“It’s a Tremendous Amount of Information:” The Details about Alex Jones’ Phone
Hours before the jury awarded over a $4 million compensatory damages against Alex Jones, his attorney Andino Reynal made a desperate attempt to get a mistrial based on his own fuckup.
As part of the exchange that ensued, plaintiff’s lawyer Mark Bankston laid out the dilemma facing Reynal upon discovering he had sent the crown jewels to the plaintiffs. What Bankston got sent included highly confidential records from the Connecticut plaintiffs, records he shouldn’t have had.
He says I will work on preparing you a new link. In other words, the idea here, your honor, because I don’t think this is true is that what he was wanting to provide to me was maybe I guess some last minute supplemental production, right, before this trial, days before this trial?
I don’t think that’s what was happening. And the reason I don’t think that’s what was happening is because Mr. Reynal never worked on preparing me a new link. He never ended up sending me, here is the correct material. Instead, he went to trial, and waited until after his client got off the stand and now says, Oh I meant to send him more materials. So what we’re basically hearing is that Mr. Reynal, at that point, if that story is true, knew that he was supposed to supplement his discovery, knew he was supposed to provide those materials to me, and when I alerted him that he failed to do that and provide me something else, he just ignored it, decided I’m not going to supplement discovery. So if that’s true, if that story is true, we have a willful violation of discovery by Mr. Reynal, to allow this case to go to trial with documents that he says he needed to provide to me. That in and of itself is sanctionable.
But that’s not the real story of what happened here. It’s just not. We know what happened here. Norm Pattis, up in Connecticut, was passing this file along to Mr. Reynal. And I know that because the directories contain SharePoint OneDrive backups of Norm Pattis’ computer. He’s providing it to Mr. Reynal and that, your honor, is also independently very troubling. Because Mr. Reynal talks about these medical records — that’s what he’s concerned about. These medical records. Well, one thing I can tell you right now, your honor, when I figured out that I had the confidential psychiatric records of all nine Lafferty plaintiffs and their confidential depositions? I immediately destroyed them. And I told Chris Mattie, plaintiff’s lawyer up there that I’ve done that. He is on notice that those materials are not in my possession. But I told him, look, I trust my staff. They’re good people. And I trust that those materials were never leaked. But nonetheless, that is a significant data breach against his clients. And what’s most concerning is that Mr. Reynal has not yet made an appearance in the Lafferty case. Mr. Reynal is not allowed to have those documents.
The other problem, your honor, is we have Mr. Reynal now asking you to seal up an entire universe of things which should have been produced at minimum six months ago. One of the things you also, I know you remember, is that for multiple prior discovery hearings, beginning as early as October of last year, we’ve been talking about text messages. Every single hearing. And then you remember we had that hearing in January where we had the disclosure that, wait a second, that Don Salazar or Nico Acosta, the producer up in Connecticut had produced some text messages up there that should have been responsive, should have been on Rob [LNU] phone, Alex Jones’ phone. Why don’t we have them. What’s going on? And you’ll remember in those series of hearings, right, when Mr. Reynal came here in March, and told you, no, those were only on Mr. Acosta’s phone. Mr. Jones — we’ve searched his phone, he doesn’t have text messages that are responsive.
So again, not only is this a fig leaf, to cover up the things he has broken with his client, this is a fig leaf to cover up that he had been misrepresenting to you for months, telling you that these things did not exist.
I’d like to summarize what was said in response, Axios style, to make it more accessible for further reporting.
- Reynal’s legal assistant sent a file transfer link to Bankston, another of the plaintiff’s attorneys, as well as Reynal and another Jones attorney. The link led to a variety of other files, including confidential psychiatric files on the Connecticut plaintiffs
- The entire file was around 300GB of material
- 2.3GB of it is phone material, including “intimate messages with Roger Stone”
- Reynal claims that based on his review, Jones’ phone “is not in there,” but instead a review copy of text messages of a six month period between August of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020
- This happened once before, but in that case, Jones’ lawyers successfully identified privileged material and clawed it back
- Judge Maya Guerra Gamble agreed that the material should have been turned over a year ago
- Bankston has been asked by January 6 Committee to provide the phone and the plaintiff’s counsel in Lafferty (the latter of which can be shared under an information sharing order)
- Gamble suggested Reynal has made 17 requests for a mistrial and that Bankston has spent so much time in trial he has had no time to search on the material
Update: Jurors have awarded $45.2 million in punitive damages against Jones, though it seems this will be capped under Texas law.
Oh what a tangled web we weave…On the discovery violations, since Reynal has the phone records, Jones can say he turned them over (he still perjured himself in the depo when he said he searched and didn’t find any texts, but I’m thinking he can claim he mistakenly missed them) What is the excuse for Reynal? Why didn’t he turn them over? Will there be more sanctions against him? Meanwhile, that the Jan 6 committee and DOJ can now get their hands on them? Priceless!
