More Pro-Trump Lawyers Sanctioned For BS Election Fraud Lawsuits

from the keep-it-coming,-judges dept

It's not just headliners like L. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell getting sanctioned for pursuing bullshit election fraud lawsuits. Other grifting asshats with Esq. on their letterhead are getting benchslapped for abusing the court system to pursue political goals, utilizing nothing more than speculation and wild conspiracy theories as "evidence."

The lawyers behind a ridiculous lawsuit filed in Colorado have just been sanctioned by a federal judge. The opening of the sanction order [PDF] makes a valiant effort to succinctly sum up the litigation that has resulted in punishment, but there's just so much going on. Enjoy (?) the following craziness:

This lawsuit arises out of the 2020 election for President of the United States. The original Complaint (Dkt. #1) purported to be a class action lawsuit on behalf of all American registered voters, alleging a vast conspiracy between four governors, secretaries of state, and various election officials of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia; along with Dominion, a private supplier of election and voting technology; the social media company Facebook; CTCL, a non-profit organization dedicated to making elections more secure and inclusive; as well as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

Three private companies and four different states were named as defendants. Colorado, however, was not one of those states, which does nothing to explain why the plaintiffs pursued this case in a Colorado federal court.

The court doesn't know why this was pursued in Colorado either. Or why it was pursued at all. The lawsuit clearly had no merit from the moment it was filed.

I use the words “vast conspiracy” purposefully. The Complaint is one enormous conspiracy theory. And a conspiracy is what the original Complaint, all 84 pages and 409-plus paragraphs, alleged: that “the Defendants engaged in concerted action to interfere with the 2020 presidential election through a coordinated effort to, among other things, change voting laws without legislative approval, use unreliable voting machines, alter votes through an illegitimate adjudication process, provide illegal methods of voting, count illegal votes, suppress the speech of opposing voices, disproportionally and privately fund only certain municipalities and counties, and other methods, all prohibited by the Constitution.”

This summation is immediately followed by a huge understatement.

So, this was not a normal case in any sense.

No, this was not normal. It was, in fact, dangerous. It aimed to undermine the democratic process. And it helped pave the way for actual violence.

In short, this was no slip-and-fall at the local grocery store. Albeit disorganized and fantastical, the Complaint’s allegations are extraordinarily serious and, if accepted as true by large numbers of people, are the stuff of which violent insurrections are made.

The plaintiffs were far from credible, and claimed to speak for 160 million "similarly situated" voters. Except that most voters, given the choice, would have nothing to do with these self-appointed representatives.

The personal affidavits Plaintiffs attached to the original Complaint recount the generalized fear and suspicion that the “system” is rigged, and a sense that American democracy no longer works. The affidavits are notable only in demonstrating no firsthand knowledge by any Plaintiff of any election fraud, misconduct, or malfeasance. Instead, Plaintiffs’ affidavits are replete with conclusory statements about what must have happened during the election and Plaintiffs’ “beliefs” that the election was corrupted, presumably based on rumors, innuendo, and unverified and questionable media reports.

Here's just one of the affidavits the lawyers advancing this case delivered as evidence supporting their "vast conspiracy" claims.

I believe that there was widespread vote fraud and manipulation during the 2020 Presidential Election and as such, this topic, along with the vaccination topic, along with the Qanon topic, as well as other ‘controversial topics,’ should not be censored, ‘fact checked,’ deleted and/or result in a ban or permanent account deletion just because the topic at hand challenges the official narrative as presented in mainstream media, the Democrat Party, the liability-free vaccine industry and other domestic and foreign controlling interests. the liability-free vaccine industry and other domestic and foreign controlling interests.

Basically, the legal team collected affidavits that did little more than demonstrate what Facebook would be like if it was any worse as content moderation. And submitting individual conspiracy theories as supportive evidence for the larger conspiracy theory didn't make the lawsuit any more credible or give the plaintiffs any standing to pursue it.

Despite the numerous additional plaintiffs and the addition of RICO conspiracy claims, nothing about the proposed Amended Complaint addressed one critical deficiency emphasized in all Defendants’ dismissal motions: Plaintiffs’ lack of standing to bring suit under Article III of the Constitution. Also absent from the proposed Amended Complaint was any effort to address the conspicuous personal jurisdictional problems raised by suing, in federal court in Colorado, state government officials from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan, for acts taken in connection with their official duties in those respective states.

Trying to duck sanctions, the lawyers tried to argue this lawsuit was different than similar, already dismissed "election fraud" lawsuits filed elsewhere in the nation. Wrong, says the court, using their own words against them.

Plaintiffs’ effort to distinguish this case from what I referred to as a “veritable tsunami” of adverse precedent (Dkt. #92 at 17) was not just unpersuasive but crossed the border into the frivolous. Plaintiffs argued, first, that this lawsuit was against corporations, not state actors or agencies, making it somehow qualitatively different from the many other dismissed election suits. This argument ignores that, as filed, this suit was brought against several state government officials who, the original Complaint made clear, were acting under color of state law.

Go back to law school, grifters.

It should have been as obvious to Plaintiffs’ counsel as it would be to a first-year civil procedure student that there was no legal or factual basis to assert personal jurisdiction in Colorado for actions taken by sister states’ governors, secretaries of state, or other election officials, in those officials’ home states.

Maybe they should have let a 1L handle the litigation.

Filing a lawsuit against an out-of-state defendant with no plausible good faith justification for the assertion of personal jurisdiction or venue is sanctionable conduct.

Then there's the matter of the allegations themselves. Lawyers filing lawsuits need to do so in good faith. Due diligence is expected. Extensive research is expected before filing lawsuits like these -- ones that aren't necessarily time sensitive and likely would have benefitted from a cooling off period that would have allowed the plaintiffs to perhaps be dissuaded by the inability of multiple investigations to uncover any evidence of election fraud.

Then again, this suit was never about the plaintiffs or arguments made in good faith. This was a performance, conceived and delivered by disingenuous lawyers, who, hopefully now, regret that decision.

