A California attorney accused in a federal lawsuit of sending harassing emails to National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer argued in a court document Tuesday that he should be dropped from the case.
Lawrence Sorensen, a Camarillo, Calif., attorney who works as a mediator and arbitrator, contended in a motion to dismiss that a federal court in Florida does not have “personal jurisdiction” over Sorensen.
The argument is based on Sorensen saying he lacks any substantial connection to Florida and arguing that two emails he sent to Hammer in March do not provide such a connection.
“Mr. Sorensen simply sent two email in one half hour in March to an email address that was published to the world on the internet,” the motion said. “That email address, on its face, gave no indication that it was in Florida. Nothing in the text of the email mentioned or suggested a connection to Florida. In today’s age, those two email could have been opened anywhere.”
Hammer, the NRA’s longtime lobbyist in Florida and a former national president of the organization, filed the federal lawsuit this month against Sorensen and three other men who she accused of sending harassing and, in some cases, vulgar and threatening email to her. The emails came after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County and amid the subsequent debate about gun-control measures.
Along with the motion to dismiss, Sorensen filed an affidavit that said he sent the emails to Hammer after seeing a television report about physical damage suffered by people shot with assault-style rifles.
“My goal in sending the email messages was not to shock or disturb Ms. Hammer, but to invite her to consider whether we as a nation can find a way to preserve the 2nd Amendment rights of our citizens without widespread distribution of weapons so lethal that their possession ought to be reserved for the military and others sworn to protect public order,” Sorensen said in the affidavit. He also said he did not have any connection to the other defendants in the case.