Archive for the ‘HRLax’ Category

Brooks Picture

Anthony Brooks – Cobbs Creek, VA

On July 8th & 9th, 2014 a two-day jury trial was conducted, The Plaintiff, Anthony Brooks filed suit after he was reported to Child Protection Services for suspected sexual abuse and was suing for $1,000,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Mark Moreno and his son Michael.
The following instructions were delivered to the jury on day two of the trial by the Hon. Marc Jacobson, Ret.
First Instruction: The plaintiff contends the defendant Mark Moreno made the following defamatory statements to Christopher Swanenburg on April 28, 2012. During a general telephone conversation stated plaintiff, quote, had taken photos of boys’ crotches, end of quote, and could be resigning. Trial Transcript Day 2

Next instruction: Your verdict must be based on the facts as you find them and on the

law contained in all of these instructions. The plaintiff contends that defendant Mike Moreno made the following defamatory statement to Sherry Hamel on April 28, 2012, quote, you don’t fucking know what’s going on, Ethan came to me at Wednesday’s practice and told me that Coach Brooks had taken inappropriate pictures of him in his compression shorts when the boys were changing into their uniform and called the plaintiff a pedophile and a pervertTrial Transcript Day 2
  • On the first instruction the Jury found in favor of the Plaintiff, Anthony Brooks against Mark Moreno.
  • On the next instruction the Jury found in favor of the Defendant, Mike Moreno.
Essentially, the Jury decision means that they did not believe what Michael Moreno said was false. Michael Moreno never denied making the statement which essentially means that a jury of Brook’s peers believed that Brooks did take inappropriate pictures of a player in his compression shorts. As a matter of fact, the minor signed a sworn affidavit after he turned 18 years old, the affidavit was precluded from the trial by the judge in a pretrial conference.
Mr. Moreno adamantly denied the statement attributed to him by Christopher Swanenburg. Mark Moreno contends that the statement offered by Swanenburg was a finely crafted false statement constructed by Swanenburg and his attorney to instigate a lawsuit. Swanenburg throughout his litigation in Newport News always seemed to have a problem with the truth.
In April 2015, Swanenburg lost his fourth and final lawsuit related to his termination from Christopher Newport University in which he sued his former assistant coach and the parent of one of the players. On June 25, 2015 Judge Timothy S. Fisher, the trial judge who presided over Swanenburg’s nearly four years of litigation wrote “This is about as unfortunate course of litigation as I have had the opportunity to observe and it appears to achieved absolutely nothing.”
The Moreno’s represented themselves, Brooks was represented by D.Hayden Fisher of Richmond, VA. Fisher  who also represented Christopher Swanenburg in multiple lawsuits related to his termination from Christopher Newport University. Swanenburg failed to prevail in any of the (4) suits that he filed and the last case was settled by a jury that found in favor of the defendant.  Hayden Fisher is the same lawyer who filed a writ to have the confessed murderer of a VCU coed released from prison in 2008. The confessed murderer left the body of his victim wrapped in plastic and duct tape near a public beach in Matthews County. According to published reports, Fisher had not been requested or retained by anyone to file the action but conceivably did so to bring media attention to himself.


So now Brooks thinks that he is deserving of a $250,000 award from a jury. The judgement is a small price to pay when one considers the potential devastation that Brooks could have caused as a result of his apparent predatory tendencies. How can a 67 year-old man justify walking around a partially clothed minor with a camera in his hand and say that he was only checking the lighting on a perfectly sunny day?
The jury decision for Brooks against Mark Moreno apparently has more to do with whether he “could” or “would” be resigning considering the fact that the same jury found in favor of Mike Moreno.
So that’s it, Brooks made the players of a high school lacrosse team refer to him as “creepy” and “weird” because more than likely he is a pervert who either did or attempted to take photos of partially clothed minors and a jury of his peers did not believe that to be false. The Moreno’s defended and protected those players despite the personal risks, they did not hide behind lawyers, they did not settle, and they never folded to the threats and tactics of a disreputable publicly reprimanded sleazy attorney.   Brooks, Swanenburg and their despicable lawyer Hayden Fisher apparently fabricated this lawsuit not to clear Brooks’ name but to profit from it. For Hayden Fisher it’s just a way to collect fees, for Swanenburg it’s just a way to fuel his ego by finding a way to get even with anybody that opposes him, and for Brooks it’s just plain perverted stupidity.

April 1, 2015

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Christopher Swanenburg Capital Lacrosse, LLC was founded in 2003 with a goal of providing exceptional lacrosse instruction and competition. For over a decade, Capital Lacrosse has developed and hosted a variety of offerings, ranging from private lessons and camps to tournaments and travel teams. Some of these events are among the most successful and popular lacrosse offerings in the state of Virginia and beyond. Capital Lacrosse proudly sponsors the Colonial Challenge and Summer Celebration lacrosse tournaments in Williamsburg, VA and the Peninsula Patriots lacrosse All-Star travel teams. The tournaments have quickly become two of the top events in the Mid-Atlantic while the Patriots boast some of the most competitive teams in the region. In 2014, two Peninsula Patriots were named High School All-Americans and numerous Patriot alums represented the program at the NCAA varsity level. The Peninsula Patriots boys lacrosse travel program is forming its 2015 summer rosters. U11, U13, U15 and HS boys teams are being fielded. For more information, please call (757) 534-9238. Source: Capital Lacrosse Website

Christopher Swanenburg’s Sad Saga ended today when a jury of his peers in Newport News Circuit Court found in favor of Todd Boward, Head Coach, Men’s Lacrosse, Christopher Newport University. At the end of a three day jury trial, a jury deliberated for nearly three hours before returning a verdict for Todd Boward effectively ending Swanenburg’s legal battle against him. Swanenburg had originally sought $5,000,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages in his original suit against Boward in a case that went to trial and Swanenburg through his attorney effectively quit electing to nonsuit in 2013. The case was refiled in 2014 with Swanenburg seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages and was decided today. The effect of this jury verdict is that Swanenburg gets nothing, no compensatory damages award and no punitive damages award as the case was ended by a jury in a manner that is unfavorable to him.

In non-legal parlance, Boward Won, Swanenburg Lost!

The case was presided over by the Honorable Timothy S. Fisher, Presiding Judge, Newport News Circuit Court, 7th Judicial Circuit.

Todd Boward was represented by Frank A. Edgar, Jr., Newport News, Virginia.

