Jun 8, 2014

Attorney Dafna Tachover submitted an Amicus Brief in NEW-MEXICO Case On Behalf of 94 Organizations from 22 Countries.




On Monday, June 2nd, 2014, I submitted an Amicus Brief to the Appellate Court of the State of New Mexico, in the case of Firstenberg v. Monribot. Usually an Amicus Brief is submitted in support of one of the parties. In our case, the brief intends to support Arthur Firstenberg’s position.


In this case, Arthur Firstenberg, submitted an action against his neighbor for nuisance, claiming that her use of wireless gadgets was harming his health and forced him to leave his house. The first instance ruled that EHS is not a real condition but a psychological problem and the brief was submitted as part of the appeal of the decision


The brief was submitted on behalf of 94 (!) organizations from 22 countries (!) which have decided to join the brief. We did not expect such overwhelming support! I want to thank all of you – the organizations that joined and everyone who helped us get organizations to join and there were many! The list of organizations is listed in the end.


To read the brief, please contact me and I'll email it to you. 
 





Explanation of the Amicus Brief


As many of the organizations are neither from the US, nor from English speaking countries, I’ll use simple language and as little legal jargon as possible to enable everyone to understand our action.


I’ll start with the technicalities - in the US, an attorney can practice law only in the state where she took the bar exam and was subsequently admitted to practice law. She cannot practice automatically in other states within the US. I am licensed to practice law in the State of NY (and in Israel). Since Arthur’s case is in the state of New Mexico, I had to use something called “Pro Hoc Vice”- I submitted an application to the New Mexico Bar Association to be allowed to practice law in New Mexico only for this one case. In order to be able to do that, a New Mexico Attorney had to ‘sponsor’ me. Ms. Stefanie Beninato, a New Mexico attorney agreed to sponsor me. Therefore under my signature, she is signed on the brief as well.  


Consent of the parties and the court to accept the Amicus Brief


Since the 94 organizations, who are called the ‘Amici’, and I, Dafna, as their attorney, are not party to the lawsuit - we are not the Plaintiff and not the Defendant, but we are merely asking the Court to be allowed to join the case in a status known as “Friend of the Court” - we had to ask for the consent of the Plaintiff and the Defendant and for the consent of the Court to submit the amicus brief. I sent the request to the parties and both parties, the Plaintiff and the Defendant, agreed, and the brief was submitted to the Court with the parties’ consent. Now we have to wait to learn whether the Court agrees to accept the brief. The fact that both parties consented increases the chances that the Court will agree to accept the amicus brief.   


The content of the brief that was submitted


When you read the brief that I submitted, you may think that many other points could have been raised, that more studies exist to indicate the existence of EHS etc. and you are right. But we could not write it all as we were limited by legal restrictions, and we did our best within the limitations.


The limitations as to what we could argue


Arthur’s case was not heard in the district court. It was ‘dismissed’ without the Court hearing Arthur’s evidence and experts as to EHS. Therefore, the appeal is not asking the Appellate Court to judge the science on EHS, but instead, focus on the law, on the legal arguments asking the Court to order the district court, which ruled that EHS is not an acknowledged condition without properly examining the evidence and dismissed the case, to hear the evidence on EHS before dismissing the case.


For this reason, Arthur’s appeal brief is focusing on technical legalities, on why the decision of the trial judge to dismiss the case without hearing the evidence is legally wrong. Therefore, his appeal brief is not dealing with the evidence regarding the existence of EHS but rather, it is focusing on legal arguments.


As a result, we could not discuss the evidence as to the existence of EHS. We could not bring new evidence (with some exceptions), we were only allowed to use the evidence which was already submitted, and we could not argue as to the existence of EHS, the false WHO decision, the flawed Rubin papers etc.


The Content of the Brief


What we could do, and should have done as the Amici, and as we did, was to focus on two things:


(1) Show that EHS is not only Arthur’s problem but a widespread problem in the US and worldwide - We did it in two ways - the first, the fact that 94 organizations from around the world, all organizations which deal directly and/or indirectly with EHS, joined the brief, by itself indicates the extent of the problem; the second, by using studies as to the extent of EHS and which were already submitted into Evidence by Arthur.


(2) Show that EHS is a recognized medical problem - As the trial Judge dismissed the case and said that EHS is not recognized, we showed the Court that the trial judge was wrong, as EHS is recognized.


We also could have contested the legality of the trial judge’s decision but since Arthur did it so thoroughly in his brief, I did not see any point in repeating his arguments.


What Next


We have to wait and see if the Court decides to accept the brief. I’ll let you all know once I get the Court’s decision.


Once again, I thank all the organizations which joined this action and to everyone who helped! I’m glad we all joined together in this action and I hope we continue to support each other in this important and urgent work.


I will not submit an Amicus Brief in Arthur’s second case


When I was looking for organizations to join the Amicus Brief in support of Arthur’s cases, I was considering trying to submit an Amicus Brief in both cases. Unfortunately, I will not be able to submit the brief in the second case. About a week ago, Arthur was informed that the brief in his second case will be due this month. This does not allow me enough time to work on the second brief, especially as I have to continue work on the case in Israel. If another attorney is willing to volunteer to write the brief that would be great.


I hope New Mexico’s Appellate Court accepts Arthur’s claims and orders that an examination of the evidence as to EHS be conducted.


On a personal notein order to submit the brief, we paid about $2,000 for various expenses, not including the time for my work. Any donation would be appreciated.




