Deb Frisch is at it again -- and lawyer Jeralyn Merritt is demanding that Frisch stop

merritt.jpgDeb Frisch is at it again. This time she is making comments about the lawyer, Jeralyn Merritt, who is blogging about Frisch's scrap with Jeff Goldstein.

Among Frisch's comments:

  • Jeralyn Merritt is a shyster, which means someone, in particular a lawyer, who acts in unethical or unscrupulous manner
  • Jeralyn Merritt is a hypocrite because she defended Oklahoma city bomber, Timothy McVeigh
  • Jeralyn Merritt is inciting violence against Deb Frisch through Merritt's blog
  • Jeralyn Merritt is over 60

Deb Frisch's post is classic Frisch -- insulting and seemingly self-destructive:

mcveigh's shyster

I just called Jeralyn Merritt to ask her why she thought it was cost-effective to assist Mr. Lewis, Mr. Goldstein and sinner in their attempt to incite verbal and physical violence against me by posting false information about me on her pseudoleftist web site. I hadn't realized the blogger who posted a lie on her website in order to incite physical violence against me was quite an accomplished shyster herself! She defended Timothy McVeigh.

That's right folks - the she-shyster is outraged I made a joke about her friend's kid, but she defended a guy who bombed a day care center!

Anyway, Ms. Merritt didn't want to answer my question about what motivated her to propagate misinformation intended to incite violence against me. Can't blame her, I guess.

P.S. She looks really good for someone who's almost 60..or else the pics are decades old which would mean...she's about as honest in her presentation of visual information as she is in her presentation of verbal information (i.e., not at all).

Of course, none of these comments are fair. Being a defense lawyer means defending the most awful people in society. It's a hard job, and I don't envy them. But we must never start attributing the sins of the defendent to the attorney.

To say that Merritt has no business defending children because she defended Timothy McVeigh is absurd. I'm certain Merritt never defended nor even attempted to minimize the horror of the deaths of the children in the Murrah Building daycare. To imply that in any way because she defended McVeigh is vile.

To call her a shyster is to impugn her reputation, not something to be done lightly.

The incitement to violence? I don't see it in the post on Merritt's blog linked by Frisch.

And to say Jeralyn Merritt looks over 60 suggests Deb Frisch needs to have her eyes checked and her glasses updated. Not to mention the strained effort to call Merritt a liar based on the picture -- that's just pathetic. As are comments on a person's appearance in general.

Merritt has taken a first step in response, leaving this comment on Frisch's blog:

I hereby order you to cease and desist from posting libelous, slanderous comments that defamate my character immediately.

I guess we'll see where this goes.

For what it's worth, I spoken quite highly of Jeralyn Merritt, in relation to her comments about Deb Frisch's attack on Jeff Goldstein's children:

But to disagree with criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt is not to invite death threats against your family. Even though she's a lawyer with strong views on freedom of speech (he supports the decision of the New York Times to reveal details of the Operation Swift anti-terrorist program, for example), she has no problem characterizing Deb Frisch as "unhinged" and her comments "inexcusable".

Got that? No excuses. No mealy mouthed references to what someone else might have said to justify Frisch's comments, or at least to distract criticism. No flaccid attempts to minimize the gravity of what she had done by measuring it against the perceived short attention span of her critics.

And she points out that Frisch's behaviour is wrong for both liberals and conservatives. Merritt believes, quite rightly, that there are things that are universally wrong. Frisch should not get a free pass because she took aim at a "paste eating" right winger.

Merritt has her head screwed on right. It might be filled with some silly ideas, but at least I know that in her world, the sky is blue, children are precious, and people who are wrong need to be confronted.

Jeralyn posted a comment to my blog in response:

Steve, thank you for your kind words. I agree with what you wrote about Frisch and it makes me angry that people will tar other liberals with the same brush. Criticism about another's politics can be accomplished far more by reasoned disagreement with the position taken than by a personal attack on the writer or his family.


The left would benefit from more Jeralyn Merritts and fewer Deb Frischs.

No, scratch that.

All of us, left or right, would benefit.

Posted by: Steve Janke at 03:19 PM


1 Steve, I think you did a fine job defending the defence attorney. No judge or jury in the land would disagree with you.

You are a gentlemen and a scholar as one of my high school teachers used to say.

Frisch must have been affected by the cold that hit California and gotten stuck with a bunch of sour undried raisins. After reading Merritt's credentials, she sounds like she has had quite a successful life and career. Deb should be so lucky.

p.s. I had to use undried raisins because your "questionable content" blocker wouldn't allow me to use the actual fruit due to the 2nd to 5th letters in sequence. You might want to loosen the reins a bit.

Posted by: TrustOnlyMulder at January 18, 2007 03:40 PM (Xiqvi)

2 Steve - This whole sorry saga about Deb Frisch reminds me of an old saying I first heard over twenty years ago - some people just aren't happy unless they're not happy. Most people, of any and every ideological persuasion, can usually be reasoned with. One can have a calm and rational discussion with them, agreeing to disagree with them if it comes to that. It's what I try to do, though there is certainly room for me to improve. One can always improve. But, even with that in mind, there are a few people, again from across the complete ideological and political spectrum, that seem completely incapable of carrying on a rational discussion. Deb Frisch certainly seems to be one of these unhappy souls.

Posted by: Brian in Calgary at January 18, 2007 08:23 PM (X0vnb)

3 Steve,

Jeralyn did not write that response on Frisch's blog. It is an imposter. Jeralyn would never say "defamate" which is not a word. If you read Jeralyn's blog,, you will see she was on an airplane all day without internet access.

Frisch's post is best ignored.

Posted by: Defender at January 19, 2007 12:14 AM (wFjHf)

4 I really don't understand your obsession with Frisch.

It seems quite likely that she suffers from mental illness -- and I'm not saying this in a joking or insulting way -- and that she is someone who should be pitied not continually mocked. She needs help rather than abuse.

I am, however, relieved to see you defending defence lawyers against claims that their own views are the same as the folks who they defend.

I assume you also felt the same way when our Minister of Public published a letter accusing the defense lawyer Lorne Goddard of supporting child pornography because Goddard once defended a man charged with possession of child porn? AND then made Alberta's taxpayers pay his legal bills when Goddard rightfully sued him?

Posted by: bob at January 19, 2007 07:50 AM (Lmg9H)

5 To bob:

I'm not sure if Steve felt that way about the Day-Goddard tussel (I'd like to think he did if he knew about it), but I know I sure did (and I hope the fact that I was a PCer - who did support the merger btw - was not a factor). I certainly agree with you about Deb Frisch needing help, and hope that attitude came across in my previous comment.

Posted by: Brian in Calgary at January 19, 2007 12:24 PM (X0vnb)

6 I think a couple of important elements of the Goddard situation are being overlooked. Goddard's position on the local school board had him in a conflict of interest situation in regards defending someone accused of possessing child pornography. There were plenty of other lawyers available in Red Deer who were not in such a conflict.

I also doubt that the defense of Timothy McVeigh involved any argument that what he was accused of was should be acceptable. I understand that Goddard raised a charter challenge to the law against the posession of child pornography; in effect agruing that this should not be illegal.

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8 Ferdy is right. Bob is wrong. In addition, Stockwell Day did not seek to have his defence paid for out of public funds. Ralph Klein ruled that Day had no choice but to have his defence provided by the public, and then hired and paid lawyers who proceeded to piss away Day's defences. Day had no control over what they did or billed, and got no benefit from it.

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