MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

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gupwalla
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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#476

Post by gupwalla » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:28 am

As the kids these days are fond of saying - "Not worth."

But, I note that
20 If the judgment in this case were ever reversed, thereby removing the basis for the Court’s denial of Defendants’ motion for spoliation sanctions, the Court would entertain a renewed motion.
so if this case ever winds back on the judge's desk, the gloves might be coming off.

I don't think that will stop Klayman from appealing, though. There is no publicity in a quiet acceptance of defeat, and Klayman's favorite hat is Persecuted Justice Warrior.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#477

Post by chancery » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:41 am

On reflection I'm not clear what kind of "something to go on his record" you are proposing?

The motion for sanctions was based on spoliation.
A court may impose several possible sanctions for spoliation, including the assessment of fines or attorneys’ fees and costs, the preclusion of certain lines of argument, an adverse inference instruction, or a default judgment and dismissal of a party’s case. Id. The Court’s authority “must be exercised with restraint and discretion.”
The only sanction that would be of much use to the defendants would be default judgment and dismissal. But a dismissal on spoliation grounds on the present record would be more vulnerable on appeal than the summary judgment that was granted. A full award of attorneys' fees would be palatable to defendants (the expense of defense could easily have reached 7 figures), but again would be vulnerable on appeal. Apportioning responsibility for the spoliation as between Montgomery and Klayman might be trickier than first appears. To say nothing of the chances of collecting a penny, a consideration that I'm sure has occurred to the judge.

Note also by the way that the judge's ruling that Montgomery cannot prove the element of falsity is functionally the same as the sanction of "preclusion of certain lines of argument," but without the same appeal vulnerability.

I think the defendants are happy with the decision that they got.



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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#478

Post by Mikedunford » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:27 am

Too, also, American courts are much more sensitive to issues of access to justice than is true in much of the world. We've developed many procedures that are designed to ensure that less-well-off plaintiffs can get their day at work. For example, the "American Rule" - absent a statutory exception or sanctions award, each side pays its own legal fees - is intended to allow someone with few resources to file a case without having to worry that they will be left impoverished (or more impoverished, anyway) if they lose the case and suddenly become liable for the defendant's fees. That rule is entirely alien in European practice.

I've heard a number of judges speak at length about their view of their role, and access to justice has come up every time. (Even Scalia, in response to a question about access to justice, talked about the benefits of the American Rule.) I think many judges are reluctant to award sanctions, particularly against plaintiffs, because they are concerned about the potential chilling effects on other litigation. I suspect that it's viewed as something along the lines of a nuclear option - a major deterrent that should be used rarely, if ever.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#479

Post by Reality Check » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:12 am

I appreciate the importance of access. However, Klayman makes his living from abusing the system to the point of rape. Check out his latest filing in Texas against government officials and Black Lives Matter. If that case isn't ripe for sanctions we might as well drop Rule 11.

I thought other than not granting a sanctions the opinion in Montgomery v Risen was well written and thorough in sorting out the facts of the mess that was dumped in the DC District Court's lap. It sent a chill up my spine that the Bush administration seriously considered shooting commercial flights out of the sky based on claims made by this fraudster Montgomery. It is also troublesome that the French figured out in about five minutes his software was bogus while our CIA and others in the Bush administration took him seriously for years.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#480

Post by Sam the Centipede » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:22 pm

Mikedunford wrote:Too, also, American courts are much more sensitive to issues of access to justice than is true in much of the world. We've developed many procedures that are designed to ensure that less-well-off plaintiffs can get their day at work. For example, the "American Rule" - absent a statutory exception or sanctions award, each side pays its own legal fees - is intended to allow someone with few resources to file a case without having to worry that they will be left impoverished (or more impoverished, anyway) if they lose the case and suddenly become liable for the defendant's fees. That rule is entirely alien in European practice.

I've heard a number of judges speak at length about their view of their role, and access to justice has come up every time. (Even Scalia, in response to a question about access to justice, talked about the benefits of the American Rule.) I think many judges are reluctant to award sanctions, particularly against plaintiffs, because they are concerned about the potential chilling effects on other litigation. I suspect that it's viewed as something along the lines of a nuclear option - a major deterrent that should be used rarely, if ever.
It seems to be an article of faith in any country's legal system that its lawyers must believe that it has The Best System or The Fairest System!

