I ask how far will Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael D. Nifong set back race relations (not only in Durham County, but in America), not whether or not he will do so. It is evident that he already did so. What is unknown is the extent of the damage.
I ask how far will Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael D. Nifong set back race relations (not only in Durham County, but in America), not whether or not he will do so. It is evident that he already did so. What is unknown is the extent of the damage.
Surely, the sooner and more that damage is contained and undone or reduced, the better. Venting much be tempting, and it may even provide a certain satisfaction, but it is counterproductive. Duke Three supporters personally disparaging and denigrating Blacks for not having come all the way toward the realization that the Duke case is a hoax, the accuser is a liar, the Duke Three are innocent and Mr. Nifong is a scoundrel who should be removed from office as well as the case and disbarred make things worse instead of better.
What is (or should be) obvious to anyone who has studied the Duke case is that the facts did not bear out the initial suspicion that there had been a rape at the 2006 Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team party last March.
The indictments of sophomores Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were especially appalling. Their alibis are bona fide. Black women who know them and initially thought Crystal Gail Mangum's rape claim plausible also thought, "Not Reade" and "Not Collin." These two young men are not racists or rapists. No one but Ms. Mangum has come forward to give evidence against either of them in those respects.
Nor is David Evans, the third of the Duke Three, a racist or a rapist. Yes, he was one of the three co-captains who hosted the party and hired strippers. But , white or Hispanic strippers were ordered, not Black strippers. Kim Roberts, the second stripper, spoke of racist remarks at the party, but she confirmed that none of them came from any of the Duke Three.
Initially suspecting that Ms. Mangum told the truth when she cried rape was readily understandable and hardly a black phenomenon.
MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, a Duke graduate, publicly stated that he thought her claim was plausible, based on his Duke experience.
Susan Estrich, a lawyer who ran Democrat Mike Dukasis’ unsuccessful presidential campaign, and Ruth Sheehan, a columnist for North Carolina’s News & Observer, each having been raped, were especially receptive to Ms. Mangum claim, but ultimately able to recognize that the evidence to support it was missing.
North Carolina’s Cash Michaels, journalist and television commentator and the person covering the Duke Case for the Black press nationally, was receptive to that claim too.
With the passage of time and the benefit of more and more information, however, all four finally shifted position as the evidence showed Ms. Mangum’s was not a credible person (see her criminal, medical, employment and sexual histories); Ms. Roberts disputed Mr. Mangum’s factual claims in critical respects and consistently denied that she had witnessed a rape; no one came forward to support Ms. Mangum’s rape claim; the lacrosse team co-captains (including Mr. Evans)offered to take a polygraph test but their offers were refused by the man who is duty-bound to be a fair and impartial minister of justice; DNA testing would have identified at least one rapist if Ms. Mangum had told the truth and instead no lacrosse player’s DNA was found in or on Ms. Mangum (although another person’s DNA was found inside Ms. Mangum); and Mr. Nifong refused to consider evidence of innocence (so much for his fair and impartial minister of justice duty) and instead ordered an improper identification procedure and sought indictments to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the Democrat district attorney primary that was held less than two months after the party.
Mr. Abrams, an attorney, early acquired access to the prosecution’s evidence in the Duke case; realized that, even though Ms. Mangum’s rape claim had seemed plausible to him, the evidence did not support it; and said so publicly and undertook to expose the so-called Duke rape case as a hoax.
Mr. Michaels, who is not an attorney, got access much later (albeit not for lack of trying). After he did, he too appreciated that Mr. Nifong had hyped his case AND played the race card.
The result: on August 14, Mr. Michaels wrote: “[The certainty Nifong and the police were speaking with was not being undergirded by the 'strong evidence' they had hoped for. And Nifong’s racial pronouncements, based, in part, by what the accuser, Kim Roberts, and a next door neighbor alleged was said by some of the lacrosse players, seemed more like pandering to the passions of potential Black voters for a tight three-way May primary race, critics charge, than a sincere view of the case.”
One would expect the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People to object to a rogue prosecutor and to resent Black voter manipulation by racial pandering. Yet the Committee, which had supported a Black candidate (Keith Bishop) in the Democrat primary, just endorsed Mr. Nifong in the general election.
