tweeted the same call for potential plaintiffs since March 11 after HLLI attorney Ted Frank criticized a Reagan Airport tweet warning drivers to “[e]xpect delays around the airport” due to protestors “exercising first amendment rights in the roadway.”

“People have a First Amendment right to protest. But that doesn’t give these protestors the right to interfere with the rights of others to move freely without restraint or to create a harzard that potentially puts peoples’ lives at risk,” HLLI attorney Ned Hedley told Legal Insurrection.

Hedley outlined HLLI’s strategy for identifying individual defendants, who often conceal their identity at protests. Hedley told Legal Insurrection that HLLI could identify individual defendants through social media activity identifying them as organizers or leaders or through arrest records.

After filing suit against organizational defendants, HLLI could identify other individual defendants and organizations through materials obtained during discovery, the process by which opposing parties exchange relevant evidence before trial.

Hedley acknowledged that HLLI is pursuing a relatively novel legal angle but told Legal Insurrection that HLLI believes there are viable false imprisonment and public nuisance claims. Hedley also stated that a claim under RICO, which targets criminal enterprises, may be possible when groups supporting the protests encouraged criminal activities.

Pursuing these claims may compensate for the failure of law enforcement and prosecutors to rein in disruptive protests, according to Hedley.

“The response of law enforcement so far has not worked to deter this conduct,” Hedley told Legal Insurrection, pointing to a pro-Palestinian protest in San Francisco where protesters shut down a bridge for hours but only received community service and had to pay restitution.

“But perhaps a civil lawsuit with the threat of significant monetary damages and injunctive relief might be more effective at deterring this unlawful and dangerous conduct,” Hedley told Legal Insurrection.

Hedley told Legal Insurrection that injunctive relief barring similar conduct could be useful for defendants with few assets. For these judgment-proof defendants, violation of an injunction could lead to criminal contempt and jail time.




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Public Interest Law Group Seeking Plaintiffs For Possible Lawsuit Against “Anti-Israel” Protesters Who Blocked Traffic

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