It must also be noted that this was not a client-driven lawsuit. As Plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr. Fielder, conceded at the July 16 hearing, the lawsuit was his idea. Mr. Fielder and Mr. Walker were not relying on information from the named Plaintiffs to construct the suit or for any of the substantive factual allegations. Lawyers who conceive of a lawsuit seeking $160 billion dollars, making allegations questioning the validity of a Presidential election, and the fairness of the basic mechanisms of American democracy, must conduct extensive independent research and investigation into the validity of the claims before filing suit.

Sloppy due diligence is one thing. Constructing a complaint from debunked arguments, speculative hearsay, dismissed lawsuits, and the rantings of Donald J. Trump is quite another.

Plaintiffs’ counsel were (or should have been) on notice before filing the original Complaint, prior to the attempted amendment, and subsequently, that all of these allegations were heavily disputed, that none had been accepted as true or verified by any government agency or court, that independent investigations by reputable news sources had found no evidence to support the allegations, and that many had been comprehensively rebutted by authoritative sources. This should have put Plaintiffs’ counsel on high alert about the need to do significant independent due diligence before cutting and pasting from failed lawsuits, or, worse, directly copying into a federal lawsuit the ex-President’s Tweets claiming that the election was fraudulently stolen.

These sanctions are well-earned, says the court.

This lawsuit was filed with a woeful lack of investigation into the law and (under the circumstances) the facts. The lawsuit put into or repeated into the public record highly inflammatory and damaging allegations that could have put individuals’ safety in danger. Doing so without a valid legal basis or serious independent personal investigation into the facts was the height of recklessness.

The recklessness is described. In detail.

Plaintiffs’ counsel should have spoken to some of the other lawyers whose complaints they were copying into this lawsuit. Plaintiffs’ counsel should have confronted the authors of those failed lawsuits with evidence and public information that seemed to refute their claims to test their legitimacy. They should have done the same with the expert’s whose affidavits or reports they were citing.

Instead, Plaintiffs’ counsel spoke to no one.

It's a grift.

Similarly, Mr. Fielder and Mr. Walker could have spent some of the $95,000 they raised from the public to fund this litigation on an expert or three to assess and verify the truth of the information contained in the materials from other lawsuits which were copied into this Complaint. Rather than hiring an expert pre-filing, they spoke to no one.

Run by incompetents.

There is no evidence that Mr. Fielder or Mr. Walker have any experience or training in running elections or assessing the validity of elections. And yet, these lawyers were apparently relying in part on their own personal assessments of what happened on election night as support for the lawsuit’s claims.

Irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous.

Plaintiffs’ counsel copied into their Complaint inflammatory and damaging allegations from failed lawsuits and media reports. Plaintiffs’ counsel picked only the information, frequently from dubious sources, that supported their conspiracy theory, ignoring contrary available evidence, including statements from courts and non-partisan government agencies. They did not take any independent steps to verify the accuracy of the information by talking to actual human beings. The public statements from authoritative sources and courts rejecting allegations of widespread voter fraud or ballot-rigging should have been, if not bright red, at least flashing yellow lights warning Plaintiffs’ counsel to proceed with caution. Instead, they drove through the lights at full speed, even accelerating when it came to the Amended Complaint, which was filed after the January 6, 2021 insurrection that had been prompted, in part, by dangerous suggestions that the election had been stolen.

Both lawyers -- Gary D. Felder and Ernest John Walker -- will now be paying the legal fees of every defendant, including those voluntarily dismissed (the Pennsylvania parties). Hopefully this -- along with sanctions being handed down elsewhere -- will deter politically motivated lawyers from sucking up to lame duck presidents and attempting to undermine the democratic process the next time an election doesn't go their way.

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Filed Under: conspiracy theories, donald trump, elections, ernest john walker, frivolous lawsuits, gary felder, grifting, sanctions


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 11:52am

    See Page 27

    Our old friend Richard Liebowitz gets referenced via Rice v. NBCUniversal as an example of the court's inherent power to sanction an attorney. And this case isn't even about copyright!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 11:55am

    Play bad lawyering games, win bad lawyering prizes.

    Seriously, this is the lawyering equivalent of “fuck around and find out”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 12:23pm

    Glee

    It never fails to astound me at your sadistic glee in chronicling the latest ruling from the corrupt District Courts, but only if it's against voters and vote fraud.

    Your rousing embrace of the corrupt court's assertion that 150 million voters have no interest in honest, fraud-free elections, and thus have no "standing" and cannot be represented in a suit is similarly comical.

    As usual I am mystified by your promiscuous of the Antifa word "grifter." In this case you seem to think that lawyers who raised money for their case spent it instead of on expert witnesses (or other legal costs) but really must have spent it on hookers and blow in Aruga.

    Of course, neither you nor the court knows what it was spent on and therefore it is obviously not a grift and attorneys are not grifters but for unknown reasons you guys seem to think that the term is a damning indictment that proves in your mind, everything whatever that is.

    Your article also claimed that Powell and Wood were sanctioned but your lead back to your own articles claiming that they might be. It's remarkable to watch all of the back-flips you do especially on the reputations of these esteemed Esq's.

    Obviously there's no shame in your persona. You'll write anything if Trump has anything to do with it. Anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 12:31pm

      shut up, Meg

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 12:45pm

      Re: Glee

      Your rousing embrace of the corrupt court's assertion that 150 million voters have no interest in honest, fraud-free elections, and thus have no "standing" and cannot be represented in a suit is similarly comical.

      I didn't fucking hire these assclowns, and neither did "150 million voters", so no.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 1:14pm

      Re: Glee

      150 million?
      That would be Just Barely Below the total number of Voters?
      1/2 of the USA population? And even you know that 1/2 of that number is the total vote for 1 side or the other.

      HOw much money did these Lawyers get to do this?
      $95,000?
      Even at $1 per person, and only 1% of 150 million had given, it should have been at LEAST >$1.5 million.

      Then the Judge has access to all the other claims made around the country, and (its nice to do) knows what they have done before, and what they have Stated?

      Thats 3 strikes, right there.
      The title has little to do with the article, as with 90% of the news now days. It may be an opinion, but a lawyer that does not do the dodiligence, IS A FOOL, And you know that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 1:23pm

      Re: Glee

      corrupt court's assertion that 150 million voters have no interest in honest, fraud-free elections

      That isn't what the judge said. In fact, as quoted above:

      "Lawyers who conceive of a lawsuit seeking $160 billion dollars, making allegations questioning the validity of a Presidential election, and the fairness of the basic mechanisms of American democracy, must conduct extensive independent research and investigation into the validity of the claims before filing suit."