The concept of what you called "access to justice" (I think you meant access to courts) is obviously attractive to a profession that makes its dime that way :-D , but the public policy in European countries (generalizing wildly!) is that courts are best avoided as a clumsy, slow, expensive and often unsatisfactory means of resolving disputes. For example, Norway puts significant obstacles in a potential plaintiff's path to ensure that out-of-court procedures have been followed before a judge gets involved; I think that several other countries have similar rules. And, you will be aware that Americans have a reputation in Europe for starting ridiculous law suits demanding huge damages for imagined or silly offenses, which will often pop up as "well, fancy that!" filler items in popular newspapers. Of course, those frivolous cases can clog up courts, which means credible cases must wait longer for adjudication.

To me, a non-law-talking-guy, the principle that a winning defendant should not be in a worse position than if s/he had not been subjected to the misguided attentions of the plaintiff seems very reasonable, even though the US lawyers' establishment view is that the rest of the world has gotten it wrong! As I said, any law school's first course in any country seems to be"Why Our System Is Best"!

The hi-falutin' idea of access to justice for all rich people (cuz the poor can't afford attorneys) loses its pretty philosophical shine when it turns into a right for Klayman and other turds to use courts as a weapon of harassment, and, more generally, when defendants choose to settle non-meritorious claims because the costs of lawyering up and the disruption to their businesses or lives mean that the rational decision is to give in to the bullies. Neither of those is justice.

The fact that Scalia supported the principle does not make it more attractive to me!

A system or principle that promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is a long way off perfection.



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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#481

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:00 pm

Sam the Centipede wrote:
. . . As I said, any law school's first course in any country seems to be"Why Our System Is Best"! . . .
Really? For someone who isn't a lawyer and didn't go to law school, you know an awful lot more about the teaching of law -- throughout the world no less -- than I do.



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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#482

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:27 pm

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Sam the Centipede wrote:
. . . As I said, any law school's first course in any country seems to be"Why Our System Is Best"! . . .
Really? For someone who isn't a lawyer and didn't go to law school, you know an awful lot more about the teaching of law -- throughout the world no less -- than I do.
Ditto that. Also you say "To me, a non-law-talking-guy, the principle that a winning defendant should not be in a worse position than if s/he had not been subjected to the misguided attentions of the plaintiff seems very reasonable, even though the US lawyers' establishment view is that the rest of the world has gotten it wrong!"!

So some poor schmoe sues Giant Telecom, Inc. because they keep adding on some bogus $1.50 charge every month and won't get rid ot it (assuming that the poor schmoe somehow avoids the mandatory arbitration process which is stacked in Giant Telecom's favor - a subject for another day). Giant Telecom hires O'Melveny & Myers (of which I am an alumnus), whose senior litigation partners bill out at approximately $1,000 an hour, and after running up a $250,000 fee, defeats poor schmoe because he can't afford to continue fighting, even though he may have a meritorious law suit. So you think poor schmoe should reimburse Giant Telecom for the $250,000. That is not the legal system I want, thank you very much.

PS: You might ask why Giant Telecom would run up that kind of bill for a measly $1.50 service charge. Because they charge every subscriber that every month and in a state like California, that adds up to millions of dollars every month. And if the RWNJ/s and the corporate lobby has their way, all of these types of suit will be forced into mandatory arbitration, no class action, no punitive damages and the result in any particular arbitration not binding on the company's actions, other than to have to stop billing that particular customer that charge. How many customers are going to start an arbitration over that amount? None. So, absent the possibility of effective litigation, Giant Telecom will keep ripping people off.

My rant for the day.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#483

Post by Mikedunford » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:14 pm

Reality Check wrote:I appreciate the importance of access. However, Klayman makes his living from abusing the system to the point of rape. Check out his latest filing in Texas against government officials and Black Lives Matter. If that case isn't ripe for sanctions we might as well drop Rule 11.
The more experienced attorneys can, of course, speak to this better than I can, but I think part of the issue is that we're currently at one end of a pendulum swing of sorts where Rule 11 is concerned. I did a lot of research on sanctions several years ago, around the time that the Mississippi case was active. One of the things that stood out was the shift between versions of Rule 11 - the version immediately prior to this one was phrased in mandatory terms ("If a pleading, motion, or other paper is signed in violation of this rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, shall impose upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both, an appropriate sanction...")(emphasis added). The consensus view seemed to be that this approach turned out to be harmful for many reasons. I do think that the current approach seems to have resulted in a bit of an overcorrection the other way.