The Committee's spokesperson, Lavonia Allison, insisted that quality-of-life issues explained its endorsement of Mr. Nifong. Ms, Allison added that the Committee urged voters to vote strictly Democratic, in the hope of having officials concerned with "the least among us as well as the most."
Stuart Taylor, Jr., America's top legal commentator and a lawyer who recognized the Duke case for what it was at the start, did not mince words about the damage the Committee did by endorsing Mr. Nifong:
"I believe that this endorsement and other support for Nifong by African-American leaders will come back to haunt African-American individuals, who are by far the most disproportionately numerous victims of prosecutorial and police misconduct in North Carolina and around the country.
"Nifong's grotesque abuses in a case involving well-off white kids who have already been proved innocent beyond any reasonable doubt could have had a powerful educational effect on well-off people like their parents, relatives, friends, and sympathizers.
"It could have taught such well-off people to guard against the abuse of police and prosecutorial power more generally, which goes on every day in hundreds if not thousands of cases that draw zero publicity. I have hoped to reinforce this education in a modest way in my book.
"Black leaders could have reinforced this education in a far more powerful way by standing on principle with other critics of Nifong--as they (and I) would no doubt be doing were Nifong persecuting black football players in this manner.
"Instead, the vast majority of black leaders--all those who have supported Nifong and many of those who have simply ignored or minimized his abuses--are teaching the rest of us that they don't give a damn about opposing injustice when the victims are white kids.
"As we see unfolding before our eyes the use against innocent white kids of the same police and prosecutorial powers that are more often used to ruin the lives of innocent black kids, black leaders are at best indifferent. Many are applauding.
"Some well-off whites will, I hope, continue to deplore such abuse of law enforcement power regardless of who the victims may be. I certainly will.
"But many will conclude that black leaders and those who support them are immoral and unjust people undeserving of sympathy when they or their children are persecuted by the Nifongs, Gottliebs, Himans and Claytons of this world. This is not only setting back race relations. It is setting back any hope of getting the prosecutorial-misconduct boot off the necks of innocent black kids."
Tragically, Mr. Taylor is right about all that too!
Since Mr. Nifong opted to persecute the Duke Three (white Yankees from wealthy families) and then to harass a black cabbie for confirming Reade Seligmann's alibi, Durham County voters who want justice for all and improved race relations should reflect on what Mr. Taylor predicted; remember what Mr. Michaels wrote back on August 14; ponder what Duke Law Professor James Coleman (also Black) pondered: considering Mr. Nifong's misconduct in the Duke case, what would inhibit him from persecuting poor people, and then vote for the Anybody But Nifong candidate, Lewis Cheek.
The '60 Minutes" expose on the Duke case broadcast on October 15, presented by Ed Bradley (who is black) and including Duke Law Professor James Coleman (black) and Ms. Roberts (black and Asian) as well as the Duke Three (white), somehow did not move the Committee to endorse Lewis Cheek, a Durham County Commissioner and a Democrat, who has promised not to take office if elected and instead to allow North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, a Democrat, to appoint an ethical replacement for Mr. Nifong.
Why THAT alternative was not embraced by the vote-strictly-Democrat Committee is not clear (it's not as though the alternative would be to vote Republican), but the suspicion that the Committee did not want a fair and impartial minister of justice deciding what to do in the Duke case is now more plausible than the notion that any of the Duke Three committed any of the felonies with which they are charged in the Duke case.
Whether or not the Committee is concerned about that, it should be!
Supporters of the Duke Three (like me) look to Mr. Michaels to inform and educate his readers and viewers about the bogusness of the rape claim and the perniciousness of Mr. Nifong's prosecutorial abuse and racial pandering before Election Day 2006.
Mr. Michaels is a man who made it his business to help a poor man wrongfully convicted of rape win freedom. He is not the kind of reporter who endorses candidates, but he can overlook the Duke Three for being born white and into wealthy families and expose Mr. Nifong as their persecutor and a panderer and let his readers and viewers draw the logical inference as to for whom they should vote. (The Catholic Church does not endorse particular candidates either, but it does point out, for example, that voting for pro-abortion candidates is a grave sin for a Catholic, and that usually should be clear enough to send a message without jeopardizing tax exempt status.)
