========================= Criminal Case 1786 =========================
Goethe, while holding the office of Notary, did breach the terms of
eir office contained in Rule 2173 by identifying the membership of
the private contract known as the AFO without the consent of its
members or as allowed by the contract.
Called by G.: 06 Nov 2007 22:55:59 GMT
Defendant G. informed: 06 Nov 2007 23:49:55 GMT
Pre-trial phase ended: 06 Nov 2007 23:59:56 GMT
Assigned to Taral: 07 Nov 2007 10:51:44 GMT
Judged EXCUSED by Taral: 07 Nov 2007 16:20:03 GMT
Appealed by G.: 07 Nov 2007 17:04:38 GMT
Appeal 1786a: 07 Nov 2007 17:04:38 GMT
REASSIGNED on Appeal: 27 Nov 2007 16:56:40 GMT
Assigned to Murphy: 29 Nov 2007 02:18:42 GMT
Judged INNOCENT by Murphy: 29 Nov 2007 06:06:51 GMT
The alleged breach occured in message:
also archived here:
As Notary, I cannot reveal the text of the contract to show
that this was not allowed by the contract, without further
breaching Rule 2173.
Gratuitous Arguments by G.:
Defense (D) : We call the prosecuting attorney to the stand.
Prosecution (P): I solemnly swear to tell the truth...etc.
D: You claim that the Notary revealed details of a private contract
without permission, as forbidden by R2173?
P: That is a matter of public record, entered into evidence. The
AFO is a private contract, as by R1742 it is not identified as
D: We will accept this for the moment. In the mean time, can you
produce evidence that the Notary was in fact kept informed of
the membership of the contract in question?
P: The membership was posted publicly.
D: But that was *before* the notary existed as an office, and
before the office was held! How can a post occurring before the
Rule existed constitute "informing"? (Stirring in the court).
P: Goethe was obviously informed of it.
D: E wasn't even a player at the time! (Startled murmurs in the
court. D waits for silence before continuing...) There is no
evidence that e read the message in question at the time, and as
a non-player it is not even expected that e followed the public
P: Are you suggesting that the notary is only responsible for
contracts of which e has been informed?
D: Obviously. If there was a previous Notary, it would be
different, as records could be passed. That is not the case
here. All contracts must re-notify the notary to begin being
tracked by em... there was no grandfather clause implied.
P: Are you saying that the notary is only bound to not reveal a
private contract after e has specifically been notified of it?
D: Precisely, quoting R2173, "to the extent e as been informed of
P: I might accept that. But it is clear that e informed emself, by
eir blatant actions! Given this blatancy, e would be wise to
accept the recommended apology as eir punishment. (courtroom
exclamations: "right!" "of course!" "throw away the key!")
D: E informed emself how?
P: Obviously, by reading the public record!
D: You previously claimed that the AFO was a private contract. But
because the contract is part of the public record, is it a
public contract? This would absolve my client of wrongdoing.
P: Of course not, by R1742, the contract must specifically state
that it is public.
D: It might have done so.
P: You know it didn't!
D: I know nothing of the kind, and neither do you. Because you are
the Notary, and so am I (sensation in the crowd! The judge raps
for silence). Yes, we are both the Notary. To ADMIT knowledge
of this contract and its contents during these proceedings would
be a further violation of R2173, even though the contract was
P: (exasperated) This is a court of law, rules of evidence demand
D: This is not the equity court, which would allow it by Rule 2173.
This is a criminal court. Here we have a case where the
defendant is forbidden from re-stating public knowledge, even in
eir own defense. (you could here a pin drop in the court, as
the audience leans forward). If nothing else, this greatly
restricts the Notary's right to participate in the fora by the
re-posting of already-public information in eir own defense.
R2173 is in violation of R101, and should be thrown out
forthwith. (The courtroom erupts in pandemonium: "Free em!
Free em!" "Kill all the lawyers!")
D: The Defense rests.
Gratuitous Arguments by Murphy:
To the best of my knowledge, Goethe has not been informed of the
current membership and contract of the AFO, only of its membership
and contract at the time of its formation. For all e knows, either
or both of these may have changed via private messages since that
time. E may make an educated guess that they haven't, but Rule
2173 does not prohibit em from disclosing such a guess.
Rule 2173 does not prohibit em from disclosing the AFO's membership
and contract at the time of its formation, either; these things are
already known to the players in general, so there is nothing to
disclose. Extending this to implications is a trickier business; for
instance, my unchallenged claims "I cause the AFO to " are strong
evidence that its contract still allows me to cause it to act, but
weaker evidence that this is by virtue of continued membership.
Judge Taral's Arguments:
Thankfully, this is a criminal case, not an inquiry case.
Appellant G.'s Arguments:
As defendant, I hereby initiate an appeal of the verdict of EXCUSED
given in CFJ 1786. While the judge excused me, the judge's (lack of)
arguments failed to give sufficient guidance to the Office
of Notary, so I'm in danger of repeat criminal behavior. I leave
it up to the appeals board whether to simply remand, reassign, or to
decide to make some sense of this complex case themselves (if it's
a case of conflict with R101, it may end up back in appeals anyway).
Gratuitous Evidence by G.:
I don't know if it matters but, for the record, all information that I
have about the AFO came from the AFO's formation post (and I inferred,
from recently-posted actions, that it still exists, with Murphy acting
I "informed myself" of the contents of that post while a player and while
nominated for notary, but before actually becoming the notary. Then I
refreshed my memory after I became notary (in preparation for the
"dastardly deed"). I have no evidence of changes, and have not been
informed of membership changes in any way beyond that initial post (if
they occurred publicly, I missed them).
Judge Murphy's Arguments:
I begin by quoting my (at the time) gratuituous arguments:
> To the best of my knowledge, Goethe has not been informed of the
> current membership and contract of the AFO, only of its membership
> and contract at the time of its formation. For all e knows, either
> or both of these may have changed via private messages since that
> time. E may make an educated guess that they haven't, but Rule
> 2173 does not prohibit em from disclosing such a guess.
> Rule 2173 does not prohibit em from disclosing the AFO's membership
> and contract at the time of its formation, either; these things are
> already known to the players in general, so there is nothing to
> disclose. Extending this to implications is a trickier business; for
> instance, my unchallenged claims "I cause the AFO to " are strong
> evidence that its contract still allows me to cause it to act, but
> weaker evidence that this is by virtue of continued membership.
Now to clarify a couple of matters that have since been brought up in
"To disclose" X to Y is not merely to inform Y of X, but also requires
that Y was not previously aware of X. Hence the second argument.
It has been pointed out that the Notary could abuse the first argument
by (say) disclosing a private contract's membership five minutes after
being informed of it, then hiding behind the argument that it could have
changed during those five minutes for all e knows. A full exploration
of this issue is beyond the scope of this case, in which the time lapse
is more like six weeks and thus the argument for abuse is weaker
(especially since Goethe's information came from public records).