Attorneys for Advocacy Group, A Just Cause, Challenges U.S. Attorney's Plans to Represent Court Reporter in Civil Lawsuit

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Attorneys for A Just Cause Say U.S. Attorney's Office In Denver Cannot Represent Court Reporter Darlene Martinez in Civil Lawsuit Because She Was Acting As A Private Citizen When She Breached Contract With A Just Cause

Free The IRP6

Still, corruption and oppression are far too common threats to the democratic society - -
Anna Lindh

Lawyers for A Just Cause are fighting a motion filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver where the U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking to represent Court Reporter Darlene Martinez in a civil lawsuit filed by Just Cause on August 1, 2013. Lawyers for A Just Cause filed suit in District Court for the 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Denver, Colorado against federal court reporter Darlene M. Martinez. (District Court, 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Case 2013CV033380, Div 409, Filing ID 6EEE4CA4A567C, Doc ID 8B0EE416E3F64, Filed July 31, 2013, Accepted August 1, 2013)

The action was brought by A Just Cause for breach of contract claiming that on or about September 10, 2011, Defendant (Federal Court Reporter) Darlene Martinez entered into a contract with Plaintiff A Just Cause to provide stenography services for the entire trial proceedings of IRP Solutions/IRP6. (United States v. Banks, et al., case number 09CR266).

The lawsuit asserts that on October 27, 2011 A Just Cause paid, by cashier's check in the amount of $9450.00, directly to Darlene Martinez for a transcript of the entire proceedings of the IRP6 case, which included, but was not limited to, all bench conferences. The complaint states that Ms. Martinez failed to provide the entire trial transcript as contracted for. (2nd Judicial District, Denver, Case 2013CV033380)

"The Court Reporters Act, 28 U.S.C.A 753(b) makes it mandatory by Congress, that a court reporter shall record all proceedings verbatim in criminal cases held in open court which includes sidebars," says Attorney Gwendolyn Solomon (attorney for the six defendants). According to Solomon the statute reads, "...all original notes are required to be preserved and available in the clerk’s office. The reporter or other individual designated to produce the record shall attach his official certificate to the original shorthand notes or other original records so taken and promptly file them with the clerk who shall preserve them in the public records of the court for not less than ten years." (Court Reporters Act, 28 U.S.C.A 753(b))

Court records show that on August 22, 2013 Assistant U.S. Attorney (Denver) Michael C. Johnson filed a Notice of Removal moving the lawsuit from District Court for the 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Denver, Colorado to the federal courts. The motion claims that the case should be handled in the federal system because Ms. Martinez is employed as a court reporter with the United States District Court (federal) and was performing “her duties during the alleged incident in the complaint”. (Case 1:13-cv-02260 Document 1 Filed 08/22/13 USDC Colorado)

“Our attorneys are challenging Assistant U.S. Attorney Johnson on his position that Ms. Martinez was performing her duties when she breached our contract”, says Sam Thurman, A Just Cause. “A Just Cause did not pay the federal courts for the transcript, but rather Ms. Martinez as a private contractor”, added Thurman. “We are not challenging if Ms. Martinez was performing her duties when she was transcribing during the court proceedings. But if she personally received payment for a private business transaction, which she did receive such payment, that doesn't sound like an official capacity to me”, concludes Thurman.

“As part of our due diligence I contacted the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. to inquire about the U.S. Attorney's office representation of an individual or contractor, and the DOJ communications office stated that U.S. Attorneys are prohibited from representing individuals or contractors”, states Ethel Lopez, A Just Cause. The official Department of Justice website substantiates this claim with, “The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Division represents the United States, its departments and agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet Officers, and other federal employees in any civil or criminal matter within its scope of responsibility”. (http://www.justice.gov/civil/common/about.html)

The IRP6 case concerns an African-American company (IRP Solutions Corporation) in Colorado that developed criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement. The case of the IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks) is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The men represented themselves pro se at trial. They were convicted in 2011 after being accused of mail and wire fraud. The IRP6 have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado since the summer of 2012. The IRP6 continue to maintain their innocence. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)

A hearing or trial date has not been set yet in the lawsuit against Darlene Martinez (2nd Judicial District, Denver, Case 2013CV033380).

The case of IRP Solutions (IRP6) is currently under appeal (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492). For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org. Appellate Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes

Related press release on A Just Cause/Martinez Lawsuit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11007539.htm

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Sam Thurman
sthurman@a-justcause.com
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