      In other words, "DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND HAVE SOME REAL EVIDENCE FIRST."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 2:00pm

      Re: Glee

      Your rousing embrace of the corrupt court's assertion that 150 million voters have no interest in honest, fraud-free elections, and thus have no "standing" and cannot be represented in a suit is similarly comical.

      You should let the court know they got it wrong. Otherwise, the slightly less stupid of you might start to think you were conned or something.

      Dumbass.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 2:09pm

      Re: Glee

      Your rousing embrace of the corrupt court's assertion that 150 million voters have no interest in honest, fraud-free elections, and thus have no "standing" and cannot be represented in a suit is similarly comical.

      Ummm, the supreme court, filled with partisan hacks appointed by Trump, also said there wasn't any voter fraud.

      So are you insinuating that every federal court in the country, up to and including the supreme court, is corrupt?

      How do you sleep at night knowing that everybody is out to get you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re: Glee

        How do you sleep at night knowing that everybody is out to get you?

        They don't - these 'mishaps' have got them twisting bullshit into fucking Auntie Annie's pretzels 24/7 since the last election. The amount of disappointment they're feeling is monumental. It's as if they've been waiting for the end of the world, and some asshole keeps pushing out the date.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Glen, 30 Aug 2021 @ 2:30pm

      Re: Glee

      Your comment seems very.... snowflakey to me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 2:54pm

      Re: Glee

      Hey, remember when Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to 'investigate' voter fraud, appointed a whole bunch of people who've built their careers on claiming election fraud exists, with a couple of democrats to try and make it look like it has some legitimacy? Remember when said panel investigated, found nothing whatsoever, and disbanded rather than issue a report as a court ordered they give democratic members of said commission access to the evidence that they found nothing? No?

      There is no problem with widespread voter fraud, people who had every motivation to find something, anything they could point at as evidence could not. On the rare occasions it happens, it's usually done to benefit republican candidates, but they don't mention that when ramming through new voter restrictions designed to cement minority rule, and that's what republicans are, a minority.

      150 million americans do not agree with having to bend to your will, they do not support you going on expensive fishing expiditions every time a republican loses a free and fair election in the hope of finding something they can use to justify finding creative ways to make it so votes for democrats don't count. If the right gave a damn about the will of the people, they wouldn't have spent every waking hour since the november elections trying to find ways to block as many voters as possible before 2022, even going as far as giving republican controlled state legislatures new powers to just take over local election boards as they see fit to make more 'audits' inevitable, as Trump and the cloud of parasites crawling all over his bloated, orange frame have proven there's a lot of money to be made from the average republican voter, riling them up, telling them they're being cheated by those other guys then bleeding them dry while they rant and rave... you know, the grift.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        RP (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 9:02pm

        Re: Re: Glee

        remember when Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to 'investigate' voter fraud

        Pepperidge Farms remembers

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 31 Aug 2021 @ 11:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Glee

          Trump/Republican commission members: There's huge vote fraud to the tune of millions of votes and we've got evidence!

          Democrat commission members: Can we see it?

          Trump/Republican commission members: Absolutely not, it's super-duper secret evidence as powerful as it's mysterious! Also we're shutting down the commission for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the recent legal order that would have forced us to share the discussions taking place among the non-democrat members of the commission and it's just a total coincidence that shutting it down rendered that order moot.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 3:26pm

      Re: Glee

      Damn son, them grapes must be sour AF.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 3:45pm

      Re: Glee

      "Your article also claimed that Powell and Wood were sanctioned but your lead back to your own articles claiming that they might be."

      That might be a new record for shortest time in which a Post that didn't age well

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 30 Aug 2021 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re: Glee

        Well, it's restless... He doesn't have a very good grasp on reality, 40 years ago he would probably have been committed to an asylum and pumped full of Lithium and Diazepam. Sadly, these days the people who can't deal with factual reality are roaming freely and shitting up social media like poo-flinging monkeys.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 6:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Glee

          40 years ago he would probably have been committed to an asylum and pumped full of Lithium and Diazepam.

          40 years ago, Jello Biafra would've told him to fuck off.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 5:39pm

      Re: Glee

      "As usual I am mystified by your promiscuous of the Antifa word "grifter.""

      I'm completely mystified how you managed to get the words 'promiscuous', 'Antifa' and 'grifter' all into one short sentence and think it somehow makes any sense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 6:49pm

        Re: Re: Glee

        Interesting that he thinks it's an Antifa word because I heard the word "Grifter" long before l heard the word "Antifa" (e.g. I heard comments on this very blog refer to Google as a Grifter, plus an episode of the excellent Dan Harmon show Community).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 11:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: Glee

          I think I first heard it when I watched the 1990 file The Grifters, although my understanding is that was only because I'm English and it was a more common word in the US that didn't get mentioned often over the pond pre-internet.

          But, here's another example of how the Trump cult has to make things up to protect their snowflake feelings - Trump and his con artist friends are fleecing them for all their worth, yet because they hear the term "grifter" associated with them, then it can't be because they're actually being grifted, it must be some kind of attack from the boogeyman they ascribe all things to.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 6:04pm

      Re: Glee

      Isn't your team supposed to be the winning team?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2021 @ 8:01pm

      Re: Glee

      In this case you seem to think that lawyers who raised money for their case spent it instead of on expert witnesses (or other legal costs) but really must have spent it on hookers and blow in Aruga.

      We know they didn't spend it on expert witnesses, Kojak!

      If they had the foresight to do that, they might still have their careers.

