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2019 Sakura-Con Vice-Chair Tom Allmendinger filed an ethics complaint against attorney Nick Rekieta over his coverage of the ongoing Vic Mignogna controversy and statements on legal ramifications for conventions Sakura-Con Vice-Chair Files Ethics Complaint Against Rekieta Law Sakura-Con Vice-Chair Files Ethics Complaint Against Rekieta Law
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Article Sakura-Con Vice-Chair Files Ethics Complaint Against Rekieta Law
Internet • Anime

Christopher M
Published
March 28, 2019, 04:32pmEDT
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For over a month, Minnesota attorney Nick Rekita has been covering allegations levied against the anime voice actor Vic Mignogna while providing a unique take by presenting everything through a legal point of view.

Mr. Mignogna is known for voicing characters such as Broly in the Dragon Ball series and Edward Elric in the Fullmetal Alchemist series. In the past month several voice actors from Funimation and Rooster Teeth, as well as several cosplayers, have accused him of sexual misconduct. To date, evidence has failed to surface with some accusers outright refusing to provide any evidence. One of the main accusers, Monica Rial, protested, "You are not entitled to evidence or information just because you're a random fan on the internet. You don't know all the details. The truth will come out." Later asserting, "If there is evidence do you really think that you, a random fan online, would be privy to that information?"

Receiving negative coverage has perturbed many individuals who are likely ensnared in the ongoing controversy, as multiple ethics complaints have been sent to the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Most of, if not all, currently assert that Mr. Rekita has made mean or unpleasant statements about them on the internet.

However, one stood out from the rest, the complaint sent in by Sakura-Con's long time Vice-Chairman Tom Allmendinger.

Sakura-Con is an annual anime convention put on by Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association and is held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington. This year's event is currently scheduled to host several of the voice actors that are embroiled in the ongoing Vic controversy, including Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial.

Unlike the others, Mr. Allmendinger brought up Mr. Rekieta's statements about conventions being legally liable for actions or statements that infringe Constitutional Amendments if they're hosted in a government controlled center or facility.

The complaint was showcased on Mr. Rekieta's weeknight YouTube livestream Lawsplaining The Interwebs as he has done with previous ethics complaints. Here is what was submitted to the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility by Mr. Allmendinger,

I feel that things he has said using both Youtube and Twitter platforms in which his accounts are named after his law firm as well as use his law firm’s logo may have breached the code of ethics.

The first thing I felt was unethical was in a video where he listed out where in listing off potential targets of a lawsuit he includes someone's employer over things the person said as well as conventions and venues stating convention statements could be state action if the convention is held in a state owned venue
https://youtu.be/snt0KPwYYv0?t=778

Refering [sic] to someone who may be involved in the lawsuit as a "little b****" using the term cuck
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptRVzTQ58W4&t=7470s

On twitter he also referred to the same person as "Ms. Beta"
https://twitter.com/NickRekieta/status/1102321286292930560

The video listed in regards to conventions is Mr. Rekieta's video Real Lawyer Explains Vic Mignogna's Potential LAWSUIT - Asks For Help!. In which he stated,

You have to start looking at all the conventions, all of the convention venues as well. Some of these venues are owned by city and state governments. If they're owned by a city or state government, you can't just prevent someone from going without, typically, some sort of due process. That's our Fifth Amendment right, right, state action. If your banned from a state auditorium you have to have a reason that you're banned, there has to be some level of process that's due to you. That may come up to notice and an opportunity to be heard. Now a lot of times this doesn't go on. I think city auditoriums, city coliseums, stuff like that probably commit Fifth Amendment violations all day, but they don't rise to the level of causing most people an appreciable enough amount of damages to pursue it. If your livelihood is relying on you going to these conventions and much less if any of the conventions like Pensacon, for example, start making statements bigger then we disinvited Vic Mignogna. They start giving reasons, if they start making threats, if they start saying that the support of him will amount to harassment, stuff like that. That starts to look like malice, that starts to look like state action, that starts to look like state action interfering with protected rights. Free assembly, free speech, freedom of travel, access to public utilizes or public facilities. These are places of government accommodations or public accommodations so they have to go by discrimination rules. There's all sorts of stuff that could be brought into this. So you've got to start suing the, you gotta sue the management companies, you've got to sue the cons themselves and you've got to sue the venues and here's why you got to sue all these people. Because all of them have communicated with someone else and in those communications you may uncover other parties who have had bad actions, bad intents and stuff like that.

The Pensacon example brought up has to do with them threatening publicly on Twitter to arrest anyone who attends their convention that questions about Mr. Mignogna, as reported by Bounding Into Comics. Pensacon, an annual multi-genre convention, is held at the Pensacola Bay Center located in Pensacola, Florida with the center being owned by Escambia County.

A few days before the video mentioned above was published, Mr. Rekieta brought up the convention venue notion for the first time in his livestream Social (Media) Justice Panel - Yellowflash, Gator, AnimeOutsiders Talk Vic Mignogna!. Stating,

You know what municipal convention centers can't do, ban you for political speech. It'll be real interesting to see how many conventions he [Vic Mignogna] was banned from, that are owned by a city, or a state. Because I'll tell you what they don't want to do, they don't want to have a constitutional challenge based on their banning someone where it is feasibly related to their political or religious speech. That would sure be fun, wouldn't it. If suddenly all the emails that were sent to maybe a convention center or a group, a promotion group that was affiliated with the convention center that was owned by government to have to disclose all of those emails. Do you think they want to circle wagons around social justice warriors when they're facing litigation? Hey one step thinkers out there. Hey one step thinkers, there are people out there who don't care about your cause and when they decide to ban someone or shut someone down or when a event promoter that is being employed by a government decides to shut someone down and its maybe extensively due to some accusation, but we can show that maybe you say something like they're really right-wing or they're really christian or they're openly opposed to homosexuality or something like that. If you go ahead and say that then suddenly we got first amendment claims you morons. Because that's a government action when they shut someone out of a government facility. Even if its a private promoter. And guess what, the City of Dallas, for example, doesn't care about your little crusade. And when they find out that their promoter might have done that, guess what emails they turn over real quick.

In what could be a twist of irony, Mr. Allmendinger's complaint seems reasonably unethical. Especially when his convention is set to host several voice actors who are currently receiving unpleasant press from Mr. Rekieta over their actions. Voice actors who are suppose to bring in monetary gain for the convention.

One can realistically infer that Mr. Allmendinger is attempting to stop the notion of conventions hosted at government facilities, from being legally liable if they infringe upon Constitutional Amendments from spreading. Which poses the question of either incompetence or malice. Malice being Sakura-Con possibly denying attendance in the past over constitutionally protected speech and Mr. Allmendinger doesn't want those previous attendees to take action.

Sakura-Con and Mr. Allmendinger was contacted for comment on the incident, but have not respond back to Fotisi at time of publication.

If you have ever attended Sakura-Con or any other events by their parent organization Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association, and have witnessed or were kicked out, banned or stopped from entering due to speech that is or could be protected under the First Amendment, let us know over on our social media or at tips@fotisi.com.

All links provided in the article are archived. If a link no longer works, please contact us so we can update the link with the archive.


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