OPINION by DAVE CONGALTON
Those of us who have followed the tragic story of missing Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart know only too well the tragic twists and turns this case has taken since May, 1996. We know that story in large part thanks to the tireless work of podcaster Chris Lambert, creator of the 10-part series “Your Own Backyard.”
Because of Chris Lambert’s work, the Kristin Smart case now has an international audience and has been thrust into the national media spotlight. His role in bringing Paul and Ruben Flores to trial cannot be overstated.
Many of you will recall what happened in the weeks-long pre-trial hearing in San Luis Obispo last August. Flamboyant defense attorney Robert Sanger, representing Paul Flores, decided to target Chris and his podcast. Sanger subpoenaed Chris and all his research notes from the case, confidential sources whom Chris had sworn to protect.
The defense wanted to question Chris under oath on the witness stand, a shameless and desperate legal maneuver–but it was also a test of the First Amendment.
Chris did not want to give up his research notes to the defense. Nor did he wish to testify in the case. So Chris had no choice but to retain legal counsel, attorneys who specialized in First Amendment issues. Attorneys from Davis, Wright & Tremayne in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. stepped in and saved the day, protecting the First Amendment rights of Chris and exposing the questionable defense tactics.
All good news, but now Chris Lambert has legal bills from what happened in August. He has been reluctant to ask for help, but his many friends and supporters have come together to ask you to donate to a new Go Fund Me page – the Chris Lambert Defense Fund. Every dollar donated goes to paying the legal fees from the pre-trial hearing.
We support the family of Kristin Smart. We support the work of Chris Lambert.
Thank you in advance for any donation you can make!
Dave Congalton is a radio host at 920kvec.com.