Pat Parker was a law school graduate who started a consulting firm called Pat Parker & Associates and specialized in conducting opposition research and writing reports for political candidates, primarily for the Democratic Party. This case is about how Pat Parker developed a research report for Democratic nominee, Dale Jackson for the statewide Attorney General position.
Two years later, representatives of the State Academy of Trial Lawyers wanted to buy the same research document on the Republican Attorney General, Terry Paine in what Parker believed to be an effort to inoculate their candidate during an upcoming election. Parker wasn't sure how to proceed knowing that this could potentially jeopardize the political party's candidate or even worse, could be arrested for soliciting the information.
The evidence presented in this case was concerned with ownership and the control of research created by one party for use by another.
There are several legal issues related to this case.
1. Would Pat Parker violate either contract or federal copyright laws by selling the research or associated postcards to the State Academy of Trial Lawyers or anyone else who desired to purchase them?
2. Could Pat Parker sell the research to the State Academy of Trial Lawyers without violating the $500 maximum funding limit under the Florida Campaign Finance Statute?
3. Would Pat Parker be violating the Florida Voluntary Code of Fair Campaign Practices by selling a report generated for one party to the other party? Specifically the $500 maximum funding limit?
4. If the items were resold to a third party, would Parker & Associates be violating any particular codes of ethics?
The Pat Parker Case highlights the legal and ethical issues involved in the resell of research material, which was originally contracted from a campaign analyst,