That said,I completely agree that Klayman's behavior is sanctionable, to say the least (and demonstrates a reckless disregard for his ethical obligations at the most). But if the courts are going to err, I'd prefer that they err on the side of not sanctioning than over-sanctioning.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#484

Post by bob » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:51 pm

Mikedunford wrote:That said,I completely agree that Klayman's behavior is sanctionable, to say the least (and demonstrates a reckless disregard for his ethical obligations at the most). But if the courts are going to err, I'd prefer that they err on the side of not sanctioning than over-sanctioning.
The counterargument, of course, is Houghton Mifflin's costs. How much did they spend on defending this nonsense? Frivolous defamation suits are a cost of business for a large publishing house, sure, but being vindicated doesn't keep the lights on.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#485

Post by Mikedunford » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:02 pm

bob wrote:
Mikedunford wrote:That said,I completely agree that Klayman's behavior is sanctionable, to say the least (and demonstrates a reckless disregard for his ethical obligations at the most). But if the courts are going to err, I'd prefer that they err on the side of not sanctioning than over-sanctioning.
The counterargument, of course, is Houghton Mifflin's costs. How much did they spend on defending this nonsense? Frivolous defamation suits are a cost of business for a large publishing house, sure, but being vindicated doesn't keep the lights on.
I should have added that my first choice would be that they not err at all, of course.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#486

Post by Mikedunford » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:30 pm

Sam the Centipede wrote:
Mikedunford wrote:Too, also, American courts are much more sensitive to issues of access to justice than is true in much of the world. We've developed many procedures that are designed to ensure that less-well-off plaintiffs can get their day at work. For example, the "American Rule" - absent a statutory exception or sanctions award, each side pays its own legal fees - is intended to allow someone with few resources to file a case without having to worry that they will be left impoverished (or more impoverished, anyway) if they lose the case and suddenly become liable for the defendant's fees. That rule is entirely alien in European practice.

I've heard a number of judges speak at length about their view of their role, and access to justice has come up every time. (Even Scalia, in response to a question about access to justice, talked about the benefits of the American Rule.) I think many judges are reluctant to award sanctions, particularly against plaintiffs, because they are concerned about the potential chilling effects on other litigation. I suspect that it's viewed as something along the lines of a nuclear option - a major deterrent that should be used rarely, if ever.
It seems to be an article of faith in any country's legal system that its lawyers must believe that it has The Best System or The Fairest System!
I can't speak to that - the mandatory parts of my legal education in the USA were exclusively focused on American law, and simply made no mention of other systems, and my electives were heavily focused on international/transnational law. But I can say that I'm coming to the end of a postgraduate degree in comparative and international dispute resolution. And I entered fully prepared to discover that the US legal system has major flaws in comparison with the other major systems. (In fact, given that I think most European politics are quite rational compared with the USA, I was expecting to learn that our judiciary was every bit as screwed up as the political branches of our government.) Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the US system compares with the European systems.
The concept of what you called "access to justice" (I think you meant access to courts) is obviously attractive to a profession that makes its dime that way :-D , but the public policy in European countries (generalizing wildly!) is that courts are best avoided as a clumsy, slow, expensive and often unsatisfactory means of resolving disputes. For example, Norway puts significant obstacles in a potential plaintiff's path to ensure that out-of-court procedures have been followed before a judge gets involved; I think that several other countries have similar rules.
I've seen that. And, while I have not looked in detail at more than a couple of the civil law systems, I think that there is a fair bit of truth behind that belief - as applied to civil law jurisdictions. (See, e.g., Torpedo, the Italian.) That's not, of course, the result of the civil law jurisdictions setting out to create slow and expensive systems. Rather, it's the result of the civil law assigning a high priority to certainty, at the expense of flexibility and efficiency. The common law system generally takes the opposite approach - proceedings are quicker and the judge typically has more discretion to adjust proceedings to accommodate the specific circumstances of individual litigants, but this does lead to less certainty.