      As far as legal costs, they might just have to go back begging to you rubes when the courts are done with them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      RP (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 8:57pm

      Re: Glee

      restless wrote:

      It never fails to astound me at your sadistic glee

      You haven't been paying attention. This site frequently editorializes in favor of bench slaps of copyright trolls and other lawyers who have been found to abuse the judicial process. Is goes beyond simple schadenfreude and encompasses a sense of richly deserved justice being done. As such you must engage with the particular facts, rules, duties and oaths if you are to make sense of why both the judge and the site feel sanctions are deserved, or to meaningfully comment on them.

      restless wrote:

      in chronicling the latest ruling from the corrupt District Courts,

      [citation required] "corrupt" in this context, without a specific allegation of a specific court being improperly influenced by specific individuals for a specific outcome isn't corruption but just your inability to comprehend the reasoning of the judgment or the facts.

      Your objection to the courts makes no sense. If all of the US Federal courts are "corrupt" then why did plaintiffs file the case in the District Court of Colorado when elections are carries out by the officials of and under the laws of the individual states? Magistrate Judge Neureiter is not to blame for the fact that you need a genuine grievance before a Federal court has Article III authority to give you anything, and the plaintiffs had no evidence of anything other than a anti-democratic PR campaign by the loser.

      restless wrote:

      but only if it's against voters and vote fraud.

      But this case wasn't about voters as it was the lawyers who invented the lawsuit and then went around looking for plaintiffs. (Doc 136, p. 58). And if the lawyers thought it was about fraud, don't they have a duty to be serious about it?

      Yet, as cited above, there was substantial public evidence that these were not serious people, and the numerous courts’ rejection of the lawyers’ arguments and factual claims should have put Plaintiffs’ counsel on notice to be very cautious before repeating these damaging allegations via a massive cut-and-paste job, without additional strenuous verification efforts.
      Plaintiffs’ counsel should have spoken to some of the other lawyers whose complaints they were copying into this lawsuit. Plaintiffs’ counsel should have confronted the authors of those failed lawsuits with evidence and public information that seemed to refute their claims to test their legitimacy. They should have done the same with the expert’s whose affidavits or reports they were citing.
      Instead, Plaintiffs’ counsel spoke to no one.
      (Doc 136, p. 54, footnote omitted)

      restless wrote:

      Your rousing embrace of the corrupt court's assertion that 150 million voters have no interest in honest, fraud-free elections, and thus have no "standing" and cannot be represented in a suit is similarly comical.

      It's not this court that says they don't have standing. but the Supreme Court in 1974, 1989, 1992, 2007 and every other time it has been asked since.

      We have consistently held that a plaintiff raising only a generally available grievance about government—claiming only harm to his and every citizen’s interest in proper application of the Constitution and laws, and seeking relief that no more directly and tangibly benefits him than it does the public at large—does not state an Article III case or controversy.
      Lance v. Coffman, 549 U.S. 437, 439 (2007) (per curiam)
      Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992)

      In an annotation to Article III of the US Constitution, the Congressional Research Service writes:

      Even when Article III constitutional standing rules have been satisfied, the Court has held that principles of prudence may counsel the judiciary to refuse to adjudicate some claims. ... plaintiffs may not air generalized grievances shared by all or a large class of citizens.
      https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/essay/artIII-S2-C1-2-5-3-4/ALDE_00001204/

      So in light of this, it looks like the judge was completely right when he wrote:

      But whatever the grievances, the disputed conduct and the resulting claimed injury impacted 160 million voters in the same way. The Complaint, viewed as whole, is a generalized grievance about the operation of government, or about the actions of the Defendants on the operation of government, resulting in abstract harm to all registered voting Americans. It is not the kind of controversy that is justiciable in a federal court.
      (Doc 92, pp 9-10)

      restless wrote:

      As usual I am mystified by your promiscuous of the Antifa word "grifter."
      [citation required] Where is grifter an antifa word?

      In this case you seem to think that lawyers who raised money for their case spent it instead of on expert witnesses (or other legal costs) but really must have spent it on hookers and blow in Aruga.

      Isn't it sufficient to claim that they raised public funds on a subject that their plaintiffs alleged to be serious to them without doing the work required by serious lawyers?

      ... Mr. Fielder and Mr. Walker could have spent some of the $95,000 they raised from the public to fund this litigation on an expert or three to assess and verify the truth of the information contained in the materials from other lawsuits which were copied into this Complaint. Rather than hiring an expert pre-filing, they spoke to no one.
      (Doc 136, p. 55)

      The judge found that they should have spent considerable time and money on making sure they had a case before deciding to file it and put a burden on the courts and the defendants. Like with their standing issue and their personal jurisdiction issue, there was no evidence that they attempted their Rule 11 duties with regard to plausible case.

      restless wrote:

      Of course, neither you nor the court knows what it was spent on and therefore it is obviously not a grift and attorneys are not grifters but for unknown reasons you guys seem to think that the term is a damning indictment that proves in your mind, everything whatever that is.

      Again, the lawyers started this lawsuit as a doomed effort with no legitimately viable route to obtaining relief from the court. They did no research worthy of the name but merely cut-and-paste the work of other doomed (and in many cases, dead and debunked) claims from other cases. And they are sanctioned for having neither 1) law or 2) facts on their side. But what they got was a PR campaign and fund-raising drive based on their claimed hopes to recover $1000 for each of 160 million potential plaintiffs (registered voters). (Doc 1, p 86)

      Luring people to invest seed money in a doomed get-rich-quick scheme is a classic grift and the alternate explanations don't immediately seem favorable in light of the US Constitution, the paucity of relevant facts in their cut-and-paste affidavits, their arguments duplicating those in other lawsuits, and their choice to file in Colorado. They raised (according the the judge) $95,000 and to the extent they spent any of it, it was wasted.

      restless wrote:

      Your article also claimed that Powell and Wood were sanctioned but your lead back to your own articles claiming that they might be. It's remarkable to watch all of the back-flips you do especially on the reputations of these esteemed Esq's.

      **It was a busy week. In fact, Powell, Wood and other got their sanctions on Wednesday. (King v. Whitmer, Doc 172 (2:20-cv-13134)
      District Court, E.D. Michigan)

      restless wrote:

      Obviously there's no shame in your persona. You'll write anything if Trump has anything to do with it. Anything.