Swanenburg was represented by D. Hayden Fisher, Richmond, Virginia.

Swanenburg is now 0-3 in his continuing legal actions against Boward, and 0-1 in his legal action against a player’s father all allegedly stemming from Swanenburg’s termination from CNU.  Swanenburg’s legal campaign against Boward began in June 2011 after Swanenburg’s largest customer, Vic Goeller, then coach of Paul IV Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia and owner of Tribal Lacrosse alleged that Boward had made defamatory statements about Swanenburg at a lacrosse recruiting tournament in June 2010. Boward has always contested Goeller’s version of the conversation with particular emphasis on the repugnantly racist term but has always admitted to three literally true statements. The alleged statements came on the heels of Swanenburg’s termination as the Head Coach, Men’s Lacrosse at CNU. Swanenburg’s termination came closely after he uttered a morally repugnant racist term at Guilford College on March 3, 2010 to characterize the music being played at halftime. Swanenburg had claimed that he uttered the word to suggest that the song immediately after was more appropriate and argued that he was not fired as a result.

In closing arguments, Swanenburg’s attorney/counselor, Hayden Fisher stated to the jury repeatedly that either you believe Boward or you believe Goeller and if you believe Goeller, Boward loses and Swanenburg wins. Unfortunately, presenting an either/or choice to the jury didn’t seem to work out too well for either Goeller or Swanenburg considering the jury found for Boward essentially indicating that they did not believe Goeller or Swanenburg.

In his close, probably one of Fisher’s most nonsensical and ridiculous arguments seemed to be that Boward had pledged donations to CNU in an attempt to buy his job.  Fisher argued that Boward had a weekly donation deducted from his paycheck and that he secretly met with the team’s largest donor. Fisher also told the jury that Boward had no support from anyone at CNU and also saying that there was not one adult that testified on his behalf, apparently in reference to the numerous players that Boward’s defense team had called to the witness stand.

In one of the lighter moments of the trial, Boward’s attorney, Frank A. Edgar, Jr. in his closing argument, told the jury that he really didn’t intend to respond to Fisher’s closing arguments by telling the jury that it was as if Fisher had just let loose 1,000 mice in the courtroom and he, Mr. Edgar was not going to chase them. The bulk of Mr. Edgar’s closing argument focused on the testimony that had been elicited throughout the trial. Mr. Edgar, then methodically moved through the elements of the case that apparently further convinced the jury to find on his client’s behalf.

Ironically, Fisher’s closing argument was remarkably similar to his closing argument in a defamation trial in York-Poquoson Circuit Court on July 8th & 9th of 2014. It is also important to note that Swanenburg appeared as Fisher’s star witness on day 1 of the trial and Fisher’s closing argument is on day 2.  Coaches are Mandated Reporters II


Throughout the trial, Boward’s defense team had repeatedly argued that Swanenburg was bound by his testimony and his admissions. Although for most, testimony is a pretty easy legal concept some may not understand what admissions are. Prior to trial, the opposing attorneys serve upon the other Request for Admissions. Essentially, each party legally requests of the other answers in the form of “Admitted” or “Denied” and those answers are admissions under oath and become part of the record when entered as exhibits. An actual example would be the Request for Admissions served upon Swanenburg, specifically #18 “Admit that you were fired by CNU as its head coach for men’s lacrosse, at least in part, because you uttered the word n*##^! in front of members of the CNU, men’s lacrosse team.” Prior to October 2014 hearing Swanenburg essentially denied admissions that he had previously admitted either through previous testimony or pleadings in his legal actions against Boward.

Boward’s attorney filed a motion for sufficiency and a hearing was conducted on October 21, 2014. The result of that hearing was that Swanenburg essentially reversed most if not all of his admissions including #18 from Denied to Admitted. One of the most interesting aspects of that hearing was that Fisher spent a considerable amount of time complaining about this blog and specifically it’s author. At the hearing Fisher apparently got his briefs all tied up in a knot, or didn’t have any (never go to court without your briefs) when he  argued that he wanted a protective order to prevent this blog from publishing Swanenburg’s admissions. After the hearing Fisher apparently attempted to litigate by email sending at least one letter to judge apparently attempting to reverse some of Swanenburg’s admissions.

Click Here to read the transcript from the hearing and discover who he is referencing in his argument.

swanenburg, hayden fisher, colonial challenge, transcript

In response to the defense Request for Admissions, Swanenburg actual denied requests that he had already admitted in previous requests, depositions, and/or testimony. Boward’s defense team filed a Motion for Sufficiency and a hearing was held on October 21, 2014. Click the photo to read the transcript from the proceeding. CAUTION: The transcript contains repugnantly racist language


In many ways, filing, discovery, litigation, and trial costs are probably the biggest deterrent to taking a case to trial and quite possibly why so few cases actually make it to trial. There are many reports that suggest that 95% of civil cases filed do not make to trial and are settled. To be clear, the costs associated with Swanenburg’s nearly four year litigation are likely to be enormous. It is also important to note that Swanenburg essentially filed four lawsuits following his termination from CNU. He filed lawsuits in 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014 and nonsuited a trial in 2013 immediately at the conclusion of his case-in-chief which prevented the defense to present their case. Ironically his obsessive legal campaign appears to be over almost to the day of the five year anniversary of his termination from CNU. It all began when Swanenburg used a morally offensive repugnantly racial comment about the music that was being played at halftime at Guilford College on March 3, 2010 and was fired “at least in part”* as a result. *RFA #18

Determining the costs associated with this trial are difficult to ascertain because of attorney-client privilege but some have suggested that the cost of the trial alone probably exceeded $100,000 which does not include all of the pre-trial discovery, depositions, hearings, trial prep, legal filings, transcripts, court reporter, and the three pepperoni pizzas for the jury paid for by the court. The jury’s request for three pepperoni pizzas was made in open court and there is nothing on the record to indicate that the jury returned any verdict on the pizzas, however; getting seven people to agree on only one pizza topping was possibly an indication that the jury wasn’t going to have any problem reaching a unanimous verdict. (if you need pizza for your next jury trial in Newport News or you are a juror, ask the bailiff to call Anna’s, they deliver and they know how to find the courthouse)

Below are filing logs from Newport News Circuit Court:


It is likely that Boward’s defense team may have a legal standing to file sanctions in this case. On day one of the trial Boward’s defense team noticed the court that they had received an email from Fisher that was unethical and unprofessional and it now appears that email has been forwarded to Virginia State Bar as potentially a violation of the professional rules of conduct.

