Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ms. Dolkart needs a bit 'o the anger management

"The panel of nine women and three men deliberated less than an hour before fining Jane Dolkart $1,000 and sentencing her to two years in prison with a recommendation that she be given probation. The judge hearing the case sentenced her to five years' probation. Witnesses who testified during the trial described Ms. Dolkart as an impatient and aggressive driver as she followed cyclist Tommy Thomas and another rider near White Rock Lake last May. Ms. Dolkart's green Volkswagen Passat hit and dragged Mr. Thomas several feet, leaving him with bruises and abrasions, but only minor injuries."

Turns out she has accidentally hit other peds before too. Yikes! SMU Law Prof Gets Probation, $1,000 Fine For Intentionally Hitting Cyclist With Her Car


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a friend and colleague of Ms. Dolkarts, I find your "blog" reprehensible. She was acquitted of all the charges and was obviously set up as a test-case for cyclists who were pissed off at car owners. Those gentlemen were looking for someone to "scape goat" so they deliberately blocked her lane, drove excruciatingly slowly and stopped abruptly in front of her. She made accidental contact at about 5 mph.
Anger management issues?????? What a crock!
Next time you are looking to ruin someone's life.....try choosing someone with less integrity.

4/26/2009 9:39 AM  
Blogger cKookies said...

Ha! What a joke!
1. Post a link proving what you assert, first off.
2. I seriously doubt that the cyclists were seeking to get hit by a car, and if you do think that then you're probably not being very objective in your assessment of the incident. No one is willing to get killed to be a plaintiff in a test case.
3. I have very little sympathy for anyone who is unwilling to share the road with cyclists. As a bike rider myself, I have to deal with lunitic and bad drivers who don't think bikes belong on the road and act aggressively toward bike riders all the time.
4. This is a blog, not a "blog."

4/26/2009 12:15 PM  
Blogger cKookies said...

Well looky here, Anonymous is pretty well full of it...and judging by the angry tone of the comment, who knows, it could be Jane D herself! In any case, it's amazing how information is so readily available in these inter-tubes, isn't it? A quick search is all it takes to learn the truth.

On appeal, Jane Dolkart's conviction was overturned on a *technicality*, not because the facts were insufficient to support the conviction. The appeal that overturned the verdict concerned the instruction given to the jury, not the facts of the case.

Imagine that, a law professor finding a way to get off on a technicality!

"The panel rejected Dolkart's contention that the evidence presented against her in the trial was legally and factually insufficient to support her conviction." Dallas VoiceHere's more on the incident itself:

"[T]he bicyclist Dolkart was accused of hitting with her car, testified that the professor struck him after shaking her fist in the air and screaming. He testified that he was drug on his bike for three feet and had to hold onto the bumper to stay above the concrete.


"Police officer Craig Bennight...said the professor became angry with him and claimed Thomas intentionally blocked her from passing him. The officer testified Dolkart told him she had only tapped Thomas, who claimed he had stopped to allow her to pass him."
Dallas VoiceIn the end, it seems we have an awful driver with anger management issues when it comes to sharing the road. This sure sounds like a a road rage hit and run no matter how you spin it - even if the bicyclist overstated his case (which is somewhat less likely considering that he wasn't suing for civil damages, it was a criminal case).

That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it. Sorry, Anonymous. To be fair though, if a friend of mine did something like this I might stand by them and buy their story despite all the evidence, just to be supportive.

I hadn't seen or thought about this since 2005, so thanks for the memories, Anynomous!

More from the Dallas Morning News here.

4/26/2009 12:49 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

"Hit and dragged Mr. Thomas several feet"? Ha! What a crock! I was there and that wasn't what happened. They were crawling along, with Mr. Thomas obnoxiously and purposefully going slow because he was mad that she honked at him when he was idling in the middle of the road waiting on his friends, then he suddenly stopped (in the middle of the road!). What cyclist does that? Dolkart didn't expect him to stop and as a result tapped him and his bike fell down and he popped up and snapped open his readily available cell phone. I saw the condition of both his bike and his person just minutes after the incident and there were minimal scratches on the bike and none on Mr. Thomas. Mr. Thomas is quite the drama Queen as later on that day in the news, he took apart his bike to make it appear like the wreck caused it to look that way and he wore a sling on his arm. This is a perfect example of a Lawyer (Mr. Thomas) grossly exaggerating to make a point because his pride was hurt and his temper flared when he was honked at and told to move out of the way of cars. Parking is for shoulders and parking lots and not for the middle of the road! I am just sorry I didn't discover this stupid blog earlier on so that I could set the record straight! M. Romero

10/11/2010 1:45 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Dear angry commenters:

I challenge any of you to actually post a link to an article with follow-up information backing up your claims that Ms. Dolkarts is not to blame for this accident, if you would like. I will publish any legitimate comments. I see that no one has responded to articles I cited above that suggest that Ms. Dolkarts, a law professor, had her conviction overturned due to a technicality and not because she did not commit the act. Read my comment above for that.

We all know that bike riders face peril at the hands of drivers who don't want to share the road. As a person who lives in an urban area and both drives and rides, I see the tensions from both sides. In the end, however, only one of those people involved in these situations has the power to kill or seriously injure someone, and that person is the car driver. It is therefore the car driver on whom there is a greater onus to act responsibly, even when faced with a jerk of a pedestrian or cyclist.

Ms. Dolkart's incident points to a larger problem than whatever she did or did not do -- that problem is a serious lack of patience and an unwillingness to share the road on the part of most drivers. Regardless of how many people comment here in defense of this particular driver, the fact remains that she was not in control of her vehicle and probably not of her temper. She must have been tailgating this cyclist (and honking and who knows what else as the situation escalated).

If I were hit in such a situation, whether I taunted the driver or not, I would also call the police immediately and would likely sue the driver. You can't blame a cyclist for that. Whether he overplayed the damage caused, I do not know or care, because personal smearing of the parties involved is not the point for me. The situation is a great example of the tensions between drivers and cyclists (and perhaps also of how those with money and knowledge of the law can get out of criminal legal trouble via technicalities).

10/11/2010 5:47 PM  

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