Mongols Learned Inquisition

June 6, 2017

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Mongols Learned Inquisition

The oral arguments this morning in the Mongols Nation case, made before a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, were as arcane and nonsensical as an argument between John Duns and Thomas Aquinas over the limits by which reality may be understood through philological inference: Particularly if one begins every other sentence with the word “gang.”

Gang, gang, gang, gang, gang, gang, gang

The judges were Richard D. Sack, Susan Pia Graber and Mary Helen Murguia. The Mongols were represented by gravel-voiced Joe Yanny, who from time to time seemed stumped by the fatuousness of the judges’ assumptions about the Mongols “gang.”

“There is no gang,” Yanny said, but Sack, Graber and Marguia all seemed to really like saying “gang.”

Legally Blonde

But not as much as the Reese Witherspoonesque L. Ashley Aull who was so adorable in her medium grey suit, matching sweater and big, black glasses that she almost made the hearing watchable – just as long as you didn’t try to keep up with the ridiculous words coming out of her mouth.

Aull, who was at Harvard when the indictment in the original Mongols case titled U.S. v. Cavazos et al. was unsealed, began her sophomoric diatribe like this.

“The court,” by which she meant district judge David O. Carter, “misapplied the distinctness requirement under RICO.”

RICO is the ironic acronym for a federal law called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The law makes it illegal to be a criminal and has become a kind of cruel joke among federal prosecutors. It is an increasingly complex law and understanding that is the only way to even begin to comprehend what happened this morning in Pasdena. The “distinctness requirement” is one facet of RICO case law.

Judge Sack interrupted Aull. “It would help me if, under your view, you would tell me what is the purpose in RICO of having a distinctness requirement.”

And with that, Aull was off and running. “My understanding under Cedric Kushner is that the court took a fairly textural approach to the distinctness requirement saying the way 1962 (c) and (d) had been phrased suggested that there did have to be a difference between the person alleged as the defendant and the enterprise that the defendant was employed by or associated with. Um. I think that textural distinction is the proper one. I would say under the statute in order for a person to be associated with or employed by a particular enterprise it certainly suggests that the enterprise could be broader than that person and as a result under Cedric Kushner and Living Designs the test as far as articulated followed that same sort of shape of the Venn diagram which is that the enterprise charge has to be DIFFERENT from, neither the same as, nor a part of the defendant….”

Justice Graber interrupted there so this might be a good time to answer the more obvious questions.

Footnotes So Far

Cedric Kushner Promotions, Ltd. v. King was a civil RICO case brought by a fight promoter named Cedric Kushner against the more famous fight promoter Don King. It was decided by the Supreme Court in 2001. The issue, and this is an oversimplification, was whether Don King was a person “distinct” from his corporation. Justice Breyer wrote “The corporate owner/employee, a natural person, is distinct from the corporation itself, a legally different entity.” Cedric Kushner pops up in the Mongols Nation case because the government, which is to say Ashley Aull, is now arguing that the turn of phrase Mongols Nation is akin to Don King’s corporate veil. She thinks Mongols Nation is an enterprise with which the defendants in the Cavazos case were employed by or associated with and that “Mongols Nation” is a subset of the Mongols Motorcycle Club – or maybe she means it to be the other way around. Since she was in high school when the investigation on which the Cavazos indictment was based occurred, she does not understand or care that the Don King role was actually played by Ruben “Doc” Cavazos who was expelled from the club because of his criminality before the indictment bearing his name was unsealed and who is now in federal prison.

Living Designs, Inc. and Plant Exchange, Inc., Plaintiff v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Defendant was a civil RICO case decided by this same Ninth Circuit in 2005. Allegedly, DuPont sold horticulturalists in Hawaii a fungicide contaminated with an herbicide that killed all their plants. It was an enormously complicated case that took more than 15 years to finally adjudicate but the government brought it up here because the thorniest legal question in Living Designs was who was a “person” under RICO and what was the “enterprise.” The question was whether a small group within DuPont, and DuPont’s lawyers, and the expert witnesses hired by DuPont’s lawyers were an “associated in fact” conspiracy different from the DuPont corporate entity. Living Designs is a turgid decision and it is hard to understand what Aull is driving at other than to try to divide the Mongols Motorcycle Club into multiple, imaginary parts she has made up in her head so she can convict the club of racketeering.