Ironically, The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled on a very similar case in, NORTHERN VIRGINIA REAL ESTATE, INC., et al. v. Karen MARTINS, et al.,Record Nos. 101836, 101844. Decided: January 13, 2012 . This blog also referenced that case in A Lacrosse Story? in July 2014.

In his first trial, Boward’s defense team moved to strike Swanenburg’s evidence at the close of the plaintiffs’ case in chief and before the judge ruled on the motion, Swanenburg through his attorney moved to nonsuit his case and the judge ultimately denied Boward’s motion to strike and granted the nonsuit for Swanenburg. The significance is that in nonsuiting his first case, Swanenburg refiled enabling this second trial to proceed. In NVRE v. Martins, the defendants moved to strike the plaintiffs’ evidence at the close of the plaintiffs’ case-in-chief but, before the trial court ruled on the defendants’ motion to strike, the plaintiffs moved to nonsuit, and the trial court granted the plaintiffs’ motion to nonsuit as against all defendants.

The defendant, Martins subsequently filed a motion for sanctions and the trial court granted the motion. “Specifically, the trial court found that: (1) the complaint, by stating that the allegations were likely to have support “after reasonable opportunity for discovery,” was a “per se” violation of Code § 8.01–271.1 under Ford Motor Co. v. Benitez, 273 Va. 242, 639 S.E.2d 203 (2007); (2) the plaintiffs’ claims “were filed out of a vindictive and malevolent desire to injure and intimidate a business competitor”; and (3) the plaintiffs lacked “any factual basis for their $135,000 claim to the ‘second commission’, and lack[ed] any basis for the $1.35 million defamation claims. Plaintiffs further lack[ed] a factual basis for a conspiracy claim.” The trial court ultimately granted sanctions and ordered the plaintiff and their attorney to pay over $250,000 to the defendants. The plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of Virginia and the trial court’s ruling was AFFIRMED.

UPDATE: Boward files Motion for Sanctions

On April 22, 2015 Boward’s Defense Team filed a comprehensive Motion for Sanctions essentially asking for fees and costs associated with Swanenburg’s legal actions against Boward. Swanenburg will probably file an Opposition to the sanctions in the next couple of weeks which will be followed by a rebuttal brief from Boward’s counsel.

US Lacrosse Code of Conduct

Players, coaches, officials, parents and spectators are to conduct themselves in a manner that “Honors the Game” and demonstrates respect to other players, coaches, officials, parents, spectators and fans. In becoming a member of the lacrosse community an individual assumes certain obligations and responsibilities to the game of lacrosse and its participants. The essential elements in this “Code of Conduct” are HONESTY and INTEGRITY. Those who conduct themselves in a manner that reflects these elements will bring credit to the sport of lacrosse, themselves, their team and their organization.

“Representing the fastest growing national sport, as an emerging force in sports organizations and leadership, US Lacrosse has a duty to provide positive influence over athletic administrators, programs, officials, coaches, and players. The goal of US Lacrosse, in creating the Code of Ethics, is to promote sportsmanship and character by teaching, advocating, modeling and enforcing ethical principles, while preserving the integrity of the game.

By affiliating with US Lacrosse, individuals and organizations agree to comply with the aspirational guidelines set forth in the Code of Ethics. Failure to adhere to this Code of Ethics may result in revocation of membership or affiliation. US Lacrosse encourages others involved with the sport of lacrosse to adopt and follow these important guidelines.”

It is likely that US Lacrosse will review Swanenburg’s case and make a determination on whether or not he represents the values that US Lacrosse espouses. If they determine that his behavior is not in keeping with those values his membership could be revoked.

Support Coach Boward

Coach Boward’s legal bills are massive and you can help Coach Boward for free simply by doing some online shopping.

Sponsor Support Coach Todd Boward for free! Just click the link

Sponsor Support Coach Todd Boward for free with your online purchases. If you shop online, do this via one of the webshops. This way, Support Coach Todd Boward receives additional sponsorship to achieve the goal set in the Sponsormeter. It doesn’t cost you anything extra!

Local Media Coverage:

Peter Dujardin of the The Daily Press also reported on the trial in an article: Jury sides with current CNU lacrosse coach in defamation case, Mr. Dujardin’s exclusive article is a good snapshot of the case.

Court Slams Frivolous & Vexatious Litigation with $4.7 MM in Fees, by Gene Quinn

Related Posts

A Lacrosse Story?

Hanging on by a Thread

Swanenburg’s Sad Saga

Since this case, according to Swanenburg and Fisher was all about lyrics, we would like to offer a few of our own. Understanding that your theme song for this saga has been “Don’t Stop Believing” and we have been unable to find a song entitled “When Do We Start Believing?” we thought it would be appropriate to end with a live version of “Say Goodbye” by the Dave Matthews Band. Interestingly or not, saying goodbye is something that you apparently forgot or chose not to do when you left the courtroom.


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March 24, 2015

hayden fisher, swanenburg, colonial challenge, williamsburg lacrosse,

Christopher Swanenburg appeared today with his lawyer D. Hayden Fisher in Newport News Circuit Court in what is likely to be his final public hearing before going to trial on March 30, 2015. Swanenburg has embarked on a continuing legal saga against Todd Boward, his former assistant coach of the Christopher Newport University Men’s Lacrosse Team. Swanenburg’s relentless and largely unsuccessful legal campaign has now lasted for almost 4 years and now finally appears to be approaching an end. Ironically the trial date marks Swanenburg’s fifth anniversary of his termination as the Head Coach of the Men’s Lacrosse Team at CNU.

At it’s core, Swanenburg admittedly used a morally reprehensible racist term in the presence of the lacrosse team, a female trainer, and the assistant coaching staff at a lacrosse game at Guilford College in March of 2010 and was subsequently terminated as the head coach of CNU lacrosse. It is important to note that it has not been plead that anyone directly called Swanenburg a racist despite the belief that people who throw that repugnant word around generally are racists.

So what did Swanenburg say at Guilford College on March 3, 2010 that he claims he was not fired for?