      Did Trump have anything to due with it? The Colorado lawyers went out of their way to signal that they were pro-Trump despite claiming to work in the interested of all registered voters, over whom about 4.4% more of which (7.05 million) voted for Biden. They even took time to quote a Trump tweet quoting a baseless OANN story to try and give it gravitas. (Doc 1, p 49)

      It's not up to me to judge if they filed this lousy lawsuit because they are unskilled lawyers or bad lawyers, but they spent far more time preaching to the Trump/OANN choir than building a solid lawsuit. Since they sought a payout of $160,000,000,000 . (Doc 1, p 82)

      One circumstance that must be considered was whether Plaintiffs’ counsel was under any time pressure to file the Complaint—whether the statute of limitations was running or there was some emergency that required immediate filing before a detailed investigation into the veracity of the allegations could be completed. The answer to this question is an unequivocal “no.” As Plaintiffs’ counsel has emphasized, this was primarily a claim for damages for alleged civil rights violations as a result of the November 2020 election. There was nothing about a claim for damages that compelled it to be filed just weeks after the election in December 2020. Given the seriousness and scope of the allegations, extensive objective research into the legal basis for the claims and due diligence into the factual allegations should have occurred. And there was ample time for such investigation. There was no reason why Plaintiffs could not have waited for the completion of some of the state recounts and state-run investigations into alleged allegations of election-rigging.
      (Doc 136, p. 31)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 10:29pm

      Re: Glee

      It never fails to astound me at your sadistic glee in chronicling the latest ruling from the corrupt District Courts, but only if it's against voters and vote fraud.

      It's weird how you insist every court ruling you disagree with is corrupt, and yet express no legal basis for claiming that other than your feelings.

      I thought you guys weren't supposed to be such whiny little snowflakes.

      Your article also claimed that Powell and Wood were sanctioned

      Yoo hoo. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210827/16095547447/sidney-powell-lin-wood-bunch-other-trump-lovi ng-lawyers-hit-with-sanctions-michigan.shtml

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 11:59pm

      Re: Glee

      "Your article also claimed that Powell and Wood were sanctioned"

      Articles here often mention things that have actually happened. Instead of being an angry little snowflake and typing paragraphs of easily debunked nonsense every times someone states them, you should read the source articles that supports them? You guys would spend less time as furious impotent losers if you read factual data now and again, and that would probably be better for both sides.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 31 Aug 2021 @ 3:51am

      Re: Glee

      Obviously there's no shame in your persona.

      That's rich coming from the guy who keeps smearing others to be corrupt with no evidence whatsoever.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 1:00pm

    'Now go away or I shall benchslap you another time.'

    As someone who read through the entire ruling while it's a long read I can highly recommend it for anyone looking for some good wholesome entertainment as it is filled with disdain from the judge rightfully aimed at the two grifters and their 'witnesses', going point by point why sanctions are so incredibly hard to justify most times and then explaining in detail why they are absolutely justified here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 1:23pm

    Problem with conspiracy.

    A theory is nice and everything, but when you can see it happening and there is no other way to NOT see it. Its generally not a theory.

    Even the numbers mentioned her keeps this as a theory.
    150-160 million? thats Close to all the registered voter numbers, Not even thinking that at least 1/2 that number voted the other side.
    $95,000 collected? even if 1% donated it should be over $1 million, or they signed it and didnt know what they were signing, and didnt care.
    A Federal Judge that doesnt know whats been Done before? I HOPE NOT.
    Then just using a selection of Signatures? Unverified? And no other analysis? No investigation results? Using a number like 160 million against 4 states Population??

    Can we stop laughing now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 2:51pm

    Won't Matter

    it's integral to the grift.

    It's pretty clear that they were utterly shit as attorneys anyway. so they won't have much in the way of assets, because what work they had done won't have generated much money. They also have little prospect in furthering their legal career because of their manifest inability to comprehend things. So they're dead-ended at the bottom as lawyers.

    The grift is the only way.
    So they do these performative suits, funded by others to raise their profile, not caring what happens to their ability to practice law (because they know its never going to take them anywhere, and they may lose it through malpractice anyway if they try); they do this safe in the knowledge that when the shitstorm dumps on them, they can then turn around and play the biggest ever victim to those who concern themselves with virtue-signaling and the like.
    They have to play the victim, and the only way to do that is to make themselves the victim of the system, by DELIBERATELY feeding themselves into the disciplinary process.

    They've set themselves up to fail, then using that fail to claim persecution. Then they're using that claim of persecution to create themselves a cozy career as a pundit, or consultant, or speaker.

    They are the essence of the person killing their parents, and then demanding leniency because they're been recently orphaned.

    And the thing that is the most grating, is that in every other aspect in life, their target market is vehemently (and sometimes violently) opposed to this exact grift. Show them a person who goes around faking tripping on broken sidewalks to get compensation for a living, or deliberately gets into car crashes but when it happens here, they're all sympathy and - more importantly - money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rico R. (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 3:18pm

    Hmm, sounds familiar...

    Lawyers filing lawsuits need to do so in good faith. Due diligence is expected. Extensive research is expected before filing lawsuits...

    Let's see, where else have I heard this on Techdirt? What other lawyer is frequently mentioned here as someone who doesn't do their due diligence before filing lawsuits? Someone else who has been heavily sanctioned as a result?

    Man, the name must have escaped my mind...
    (cough-cough)Liebowitz(cough-cough)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 30 Aug 2021 @ 5:58pm

    There's lies, damn lies, and whatever Trumps groupies say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    RP (profile), 30 Aug 2021 @ 9:31pm

    The Drama continues...

    After the August 3 order granting sanctions, the lawyers continue dispute that they owe anything and seemingly just now notice that corporate lawyers in the private sector are paid much better than the civil servants in the public sector, which they would have been clued in about if they had consulted the guidelines for reasonable fees the judge referred them to.

    Colorado Bar's 2017 Economic Survey table on page 34.

    Doc 143 Dominion on Sanctions
    Doc 147 Plaintiff's Lawyers on Sanctions

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 31 Aug 2021 @ 12:44am

      Re: The Drama continues...

      'What do you mean credible professionals get paid more than us?!'