A Venn Diagram is a logical illustration made of circles that attempts to show where mathematical sets overlap. The government used them in Judge Carter’s court when it tried to demonstrate the connection between the patched Mongols, Mongols prospects, Mongols hang arounds, Mongols wives, Mongols children and bartenders who once served a Mongol a drink.

More Legally Blonde

“So, is it sufficient in your view if the person is a subset of the enterprise,” Graber asked. Then there was another explosion of rhetoric.

“Yes.” Aull said very quickly before she sucked all the rest of the air out of the chamber. “It  has…what…well…eh…uh…in terms of distinctness, absolutely. The person also has to meet the definition of a person under RICO as an entity capable of holding property. There is not a dispute here that this one would be. But, yes I would submit that if the person is a subset of the enterprise that would be sufficient. That said, the test…the court has articulated the test in really two different ways. I think they reach the same place. But, the first way is that, as I already said, that the …enterprise has to be different from and neither the same as nor a part of the charged defendant or alternatively using language that originally came from the Seventh Circuit and then was adopted by Cedric Kushner there has to be a legal or practical separation between the defendant and the enterprise. And, I would submit that under either articulation of the test the facts are more than sufficient here.”

All About Them Marks

A minute later Aull summarized the case perfectly. “The facts I will agree are strange but reality is strange in this case. We have the instance where a GANG has created an entity to hold its trademark rights.”

Sack barely had enough breath to wonder “Is there something I don’t understand where these trademarks are important to the government.”

Unfortunately, nobody in the audience stood up to explain, “Yeah! That’s the whole point! To strip motorcycle clubs of their insignia.”

So, Aull got to answer instead. “Um…I would say they’re…they are…I guess I will have one key answer, which is the registration of trademarks by a GANG gives that GANG the right to go to FEDERAL court and enforce its violent territory and its GANG rights using the power of the court! That is a HUGE distortion of the federal trademark system and I think it is extremely RIGHTEOUS for the government to try to strip a GANG of the power to expand its own value and territory with the use of the federal trademark system.”

Yanny Gets A Minute

The justices stumbled around for a while trying to understand some of the connections Aull had tried to make between the various “Mongols subsets.”

When Yanny finally got his turn to speak the justices tried to cross examine him about Aull’s many non sequiturs. These three judges seemed to have no idea of what a motorcycle club is except for the lies Aull had just told them. At one point Yanny tried to protest that there was “no distinction” between Mongols Nation and the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

“This is no different from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department,” he said. It was a reference to a recent scandal that put the local sheriff in the penitentiary. His point was that the law enforcement agency was not necessarily a criminal organization because some of its members were criminals.

“Everybody has already been punished” Yanny told the appeals panel. He turned and swept his hand toward the audience. “Are we now going to punish the other thousand men who did nothing wrong?”

And then suddenly the judges decided Yanny was out of time.

Time may be running out on this case, too. Or if Aull has her way, time may be running out for motorcycle clubs.

You can watch the entire proceeding below.

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16 Responses to “Mongols Learned Inquisition”

  1. Just a Citizen Says:

    Good God Almighty is this shit ever going to end?

    I wonder if Reese Witherspoonesque L. Ashley Aull cute as a button’s breath control could be utilized in another way.

    “Why was the 1/2 chromosome away from full blown down’s syndrome midget in attendance?” made me laugh so hard I coughed beer out of my nose.

    All joking aside, go get ’em Joe!!

  2. Iron Rider Says:

    Oh man what a typo! That should be Mongols not Outlaws….my bad! Really~

  3. Iron Rider Says:

    One things I will say that when others MC’s took at look at what the Feds were trying to do to the Outlaws and the Mongols patches along with clubhouses etc, the other MC’s took note of the tactics were using and changed things within their MC’s so if the Feds made an attempt to do the same thing as they trying to do with the Mongols that it wouldn’t be easy by an stretch.