I will not express any opinion on whether one approach is better than the other. I will note, however, that New York and London have long been the courts of choice for commercial disputes, and are frequently specified in the choice of court clauses found in major international contracts; Paris and Frankfurt have not.
And, you will be aware that Americans have a reputation in Europe for starting ridiculous law suits demanding huge damages for imagined or silly offenses, which will often pop up as "well, fancy that!" filler items in popular newspapers. Of course, those frivolous cases can clog up courts, which means credible cases must wait longer for adjudication.
I am aware that this is the reputation. I am also aware that this reputation is, to say the least, a gross overgeneralization. (This is something that most of the European lawyers in my conflict of laws class were very startled to learn, by the way - but which was taught to them by our European professor.)
To me, a non-law-talking-guy, the principle that a winning defendant should not be in a worse position than if s/he had not been subjected to the misguided attentions of the plaintiff seems very reasonable, even though the US lawyers' establishment view is that the rest of the world has gotten it wrong! As I said, any law school's first course in any country seems to be"Why Our System Is Best"!
It is reasonable on its face. It becomes less reasonable when other elements of the American system are factored in, such as insurance and contingency fees for lawyers.
The hi-falutin' idea of access to justice for all rich people (cuz the poor can't afford attorneys) loses its pretty philosophical shine when it turns into a right for Klayman and other turds to use courts as a weapon of harassment, and, more generally, when defendants choose to settle non-meritorious claims because the costs of lawyering up and the disruption to their businesses or lives mean that the rational decision is to give in to the bullies. Neither of those is justice.

The fact that Scalia supported the principle does not make it more attractive to me!
Contingency fees - which is another area that gives some European attorneys fits - is one of the means of addressing the "justice for all" issue. (It's also a factor in the comparatively large awards in American litigation.) On the defense side, insurance provides a means of addressing some of the costs.
A system or principle that promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is a long way off perfection.
No system is perfect, and no system is without costs. I'd prefer to see Klayman get shut down, and shut down hard (and I think that's possible - he's almost continually playing with fire), but if a GIL or two is the cost of a system that makes it a little bit easier for a poor person to find a lawyer to take a risky case, I don't think it's too high a price.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#487

Post by p0rtia » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:53 pm

woodworker wrote: :snippity: Also you say "To me, a non-law-talking-guy, the principle that a winning defendant should not be in a worse position than if s/he had not been subjected to the misguided attentions of the plaintiff seems very reasonable, even though the US lawyers' establishment view is that the rest of the world has gotten it wrong!"!

So some poor schmoe sues Giant Telecom, Inc. because they keep adding on some bogus $1.50 charge every month and won't get rid ot it (assuming that the poor schmoe somehow avoids the mandatory arbitration process which is stacked in Giant Telecom's favor - a subject for another day). Giant Telecom hires O'Melveny & Myers (of which I am an alumnus), whose senior litigation partners bill out at approximately $1,000 an hour, and after running up a $250,000 fee, defeats poor schmoe because he can't afford to continue fighting, even though he may have a meritorious law suit. So you think poor schmoe should reimburse Giant Telecom for the $250,000. That is not the legal system I want, thank you very much.
You are the prince of posters, woodworker; I love reading your posts because they provide great insight into your profession and into legal situations that trouble me, a non-lawyer. Indeed I respond to this post because like Sam, I am perplexed and dismayed by this and similar situations, as I see them from the outside, and appreciate your thoughts.