Liestoppers offered a fair and balanced review of Mr. Michaels' article on the "60 Minutes" expose and explanation of it:
"Cash Michaels returned to the Hoax Blogosphere with an article questioning the fairness of the ‘60 Minutes’ presentation and a visit to the Talk Left discussion board. In fairness to Mr. Michaels, he does present opinions favorable to and critical of the ‘60 Minutes’ offering. Beginning with a much appreciated reference to this blog, Cash notes that the ‘60 Minutes’ episode was powerful yet unconvincing to some.
“'The widely viewed report, anchored by veteran CBS News correspondent Ed Bradley, has been generally applauded by supporters of the “Duke Three.” … The CBS broadcast was certainly powerful, and yet, it didn’t convince everybody.'
"Ironically, Mr. Michaels presents the arguments of the unconvinced, which appear centered around the possibility that ‘60 Minutes’ did not present all of the available evidence, and the suggestion that Mr. Nifong may be laying in wait to ambush the defendants at trial. What makes this argument most ironic is that Mr. Michaels previously has presented essentially the same arguments made in the ‘60 Minutes’ piece with regard to the appearance of prosecutorial misconduct, of a flawed police investigation, and of pandering to the Black community for votes, albeit less definitively.
"Adding to both the irony and the obfuscation, Mr. Michaels presents the suggestions of hidden evidence made by Al McSurely, head of the NAACP's Legal Redress Committee, and NCCU Law Professor Irving Joyner, who is monitoring the case as requested by the state chapter of the NAACP.
'…said Chapel Hill civil rights attorney Al McSurely, who also serves as chairman of the NC NAACP Legal Redress Committee, “The prosecution hasn’t shown any of its hole cards yet, and I don’t think it will until trial.”...The NCCU law professor [Joyner] also agrees with attorney Al McSurely that all of the admittedly weak evidence so far seen by the media “does not mean it is the only information prosecutors have available to them.”…In fact, Joyner adds, there is a lot of evidence and witness testimony that simply isn’t reduced to writing…“I’ve been practicing law long enough to know that what ends up in a report isn’t necessarily everything that’s there, “ he said, adding that, for instance, clarification of evidence or information in a criminal case is not required to be part of the discovery package mandated from the prosecution to the defense…“Just because [evidence] has been released, doesn’t mean that’s it,” Prof. Joyner said.'
"The irony of these statements is the contradiction between the suggestion that the District Attorney is withholding evidence, and the fact that North Carolina’s Open Discovery Law expressly prohibits Mr. Nifong from doing so. The additional irony is that the argument for the defense of Mr. Nifong’s prosecutorial misconduct (in the way of violating due process and abusing prosecutorial discretion) is the equally ethically challenged non-disclosure of evidence."
Likewise, Professor Robert K.C. Johnson credited Mr. Michaels for what he had done while making the case there there is still more to do:
"Ashley might want to take a look at Cash Michaels’ most recent article, which surveys reaction to the 60 Minutes broadcast. Michaels opens with quotes critical of Nifong from figures such as Jason Whitlock and Coleman; in his first several paragraphs, Michaels offers a more comprehensive view of the critiques of Nifong’s behavior than the Herald-Sun has provided in every issue it’s published since March 24. The article also quotes from two figures Michaels himself described on TalkLeft as 'pro-Nifong'—NAACP attorneys Al McSurely and Irving Joyner.
"In his article, Michaels faults 60 Minutes for not interviewing Joyner or McSurely on camera. Based on what they told Michaels, I’m disinclined to challenge 60 Minutes’ judgment: both men seemed to suggest that the prosecution hasn’t had a chance to present its case, and that Nifong must have something. As the duo knows, however, North Carolina has an Open Discovery Law. Based on his comments to open the broadcast, 60 Minutes, in its news judgment, concluded that the discovery file contained no material that substantiated Nifong’s case beyond what has been publicly released. It therefore would have made little sense to have subjects suggesting that a discovery file they hadn’t seen must, in some way, substantiate Nifong’s actions—when Bradley himself knew such a claim to be unsupported by the evidence.
"Michaels’ article substantially advances what I consider one of the most under-reported elements of this story—the decision of the North Carolina NAACP to abandon 70 years of the national organization’s principles on criminal justice issues in its response to this case.