According to court documents, Swanenburg actually deposed 5 of his former players, each recalled Swanenburg’s statement at Guilford being different than what Swanenburg claims he said:

  1. “Oh, and we’ve got to listen to this motherf.. n*##^! music”
  2. “This is a lot better than the motherf.. n*##^! shit”
  3. “This is a lot better than that f…ing n*##^! shit music that was on before”
  4. “This is a lot different than that motherf-ing NS . . . Motherf… n*##^! shit”
  5. “that the music was better than the n*##^! music playing before”.

Swanenburg pleads, Plaintiff’s [Swanenburg] Answers to Defendants First Set Interrogatories, that what he actually said was “This is a hell of a lot more appropriate than the shit before that was full of n*##*!, mother f…, suck my d… and eat my p……”. Swanenburg was terminated from CNU on March 30, 2010. and admits that he was terminated ” at least in part” because of the statement.

Approximately, one year after his termination Swanenburg filed a $5,000,000 lawsuit against Todd Boward for telling another coach that he (Boward) didn’t tell him (Swanenburg) to go around using/calling people the n-word implying that Swanenburg was fired for using the n-word. The statement is literally true because Swanenburg has admitted that Boward didn’t tell him to go around calling people the n-word.  Swanenburg is essentially now arguing that even if he did use the n-word and that Boward could not know if he was fired for using the n-word so therefore; if he told someone that Swanenburg was fired for using the n-word, it would be false and therefore defamatory.

The case has zigged and zagged for quite some time now with Swanenburg saying that he didn’t really use the word and that he could not have been fired because of it. In a zig he says he merely quoted the word to bring attention to the inappropriate lyrics of a song being played at Guilford, in a zag he pleads that he could not of been fired because of it since he was able to collect unemployment.

At today’s hearing his attorney, D. Hayden Fisher attempted to introduce a document that he alleged was from the Virginia Attorney General, Mark R. Herring claiming it is some substantive proof that Swanenburg was not fired from CNU. It would appear as though if such a document does exist it will not likely be admitted as an exhibit because of the scheduling order of the trial or at a minimum it is irrelevant since Swanenburg has already admitted to being terminated from CNU. For the record, Attorney General Mark R. Herring was not at the hearing but he was in Williamsburg to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Triad in Virginia an OAG-coordinated program helps empower Virginia seniors to keep themselves safe. 

Effectively, this case is often referred to Defamation 2, but is in effect a refiling of Swanenburg’s first defamation case against Boward which he effectively quit in the middle of the trial by moving to non-suit. This refiled complaint has largely been eviscerated by order of the judge as a result pretrial motions in August 2014. What is most significant about the August 2014 order is that the case has to proceed on a Defamation per Quod basis requiring Swanenburg to prove actual damages. Even more damaging to Swanenburg’s case are his own admissions both in testimony and Request for Admissions that he has not sustained any damages and to using the n-word and effectively being terminated from CNU because of it.

The hearing today was originally scheduled by Swanenburg’s attorney late last year as essentially a pretrial hearing. Subsequently, the defense had requested a scheduled hearing a few weeks ago that was unfortunately canceled due to a snow storm. Frank A. Edgar, Jr., Boward’s lead attorney seized today’s hearing as an opportunity to effectively keep the case from going to trial. As usual, Mr. Edgar delivered his arguments in a professorial manner, clicking off point after point even providing some charts to emphasize his argument. Mr. Edgar cited numerous cases and essentially made the point that Swanenburg can do nothing to elevate his case to a level above his prior testimony and admissions. Effectively, Mr. Edgar’s argument is that without damages there is nothing for a jury to decide and Swanenburg has admitted that he has no damages and nor does he plead any in his complaint.

Swanenburg’s Admitted Answers to Request for Admissions
  1. He used the word “n*##^!” on March 3, 2010;
  2. Boward was in no way responsible for his  use of the word “n*##^!;”
  3. He  was fired by CNU on March 30, 2010;
  4. He was fired by CNU, at least in part, because he used the word “n*##^!” on March 3, 2010;
  5. “No damage to him at all came out of Boward’s Alleged Statements;
  6. He “did not suffer any damage from the Alleged Statements.”

Swanenburg through his attorney was apparently attempting to introduce witnesses and evidence to contradict his own sworn admissions. His argument was met with swift opposition from Boward’s attorney.

Mr. Edgar also informed the court that he had recently attended a deposition in Lynchburg conducted by the plaintiff that required him to spend all day traveling for a deposition that lasted a little more than five minutes. Based on arguments presented at the hearing it is likely that Boward will likely ask the court to force Swanenburg to pay all costs associated with that deposition. 

The Honorable Timothy S. Fisher ultimately ruled that the case would go to trial, but not without some strongly worded cautions for Swanenburg and his attorney. Judge Fisher actually excused himself from the bench on two separate occasions to allow Fisher time to reconsider his seemingly nonsensical and ridiculous arguments. The judge went on to say, “This saga is a disaster” and “hanging by a thread” referring to Swanenburg’s case and reminding Swanenburg that he will have to “pass the red face test” standing in front of a jury of his peers. The “red faced test” is for Swanenburg to sit in front of the jury and tell them that he used the n-word but he was not fired because of it thereby making Boward responsible for the damages that he does not have.

So on March 30, 2105 a jury trial will commence in the case of Swanenburg v. Boward. There will possibly be a teleconference later this week between the judge and the attorneys to discuss some final pretrial matters but as of this writing the case will proceed to trial. Stay Tuned


Maybe it’s time for Swanenburg and his attorney to stroll to the nearest 7-11 for a Big Gulp and a bag of chips and then find a park bench where they can sit and contemplate their case. At a minimum, they should get a dose of reality and move out of the fantasy land that they seem to be living in. Although it is possible that a jury could find in Swanenburg’s favor it is probably more likely that the trial will end in a manner that is not favorable to them opening the door for a malicious prosecution case and/or sanctions.

At a very minimum their antics are a mockery of the legal system which in part is designed to serve justice to those who deserve it. In civil matters, the legal system is designed to redress losses or damages sustained by a party who may or may not be entitled to an equitable remedy.

What is the equitable remedy that Swanenburg is seeking?

