Orly Taitz, the leading lawyer in the fight to determine President Obama's eligibility, was in court in Orange County recently regarding her motion to compel Occidental College to release Obama's transcripts.

First, we should point out that schools do not release transcripts to third parties. There are privacy laws that prevent this, and Obama is protected by the same laws that protect you and me. There's nothing to stop Obama from posting the transcript himself, but it should be noted that no president in our lifetime has released his own college transcripts. In the cases where we've seen transcripts, they've been leaked.

It was worthwhile to try, of course. But Orly Taitz doesn't appear to be trying hard. That's one conclusion that we can draw from reading reports of the hearing. Another conclusion is that she's just not a very good lawyer.

The Occidental Weekly covered the hearing, as did a site called Oh For Goodness Sake. Both are worth reading if you'd like the details, but here's a summary:

  • Not only did she fail to compel Occidental to release the transcripts, she received a $4,000 sanction to cover Occidental's time and costs. Courts rarely do this.
  • Ms. Taitz forgot to turn off her cell phone, and it rang during the proceeding. That was simply amateurish.
  • Ms. Taitz fumbled the proof of service. As anybody who's been involved in a civil case knows, a proof of service is a necessary hassle, but the procedure is straightforward. From the OFGS article (with emphasis ours):
"Judge Margines begins a page by page review of the, eh, documents, noting defects in each and every alleged proof of service. The documents are pretty random, prompting the judge to exclaim, "This is just the order in which they are stapled". As he was reviewing this, Taitz interrupted to clarify several times and was told not to interrupt several times. Bottom line – none of the proofs prove anything."
  • Ms. Taitz brought in a witness, despite the fact that there was no chance that witnesses would be called for this sort of matter.
  • Ms. Taitz interrupted the judge several times, and many things she said indicated that she doesn't understand how a lawyer is supposed to comport while in a courtroom. This is surprising, as she's seen a lot of courtrooms over the past several years.
  • At one point the judge scolded her with "you should know that evidence is not stuff printed from the Internet."

Later, Jay Ritt, one of the attorneys representing Occidental College, had this to say:

“I would like to take credit for a spectacular job preparing papers and going down to the Orange County Superior Court and arguing this case and getting sanctions, but I honestly believe a rhesus monkey could have beaten Ms. Taitz and gotten a sanction award based on the awful lack of merit to the subpoena itself. And the case itself, from what I could tell, seems just ludicrous on its face."

This is not the first time that Ms. Taitz has gotten a court date and then blown any chances she may have had by either not preparing, or acting in a way that casts doubt on her qualifications as a lawyer. In February, appearing before a court in Georgia in an attempt to prevent Obama from appearing on the ballot there, she brought several witnesses with her. One testified to the birth certificate being a forgery. His qualification seemed to be that he owns a store that sells copiers.

Ms. Taitz had months to prepare for this. She had the perfect opportunity to hire an expert witness whose credentials would be recognized by the court. A phone call to Adobe (to put her in touch with experts on Illustrator) or a call to any number of societies of document experts or expert witness referral agencies might have been all it took. Expert witnesses don't come cheap, but with the stakes so high, it would not have been proper to use only witnesses who were willing to testify for free - yet that's apparently what she did.

This is an important cause. It needs a champion. Through a series of very basic blunders, Orly Taitz has shown herself to not be up to the task.