      From doc 147:

      'Both hours spent and billing rates assessed by these Defendants are particularly gross in light of the arguments made collectively
      by these Defendants that this case was so frivolous, any first-year attorney would recognize it.
      '

      Ballsy to be sure, trying to argue that since the defendants and the court argued that their case was so pathetically weak that there's no way they spent any notable amount of time on it(ignoring that just because they suck at their jobs doesn't mean the other side will too), somehow I don't see that and their attempt to claim that they'll only be willing to pay $10,000 working out so well for them and hopefully their refusal to follow the court's order or engage in good-faith discussions will result in another hefty benchslap.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        RP (profile), 31 Aug 2021 @ 1:54am

        Re: Re: The Drama continues...

        In my head the future discussion should go along these lines.
        “We may be just simple Colorado lawyers, but we don't see why so many defendants had to plead so many distinct defenses and reasons for sanctions.”
        “Do you mean to say ... they shouldn't make a Federal case out of it?”
        “Exactly!”
        “Well, maybe you should have thought about that before dragging two corporations, a non-profit, four governors and various state officials across the country into Federal court while demanding $160,000,000,000.”
        “... but their hourly rates are so expensive and they worked so many hours!”
        “That is not their fault.”
        “... but $10,000 is reasonable.”
        “It's not about what you consider reasonable. It's about their work and what the court already said was reasonable.”
        “... but if it is much more than $10,000 then we wouldn't have made a profit.”
        “That is not their fault.”

        tl;dr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iazRuJn71Q

        Current asks appear to be: (Doc 141, Exhibit 1)

        • Dominion $89,557.00 “voluntarily reduced” (Doc 143, Paragraph 12)
        • Facebook $59,760.00 (not stipulated, status of negotiations unclear)
        • CTCL $37,500.00 (never responded to)
        • Pennsylvania $6,162.50
        • Michigan $4,900.00

        but then the Colorado lawyers again extend the matter by refusing to jointly sign any stipulations. (Doc 142, Doc 144) or negotiate with the corporations (Doc 143, Doc 145 ?) and non-profit (Doc 146).

        If they insist on the $10,000 figure, they are both going to any remaining credibility with the judge as to their capability to be reasonable and incur additional costs.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 31 Aug 2021 @ 1:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: The Drama continues...

          Oh bloody hell I completely forgot about their insane demands for money and how many zeroes were in it, that makes the '$10,000 is entirely reasonable' argument(when they're not just playing the 'I can't hear you game') even funnier and more hypocritical.

          They were demanding enough money to flat out bankrupt any but the incredibly rich and now they're acting shocked, shocked I say that the other side took the case seriously and spent extensive time and resources shooting down each and every argument as thoroughly as they could, somehow I don't see the judge buying the abrupt about-face as to what constitutes 'reasonable' amounts of money.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          RP (profile), 1 Sep 2021 @ 6:18am

          Re: Re: Re: The Drama continues...

          Tuesday was the last day to request the court to amend the motions for sanctions. Instead, a motion to extend that deadline to Tuesday the 14th. Why does the lawyer think he needs extra time?

          The order itself was lengthy, covered multiple parties, and discussed a number of different facts and issues.

          Again, this was two lawyers who claimed damages of $160,000,000,000 and sought to amend their factually-unsupported generalized complaint demanding unconstitutional personal jurisdiction by recruiting another 152 plaintiffs none of which provided particularized injury or evidence of more that a feeling that something was wrong. To complain to the judge that the ruling was long-winded in the cataloguing of their offenses, the three separate authorities to impose sanctions and the dismissal of monetary sanctions for one individual for not having meaningfully contributed kind of suggests the lawyers should have hired more staff — including better lawyers who could have told them no.

          Additionally, the order required counsel for Plaintiffs to review the itemized billing of counsel for the Defendants, and respond accordingly to the court’s order concerning a possible stipulation with regard to an “appropriate sanction.”

          But the only known criteria they applied seems to have been the total cost measured against an arbitrary yardstick of $10,000. Dominion finally got them to reply for the first time on August 16. “Walker stated that Plaintiffs’ counsel would not agree to a stipulated sanctions award amount until after they received Dominion’s detailed billing records.” which was sent the next day. Did they respond to the reduced total, the hourly rates, the hours billed? Did they make time to confer at all? Not according to exhibit 1 of Doc 141. So where did the time go?

          Further, in light of the motions filed and the courts order, undersigned counsel has been slandered in multiple major newspapers, television and radio shows across the nation.

          I'm not a lawyer, but I expect what the meant to say is that they spent a lot of time reading constitutionally protected opinion and fair reporting on official government documents. Any chance now the court will issue a sua sponte order forbidding to file a defamation case in any jurisdiction without this court's approval? I'm just asking for a friend.

          As a result, lead counsel, Gary D. Fielder, Esq.,

          Are you really trying to impress the judge by styling yourself as an "Esquire" ???

          has closed the Law Office of Gary Fielder, and is currently in the process of laying off his employees and moving from both of his office locations. All of this has caused a great deal of anxiety, which has impacted counsel’s ability to concentrate, and thus finish and file an appropriate motion, pursuant to Rule 59.

          This kind of suggests the lawyers should have hired more staff — including better lawyers who could have told them no. But the bad press coverage seems like a predictable outcome of a predictable order on sanctions in a case where the law makes it predictable that you were going to lose. So why did you file this motion for additional time on the very day the motion was due?

          Also, whose fault is it that Fielder has two offices to close when he opened one office on June 2nd (the day after Judge Neureiter ordered a hearing on these sanctions) according to this press release? This is after the lawsuit crashed in District Cort back in April, but the press release touts it with:

          This is the same Fielder that is valiantly leading the charge in a historic class action lawsuit.

          Maybe they were thinking of a different case.

          Finally his kid has been sick this week and he needs to have a COVID test before the child can return to school.

          Now the other lawyer, Ernest Walker, has neither signed the motion nor apparently filed his own. (It may have been mailed in from out-of-state, as I haven't checked all the docket entries to see if Walker has used ECF.) But does Fielder speak for Walker? As late as August 16, Walker felt free to speak for Fielder.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            RP (profile), 1 Sep 2021 @ 7:14am

            So how about that appeal?

            The April order dismissing the civil suit was issued in April.

            So O'Rourke, et al v. Dominion Voting Systems, et al is in the 10th Circuit as case 21-1161.