To start, I think it's safe to say that Sam's distress that anyone can be sued by a grifter like Klayman or Taitz or CELIII and end up paying legal fees due to vexatious litigation was not intended to imply an either or. No one thinks Giant Tel should be reimbursed in the situation you layout. If what you're saying is there is no way that people who are thus sued can be protected from vexatious litigation (whether it is deemed that by the court or just patently obvious to a fair observer) that will not backfire and protect the Giant Tel's of the world, okay.
PS: You might ask why Giant Telecom would run up that kind of bill for a measly $1.50 service charge. Because they charge every subscriber that every month and in a state like California, that adds up to millions of dollars every month. And if the RWNJ/s and the corporate lobby has their way, all of these types of suit will be forced into mandatory arbitration, no class action, no punitive damages and the result in any particular arbitration not binding on the company's actions, other than to have to stop billing that particular customer that charge. How many customers are going to start an arbitration over that amount? None. So, absent the possibility of effective litigation, Giant Telecom will keep ripping people off.
I find this discussion fascinating. I went to get it, but I can't make the leap from "poor schmo defeated because he can't afford to continue fighting" to "absent the possibility of effective litigation." Your succinct description of the realities seems to preclude any effective litigation by the poor schmo in any event; i.e., Giant Tel will always win. So I don't get what's so fair about this corner of the legal system and what is being protected by the refusal to award sanctions to those who are vexatiously sued.

I might add that when I read these tales of idiot lawyering, I tend to put myself in the role of the one who is vexatiously sued; as I am too poor to mount a real legal defense, I would be horrified, frightened, possibly bankrupted, and outraged when I found out that I was only one of many victims of the offending attorney around the country. Now that may be just tough on me in an unfair world--but I would still to think that, objectively speaking, being sued in that way was unfair and and undesirable and a flaw in the system.
My rant for the day.
Rant on. You are a pleasure to read, even if you do leave wood chips in the bed.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#488

Post by Northland10 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:09 pm

The frustration some of us have is that being on the receiving end of Klayman like litigation will many times damage a defendant, even if they were awarded attorney fees. Beyond the fees for a defense the defendant will lose time from their business, family or whatever and rack up a fair amount of stress, especially if the time spent on a case risks the health of their small business.

I am aware it is an imperfect system, and I can certainly understand the reverse issue of ensuring there is protections for a plaintiff against a large and well funded defendant. However, it is disappointing to realize that simply being sued will likely result in a loss to a defendant despite any outcome.

Out of curiosity, on the criminal side, is there any way for an acquitted defendant to recover the costs of their defense, or do they just have to swallow it?


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#489

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:21 pm

p0rtia wrote:
woodworker wrote: :snippity: Also you say "To me, a non-law-talking-guy, the principle that a winning defendant should not be in a worse position than if s/he had not been subjected to the misguided attentions of the plaintiff seems very reasonable, even though the US lawyers' establishment view is that the rest of the world has gotten it wrong!"!

So some poor schmoe sues Giant Telecom, Inc. because they keep adding on some bogus $1.50 charge every month and won't get rid ot it (assuming that the poor schmoe somehow avoids the mandatory arbitration process which is stacked in Giant Telecom's favor - a subject for another day). Giant Telecom hires O'Melveny & Myers (of which I am an alumnus), whose senior litigation partners bill out at approximately $1,000 an hour, and after running up a $250,000 fee, defeats poor schmoe because he can't afford to continue fighting, even though he may have a meritorious law suit. So you think poor schmoe should reimburse Giant Telecom for the $250,000. That is not the legal system I want, thank you very much.
You are the prince of posters, woodworker; I love reading your posts because they provide great insight into your profession and into legal situations that trouble me, a non-lawyer. Indeed I respond to this post because like Sam, I am perplexed and dismayed by this and similar situations, as I see them from the outside, and appreciate your thoughts.

To start, I think it's safe to say that Sam's distress that anyone can be sued by a grifter like Klayman or Taitz or CELIII and end up paying legal fees due to vexatious litigation was not intended to imply an either or. No one thinks Giant Tel should be reimbursed in the situation you layout. If what you're saying is there is no way that people who are thus sued can be protected from vexatious litigation (whether it is deemed that by the court or just patently obvious to a fair observer) that will not backfire and protect the Giant Tel's of the world, okay.