    Just unfortunate that the Mongols have had this hanging over their heads for so long and the fucking stupid amount of taxpayer dollars the Feds have wasted on this and that the Mongols have had to expend funds to challenge it all.

  4. East Coast Says:

    Blah, blah, blah
    That junior persecutor just likes hearing herself stutter. And the three monkeys already have their minds made up. When they can tell Yanny he has exceeded his time you know it’s already over.
    The prosecution can ramble on forever, but the defense needs to stop talking, WTF?
    Good luck to the Mongols. Thanks for fighting the fight for us all.
    Save the Patch

    FTF, FTP, Free the Innocent

  5. Dutchboy Says:

    Reminds me of the old saw “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance then baffle them with bull shit!”. The feds have no factual case so they must rely on prejudices against a lifestyle that the judges do not and can not understand. This is an old ploy,. Remember Dread Scott VS. Sanford?

  6. Curbside Says:

    Jeezus. Those twisted motherfuckers really do love using the word “gang”, don’t they?

  7. RIDER 1 Says:

    What a fuck show! To me it sounds like 1 for the FED, 1 for the Mongols and 1 undecided.

    RIDER 1

  8. RtC Says:

    Sucks that the MONGOLS MC have to be in front of the 9th CIRCUS Court!
    Wish they could get a change of venue in another state. Best of luck for
    actual justice.
    RESPECTS to Rebel & the Real Ones

  9. WPWW Says:

    Someone needs to call the Blackjacks and get this settled, pronto.

  10. Maven Says:

    Good luck to the Mongols. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to still have to deal with this crap after all these years. I’m confident that they will ultimately prevail but not before the government extracts their pound of flesh.

  11. Popeye Says:

    Judges Sack , Grabber? You cant make this shit up

  12. Paladin Says:

    After watching the video it would seem that the justices are having trouble following the government’s reasoning in its appeal, which isn’t all that surprising since the government’s case had no merit in the first place.


  13. IcemanB&W Says:

    After watching the court proceedings, I don’t see an overturn of the previous ruling. This appeal will never stand, and the freshman attorney knows she is fighting an uphill battle. Her understanding of the precedent of the supporting cases is strained at best. The 1st Amendment will prevail as will the Mongol Nation.


  14. Gandalf Says:

    What if someone filed for the Trademark who never even saw a Mongol? (Other than get stomped) Can that person (or Org) allow some people to use it and some not? Or will the actual Trademark be property of the Fed Gov? The Fed Government can’t own Trademarks. They give them out… the Courts enforce them. Conflict of Interest.

  15. Shyster Says:

    I thought Joe did a stand up job. Aull being assigned this “case” reminds me of when the Govt. has such a fucked up case factually that they hand the case off to the weakest Govt. attorney just so they can get their feet wet at the citizens expense.

    The Mongols in attendance showed class and respect.

    I just have a couple of questions …

    (1) Why was the 1/2 chromosome away from full blown down’s syndrome midget in attendance?


    (2) Why does he walk with a unsteady gimp? His man nail him that morning?


  16. BMW Says:

    Appeals Court decisions in trademark cases makes watching paint dry seem like a world series. It sure doesn’t sound like Yanny is getting the same treatment as the federale persecution, though, does it. It is actually a coin-toss what the courts will decide.

    Basically, two teams of lawyers are making two different arguments about two different points. Whichever point is accepted as most important will be addressed by the 3-judge bench, even if the arguments may both be true or both false, both right or both wrong.

    Basic past American trademark law would (as Rebel has repeatedly pointed out), not allow the seizure of a group mark, since the mark belongs to the members rather than the organization. However, (IMHO) based on recent behaviour, federal persecutors have no respect for either legal tradition or the American Constitution. All current federales seem to desire is a win, rather than justice. Just forget about the first amendment, or protected speech, or past decisions…Joe Persecutor gets to record a win…

    Good luck to the club, since a loss by the Mongols will create a tsunami of federal frenzy to steal EVERY club insignia (other than the Urine Odor).


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