Max Hardcore Retrial Denied:

TAMPA – A federal judge this morning denied a new trial for a video producer convicted in June of distributing obscene materials.

Attorneys for Paul Little, also known as Max Hardcore, requested a new trial on several grounds, including the fact that one of the jurors was fired from her job the night before the verdict was returned.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew ruled that the issues relating to the firing of the juror and other instances of alleged irregularities involving jurors did not affect the outcome of the case and did not detract from Little’s constitutional rights.

According to a defense court filing, the juror who was fired from her job had resisted convicting Little and his company, Max World Entertainment.

Before reaching their verdict, jurors sent a note to Bucklew stating they were deadlocked and that the deliberations were emotional.

Three jurors were holding out, according to the defense court filing. One of them was the woman who had sent a note to the judge earlier in the day asking to talk to Bucklew because the juror had been fired.

The judge didn’t meet with the juror until after the verdicts and didn’t tell attorneys in the case about the juror’s note, defense attorneys asserted in their court filing.

The defense maintained that the court’s failure to disclose the note to attorneys was improper and warrants a new trial.

The defense sought a new trial on several other grounds, including an assertion that a prosecutor made an improper comment to a juror during the trial. According to the defense filing, midway through the trial, a federal prosecutor “reported that he engaged in an inadvertent, but prejudicial dialogue with a juror in the elevator,” the defense motion states. “The attorney questioned whether the juror was going upstairs to ‘watch that porn,’ and the juror affirmed that he was.

“Although there was no apparent motive on the part of the attorney to taint the jury, the fact remains that the juror was chided by a government lawyer for being exposed to the allegedly obscene materials in this case,” the defense motion states.

But Bucklew said there was no evidence that the juror, who was not wearing his button identifying himself as a juror, was chided.

Little is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 5.

22260cookie-checkMax Hardcore Retrial Denied:

Max Hardcore Retrial Denied:

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7 Responses

  1. Mike: That’s step 1. Hopefully, your legal readers are checking this out to keep me straight, but I think step 2 will be an appeal to the 11th Circuit federal appeals court. Generally considered a pretty conservative place – lots of death row appeals heard there, and they’re generally in favor of fryin’ ’em. If Max could get the chair for his movies, well, you’d be callin’ him Old Sparkey. Four judges were appointed by Clinton. That’s a good sign. The remainder were appointed by Reagan (1), the elder Bush (4), the younger Bush (1) and two reassigned from the Fifth Circuit, which includes Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana – not necessarily friendly to Max.

    I still bet this goes to the Supreme Court.

  2. Ya I dont think anyone expected the judge who heard the case to agree to a new trial, and you are correct that the next step woould be to the 11th Circuit which would bring it here to Atlanta.

    I agree with ya about the Supreme Court eventually they are going to have to hear one of these…I dont think it will bode well for the industry if this is the one it hears.

  3. I’d argue that it potentially bodes well for the industry if this is the case they hear. Look at it this way. They could say Max is protected by the First Amendment (ROTFLOL). But they might also set limits while stringing up Max that don’t impact your run-of-the-mill purveyor of smut. The flip side is that they could end up hearing John Stagliano, who may occasionally push the envelope but I think in socially-acceptable ways, and say that everything short of Red Shoe Diaries is obscene. Look out Rob Black.

  4. “blog troll?” Gee, is that me?

    I won’t try to defend Max here since (1) nobody seems inclined to my point of view and (2) it really isn’t relevant to the motion for new trial, which is just about how the trial progressed and not whether the material is protected by the First Amendment. BTW, I’m not defending Max Hardcore. I really could care less about his stuff. My point has always been that the current obscenity standard is broken.

  5. The only problem with the SC hearing this case is that it could very well be an all or nothing situation. If they overturn Max’s conviction, then all bets are off on the kind of porn that will be shot. Every freak with a camera will then be able to go out and make ass milkshakes for the world. If they uphold or worse, redefine obscenity, porners could definitely face coming out on the losing end.

    Does the porn community honestly want max to become the litmus test that their business and legal futures are hinged upon? It is kind of like asking Charles Manson to go argue on the behalf of inmate rights.

  6. Matts: At this point, that ship has probably sailed. There’s no guarantee that the case would reach the level of the Supreme Court, or that the court would agree to hear it. However, with their client facing financial ruin and the potential of jail time, Max’s lawyers have a duty to appeal on his behalf to a federal appeals court, assuming he can afford the appeals, regardless of what the porn community wants. That’s the next step towards the Supremes. JustBrent would know whether the appeal is for a new trial based on errors by the trial court, or whether they appeal the conviction on the merits. I just play a lawyer on TV.

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