I didn't believe that it was an either or situation and if I gave that impression, I apologize (a real apology, not a "if anyone was offended"). If someone is suing for bogus claims repeatedly, they will get tagged as a vexatious litigant or other sanctions will be applied. Much as I despise and detest GIL and agree that he should be sanctioned, if not "sanctioned" (if you know what I mean), he by and large restricts himself to suing people (which, per the Mittster, includes corporations) who can afford very good representation and for whom I have little concern. He generally is not going to be suing a poor schmoe because there is no publicity or money in it, both of which he needs to survive and to feed his ego. And yes, I agree that the system is overly generous to the Giant Telcom and that the poor schmoe is generally screwed. But going the other direction just makes the Giant Telcom more powerful. Also, too, even if poor schmoe loses, he may bring some sunlight to a otherwise little-noticed but abusive practice and others then may join the fight.
PS: You might ask why Giant Telecom would run up that kind of bill for a measly $1.50 service charge. Because they charge every subscriber that every month and in a state like California, that adds up to millions of dollars every month. And if the RWNJ/s and the corporate lobby has their way, all of these types of suit will be forced into mandatory arbitration, no class action, no punitive damages and the result in any particular arbitration not binding on the company's actions, other than to have to stop billing that particular customer that charge. How many customers are going to start an arbitration over that amount? None. So, absent the possibility of effective litigation, Giant Telecom will keep ripping people off.
I find this discussion fascinating. I went to get it, but I can't make the leap from "poor schmo defeated because he can't afford to continue fighting" to "absent the possibility of effective litigation." Your succinct description of the realities seems to preclude any effective litigation by the poor schmo in any event; i.e., Giant Tel will always win. So I don't get what's so fair about this corner of the legal system and what is being protected by the refusal to award sanctions to those who are vexatiously sued. See above

I might add that when I read these tales of idiot lawyering, I tend to put myself in the role of the one who is vexatiously sued; as I am too poor to mount a real legal defense, I would be horrified, frightened, possibly bankrupted, and outraged when I found out that I was only one of many victims of the offending attorney around the country. Now that may be just tough on me in an unfair world--but I would still to think that, objectively speaking, being sued in that way was unfair and and undesirable and a flaw in the system.

Unless you a wealthy person or a public official (think faux liens or suits against Hillary), you are unlikely to be vexatiously sued. I would note one other modern category of vexatious victim, so to speak, and that is copyright suits. There are professional plaintiffs and lawyers who came up with a business plan of acquiring a copyright, to say, a photo, and then threatening anyone who posted or commented on that photo on the net. Another scam involves acquiring a copyright to a porn movie and then suing some poor schmoe for illegally downloading it and violating the copyright. In either case, they then approach the vexatious victim (they may file suit, but not necessarily) and threaten that they will prosecute civilly, out you for downloading porn and cost you lots of money or you can settle now for a "nominal" (think $5-8,000) and they will drop the matter An example of the porn is the Prenda Law firm scam See https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?company=prenda+law. These assholes got hammered by the courts and are facing criminal investigations (I have not checked for updates in a while).

As noted in the http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/arti ... renda_law/, January, 2014:

"By now, the Prenda Law saga is part of legal folklore, though the story seems to never end.

It began as an enterprising effort in which Internet users received demand letters threatening lawsuits for downloading pornographic movies in violation of copyright. They were given the opportunity to pay a cash settlement (and avoid public embarrassment). According to federal court documents, the figure was $4,000. In a May ruling, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II laid out a scheme involving shell corporations, the filing of “boilerplate complaints” to encourage settlements—but the dropping of complaints if “faced with a determined defendant”—as well as identity theft, and hiring “lawyers and witnesses to provide disinformation about the cases and the nature of their operation.”

Wright of the Central District of California ordered penalties, including referring the plaintiffs lawyers involved for sanctions by their state and federal bars and awarding attorney fees to the defense attorneys. While this order (PDF) is being appealed, actions—and other allegations—involving Prenda or its shell corporations have popped up in states including Minnesota and Florida."

My rant for the day.
Rant on. You are a pleasure to read, even if you do leave wood chips in the bed.
Thanks for the compliment, no wood chips today.

NB: If anyone gets the impression that I am a cheerleader for the law and for lawyers, yes and no. I believe that the law can be a noble profession and I am in awe of those persons who fight the good fight re: civil rights, etc., such as the ACLU and the SPLC.

Full disclosure however, I have spent most of career doing big firm corporate law representing companies often seen as evil (I was on the Exxon Valdez litigation team for O'Melveny & Myers in the early 90/s). I haven't and won't do work for tobacco companies, arms manufacturers or Microsoft (unless I am well paid - Microsoft only).