Many would suggest that Swanenburg is not really seeking any remedy but has pursued these actions for no other reason than to punish Boward for losing his coaching job at CNU. One possible reason for Swanenburg’s actions is most likely attributable to his own personality disorder and he is obsessed with using this litigation to support his need to feel powerful. One of the most compelling examples of his obsession is a letter that he wrote to then Governor Bob McDonnell nearly three years after his termination from CNU. In his letter, Swanenburg states that his former assistant coach “threatened to kill both my wife and me” and other allegations that have never been substantiated. That letter actually followed a letter, written in October 2012 to the board of visitors which makes many of the same allegations in which Swanenburg repulsively evokes the tragedies at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia to gain more attention. In defense of his lawyer, many of Swanenburg’s actions including these letters seem to be in direct contravention of any sound legal advise and many of the pleadings in the litigation seem to have been authored by Swanenburg himself including the most recent complaint. One of the most compelling examples of a document entered into the court that appears to be written by Swanenburg is Plaintiff’s [Swanenburg] Answers to Defendants First Set Interrogatories.

Swanenburg’s Letter to Gov. Bob McDonnell

According to Psych Central, the focus of the delusion is often on some injustice that must be remedied by legal action. The affected person may engage in repeated attempts to obtain satisfaction by appeal to the courts and other government agencies. Psych Central has been noted in dozens of international publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, TIME, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, USA Today, USA Weekend, The Village Voice, Business Week, and Forbes.

“Out of the Fog”, an information site and support group offering help to family members and loved-ones of people who suffer from personality disorders, some Personality-Disordered individuals will use the legal system as a proxy to continue their abuse, harassment or conflict with someone through groundless lawsuits, meritless proceedings and spurious legal action and those with Personality Disorders are drawn towards conflict and will use litigation as a tool to sustain conflict or support a need to feel powerful.

The Letter Black – Hanging On By A Thread

The Movie:  Hanging by a Thread 

Review Summary

“Master of disaster” Irwin Allen was so confident of his talents in 1979 that he actually thought he could stretch out a suspense tale for a full 200 minutes. Originally telecast in two parts, Allen’s Hanging by a Thread concerns a group of friends and tourists, trapped in a sightseeing tram that dangles precariously over a yawning chasm. You might start yawning as well during the film’s entirely dispensable flashback sequences. The “suspense” scenes themselves aren’t bad, permitting an all-star cast (Sam Groom, Patty Duke Astin, Joyce Bulifant,

Donna Mills, Burt Convy et. al.) to alternate between screaming and looking terrified. Hanging by a Thread was first broadcast on May 8 and 9, 1979. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi credit NY Times

All content provided for this article is for informational/educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. The writer makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information, although the information has been carefully researched and every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the information presented, it is possible that there are errors.
The author will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime with or without notice.

Coaches are Mandated Reporters Part II

hrlax, blovad, swanenburg, lax, williamsburg

Beginning in January 2012, Anthony Brooks, Mark Moreno, and Michael Moreno, (Mark Moreno’s oldest of three sons),  were coaches on a high school boy’s lacrosse club team that was part of Hampton Roads Lacrosse League (HRLAX). In addition to being a coach, Mr. Moreno (Mark) was also the Vice President of York Lacrosse Club, Inc. (YLC) which was formed in January 2012 to fund and develop a boys high school club team to compete within the Hampton Roads Lacrosse league. The entire Moreno family had been huge proponents of building a boy’s high school club team in the Williamsburg area and earlier that year had received an email from Jim Old, President, Hampton Roads Lacrosse in May 2011 outlining the formation of a York / Williamsburg Boys High School Club team.

(HRLax), a 501(c)(3) Corporation, whose stated purpose is to provide a youth lacrosse experience in the Hampton Roads geographical region. Hampton Roads Lacrosse collects membership dues for US Lacrosse (USL), The National Governing Body of Lacrosse. In addition to collecting membership dues for US Lacrosse, HRLax also collects a participation fee from members to administer league operations and provide certification for coaches. Teams that participate within the league were required to play (10) scheduled games within the league.

Prior to the formation of the team, Mr. Moreno was invited by the Director of Development, HRLax, to a formation meeting in York County to encourage the development of the new boys’ team in York County. The team was to include players from Williamsburg and York County and Mr. Moreno was urged by those present to serve as President of the new club. Mr. Moreno declined the offer to be the club’s president and was unanimously elected as Vice President. At that time the Moreno’s were introduced to Mr. Brooks who had offered to serve as head coach for the newly formed team.

In the months that followed Mr. Moreno and his son Michael received Level 1 coaching certifications from US Lacrosse to assist Mr. Brooks with the team. Michael worked directly with Mr. Brooks both at games and practices as an assistant coach. Michael and Mr. Brooks appeared to have enjoyed a good working relationship and were very successful in developing this first year team. Both the Moreno’s enjoyed a very positive experience with Mr. Brooks.

Mr. Moreno attended board meetings, worked on promoting and marketing fundraising campaigns, acquired the team uniforms, and developed the team’s website, Facebook, Blog, and Twitter. Mr. Moreno was focused on the welfare of the players and focused on safety to include proper hydration, concussion awareness, and abuse and injury prevention. Mr. Moreno provided Gatorade coolers and ice for hydration and basically attended to the sideline activities and did not actively coach the games or practices.

Mr. Moreno routinely worked to create awareness for the team to enhance fundraising and participation through social media, the team’s website, and a blog. Before the season started, Mr. Moreno coordinated and scheduled a lacrosse clinic that included the coaching staff from the University of Richmond Men’s Lacrosse Team, River City Lacrosse, Play in School, and Elkins Sport Performance of Richmond, VA. Mr. Moreno also encouraged the scheduling of a scrimmage with Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg which was later played. Mr. Moreno enlisted area restaurants to help support the team and created some cross-promotions that essentially created traffic and goodwill for the restaurants and awareness for the team.

On or about April 20, 2012, Mr. Moreno was contacted by the head coach of Christchurch School Boy’s Lacrosse Team, inviting the YLC team to play a scrimmage game with the Christchurch JV team in Urbana, VA. Mr. Moreno sent an email message to Mr. Brooks who approved of the game and also pointed out that there were some potential conflicts with the proposed Friday. Subsequently, Mr. Moreno learned that a majority of both team’s players were required to take SAT tests on Saturday morning. Mr. Moreno rescheduled the scrimmage game to Saturday afternoon to address all conflicts and communicated the game through Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Slideshare, and the team website even naming the game the “Rappa Riva Lax Classic” and coordinating with a local restaurant to sponsor a BBQ dinner after the game.