            • 2021-04-30 Appeal process started
            • 2021-05-13 Fielder lets the court know what the appeal is going to be about:

            II. DESCRIPTION OF THE NATURE OF THE CASE BELOW AND THE RESULT:
            Eight Plaintiffs from five states filed a class action, civil rights case against two corporations, a non-profit organization and certain individuals, for their respective, unconstitutional conduct concerning the 2020 Presidential election. After the served defendants filed their motions to dismiss, the Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint with One-Hundred and Forty-Five Plaintiffs, with amended claims. Before resolution of the motions, the Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed certain defendants, leaving the two corporations and non-profit as the remaining defendants. Two individual defendants remained unserved, when the district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of standing, and denied the motion to amend, as futile.
            III. ISSUES TO BE RAISED ON APPEAL:
            The legal issues concern the standing of the Plaintiffs to bring the action. The standing of the Plaintiffs is connected to the status of the served Defendants as state actors, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court erred by finding that the Plaintiffs made only a generalized grievance, which failed to articulate a concrete and specific injury. The district erred by failing to recognize the injury suffered by the Plaintiffs, and other persons similarly situated. The district court erred by denying the Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint, and by finding that any attempt to amend the complaint would be futile.

            • 2021-06-23 Fielder requests and gets more time to file a brief. When was it due? Today. Did he know he was going to need more time earlier?

            In fact, undersigned counsel was set for trial on this day of June 23, 2021, in a case involving a fatal traffic matter with multiple experts, but the case was dismissed—only after days of preparation

            • 2021-07-20 Fielder requests and gets more time to file a brief (originally due 2021-07-28).

            Absent extra-ordinary circumstances, this should be the last request for an extension of time.

            • 2021-08-30 Fielder requests and gets more time to file a brief (originally due 2021-09-02).

            The order sanctioning undersigned counsel was lengthy and additional time was required to review and understand the order. Additional attorney hours were spent determining how to proceed and the impact the order would have on this appeal.
            Further, in light of the motions filed and the magistrate’s order, undersigned counsel has been slandered in multiple major newspapers, television and radio shows across the nation. Undersigned counsel has consistently been referred to as a “Trump lawyer,” GOP attorney,” “right-wing attorney,” and other misstatements. Undersigned counsel is not a Trump lawyer, or a GOP lawyer, and has no affiliation with either of those persons or entities. Undersigned counsel is not a “right-wing lawyer” and such public comments have put the safety and security of undersigned counsel and his family in danger.
            Undersigned counsel’s email and voicemail were and continue to be used by individuals from across the country to disparage and threaten undersigned counsel. The Office of Regulatory Counsel of the State of Colorado wrote a letter to the press that undersigned counsel is under investigation for unethical behavior, in light of the magistrate’s order. Now that that Regulation Counsel has made a request for investigation a public matter which threatens undersigned counsel’s law license and, thus, ability to earn and living and support undersigned counsel’s family, this has also caused anxiety and emotional distress that has greatly affected undersigned counsel’s ability to appropriately concentrate, research and write the opening brief.

            • 2021-09-17 Opening brief is currently due Friday, September 17.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 1 Sep 2021 @ 11:51am

              'How was I to know throwing rocks straight up was painful?!'

              Oh how terrible, a grifter who attempted to fan the flames and profit off of the stolen election lie that has already had short-term lethal consequences and stands to seriously damage the trust in the entire election system long-term has people thinking he's a dishonest parasite and is being stressed out because of it, what a terrible and totally unjustified consequence for his actions...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                RP (profile), 1 Sep 2021 @ 10:04pm

                Re: 'How was I to know throwing rocks straight up was painful?!'

                I'm pretty sure that calling someone a conservative, "right-wing" or even a Trump supporter is protected opinion, not a factual assertion; while calling someone a Republican is likely not defamatory (esp. in Colorado).

                Yet Fielder styles himself as a Constitutional Lawyer at times.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 2 Sep 2021 @ 1:42pm

                  'My imaginary consititional rights matter, your real ones don't'

                  For some people(in legal practice and out) they care deeply about the constitution only so long as they think it agrees with them and what they want to do and the second that changes it's nothing more than a moldy old piece of paper that can be ignored and tossed aside.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          RP (profile), 5 Sep 2021 @ 5:58am

          Re: Re: Re: The Drama continues...

          As of September 3, Docs 150-152 detail the current asks by Dominion ($78,944.00), Facebook ($50,000) and CTCL ($64,012.24), but this time they aren't asking Plaintiffs’ counsel, Walker and Fielder, but the judge. Although the amounts changed this is a net bill of over $6000 more than the initially reported negotiating positions.

          Dominion writes:

          BHFS spent a total of 242.3 hours (1) preparing and arguing Dominion’s Motion to Dismiss and (2) preparing and arguing Dominion’s opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint.
          ...
          Because some of these [actual] hourly rates, though reasonable, are above the rates included in the resource referenced by the Court in its sanctions order—the Colorado Bar Association’s Economics of Law Practice Survey—Dominion has reduced most of the rates above to reach its lodestar calculation of $78,944.00. ... This equates to a reduction of nearly $20,000.00.

          Facebook writes:

          Facebook seeks an award of $50,000 for reasonable legal fees for 166.8 hours of work by its attorneys at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (“Gibson Dunn”) in connection with investigating, researching, drafting, and arguing its Motion to Dismiss and opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Amend. To arrive at this request, Facebook took the following steps:

          • Facebook first reduced the total hours spent on legal work related to these two motions through the exercise of “billing judgment” by Gibson Dunn
          • Facebook next reduced the hourly rates Gibson Dunn, which is a national law firm, charges, in order to align with the rates in the 2017 Colorado Bar Association survey cited in the Court’s Order
          • Facebook finally subtracted nearly $10,000 more from the $59,760 resulting from a straightforward multiplication of these reduced hours and reduced rates to reach the final requested amount of $50,000

          Center For Tech And Civic Life writes in footnotes:

          Nevertheless, in an effort to compromise, CTCL’s counsel not only based their proposed fees on the median rates applicable in the Colorado market, cf. id. (“$350.00 per hour is on the high side of billing rates for attorneys in Colorado”), but also offered to stipulate to a fee award of $37,500 to avoid further litigation and expense. Plaintiffs’ counsel ignored and then flatly rejected that offer. ECF 146, 147. ... [Plaintiffs' counsel] also rejected CTCL’s proposal out of hand and said they would agree only to a $10,000 award that preserved their rights to continue litigating both in this Court and on appeal. See ECF 146. When CTCL attempted to negotiate further, Plaintiffs’ counsel rebuffed them outright.