However, I recognize that there are people like GIL, Orly, Appuzo and others who have abused the system and I would not lose any sleep if they were to contract an incurable, painful form of leprosy (also, too, Federal Judge Asshole in Texas who is hammering the Feds on immigration.) But, to paraphrase Mike D., if having these assholes is the price we pay for having an independent judiciary and lawyers who are allowed to challenge the system without being in fear of being swept up one night and thrown into prison or worse, that is an acceptable price. You know, Orly likes to rant and rave about how corrupt the judges are in our system (because she loses) and she sure loves her some Putin. She should go back and live in Moscow for a while. I don't think she is powerful or rich enough to buy "justice" there and let her see how gentle Putin can be when she criticizes him or one of his friends. NADT.


ETA: sorry for the bolding. Go ahead and sue me (all puns intended).


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woodworker
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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#490

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:59 pm

FYI, when I am appointed "Emperor of the Known Universe" all these problems will go away. For example, Orly will be disbarred, GIL will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after the elephants, Trump will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after GIL (although they will have to swap positions every other day). Bush and Cheney will be convicted as war criminals and Rob Schneider will not be allowed to make any more movies.

Oh, and chocolate, bbq ribs and beer will not be fattening.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#491

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:13 pm

Update on Prenda Law:

"The Ninth Circuit Offers Prenda Law A Brusque Bench-Slap

June 13, 2016 by Ken White

The notorious gang of crooked fraudsters and copyright trolls Prenda law — documented extensively here — continues to face bad fortune. Last month we learned that the FBI is investigating them. Now, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the apocalyptic sanctions order that marked their turning point — Judge Wright's geek-reference-laden death blow sanctions order.

We shouldn't be surprised, as the Ninth Circuit oral argument more than a year ago went very badly for Prenda. The Ninth Circuit's languidly decided opinion is worse. You can read it here. It's unpublished, suggesting that the judges didn't view it as presenting sufficiently novel issues to merit publication. It's also relatively brief and informal, suggesting the panel didn't think that any of it presented a close call. It accepts Judge Wright's conclusions as well-supported by the record and repeats them to brutal effect:

Based on the myriad of information before it—including depositions and court documents from other cases around the country where the Prenda Principals were found contradicting themselves, evading questioning, and possibly committing identity theft and fraud on the courts—it was not an abuse of discretion for Judge Wright to find that Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy were principals and the parties actually responsible for the abusive litigation. Similarly, it was not an abuse of discretion for Judge Wright to find that the Prenda Principals were indeed the leaders and decision-makers behind Prenda Law’s national trolling scheme.
. . .
The Prenda Principals have engaged in abusive litigation, fraud on courts across the country, and willful violation of court orders. They have lied to other courts about their ability to pay sanctions.

Prenda's dead. The courts are bouncing the rubble and the FBI is ambling out to slit the throats of the wounded."

The middle two paragraphs are in the court's opinion, so I think I am ok on the four paragraph rule.

See https://popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/ for more articles.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#492

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:32 pm

Moar Prenda joy:

https://popehat.com/2015/05/04/prenda-l ... -argument/ is a report on the oral arguments. MUST READ.

Small sample: [Court questioning Prenda counsel] "Do you understand that the maximum penalty for contempt is life imprisonment?" I lost a little urine at this point. "I'm amazed that you're asking for this to be sent back for a criminal proceeding given the findings here and across the country," said Judge Nguyen. But Voelker was undaunted — yes, he said, that's what his clients want.

And link to video of oral arguments - not for the faint of heart, absolutely brutal:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... bZDipKRH0c


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#493

Post by Northland10 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:14 pm

woodworker wrote:FYI, when I am appointed "Emperor of the Known Universe" all these problems will go away. For example, Orly will be disbarred, GIL will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after the elephants, Trump will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after GIL (although they will have to swap positions every other day). Bush and Cheney will be convicted as war criminals and Rob Schneider will not be allowed to make any more movies.