On Friday, April 28, 2012 immediately following a game Mr. Brooks gathered players and parents for some after game remarks and then invited Mr. Moreno to address the group. Mr. Moreno addressed the group promoting the upcoming Christchurch game and all in attendance were genuinely excited. Mr. Brooks interrupted Mr. Moreno telling him that he could not be at the game because he had to work. Mr. Moreno quietly acknowledged his objection and dismissed the group to avoid any controversy in front of the players and parents after the game. Mr. Moreno admits to being surprised with Mr. Brooks’ objection given that the game was widely publicized and that Brooks had already approved the scheduling of the game. Mr. Moreno elected to call Mr. Brooks after leaving the game to discuss the apparent misunderstanding.

In the ensuing phone conversation Mr. Moreno stated that he considered Mr. Brooks as a retired service member and had no knowledge that he worked outside of his volunteer activities on the team and could not be present for a game a week later. Mr. Moreno stated that the conflict was unintentional, and apologized to Mr. Brooks and stated to Mr. Brooks was not the only certified coach on the team and that the scrimmage game could be played without his attendance. Mr. Moreno ultimately agreed that the scrimmage game could either be rescheduled or canceled and concluded the phone call.

Shortly thereafter, Michael Moreno advised Mr. Moreno that some players on the team had directly told him that the coach had made some of them feel “creepy” and “weird”. When Michael asked them to elaborate on why they felt that way, Michael told Mr. Moreno that the players related that Brooks;

  1. had taken pictures of one of the players in his compression shorts
  2. had photographed another in urinated shorts

Mr. Moreno immediately contacted a US Lacrosse Official outside of the immediate area for advice on what should be done. The official told Mr. Moreno that he had to report the allegations but was not sure to whom it should be reported.

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Richard J. Blovad

The following morning, Saturday, April 29, 2012, Mr. Moreno received a text message from Richard Blovad, then Boys High School Commissioner, HRLAX,  telling him that Mr. Brooks was complaining about the Christchurch scrimmage game. Mr. Moreno immediately called Blovad to ask what the issue was regarding the game. Mr. Blovad advised that he saw no reason why the game could not be played and that he did not understand Brooks’ objection considering that there were two other coaches available for the game. At the end of that part of the conversation Mr. Moreno asked Blovad a hypothetical question related to suspected sexual abuse by a coach. Blovad immediately disengaged from the call prompting Mr. Moreno to call Blovad again. Mr. Blovad did not answer. Mr. Blovad has subsequently denied that any references to suspected abuse were discussed on that call and recently testified that he first heard one of the allegations from Christopher Swanenburg. Blovad also works directly with Swanenburg as a coach for the Patriots tournament team operated by Swanenburg.

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Christopher T. Swanenburg

Mr. Moreno then contacted Chris Swanenburg, then Director of Boys’ Coaches Training for HRLax and after approximately 25 to 30 minutes of discussion related to summer travel team opportunities Mr. Moreno asked Swanenburg a hypothetical question related to suspected sexual abuse. The question he asked was “what do you do if you have a coach taking pictures of a kid in his compression shorts?” Swanenburg only acknowledged the question by telling Mr. Moreno about an incident that he had witnessed where a player was knocked to the ground by a coach never responding to the hypothetical question that Mr. Moreno had asked.  Swanenburg has had numerous lawsuits related to his termination at CNU and is represented by D. Hayden Fisher.  At the time of the call Mr. Moreno did not have any knowledge that Swanenburg had lawsuits pending in Newport News and did not discover that fact until almost eight months after the call. The call ended shortly thereafter and Swanenburg promptly sent an email to Mr. Moreno attaching participation documents for Capital Lacrosse.

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The Patriots Lacrosse program participates in summer tournaments and is owned and directed by Mr. Swanenburg. Swanenburg sent an email to Brooks on Thursday, May 3, 2012,  almost one week after the conversation, and only  after Swanenburg’s attorney D. Hayden Fisher had sent an email to Brooks asking for “exact words”. Swanenburg’s purported version of the conversation only occurs after his attorney is apparently engaged by Brooks and Mr. Moreno adamantly disputes Swanenburg’s finely crafted version of the conversation.

In his email Swanenburg states: “On Saturday, April 28 Mark Moreno called me on my cell phone at 9:33 am. The phone call lasted 35 minutes and 13 seconds. Almost the entire conversation was spent discussing miscellaneous lacrosse topics. After around 33 minutes on the phone Mark mentioned to me that you (Anthony Brooks) had taken photos of boys crotches and that you were going to be resigning. I don’t recall his exact words and I’m not certain if he actually said boy or boys. I am, however, 100% certain that he accused you of photographing at least one boy’s crotch and that you were going to be resigning. Upon hearing Mark’s accusation, I may have said something like “I am sorry to hear that” or “that’s too bad” and told him that I had to get to watching my daughter’s lacrosse game. I asked no follow-up questions and the call ended shortly thereafter.”

Later that day, Mr. Moreno became aware that the Team Statistician and Scorekeeper, Shari Hamel circulated an email to the parents and players stating that because of the disagreement over the Christchurch scrimmage game that the Moreno’s were trying to remove Mr. Brooks from his coaching duties. Mr. Moreno responded to Hamel telling her that her information was incorrect and that Brooks was disseminating false information about the game. Immediately thereafter, Mr. Moreno received a call from one of the players that had reported the allegations to Michael. The player called Mr. Moreno and related to Mr. Moreno that he had been contacted by Brooks and that Brooks was now offering him a captain spot in the upcoming playoff game.

Mr. Moreno became very concerned that Brooks was now allegedly contacting one of the players that had related allegations about Brooks as well as being present when the other players shared their allegations with Michael. Mr. Moreno sent an email to the other board members requesting an emergency meeting and to remove Brooks from the team immediately. Mr. Moreno subsequently received an email from Crystal Clark, President YLC stating that she was not going to take any actions. Mr. Moreno followed with another email telling her that this was a serious situation and that action needed to be taken immediately. Clark refused to schedule an emergency meeting despite being told in a subsequent telephone call that there were allegations of suspected sexual abuse.

That evening, Michael Moreno called Shari Hamel, team statistician, in response to the email that she was now circulating,  stated “you don’t f**** know what’s going on, Player 1 came to me at Wednesday’s practice and told me that Coach Brooks had taken inappropriate pictures of him in his compression shorts when the boys were changing into their uniforms.”