          CTCL in the main writes:

          As set forth in CTCL’s billing records—attached as Exhibit 8 to the Affidavit of Joshua Matz (“Matz Aff.”)—CTCL spent 313.4 hours of attorney and paralegal time on the Relevant Motions. Matz Aff. ¶ 13. That includes time dedicated to analyzing the filings by Plaintiffs’ counsel, drafting CTCL’s briefs (ECF 41, 62, 81), and preparing for and participating in argument. Consistent with the Court’s sanctions order, CTCL multiplied its hours by the median prevailing market rates in Colorado to arrive at its lodestar figure. See ECF 136 at 68. After adding $1,082.24 for CTCL’s electronic research expenses, CTCL arrived at its requested award of $64,012.24.

          Perhaps because they are the only of the three to adopt the median rate and perhaps had less need to justify their hourly rates, CTCL is the only one to tackle the issue of the fundraising behind the plaintiff's counsel:

          If Plaintiffs’ counsel object to CTCL’s requested fee award based on an alleged inability to pay, they should be expected to provide detailed information covering all these points, rather than a broad assertion of financial difficulty. In any event, Plaintiffs’ counsel have already confirmed that they fundraised approximately $95,000 from roughly 2,100 individuals during this litigation. ECF 133 at 22. That should be considered in assessing their ability to pay. CTCL respectfully submits that, notwithstanding any expenditures they have made against that figure, the global sanctions award should exceed the total amount they induced people to pay them.
          (emphasis added)

          That's the type of salty language you get when you try and sue a non-profit for $160,000,000,000.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            RP (profile), 16 Sep 2021 @ 6:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Drama continues...

            The Plaintiffs' counsel Gary Fielder has just now noticed that the date he requested his appeal opening brief be extended to (10th circuit, 21-1161) is the same day that he asked his rule 59 motion to modifiy judgment be extended do and asks (and gets) an extension of time for the later.

            Quoth the Judge:

            Any motion brought pursuant to Rule 59 shall be filed on or before September 28, 2021. No further extensions will be granted.
            (even more emphasis in original)

            So how is that appeal going?

            • 2021-04-30 Civil appeal docketed.
            • 2021-05-14 Record complete, Opening brief originally due 2021-06-23
            • 2021-06-23 Motion to extend time to 2021-07-28
            • 2021-07-20 Motion to extend time to 2021-09-02
            • 2021-08-30 Motion to extend time to 2021-09-17

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              RP (profile), 19 Sep 2021 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Drama continues...

              Gary Fielder missed the Friday triply-extended deadline, but managed to file his opening appellant brief on Saturday in both the District and Circuit courts (along with a motion for extension of time).

              It looks like his main beef is Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife which is a 1992 Supreme Court decision which routinely denies standing to people claiming injury which is common to everyone.

              The first nonsense argument I spotted: (p. 5):

              every registered voter has one shared right to vote for President and Vice-President. Any persons engaged in state action that substantially burdens that right is liable under the [Civil Rights] Act. Thus, a registered voter in one State has the right to sue persons for acts concerning a Presidential election committed in another State.

              The case cited to support this argument is Anderson v. Celebrezze (1983) which does on page 460 U. S. 795 explain that the electoral college means some votes may not have equal strength in deciding the president:

              For the President and the Vice President of the United States are the only elected officials who represent all the voters in the Nation. Moreover, the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast for the various candidates in other States.

              but that doesn't mean that the right to vote is impacted. But Importantly, Fielder cites page 788 which leaves it as a mystery to me just what citation he means.

              Fielder continues:

              The district court may be limited by want of personal jurisdiction over a defendant, but if the voter chooses to travel to the district in which the perpetrator may be found, jurisdiction is satisfied.

              Wrong. Not only does that not connect with any of the containing paragraph, but a post-election cross-country drive is not going to get a Maryland voter personal jurisdiction over an Ohio election official. And certainly not in a Colorado court.

              And when it comes down to pleading Injury in fact (pp. 25-30), at no point does Fielder make a case. There is nothing like a chain of causation or a specification of how one state's actors burdens the right to vote of people in another state. Just a wallpaper of case law going nowhere and a promise that “In their complaints, the Plaintiffs outlined with specificity how the Defendants substantially burdened their respective right to vote in the 2020 Presidential election.”

              The section ends with the paragraph:

              As described by the Plaintiffs in their complaints, the conduct of the Defendants had a direct impact on the result of the 2020 Presidential election, which likely does not reflect the actual will of the American people.

              A footnote is attached. Does the footnote explain that Donald Trump lost the popular election in 2016 and in 2020? No, of course not.

              The President of the United States is ultimately chosen by the Electors of each State. U.S. Const., Art. II, §1. These facts, however, are unprecedented in the history of the United States. Nonetheless, the Plaintiffs take no position, and have never made any requests regarding the legitimacy of the Presidential election. The Plaintiffs are powerless, in that regard. Nonetheless, the damages suffered by the Defendants are the foreseeable result of the Defendants’ conduct. The power of persons like Zuckerberg and Chan, Facebook and Dominion to affect the outcome of any election is tremendous and fearsome. To deny it, is to deny reality.

              That is some crazy-pants, preaching-to-the-choir writing. It really highlights Fielder's failure to serve the initial complaint on Zuckerberg and Chan. It seems pretty salacious to write this when the essential matter of stating how plaintiffs' right to vote was burdened goes unstated. It also looks like an attack on the Constitution's electoral college as undemocratic. True, but not really a winning point in court.

              However, the electoral college scheme is precisely that which destroys the claims built on a right to vote. Each state is responsible for its own procedures on how to choose electors and how much freedom those electors have to vote. Variance in state-to-state voting schemes, funding, standards and procedures is fairly mandated by the Constitution.

              Only if one is preaching to the choir would such a weak pleading of particularized injuries apply.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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