 

Identification of Amici Curiae


 


UNITES STATES


 

Center for Safer wireless; Clear Light Ventures; Stop Smart Meters; WAVE ANALYSIS VERIFICATION RESEARCH; Wireless Education Action;  The EverGreen Center; Stop Smart Meters NY; The Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters; COALITION FOR HEALTH AGAINST SMART METERS;
PEOPLE AGAINST CELL TOWERS AT SCHOOL; EMF REFUGEE:  INTERNATIONAL COALITION FOR AN ELECTROMAGNETIC SAFE PLANET; Center for Electrosmog Prevention; NAPERVILLE SMART METER AWARENESS; Maryland Smart Meter Awareness; Sedona Smart Meter Awareness; Healing Earth & EMF Refuge; EMR ACTION DAY; GLOBAL RADIO FREQUENCY RADIATION DEFENSE TEAM; DEFENDERS OF THE BLACK HILLS; Citizens for a Radiation Free community; TEXANS AGAINST SMART METERS; LUBBOCK AGAINST SMART METERS; STOP SMART METERS GEORGIA
 
EUROPEAN
 
EUROPEAN EMF WORKING GROUP of the EUROPEAN ACADEMY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE (EUROPAEM);
 
AUSTRALIA
 
ES.OZ; Stop Smart Meters Australia, Inc; AUSTRALIAN CHEMICAL TRAUMA ALLIANCE; OREAD PROJECT;
 
CANADA
 
CANADIANS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY (C4ST); CITIZENS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY; KAWARTHA SAFE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE;
Coalition to Stop Smart Meters; THE LAKESHORE COALITION;
 
COLOMBIA
 
Escuela de Autoindagación;
 
DENMARK
 
EHS FORENINGEN (EHS Association of Denmark); Rådet for Helbredssikker; mast-victims.org;
 
FAROE ISLANDS
 
ErbylgjufelagiÐ (“Microwave Association”);
 
FINLAND
 
Sähköherkät ry;
 
FRANCE
 
NEXT-UP; Robin des Toits; ELECTRICSENSE; 
 
GERMANY
 
Bürgerwelle e.V., Dachverband der Bürger und Initiativen zum Schutz vor Elektrosmog (“Umbrella Organization of Citizens and Initiatives to Protect Against Electrosmog”); Ärzteinitiative Bamberger Appell; Verein für Elektrosensible und Mobilfunkgeschädigte e.V. (The Association of Electrosensitives in Munich); Gruppe Strahlen-Entlastung (“Radiation Relief Group”);
Strahlenfreier Ammergau (“Radiation-free Ammergau”);  Bürger gegen Elektrosmog e.V. (Citizens against Electrosmog);
 
HOLLAND
 
Stichting EHS (EHS Foundation);
 
INDIA
 
Citizens Resource and Action Initiative; ASSOCIACIÓN INDIA (INICIATIVA NADIE MÁS DAÑADO POR IRRADIACIÓN DE ANTENAS);
The Cuffe Parade Residents Association; Action Against Cell TowerS, Bandra; Bandra West Residents Association;
Bhulabhai Desai Road Residents; Carmichael Road Residents Association; Dadar Parsi Colony; Forum Against Cell Towers, Dadar; Indians for Safe Environments; Malabar Hill Residents Association; Matunga Residents Group; Nepean Sea Road Citizens Forum; Pedder Road Residents Association; Santacruz Residents Group; Sion Residents Group; V Citizens’ Action Network; Wadala Residents Group
 
IRELAND
 
Irish Doctors EnvironmentalAssociation; Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network; Parents for Safe Tech Ireland;
 
ISRAEL
 
NO RADIATION FOR YOU (NoRad4u);
 
ITALY
 
Rete No elettrosmog Italia (“No Electrosmog Network”); Associazione per le Malattie da Intossicazione Cronica e/o Ambientale (“Association for Illness from Chronic and/or Environmental Toxicity”);  
 
JAPAN
 
LIFE-ENVIRONMENT NETWORK; Meeting on EMF and Other Environmental Issues of The Kansai Region;  
 
NAMIBIA
 
RADIATION AWARENESS NAMIBIA;
 
NEW-ZEALAND
 
ESNZ Trust; Safer wireless Technology NZ, Inc.;  
 
NORWAY
 
FOLKETS STRÅLEVERN (“Citizens’ Radiation Protection”);
 
SWEDEN
 
ELÖVERKÄNSLIGAS RIKSFÖRBUND (Swedish Association for the Electrohypersensitive); VÅGBRYTAREN;
 
SWITZERLAND
 
Association Romande Alerte aux Ondes Électromagné­tiques (“French-Swiss Association Alert to Electromagnetic Fields”); GIGAHERZ - Schweizerische Interessengemeinschaft Elektrosmog-Betroffener (“Swiss Interest Group for the Electrosmog-Affected”);  

SPAIN
 
AVAATE - ASOCIACIÓN VALLISOLETANA DE AFECTAD0S POR LAS ANTENAS DE TELECOMUNICACIONES (“Valladolid Association of those Affected by Telecommunications Antennas”); ELECTROSENSIBLES POR EL DERECHO A LA SALUD (“Electrosensitive for the Right to Health”); La Coordinadora de la Plataforma Estatal contra la Contaminación electromagnética (PECCEM) (“National Platform Against Electromagnetic Contamination”); FUNDACIÓN VIVO SANO; Associació Ensalut; domosalud Asociación Ciudadana por la Salud Ambiental (“Domosalud Citizens’ Association for Environmental Health”);
 
UNITED KINGDOM
 
ElectroSensitivity UK (ES-UK); RADIATION RESEARCH TRUST; Foods Matter; MCS-AWARE;