At 11:08 pm that evening, Richard Blovad, High School Boys Commissioner, Hampton Roads Chapter of US Lacrosse,  sent an email to all players and parents of YLC announcing that all team activities were suspended. At 11:59 pm on the same evening Blovad sends the following email to Mr. Brooks:

“I’ll call you tomorrow!! I am doing everything I can do to shut the Marino’s [sic] up and they are causing quiet [sic] the problem for me.”

Blovad, called Michael Moreno the next day to ask about the allegations and the call lasted about 5 minutes and Blovad only called Michael after Michael had called him requesting him to do so. Michael related the allegations and approximately four hours later Blovad reinstated the team stating that he had conducted an investigation. He reinstated Brooks and subsequently removed the Moreno’s from the league. Blovad never contacts Mr. Moreno after the suspension of the team on Saturday night despite the fact that he admits that he received his “first” information from Swanenburg at approximately 9:00 pm Saturday night.

On Monday morning, Blovad sends an email to the Mark and Michael Moreno essentially removing them from the league citing that they had either not reported the incidents in a timely manner or did not provide information as to what happened or what players were involved.

The following night, YLC conducted a practice in which Mr. Moreno’s youngest son Thomas was expelled from the team as well as one of the players who had reported allegations to Michael Moreno. A third player who had also reported the allegations against Mr. Brooks was threatened with expulsion but not expelled. Later that evening the player authored an email in which he said the following, “wow f*** this, apparently our opinions don’t matter and won’t change anything. Apparently, I was almost kicked off?? What the f***?, Brooks told the team that I quit because I went to talk to Charlie Turner, volunteer coach, with the other concerned players. Brooks has destroyed his own reputation and I have lost all respect for him, Blovad, and Ms. Hamel.”

The following morning, now convinced that Blovad has not reported the alleged abuse to proper authorities, Mr. Moreno placed a call to the abuse hotline giving only his name and the allegations electing initially not to give the names of the players. Subsequently, after being requested to do so, Mr. Moreno provided the hotline operator with names of the alleged victims. Mr. Moreno was contacted by an investigator approximately an hour after placing the call to the hotline, requesting to interview Mr. Moreno concerning the allegations of suspected sexual abuse. Mr. Moreno offered to travel with Michael Moreno to meet with the investigator. The Moreno’s were interviewed for about an hour at the York/Poquoson Department of Social Services. The Moreno’s were advised that the allegations were reportable and that they had fulfilled their duties as mandated reporters. Mr. Moreno was contacted later in the week by the investigator requesting some additional information, which he provided.

Later that week the Moreno family received a hand delivered letter from Jim Old, President of HRLax that they were now “barred” from all HRLax events, games, practices, etc. That letter was delivered prior to the conclusion of the Department of Social Services investigation. The letter does not cite any specific reasons other than to state “due to your attendance at practices”.  Mr. Moreno then contacted US Lacrosse to inform them that he and has family were now the targets of retaliation for fulfilling their duties as mandated reporters.

On May 7, 2012, Mr. Moreno was contacted by the investigator who informed him that the investigation had concluded and the finding was “unfounded”. The investigator specifically told Mr. Moreno that he had met his obligations under the law as a mandated reporter. According to A Guide For Mandated Reporters In Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect a finding of unfounded is one in which “The investigation reveals insufficient evidence that abuse or neglect occurred. This finding does not necessarily mean that abuse or neglect did not occur, but that the evidence was not sufficient for a founded disposition.”

Anthony Brooks v. Michael Moreno, et al Case No: CL12-4935 York/Poquoson Circuit Court

On August 28, 2012 the Moreno’s were served with Plaintiff’s Complaint alleging two counts of Defamation per se. After nearly two years of discovery and litigation a two-day jury trial was held on July 8th & 9th in which the jury found in favor of the defendant Michael Moreno, and against Mark Moreno in favor of the Plaintiff Anthony Brooks.

Trial Transcript Day 1

Trial Transcript Day 2

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Supreme Court of Virginia

Petition for Appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia 

Brief in Opposition to Petition for Appeal

Mr. Moreno has now filed a Petition for Appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia and  contends that he should have been immune from civil liability as a result of his lawful reporting of suspected sexual abuse and further contends that the Plaintiff in this case never proved that Mr. Moreno acted with actual malice. In order to prove actual malice the Plaintiff needed to prove that the alleged statement to Christopher Swanenburg was knowingly false.

Mr. Moreno believes as a matter of opinion that this lawsuit was instigated for improper purpose by Christopher Swanenburg and D. Hayden Fisher, his attorney. Swanenburg and his attorney have essentially prosecuted a series of legal actions in Newport News for nearly 4 years making numerous claims and have thus far have failed to prevail in any of them. Upon knowledge and belief, Swanenburg’s email account of the phone conversation is a finely crafted false statement and his subsequent testimony at trial was either factually false, evasive, or both.

Both Michael and Mark Moreno represented themselves in this case electing to withdraw from counsel in the early stages of the case.

Mr. Moreno has now begun the appeal process to the Supreme Court of Virginia and is asking for your help. If you are associated with a non-profit that exists to protect children and have access to legal resources, we need your help. Mr. Moreno is now scheduled to appear before a writ panel hearing at the Supreme Court of Virginia on March 31, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Hampton Roads Lacrosse Coaches Meeting Presentation.

All content provided for this article is for informational/educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. The writer makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information, although the information has been carefully researched and every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the information presented, it is possible that there are errors.
The author will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime with or without notice.

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UPDATE: December 5, 2014

On December 3, 2014 a hearing was held in Newport News Circuit Court in the case Swanenburg v. Boward. The hearing was scheduled to hear oral arguments on Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in which Boward is moving the Court to Dismiss the last remaining case against him by Swanenburg. A Motion for Summary Judgment is a motion that asks the court to rule as a matter of law that the moving party (Boward) is entitled to judgment without the necessity of a trial.  At the last hearing, Swanenburg’s admissions on the Requests for Admissions to the material facts appear to effectively set the stage for this Summary Judgment.

The Motion for Summary Judgment was replied to in an Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment by Swanenburg  through his attorney, D. Hayden Fisher prior to the hearing.

The hearing, for the most part was effectively a lecture on Defamation Law and specifically Defamation per quod eloquently delivered by Boward’s attorney, Frank A. Edgar, Jr. and Mr. Edgar delivered a comprehensive legal argument citing almost a dozen cases.