"In their interviews with Michaels, McSurely and Joyner offered bland statements on the need to defer to prosecutorial judgment. Such remarks might seem commonplace in a discussion of criminal procedure in Alberto Gonzalez’s Justice Department, but are jarring coming from representatives of the NAACP. (Joyner, it’s worth noting, wasn’t always so blase about the need to uphold civil liberties.)
"Seeming to overlook the effects of the Open Discovery law, McSurely told Michaels, 'The prosecution hasn’t shown any of its whole cards yet, and I don’t think it will until trial.' Joyner similarly speculated: 'I’ve been practicing law long enough to know that what ends up in a report isn’t necessarily everything that’s there,' and “'ust because [evidence] has been released, doesn’t mean that’s it.' As we’ve seen in this case, everything that Nifong has delayed turning over —from the accuser’s cellphone records, to the toxicology report, to the DNA evidence—has hindered, rather than helped, his case.
"One way or another, this case eventually will end. The next time McSurely, Joyner, or anyone else from the North Carolina NAACP faults a prosecutor for excessively zealous behavior, or condemns a D.A. for violating standard procedures, journalists like those at today’s panel should recall their 'pro-Nifong' position in this case. But, I suspect, that’s another story we won’t ever see on the pages of the Herald-Sun."
Mr. Nifong is NOT so stupid as to fail to produce evidence of guilt, and it is virtually impossible to believe that Professor Joyner does not appreciate that. I can spot a lawyer using his legal knowledge and skills to provide SOMETHING. Professor Joyner appears to have exactly that when talking to Mr. Michaels.
Mr. Nifong has been a prosecutor trying to keep his case going through Election Day.
There has been valid criticism of Mr. Nifong being slow to produce evidence, not having evidence preserved, and not turning over evidence at all (all misconduct), but AT LEAST THAT MISCONDUCT INVOLVED MR. NIFONG TRYING TO HELP HIS CASE!
The stupidest thing a prosecutor can do is to fail to produce evidence of guilt.
Remember John Mark Karr? The State of California lost his computer, and so he walked. Much as I loathe sexual perversion, I have to support the judge letting him walk. That's the law.
If, notwithstanding everything, one of the Duke Three somehow raped Crystal while wearing a condom, and it was secretly videotaped and the videotape was turned over to Mr. Nifong and he's hiding it, if he tried to introduce it at trial, he'd prove in the court of public opinion that there really was a rape--but the evidence would not be admitted, the case would be dismissed and the Committee that just endorsed him would understandably be apoplectic.
Mr. Nifong's actual professional misconduct makes him unfit to be a district attorney (indeed, an attorney) and imagined misconduct should not be used to hold out hope to those who would prefer the Duke Three to be guilty instead of innocent and Ms. Mangum to be a victim insteam of a victimizer.
The Committee should acknowledge Mr. Nifong's misconduct and reject instead of embrace him. Mr. Michaels should report on Mr. Nifong's prosecutorial abuse and make it clear that Mr. Nifong is a rogue prosecutor. Most importantly, the Durham County voters should take appropriate action to remove him from office.
Mr. Taylor, Professor Johnson and Liestoppers (and me) all would much appreciate Mr. Michaels doing even more than he has done to bring inform and educate his readers and viewers, but none of us chose to vent.
The Johnsville News vented bigtime (anonymously, of course).
In an article titled "Cash Michaels Is Full of Rot," The Johnsville News whined about the black press deleting articles after a period of time: "The poster boy for link rot in hoax land is Cash Michaels, "Every article Cash Michaels writes for the Wilmington Journal, the Amsterdam News, or BlackPressUSA.com that goes on the web gets deleted in about six months. Some Cash Michaels columns disappear even before that. Cash Michaels has allegedly been writing as the 'entertainment columnist' for the Wilmington Journal since at least March of 2004, but good luck trying to finding anything he has written before May of 2006. Google shows hundreds of web links to Cash Michaels stories, but the links are all broken, there is no more content, and you get the error message 'current record has been deleted.'"
If The Johnsville News wants to put up the money to keep Mr. Michaels' articles up longer, perhaps that can be arranged. But blaming Mr. Michaels for the retention policies of Black press reminds me of Professor Joyner holding out hope that Mr. Nifong is hiding the evidence of guilt and will present it at trial: both are pathetic.
