Western North Carolina Citizens for an End to Institutional Bigotry(WNCCEIB)
On February 18, 2004, the Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued an Opinion and an Order sanctioning Southern Legal Resource Center Attorney Kirk D. Lyons under Rule 11(b)(1) and (b)(2). Lyons was sanctioned to pay the defendents $10,000 and his clients were sanctioned to pay the defendents a total of $27,550.
For example, on Page 13 of the Opinion, in regard to the claim of religious discrimination, the Court wrote: "Plaintiffs' religious discrimination count failed to aver that Plaintiff's ever requested an accommodation. Plaintiff's eleventh hour attempt to show that they made such a request, many weeks after they sought relief from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is not only incredible but, frankly, disingenuous. Accordingly, it is this court's opinion that Count II is also frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation."
"Rule 11" comes from Section III of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Section III covers "Pleadings and Motions." Rule 11 is designed to ensure that lawyers follow correct procedures and do not waste the Court's or the Defendents' time and money with frivilous actions that have no basis in law. In egregious cases, monetary fines may be leveled against lawyers and the parties involved.
Questions about and criticisms of Kirk D. Lyons' legal practice have been raised before. In the Southern Poverty Law Center's Spring 2003 Intelligence Report there is a detailed analysis entitled "Cashing in on the Confederacy: A North Carolina legal group calls itself the leading advocate for 'Confederate Americans.' Its dismal record suggests otherwise." (Also see the sidebar to the story "Spy vs. Spy: Kirk Lyons, linked by the FBI to a bizarre espionage case, fires off angry denial and insists he is a 'loyal American.'
The "Cashing in" article describes Texas U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks as "lamblasting Lyons" in another Confederate flag case. Judge Sparks, in ordering Lyons' organization to pay the defendents' $9,173 attorney fees, wrote: "It would appear the plaintiffs have filed a complaint requesting a temporary injunction when they did not want one, obtained publicity because of the allegations, sued the wrong parties and in all probablitity have no cause of action against any party."
In a February 20, 2004 entry on his web site, Kirk Lyons says he plans "to appeal the award of sanctions and fees to DuPont" to reduce the financial burden on the Plaintiffs. He also claims that the "unspoken voice of dread and fear" on the part of the Court & the EEOC in the case is that "Granting Confederate Southern-Americans their legitimate rights under the law legitimizes the Confederacy and its cause--THAT CAN NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!!!!" (his caps and punctuation) He goes on to say that "It WILL happen if we take the same posture our ancesters did when faced with adversity and overwhelming odds."
For a full examination of Kirk Lyons' rise on the extreme right read the Southern Poverty Law Center's Summer 2000 issue of the Intelligence Report, "In the Lyons Den."