One of the cases cited, Massie v. Firmstone, 134 Va. 450, 462, 114 S.E. 652, 656 actually dates back to 1922.  The significance of that case with respect to the Motion for Summary Judgment is essentially that a party having already provided testimony that harms his case and then attempts to introduce contradictory evidence or asks to have their testimony disregarded. In it’s simplest terms, a party, in this case Swanenburg;  in reference to the statements he has made are binding upon him and he cannot rely on evidence in contradiction to his own testimony to strengthen his own case. In even simpler terms, he cannot ask that his case be made stronger than it is.

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Supreme Court of Virginia

Mr. Edgar also cited a case of local interest that was decided in the Supreme Court of Virginia in January of 2014; Phillip D. WEBB v. VIRGINIAN–PILOT MEDIA COMPANIES, LLC.; Record No. 122024. The relevance here is that implications drawn from literally true statements cannot be extended by innuendo beyond the meaning of the actual statement. In that case Phillip Webb was an assistant principal at a Virginia High School. Phillip’s son and another student got in some trouble and the Virginia Pilot reported on the disparity of the punishment that each boy had received. The Pilot published an article that reported that one boy seemed to receive less severe punishment than the other while stating that the boy who received the lesser punishment was the son of a High School Assistant Principal. The article did not expressly imply that Phillip’s son had received preferential treatment because of his father’s position, but Phillips sued the Pilot for defamation ultimately prevailing in a jury trial and being awarded a multi-million dollar award before it was struck by the judge in granting the Pilot’s Motion to Strike. The case was heard by the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court decision, which granted the defendant’s Motion to Strike, and dismissed a $3,000,000 compensatory award.

What is conceivably most important about the Motion for Summary Judgment is that Swanenburg has absolutely admitted that the n-word came out of his mouth in the presence of the CNU Men’s Lacrosse Team and a female trainer on March 3, 2010; and the use of that word was a “contributing factor” in his firing by CNU on March 30, 2010. More importantly, these are the same issues that were in existence when Swanenburg filed his first lawsuit on June 23, 2011. Conceivably, Swanenburg’s sole remaining argument is that the implications that come from a literally true statement are his reasoning to proceed to trial. Obviously, Bowards’s lawyer disagrees.

Swanenburg’s attorney responded to the argument by essentially stating that they did not agree to amend their answers on the Requests for Admission which was the subject of the last hearing. The Honorable Timothy S. Fisher had already entered an Order effectively stating that the Plaintiff had consented to amend his answers from Denied to Admitted on the Requests for Admission. Swanenburg’s attorney, D.Hayden Fisher’s argument was that he and has client had not agreed to amend those answers. That contention does not seem to be supported by anyone in attendance at the hearing or the transcript from the proceeding.

At issue for Fisher was specifically two of the requests that pertained to damages #21 and #22,  in which Swanenburg admitted on Requests for Admission

  • #21 “Admit that no damages to you at all came out of the statements you allege Boward made to Goeller on June 24, 2010” and;
  • #22 ” Admit that you did not suffer any damage from the Alleged Statements made to Goeller on June 24, 2010.”.

Fisher argued that he and his client did not agree to amend those answers from Denied to Admitted which is essentially tantamount to accusing Boward’s attorney of being dishonest and was addressed sternly later in the hearing.

Swanenburg’s attorney spent the remainder of his argument focused on Virginia Model Jury Instructions related to damages resulting from defamation in an apparent attempt to argue that a jury should decide on whether or not Swanenburg had any damages. Fisher also relied on a familiar theme that has emerged throughout these proceedings by referencing “Don’t Stop Believing” a song by Journey in a continuing argument that Swanenburg did not say the n-word as an original thought but he said the n-word to draw a contrast between “Don’t Stop Believing” and the lyrics that were part of a song that had been playing earlier at Guilford College on March 3, 2010.

Also at issue in this hearing was a Motion in Limine in which Swanenburg sought to exclude testimony from some or all those present when Swanenburg used the n-word at the Guilford College game on March 3, 2010 and was subsequently terminated from CNU on March 30, 2010. The Honorable Timothy S. Fisher denied that motion without hearing oral argument and also stated that he would try to deliver a decision on the Motion for Summary Judgment by “next week” after asking Swanenburg’s attorney “What’s left of your case?” earlier in the hearing.

Stay tuned and Don’t Stop Believing!

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Opinion & Commentary

In studying and reporting on this case as well as the previous cases that Swanenburg has filed since his termination at CNU it is hard to understand how this case can continue. The expenses have to be enormous, not only the legal expenses of the parties, but those of the court. Swanenburg, has essentially not prevailed in any of his actions against Boward or those against a parent of one of the players. In the case against the parent he essentially faked a punt when he appealed the judge’s decision to the Supreme Court of Virginia and then failed to perfect the appeal by following through.

This last remaining legal action is effectively an extension of a case that Swanenburg through his attorney effectively quit at halftime preventing the other side the opportunity to score.  Imagine watching a big game and one team is losing at halftime and they call a time-out and don’t return to finish the game until next year. Worse yet, when they show up to play the game they insist on a different set of rules and they want to overturn all of the replay calls that went against them in the first half of the first game.

As a matter of opinion, what is most disheartening about this situation is that everyday we see real life examples of people who have real damages and we don’t see them piling on the lawsuits.

Swanenburg admits that he has “no damages” and through his attorney contends that he should be given a second opportunity to persuade a jury that he is entitled to an award. As a matter of fact, his attorney has plead in his Opposition to Summary Judgment that a jury should be given an opportunity to award him nominal damages. Nominal damages are a small amount of money awarded to a plaintiff in a lawsuit to show he/she was right but has suffered no significant losses. Nominal damages are awarded to vindicate a right or claim of the plaintiff, giving the plaintiff, in effect, a moral victory. Nominal damages may be, for instance, an award of one dollar. An award of nominal damages is intended as an affirmation that the type of conduct the defendant engaged in should not be permitted.

So maybe Swanenburg has effectively conceded that all he wants now is a “moral victory” which seems to be extraordinarily disingenuous since his original suit asked for $5,000,000 in compensatory damages.

What if Swanenburg tells someone that he used the n-word and was fired because of it,  can he sue himself?

All content provided for this article is for informational/educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. The writer makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information, although the information has been carefully researched and every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the information presented, it is possible that there are errors. If you discover an error please send an email to
The author will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime with or without notice.