First Amendment

MAJOR POINTS Michael Lacey, Jim Larkin and four codefendants currently face 100 counts including the following: facilitating misdemeanor state prostitution offenses in violation of the U.S. Travel Act; money laundering; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and conspiracy to facilitate misdemeanor…

oconnorcourt

The grueling process of picking a jury in the Lacey/Larkin trial played out Wednesday in the ultra-humid “special proceedings courtroom” of downtown Phoenix’s Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse, itself a hothouse of steel and glass built by some architectural sadist…

A fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1 in federal court in Phoenix accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client…

Photo of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, wearing sport coats, outside federal court in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Federal prosecutors in Phoenix recently filed a  new, superseding indictment against seven former owners and executives of the online listings giant Backpage.com. Dated July 25, the complaint largely reprises the dozens of allegations that formed the basis of the original…

video screenshot of former Backpage.com owner and CEO Carl Ferrer at a 2017 hearing of the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

If you didn’t know that the Backpage case was about online classified advertising, you might think the U.S. Department of Justice was mounting a prosecution against the Mafia. Late on Thursday, the DOJ announced that it has turned Backpage CEO…

video screenshots of former Backpage.com owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin at a 2017 hearing of the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Zero sex-trafficking charges. That’s the most glaring aspect of a Phoenix federal grand jury’s belatedly unsealed 93-count indictment against seven current and former owners and operators of the online listings site Backpage.com. The defendants include veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim…