Evangelical 'Financial Whiz' Who Apparently Hates Gossip, Sues YouTuber For Criticism

from the gossip-away dept

Dave Ramsey is a radio host/”personal finance guru” whose religious beliefs appear to be a key part of his public persona. A long and detailed story in the Daily Beast a few years back showcased another apparent part of his persona: what appears to be significant anger towards those who criticize him or his company, including former employees:

The public criticism enraged Ramsey, who, according to one current employee, went on a ?warpath? to expose the Twitter critics. During an all-staff meeting on May 7 that was described by several current employees, Ramsey offered thousands of dollars in bounties in exchange for the identities of the tweeters. (Employees? accounts differed on the dollar figure, but ranged from $5,000 to $20,000). Ramsey was especially intent on identifying the tweeter behind @LampoLeadership (suspended), a parody account that had begun tweeting about the inner workings of Lampo, suggesting it was run by someone inside the company.

There’s a lot more in that story, including this tidbit:

The seeming paranoia of Ramsey?s outburst in the May 12 staff meeting startled some Lampo employees, but many said they had come to expect explosive behavior from the boss. ?This is the guy who once pulled a loaded pistol out of a gift bag to teach us a lesson about gossip,? said one former employee. ?It was bizarre, even for Ramsey.? (Ramsey has tweeted photos of his gun collection, which includes semi-automatic rifles.)

That event, which allegedly occurred in 2011, is one of Lampo?s worst-kept secrets, a moment that was a turning point for many. ?That was the day I began planning my exit,? one said. For another, Ramsey?s gun illustration served as a reminder that the man she worked for ?instills fear and dominance and control over every aspect of life.?

That’s all prelude. Last year, Ramsey’s company, Lampo Group, which also does business as Ramsey Solutions, sued a real estate YouTuber named Kevin Paffrath, who made a series of unflattering videos about Ramsey. Part of the background here is that Lampo/Ramsey Solutions has some sort of deal where it will sign up real estate agents (along with insurance and tax service professionals) to its “Endorsed Local Providers” (ELP) program. Fans of Ramsey can then “find” a local professional who is endorsed by Ramsey, and if they end up doing business with that professional, Ramsey takes a bit of a cut. ELPs also pay to be a part of this program, in exchange for getting leads from Ramsey’s site.

Paffrath was apparently in the ELP program for some time, but was kicked out. Ramsey/Lampo claim he was kicked out for not meeting with a “coach” often enough, though there’s some dispute over that. Either way, Lampo sued Paffrath in what has all the trappings of a traditional SLAPP suit. Lampo/Ramsey and its lawyers are trying to get around this really being about the negative videos made by Paffrath by throwing all sorts of other stuff at the courtroom wall. Despite multiple times that the lawsuit alleges Paffrath made false statements, there’s no defamation claim in the complaint. Instead, it claims breach of contract, fraud, promissory fraud, negligent misrepresentation, business disparagement, trade secrets violation, unfair competition, and false and misleading advertising. However, as you dig into the details, it sure looks like they’re just mad that he criticized and mocked Ramsey.

Paffrath, who lives in California, sought to use California’s anti-SLAPP law in this case, which is in federal court in Tennessee (it was originally filed in state court, but quickly removed to federal court, given that Paffrath is out of state). Unfortunately, the court decided that state anti-SLAPP laws don’t apply in federal court (there’s currently a very split set of rulings on that particular question, with some regions allowing the use of anti-SLAPP laws in federal courts, and others not).

The latest motion to dismiss from Paffrath is quite a read. It makes the clear case that this is nothing more than a SLAPP suit:

This is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (a ?SLAPP-suit?) filed by the Plaintiff, a celebrity and public figure, against the Defendants that centers upon satirical YouTube videos entitled: ?Dave Ramsey: Exposed,? ?dave Ramsey is suing me,? and ?A Message for Dave Ramsey.? …. The Plaintiff is upset, among other things, because Mr. Paffrath?s satirical YouTube videos mocked Dave Ramsey and were well-received by the public…. In retaliation, the Plaintiff has filed suit against the Defendants over several extravagant claims including: (1) a breach of contract claim; (2) fraud and misrepresentation claims; (3) speech-based ?business disparagement? and ?unfair competition? claims; (4) a misappropriation of trade secrets claim; and (5) a ?false and misleading advertising claim? under the Lanham Act.

As the motion makes clear, none of the claims in the amended complaint are backed up with anything. Indeed, the motion to dismiss includes as an exhibit the transcript of a truly breathtaking deposition given by a senior Lampo exec, Jack Galloway. Paffrath’s lawyer, Daniel Horwitz puts on an absolute clinic in how to do a deposition. It’s long, but worth reading. Of course, much of the length is taken up by the lawyer for Lampo, Brandon Bundren objecting to nearly every single question that Horwitz asks, followed by letting Galloway answer anyway. Step by step throughout the deposition, Horwitz gets Galloway to admit that basically nothing in Lampo’s complaint caused any harm or is the real reason it sued.

He gets Galloway to admit that Lampo more or less admitted in an earlier discovery that it can’t come up with any evidence of any losses due to Paffrath’s videos. The only “losses” they describe are Paffrath no longer paying them the ELP fees. But they can’t exactly sue over that, since they were the ones who kicked Paffrath out of the program in the first place:

BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Would you agree that this contract could have been terminated at any moment including the first day that it was executed?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form, speculation, calls for a legal conclusion.
THE WITNESS: Yes
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Would you agree that Lampo does not have any right to $4200 under this agreement?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form, calls for a legal conclusion.
THE WITNESS: Please re-ask the question.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Sure. This contract provides for Mr. Paffrath to pay Lampo $350 a month, correct?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And it provides that either party can terminate this agreement at any moment; is that correct?
A. That’s correct.
Q. So there’s no right to have 12 months of payments made under this agreement; is that right?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form, calls for a legal conclusion. You can answer.
THE WITNESS: I’m not sure.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. If Mr. Paffrath had terminated this agreement the day that it was signed, how much would he owe Lampo?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form, calls for a legal conclusion, speculation.
THE WITNESS: No further payments.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. None at all?
A. Huh-uh.
Q. If Lampo terminated this agreement within a month of it being signed, how much would Mr. Paffrath owe Lampo?
MR. BUNDREN: Same objection.
THE WITNESS: Nothing other than referrals that were sent in the future — that were sent that closed in the future.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. And if no referrals were sent, then how much would Mr. Paffrath owe Lampo?
MR. BUNDREN: Same objection.
THE WITNESS: Zero.

Later in the deposition, Galloway admits that the “harm” was really about Paffrath “tarnishing” Lampo’s brand — which is classic 1st Amendment protected speech, thus (again) putting this into SLAPP territory. Part of the “fraud” claims is that Paffrath apparently included zip codes in his ELP application that were regions he didn’t actually serve as a real estate agent. But as Horwitz gets Galloway to admit, there was no actual harm from that — just from him mocking them.

BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Was Lampo injured based on the ZIP codes that Kevin Paffrath submitted to it?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form,calls for a legal conclusion.
THE WITNESS: I do not have personal knowledge that Lampo was injured.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Was Lampo injured by what you have referred to as — I’m characterizing here, so please correct me if I’m mischaracterizing you — false statements about his intentions?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form, calls for a legal conclusion, also asks a question on a — that’s more appropriate for a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition and not of this witness.
You can answer.
THE WITNESS: Yes, I believe so.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. And what were those injuries?
MR. BUNDREN: Same objection.
THE WITNESS: Our brand is a brand of integrity and trust and we’re in the business of helping people. And —
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Sir — (indicating.)
A. — when Mr. Paffrath went online to say that we’re liars and cheaters, it damages that brand, it keeps people who we wanted to help from having full trust in us, and it tarnishes a brand that we’ve worked hard to build.
Q. Sir, will you please go back to your answers to Interrogatory 1? Can you tell me if there’s any provision in there that references damage to Lampo’s brand?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection, calls for a legal conclusion.
THE WITNESS: No, there is not.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Sir, in your answer to Interrogatory 2, is there any indication that Lampo lost business because of damage to its brand?
MR. BUNDREN: Same objection.
THE WITNESS: (Reviews document.) No.

And, perhaps my favorite exchange — considering how much of this case depends on the claims that Paffrath “lied” about Ramsey’s service, and things like the claim that Ramsey was just a “hand-off” service (passing through unqualified leads), Horwitz gets Galloway to admit that one could think that was the case:

BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Would it be fair to characterize Lampo as a hand-off service between prospective leads and ELP agents?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to form, lack of foundation, argumentative.
THE WITNESS: Do you mind to define hand-off service?
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Whatever it means to you.
A. No.
MR. BUNDREN: Objection.
THE WITNESS: I would not characterize it.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Why not?
A. To me, hand-off implies that there is not a lot of effort made to send quality referrals to quality agents and we put a great deal of effort into both of those.
Q. Would other people be entitled to have a different opinion of the meaning of hand-off service?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection, vague, and ambiguous, speculation, and argumentative.
THE WITNESS: They would be entitled.

Oh, just one more tidbit from the transcript. Remember that claim in the Daily Beast article about Ramsey pulling out a gun? About that:

BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Has Dave Ramsey ever pulled a gun out of a bag to try to teach a lesson about gossip?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection, harassing, and relevance. We’re getting pretty far afield from the claims made in this case. If we need to call the Judge, we will so I wouldn’t spend much time on this.
You can answer.
THE WITNESS: Yes.

The motion to dismiss highlights how all of the claims in the complaint are just smokescreens for the actual SLAPP nature of this lawsuit. Hell, one of the claims — business disparagement — is not even a recognized tort in Tennessee where the case was filed.

The whole case just seems to be an exercise in trying to avoid being called out for a clear SLAPP by simply avoiding defamation claims. But all of the claims in the lawsuit seem completely bogus, and the real issue leading up to the complaint seems focused almost exclusively on the mocking videos. Hopefully the court recognizes this and tosses the case quickly.

For what it’s worth, there are a couple other oddities associated with this case that should be mentioned as well. Ramsey appears to really want to avoid having to be deposed himself, and got a “protective order” blocking a subpoena for him to be deposed. The reasoning is somewhat odd:

I have no personal knowledge of any facts involved in this litigation. I have never had any personal dealings with the defendants, nor have I ever corresponded with defendants by email or otherwise. The only information I possess about the background and allegations of this litigation is summary information provided to me either by RS?s legal counsel or at RS?s legal counsel?s direction.

Basically, Ramsey is insisting he’s got nothing to do with this case at all. Yet, again in the deposition mentioned above, Galloway makes it clear that Ramsey was deeply engaged in internal discussions about this lawsuit — and even that the decision to sue was made by the executive leadership team, of which Ramsey is obviously the boss:

Q. Was this litigation filed at Dave Ramsey’s direction?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection to the form, speculation, foundation.
THE WITNESS: It was a group decision by our executive leadership of which Dave is the CEO.
BY MR. HORWITZ:
Q. Was that decision made in a meeting?
A. My recollection of it is poor. My best recollection would be that Dave, our general counsel — not the entire group in a board meeting but that they would have been made aware of. But the decision would have been between Dave, myself, our general counsel. It’s possible there were other people in that conversation but I don’t have memory of who they would be.

That certainly sounds like Ramsey was well aware of the decision to sue this guy, which raises some questions about that claim to the court that he’s not involved in the case at all. Again, given that there is a lot of evidence suggesting the entire point of this lawsuit is to go after someone for making videos that make fun of Ramsey, it looks pretty silly for him to suggest he’s unaware of the details of the case beyond being briefed on it by lawyers.

Finally, speaking of stifling speech and protective orders, this case carries a very odd “Temporary Restraining Order” that not only has Paffrath agreeing to remove all the videos in question (so we can’t even see them), but also that no one associated with Paffrath, including his lawyers, are allowed to discuss the case publicly. Both of these are blatant restrictions on free speech, and it seems odd to me that the defendant appeared to agree to this without question.

The Defendants, their officers, agents, attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, agree not to post any content on any Defendants’ Accounts or elsewhere related to Ramsey, its employees, officers, principals, and/or this litigation.

That’s… pretty crazy. In what world is it okay for a situation in which there’s an obvious SLAPP suit, for the defendant to be gagged from even talking about the litigation or about the plaintiff in the case? If anything, this just gives more credence to the claim that this is a SLAPP suit and the goal is to silence Paffrath from criticizing Ramsey.

Oh, and because it needs to be said again: this is why we need a federal anti-SLAPP law, and we needed it years ago.

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Companies: lampo group, ramsey solutions

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Comments on “Evangelical 'Financial Whiz' Who Apparently Hates Gossip, Sues YouTuber For Criticism”

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TFG says:

Re: Re:

Indeed. I am immediately suspicious of those in the primary business of making money who also purport to promote Christian Values.

I wonder what Mr. Ramsey would make of John 2:14-16.
Or Matthew 5:38-40.

He’s certainly not living up to example or instruction.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As a Christian, I agree with this assessment and with the assertion that he is not living up to either Scriptural passages referenced.

I know several people who listen to his podcast every day and really get into following his financial advice. I’ve perused some of his financial advice and while some of it is fine, some of it would not be well suited to people in various situations.

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

If you are gonna do restraint… make sure its prior.

So a Judge is willing to put the reputation of a good ole boy ahead of the law of the land.
Sure they can get a fair trial… they can’t even depose the head of the company who claims he knows nothing about birth no babies Ms. Scarlet.
We don’t need to think about that there hippie anti-slapp law from commie california, we’re gonna pretend this is all about imaginary harms that don’t even have a law covering them in this state.
Perhaps its time to rethink that whole job for life & consider that sometimes cranky old men aren’t wise… they are just cranky.

Anonymous Coward says:

Matters outside pleadings on 12(b)(6)

From the MTD PDF, first of all, from p.4 in the PDF, which is a copy of p.1 of doc. 94-1, the actual motion to dismiss (MTD).

pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and (b)(1)

I’m noting here that 12(b)(6) differs from 12(b)(1) in considering matters outside the pleadings.

Then, though, continuing forward, to p.10 of the PDF, which is p.5 of doc. 94-2, the memorandum in support of the MTD:

Further, “[t]here are . . . exceptions to th[e] general rule” that “matters outside the pleadings may not be considered in ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss unless the motion is converted to one for summary judgment[.]” [Citation.] . . . . Here, given that the Parties’ contract has previously been filed at Doc. #25-1 and is both quoted and referenced repeatedly throughout the Plaintiff’s Complaint, this Court’s consideration of the contract is proper.

Looking at the docket, though, I’m seeing that document 25, and its attachment 25-1 were filed by defendant, that is, the proponent of the motion to dismiss.

Looking back at that last assertion in the blockquote I extracted, I’m not actually seeing a citation for “this Court’s consideration of the contract is proper.”.

I haven’t finished reading the memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss, but while I’m doing that, does someone want to argue a little bit further about considering matters outside the pleadings on 12(b)(6) ?

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Miles (profile) says:

This lawsuit must be alowed to continue

"Galloway admits that the ‘harm’ was really about Paffrath ‘tarnishing’ Lampo’s brand."

We just learned from Kash Patel that "From the beginning of recorded time, the law has faithfully protected a person’s ‘absolute’ right to an unimpaired reputation."

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 starting to sound like a job for Occam

Or there is a huge conspiracy of lawyers and tech journalists who conduct massive defamation campaigns using hired-gun hackers that no one has ever heard anything about, and for which no evidence exists. Save in the mind of a probably senile, chronic liar, wannabe bully, and generally all around impotent old fuckwit.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 starting to sound like a job for Occ

I personally don’t want to do it but if you fuck around on the internet for long enough you will be able to find some people who will rent you a bot net for some bitcoin.

Some bot nets are legal but most are not.

Usually if you rent a bot net you are renting a small program hidden on someone else’s router/phone/computer that runs in the background and does stuff for you like post propaganda to social media, hide the source of a computer intrusions, perform DOS attacks, ect

You can make a legal botnet but you need the consent of the owner of the piece of hardware and most people don’t bother.

Anyway, there is a group of fuckwits and hackers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 starting to sound like a job

Somewhat

I did malware removal, pen testing, and other computer services for some charities, family, friends, and companies.

I removed a lot of bots and setting up a botnet is easy.

This computer has a persistent almost certainly state in fucking side it and I can’t do shit about it. I don’t trust it for anything but I can’t turn on a phone or connect a computer without it getting compromised so it’s what I use now.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: starting to sound like popehat

"Mike’s views have a lot in common with White’s."

Judging from the public approval of White’s works it would appear popehat’s views are shared with hundreds of thousands.

Except in your little world where everything which doesn’t fit your paranoid narrative is the work of one sinister mastermind pretending to be millions of people, going so far as to clone himself and take to the streets disguised as a few thousand protestors.

There is a point, Baghdad Bob, when you either have to admit to trolling or seek professional help. By now you’re so far beyond that point you officially count as a Kuiper Belt Object.

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Orchaster (profile) says:

Youtube Is In Even Bigger Trouble - Users are, Especially!

I’m surprised nobody’s talking about the upcoming changes to Youtube’s policy, which might take the “You” out of Youtube.
A recent FTC declaration forced Youtube to update its terms of service/policy. The COPPA act forces users to make sure their content is for kids/not for kids, and the users themselves would get fined for any mistakes or misidentified content (which is yet another jab at the Section 230 debate).
But it gets worse, it also says that whole youtube channels/google accounts will also be terminated if they aren’t commercially viable. Which means over 90% of Youtube will be terminated due to Service Term Changes. If we combine these plus the blow of the recent Copyright Directive, the whole of Youtube will “go down in flames.”

If you aren’t sure about the new service changes, you can read them for yourselves. (I don’t know how to link the page in text, so I guess you might have to look it up).

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You were trying to hijack the thread. YouTube is only partially related to the broader issue of Ramsey’s SLAPP suit, yet you thought it appropriate to start a discussion on a subject that wasn’t even tangentially related to that suit. If you think we’re idiots around here, you are sadly mistaken.

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Orchaster (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You were trying to hijack the thread. YouTube is only partially related to the broader issue of Ramsey’s SLAPP suit, yet you thought it appropriate to start a discussion on a subject that wasn’t even tangentially related to that suit. If you think we’re idiots around here, you are sadly mistaken.

Listen here, motherfucker. I was not trying to hijack this thread. For someone who wants to protect free speech, you seem to be running a fucking shit-show that came from a ripoff of The Whore From Babylon. The title mentioned YouTube, and I figured I throw in a YouTube related discussion. Of course it doesn’t have to deal with the suit. It has to deal with YouTube. Stop trying to shove your dick up your ass, you “Pokémon XY Stephen Stone ripoff”. You’re not an idiot. You’re a jackass. No wonder the internet can’t evolve. You refuse to open up your mind and you berate people like me because you want to shut us up, blaming us for hijacking when we don’t hijack shit. And what does that do? It throws people like me and other people into a rage-fit flame war because someone thinks they can shun someone out because of a fake belief.
Maybe stop being a cunt and go fuck yourself. No wonder Blue Balls gets so much hate. He has his opinions, and you call him and people like me trolls because you don’t want to have an open mind.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No wonder Blue Balls gets so much hate

At what point was out_of_the_blue brought up?

Let’s see… started posting for no more than five hours before putting up a rousing white knight defense for a jacktard who posts Alex Jones conspiracy theories on an abandoned thread from 2018, and refers to him by name.

Yeah, I’m going to hazard a guess and suggest that you’re not some rando who suddenly started to sing the praises of someone who, by the way, has previously suggested that people who can’t afford medicine should be permitted to die and purify the gene pool.

you “Pokémon XY Stephen Stone ripoff”

Steven Stone was ORAS, you Gen Wun hack.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The title mentioned YouTube, and I figured I throw in a YouTube related discussion.

That was completely unrelated to the actual article. That’s the definition of hijacking a thread. If you didn’t mean to, ok, but that is still what you did.

you “Pokémon XY Stephen Stone ripoff”.

What do you have against XY? It was awesome.

you berate people

You mean exactly like what you’re doing in this comment? Stephen didn’t lob any name calling or NEAR the amount of vitriol you have in this one single comment.

And what does that do? It throws people like me and other people into a rage-fit flame war

That is your choice. We are not responsible for your actions, you are. You could choose not to do that.

No wonder Blue Balls gets so much hate. He has his opinions

That are completely divorced from facts and reality and for the way he treats other people who (even politely) disagree with him.

you call him and people like me trolls because you don’t want to have an open mind.

Troll: a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.

You and him have been called trolls because you fit the description of a troll. If you don’t want to be called that, all you have to do is change your behavior.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anti-SLAPP delays

…we need a federal anti-SLAPP law, and we needed it years ago.

I’ve finished skimming the rest of the MTD documents, and while I’ll need to go back and actually read the rest of the memorandum in support, I’ve taken a break from that in order to look at the docket more closely, and try to get some sort of feel for the procedural history that led to doc. 94 being the present motion to dismiss.

While doing that, I came across this July 23, 2019 Memorandum Opinion (doc. 62), where Judge Richardson relates, at the bottom of p.1:

Defendants seek leave to file a “special motion to strike” under California’s anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) statute . . .

Attached to that paragraph is a foonote: Footnote 1, which begins:

Defendants also ask the Court to excuse their 5-month delay in filing. . . .

Judge Richardson winds up finding it unnecessary to “address the question of whether Defendants should be granted leave to file beyond the deadline . . .”

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Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

Deposition objections mean next to nothing.

"…objecting to nearly every single question that Horwitz asks, followed by letting Galloway answer anyway."

He has to let Galloway answer [anyway].

With one exception (privilege) the deponent will answer ALL questions asked. The objections are merely there to establish for the record what the deponent’s counsel intends to argue in court to exclude the question/response under objection.

Objections (other than privilege) aren’t required, and if they are repetitive and/or disruptive the deposing counsel may just say "We’ll just have a blanket XXX objection to every question going forward, so need to interrupt further, counselor."

Having the objections on the record is just showing your client you’re working for them. In reality once in front of a judge objections can be moved on any q/a without regard to whether an objection was lodged during the deposition. (Again, privilege is the exception; it must be asserted in the deposition; the deponent should be instructed NOT to answer that question; all other questions are answered.)

Ehud

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That One Guy (profile) says:

And the lord did say, 'always make sure to be armed'

Q. Has Dave Ramsey ever pulled a gun out of a bag to try to teach a lesson about gossip?
MR. BUNDREN: Objection, harassing, and relevance. We’re getting pretty far afield from the claims made in this case. If we need to call the Judge, we will so I wouldn’t spend much time on this.
You can answer.
THE WITNESS: Yes.

Pulling a gun when discussing gossip… oh yeah, he seems super stable and the sort of person who should definitely have a deadly weapon on hand.

Hardly a surprise he’d make use of a SLAPP suit, seems like threats to silence people are rather par for the course for this individual.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The thing about being a grifter or charlatan is that to be a successful one, it takes work. Cultivating a persona. Effort into convincing someone of your legitimacy. Investment to make sure the scam keeps going. An actual exit plan for when things go south.

Which, of course, not every cheat or swindler is going to have. But it doesn’t stop them from thinking that they could be the next Frank Abagnale. So when their sob stories fail to convince anyone, like an author who had his mailing lists stolen and now has millionaire patrons, they turn nasty.

Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The thing about being a grifter or charlatan is that to be a successful one, it takes work.

It doesn’t. It just takes finding gullible victims. This is how people like Trump and Nunez continue to be "electable" despite being charlatans and impostors.

But it doesn’t stop them from thinking that they could be the next Frank Abagnale.

Nobody wants to be the next Frank Abagnale Junior. They want to be successful grifters who get millions of spendable dollars, not small fake checks and free flights on flight decks of airlines.

The new goal is to be Jesse Duplantis or Donald Trump, not that busted guy from the 80’s.

E

Anonymous Coward says:

Magistrate Judge's Nov 1 Order

Ramsey appears to really want to avoid having to be deposed himself, and got a "protective order" blocking a subpoena for him to be deposed.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Holmes Nov 1, 2019 Order (doc. 91) on p.5:

The Court’s determination that Defendants are appropriately restricted from taking Mr. Ramsey’s deposition is further bolstered by Defendants’ offer to cancel the deposition in exchange for stipulations by Plaintiff about the merits of this case and damages claimed by Plaintiff. This offer is an indication that Defendants’ “deposition notice was being used as an oppressive bargaining chip, contrary to the purpose that deposition requests are meant to serve.”

(Citations omitted; emphasis added.)

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Holmes did use the phrase “an indication” there.

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