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¡Viva Al Nye the Lawyer Guy!

Alan-photo In Maine, he is known simply as Al Nye the Lawyer Guy. But in Cuba, he will forever be remembered as "el abogado norteamericano Al Nye." With a few brief remarks on his blog last week, Portland, Maine, family lawyer, Rotary Club member and Red Sox fan Alan R. Nye became a hero of the Cuban government.

It all came to pass after a Maine court last week found the Republic of Cuba responsible for the wrongful death of an American believed to have been shot down while on a covert mission over the island in 1963. Waldo County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hjelm awarded the man's daughter damages of $21 million plus interest.

Nye wrote about the award on his blog, calling it "amazing." "I’ve been a lawyer for nearly 30 years and have never heard of a lawsuit such as this being successful," he said. "A citizen of Maine filing a suit in state court against a foreign country for an incident that happened over 25 years ago." He also said he did not "fully understand the basis of the damages."

Nye's was not the only blog to discuss the award. Also covering it was CubaDebate, an official Cuban government blog. According to a translation published on the Miami Herald blog Cuban Colada, CubaDebate called the court ruling "unprecedented" and said, "It wouldn't have happened if it weren't a lawsuit against Cuba in a U.S. courtroom, where evidence is not necessary. ... All the judge needed were rumors and prejudices to condemn the island and award a fortune to the plaintiff."

As evidence of the outrageousness of the award, CubaDebate published a separate post highlighting Nye's comments. Identifying him as "el abogado norteamericano Al Nye," CubaDebate noted Nye's description of the award as "amazing" and his comment that never in his nearly 30 years of practice had he seen anything like it. The Cuban blog even featured a picture of Nye's blog.

I hope Nye at least gets a good cigar out of all this. Of course, it can't come from Cuba.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 26, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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