Johnsville News: "CBS News unlike the Wilmington Journal/BlackPressUSA maintains very good web integrity of their old story links. For example, here is a link to a 60 Minutes story from 2000. So one good reason for 60 Minutes not to link to someone like 'entertainment reporter,' Cash 'in the bag' Michaels, is that the link just like the reporter does not have any integrity."
First, Mr. Michaels did not call upon "60 Minutes" to link to him.
Second, Mr. Michaels demonstrated integrity (as Liestoppers and Professor Johnson have acknowledged), by criticizing the prosecution in the Duke case and aiming his tough questions at the prosecution.
Third, like Mr. Nifong, Johnsville News defamed ("Cash 'in the bag' Michaels") without a scintilla of evidence, just like Mr. Nifong defamed the members of the Duke lacrosse team for covering up heinous crimes and the Duke Three for committing them. For Duke Three supporters to use Nifong tactics is a great mistake: the truth will be more than enough.
Mike McCusker (Crystal Mess) is right about the Duke case: "The fact is that the defendants, and their hypothetical media conspirators are, in fact, supported by the facts. CBS did not report anything that is not true. If the piece seemed unbalanced it is because it was unbalanced. See, the scales are chock full of exculpation on the one side and, on the other, well, there's nothing. Nothing but lies and deceit."
Mr. McCusker and I saying so won't carry much weight with Mr. Michaels' the bulk of Mr. Michaels' readers and viewers.
Not even Mr. Taylor saying so will suffice.
MR. MICHAELS SAYING SO WOULD MATTER ENORMOUSLY!
So Mr. McCusker's frustration with Mr. Michaels' article on the "60 Minutes" expose is understandable.
Moreover, his basic criticism of Mr. Michaels' article (but for a single word) is fine with me: "Taken in its entirety, despite its opening concession to the absence of 'known' evidence tending to support Mangum's accusations, Michaels' column is imbued with a tenor and tone clearly designed to convey the implication that 60 Minutes was less than truthful with its national audience and maliciously hid from view information relevant to the one relevant issue: Did the Duke Three kidnap, rape and sexually assault Crystal Gail Mangum? Indeed, in its very first sentence we are told not that the double length expose all but vaporized the already frayed ropes to which prosecution supporters cling but, merely, that it 'helped solidify the defense's most salient points so far.'"
Just substitute "seemingly" for "clearly." The case for "clearly" has not been made . If by "less than truthful" Mr. McCusker meant that Mr. Michaels believes that "60 Minutes" does not really believe that the Duke Three are innocent of the heinous crimes with which they are charged and have been victims of prosecutorial miscondict, I doubt that Mr. McCusker was right. Of course, Mr. Michaels can clarify.
Unfortunately, Mr. McCusker's anger took him too far.
The title on HIS article, "Look at the Silly Monkey," is silly itself and may be construed as a reference to Mr. Michaels and racist. That doesn't help. (The use of the phrase "silly monkeys" near the end of Mr. McCusker's article suggests that the phrase refers to bad arguments, not people, but when writing about the Duke case, people should avoid ambiguity and double meanings.)
Years ago Howard Cosell, the sportscaster, referred to an agile Black receiver as a monkey. Mr. Cosell was not a racist, but his word choice attracted wide attention, and not favorable attention. Fortunately, the receiver realized that the remarks was an ineptly expressed compliment and publicly said so.
Then there was that awful ATT ad with a monkey representing Africa. ATT apologized for that profusely and put plenty of money into an advertising campaign conducted by a Black owned advertising agency. I remember it well. I was a lawyer for the agency.
That sort of tactic distracts from the merits. And there was much of merit in what Mr. McCusker wrote.
Mr. McCusker: "Sitting down to pen his latest article, entitled How '60 Minutes' Failed The Fairness Test, published Thursday in the Wilmington Journal, Cash Michaels made an affirmative and despicable decision. By-passing the wholly appropriate opportunity to drive the final nail into the coffin bearing Mike Nifong's dwindling election hopes, Michaels consciously elected instead to channel South Park's Johnny Cochran and, in so choosing, staked his place among those doing their part to keep those hopes alive."
