WASHINGTON, D.C. - The entire argument lasted just 100 minutes, but in that short space, four top attorneys - three representing adult producer John Stagliano and his companies, one representing the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) - slugged it out on issues such as personal privacy, community standards, what the meaning of "taken as a whole" is, and even the chilling effect of an obscenity prosecution in the District of Columbia.
At issue was the seven-count obscenity indictment against the Stagliano defendants, though much of the argument before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon focused on Counts 3, 6 and 7, all revolving around the availability of the trailer for Belladonna's Fetish Fanatic 5 on Evil Angel's website.
"The Internet case was pretty compelling," said attorney Allan Gelbard, who is representing Stagliano in the case. "I think that's an argument the judge understood and he may very well give us some good law on that. Paul [Cambria] sort of trumped up the issue that this is a really exciting case because it presents squarely a bunch of issues that the Supreme Court has been sort of sidestepping around for a while, and of course, Lou [Sirkin, representing John Stagliano, Inc.] did his masterful substantive due process presentation. I actually went first and touched on a little bit of everything, and the government, Ms. Satterfield, got up there and basically said what we expected her to say, which is that the obscenity case is there, and prosecution of obscenity is constitutional and that's that."
"The judge seemed to be extremely interested in all aspects of the argument; he clearly understood our arguments," said Cambria, who is representing Evil Angel Productions. "He made some positive comments that indicated he understood our arguments and the nuances of our arguments, so that was encouraging. He clearly is someone who has the fortitude necessary to rule in our favor since he recently ruled in favor of five of the detainees at Gitmo, so he has what it takes, so we can't ask for much more than that. He's the first judge to basically tackle this, as Justice Kennedy said, 'vexing problem,' namely what does 'taken as a whole' mean when you're dealing with the Internet, and secondly, what is 'the community' when you're talking about the Internet? Of course, we pointed out to him various opinions by the Supreme Court justices as they went up and down on COPA and the Communications Decency Act and the Third Circuit, expressing problems with community standards and taken as a whole dealing with the Internet."
Check AVN.com tomorrow for a complete analysis of this important legal development.