Oh, and chocolate, bbq ribs and beer will not be fattening.
You have my vote for emperor. Since I'm from Illinois, I can vote early and often.
Edit: ETA, if you can make fat finger typos go away, I will vote even earlier and more oftener.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#494

Post by Dr. Caligari » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:26 pm

Unless you a wealthy person or a public official (think faux liens or suits against Hillary), you are unlikely to be vexatiously sued.
...unless you are unlucky enough to live near a vexatious litigant (some of them are big on suing neighbors for imagined grievances) or otherwise bump into one. True story: I once represented a wealthy guy whose house was burglarized, when he wasn't home, by a burglar with a long criminal record. My guy didn't testify at the trial (he wasn't there and didn't see anything). Nonetheless, after the burglar was convicted and sentenced to a long prison term, he sued my client, along with a host of other people, for conspiring" with the D.A. to frame him. The case got dismissed; the burglar appealed; the dismissal was affirmed. But it cost my client some money.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#495

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:33 pm

Northland10 wrote:
woodworker wrote:FYI, when I am appointed "Emperor of the Known Universe" all these problems will go away. For example, Orly will be disbarred, GIL will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after the elephants, Trump will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after GIL (although they will have to swap positions every other day). Bush and Cheney will be convicted as war criminals and Rob Schneider will not be allowed to make any more movies.

Oh, and chocolate, bbq ribs and beer will not be fattening.
You have my vote for emperor. Since I'm from Illinois, I can vote early and often.
Edit: ETA, if you can make fat finger typos go away, I will vote even earlier and more oftener.
I was born in Peoria and have been using that line, vote early and vote often, every election.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#496

Post by Tesibria » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:57 am

Sam the Centipede wrote:A system or principle that promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is a long way off perfection.
Saying that the US judicial system promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is like saying that the First Amendment promotes and protects the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church.*
  • *The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, even despicably vile speech and peaceful assembly. Our system accepts the "horrible result" of some despicably vile people saying and doing despicably vile things in order to ensure that "the rest of us" retain our right of free speech and assembly.
Saying that the US judicial system promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is like saying that the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments promote and protects murderers, rapists, and other criminals.*
  • **The 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment protects (among other things) rights of the accused -- even despicably vile people who have in fact committed heinous crimes. Our system accepts the "horrible result" of some despicably vile people getting away, literally, with murder in order to ensure that "the rest of us" are not unreasonably searched, arrested, incarcerated, etc etc, without due process of law.


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#497

Post by Foggy » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:52 am

woodworker wrote:FYI, when I am appointed "Emperor of the Known Universe" all these problems will go away. For example, Orly will be disbarred, GIL will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after the elephants, Trump will have to get a job at the zoo cleaning up after GIL (although they will have to swap positions every other day). Bush and Cheney will be convicted as war criminals and Rob Schneider will not be allowed to make any more movies.

Oh, and chocolate, bbq ribs and beer will not be fattening.
:waiting:


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#498

Post by realist » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:27 am

Tesibria wrote:
Sam the Centipede wrote:A system or principle that promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is a long way off perfection.
Saying that the US judicial system promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is like saying that the First Amendment promotes and protects the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church.*
  • *The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, even despicably vile speech and peaceful assembly. Our system accepts the "horrible result" of some despicably vile people saying and doing despicably vile things in order to ensure that "the rest of us" retain our right of free speech and assembly.
Saying that the US judicial system promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is like saying that the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments promote and protects murderers, rapists, and other criminals.*
  • **The 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment protects (among other things) rights of the accused -- even despicably vile people who have in fact committed heinous crimes. Our system accepts the "horrible result" of some despicably vile people getting away, literally, with murder in order to ensure that "the rest of us" are not unreasonably searched, arrested, incarcerated, etc etc, without due process of law.
:like:


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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#499

Post by Grumpy Old Guy » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:20 am

Tesibria wrote:
Sam the Centipede wrote:A system or principle that promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is a long way off perfection.
Saying that the US judicial system promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is like saying that the First Amendment promotes and protects the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church.*

:snippity: :snippity:

Saying that the US judicial system promotes and protects Klayman's vile activities is like saying that the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments promote and protects murderers, rapists, and other criminals.*

:snippity: :snippity:
quote]

Tesibra, despite your fine argument, (with which I agree), Larry K's activities are still vile.



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Re: MONTGOMERY v RISEN (Defamation Suit)

#500

Post by Foggy » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:38 am

We have the absolute worst justice system on the planet, except for all the others. :smoking:


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