I too want Mr. Michaels "to drive the final nail into the coffin bearing Mike Nifong's dwindling election hopes," but what is clear to me is that Mr. Michaels chose to write about the expose not being balanced, and therefore not being fair, and gave a forum to a lawyer (North Carolina Central University Irving Joyner) whom Mr. Michaels sincerely believes that "60 Minutes" should have interviewed.
In my view, the constructive thing to do is to urge "60 Minutes to do a follow up before Election Day with Mr. Taylor and Professor Joyner interviewed by Ed Bradley.
"60 Minutes" focused on the innocence (or lack of proof of guilt) of the Duke Three and prosecutorial abuse, not the upcoming Durham County District Attorney election or the Durham County attitudes on the Duke case.
Please deal with those two, "60 Minutes," and sooner rather than later.
Mr. McCusker: "While his columns of late have evinced the slick attempt to convey a veneer of pablum dispassion, clearly, Cash has chosen a side. Looking out for Number One, Michaels has determined that it is personally and professionally more dangerous to definitively speak out against an unjust persecution, i.e., to call this a hoax a hoax, than it is to risk ostracism from the Durham Chapter of the NAACP and the Committee on the Affairs of Black People. It is, simply, expedient to yet dangle false hope to those who so desperately need to see three lily white exemplars of class and race inequity delivered unto the hands of 'general population.' Sick."
That is speculation unsupported by evidence. Like the notion that the Duke Three committed heinous crimes. Worse, perhaps, it makes it harder, not easier, for Mr. Michaels to focus on the facts on which Mr. Nifong and the Committee don't want him to focus: prosecutorial misconduct, evidence of innocence (like alibis) and the lack of evidence of guilt (like DNA or a confirming witness).
"In a column camouflaged as an objective critique of alleged journalistic 'imbalance,' Michaels' real message comes through loud and clear both to those smart enough to see through the ruse and, unfortunately, those who are not so smart:
"'Don't abondon all hope, ye seekers of...reparations! Things may look bleak, sure, but, hey, Nifong may have more evidence! He may have more evidence that we just don't know about yet; evidence we won't see until the trial!'
"All weekend long I have fielded pleas to spare Cash a taste of the bat, to understand that he writes for the national Black Press, and to be sensitive to where he is coming from. Such deference, frankly, fills me with the urge to defecate."
Whether or not the Duke Three are innocent or guilt has nothing to do with the merit or lack of merit of reparations, but buried in that blast is a valid point: Mr. Michaels' article on the Duke case did NOT contain the opinion of an expert exposing the fallacy of Professor Joyner's forlorn hope and, by Mr. Michaels' concept of fairness, (I think) it should have.
Ironically, Mr. McCusker's article proves Mr. Taylor's point that "many will conclude that black leaders and those who support them are immoral and unjust people."
"So what, he writes for the Black Press? So what? Do I take from those admonishments that I must 'understand' the dual roles of the Black Press to be
1) Illuminators of injustice when the aggrieved happen to be black, and;
2) Shrouds to that illumination when white on black crime is alleged, evidence be damned?
"Just where is he coming from? It certainly isn't from a place of concern for the unjustly (white) accused. If it were, he would have unequivocally said so. Long ago. No, the place Cash comes from is his comfy monochromatic fiefdom; that place where he must never, ever, risk being accused, by its other inhabitants, of having turned House Negro or Homeboy Sharecropper.
"Michaels opted, instead, to prey on the illogical confusion and racist suspicions of those LaShawn Barber has correctly termed the 'willfully deaf, blind and stupid.' Victoria Peterson. Al McSurely. Irving Joyner. The North Carolina NAACP. The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, and all others who have proven willfully head-buried ostriches. Head-buried ostriches who hold themselves out as crusaders for individual civil rights and the sanctity of constitutional due process protections ... less'n we gots us a Sista to shield and some whiteys to lynch. Joyner. The NAACP. The Committee on the Affairs of Black People. The noxious irony is nearly too much to stomach. Your city is a WONDER land."
See what a (black) woman like Ms. Mangum and a (white) guy like Mr. Nifong can do to race relations?
The sooner the UNtrial-worthy Duke case is dismissed, the better.
Now is an especially bad time for the Committee and Mr. Michaels to miss an opportunity.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.