I have so many questions for the IT guys at these law firms. I already know the answer to one of them: Don’t you just hate working for lawyers?
Funny, I never had a problem with our IT guys.
I’m going to assume that’s because you’re not a crook. Seriously, lawyers, of all people, should know that when you’re criming, you don’t use Dropbox and work through your paralegals. If you’re going to send confidential medical records to other lawyers who aren’t entitled to them, basic OpSec says put that shit on an encrypted thumb drive and FedEx it to the other guy. Sheesh, what a bunch of rubes.
I can think of two lawyers, one in Texas and another in Connecticut, who should be preparing for their lives as non-lawyers.
Given that Texas’s AG has been under indictment for seven years, it might not consider Reynal’s conduct as anything special. I’m pretty sure CT takes a harsher view, especially given that it’s home to Sandy Hook.
Both Pettis and Reynal have been ordered to show cause and appear by Connecticut Judge Bellis https://twitter.com/Equivo_Kate/status/1555285174098792454
Nice of CT to have admitted Reynal pro hac vice, which would seem to give it jurisdiction over him for disciplinary purposes, even though he hasn’t made an appearance yet. But as you point out, Reynal did not follow the court’s earlier order to file an appearance within 10 days.
If CT has jurisdiction over Reynal for disciplinary purposes and he is sanctioned in CT, that normally has comparable consequences for the attorney in his home state. But Texas does things its own special way.
Audwin Samuel testified in court under oath to bribing the mayor of Beaumont and still was not disbarred.
I suppose it’s what you get when you adopt the business model of Florida P&L and big tobacco.
Well, I hope not.
Nah. Not FedEx. US Mail because there are more regulations covering mail theft than courier services.
What’s mail fraud if you don’t get caught because you used US mail?
Flat-rate small box (which is about the size of a video cassette). Comes with tracking.
Face to face conversation next to the waterfall at the zoo with the cell phones left in the car.
Cellphones left at the office or at home. That way they don’t know where you went.
What a screw up.
Alex Jones’ attorney sent over a 300GB (image) copy of another attorney’s laptop. It included 2.3GB of data from Jones’ phone.
It must take several people ignorant of computers and computer forensics to screw up this bad.
Why would Reynal’s staff have sent something to two lawyers for Jones – but included Bankston?
One would think standard discovery protocols for a litigation practice would preclude doing that until one of the litigators in charge had signed off on the release. A lot of things don’t smell right here. Did these guys hire Kash Patel as their litigation manager?
Uh, rewatch this video… the link to access the discovery information was emailed by a defense lawyer’s paralegal to Bankston (plaintiff counsel)…who very likely cc-ed to Jones’s lawyers (defense counsel) so that defense lawyers explicitly were aware the link had been sent. Standard stuff. Except, as you point out, the lack of due diligence by lead defense counsel, of course.
Bankston ripped defense counsel a new one with his rebuttal to the attempt to call a mistrial and get this data somehow magically put back in the genii bottle. “…should have been produced at least six months ago, your honor” no doubt is still resonating in the ears of defense counsel here for sure. And then there’s the part about having medical records they had no authorization to possess, etc as well…
The judge was cool as a cucumber throughout all the nonsense today, and astoundingly so give the amount of incompetence, lying, and crimin the defense lawyers seem to be involved in here. Astounding really. Bankston was clearly the better lawyer.
As I explain to my non-lawyer friends, lawyers are people too. Lawyers come in all kinds of sizes, shapes, types, abilities, shitiness, etc. BUT, watching Jones’ and Reynal’s body language / reactions while Bankston publicly spanked them in front of the judge, I couldn’t help but feel like it’s a setup for some damn reason – like Hunter’s laptop. They were just too calm, too un-emotional. Of course, Jones is a highly-successful, real life crisis actor – but Reynal?!
The guy sitting next to Reynal isn’t Jones. It’s one of the other lawyers acting for Jones. If you watch to the end, he gets up and his face is visible as he exits the courtroom.
If I’m Reynal and I’m already looking at sanctions for flipping off plaintiff’s counsel in court, one thing I am sure as shit not gonna do is react emotionally. That said I was floored when Reynal failed to object when plaintiff’s counsel sprung the phone records on Jones. Even if it’s a spuroious objection, when you hear the other side giving a speech that sounds like a movie villain explaining his evil plan, maybe it’s a good time to interrupt!
Um, I read rather than watch ewe toob. My question was why the paralegal sent the data in the first place.
Documents had been requested and hadn’t been furnished for months. Also wasn’t data sent but a link to a Dropbox folder.
I’m wondering why Jones didn’t bother to cover his ass and only furnish self-screened responsive documents, let alone on a timely basis. He’s really got nobody to blame but himself for not taking the pains to sort his own shit from his phone.
Thanks. So the link was sent, with permission to access and download data from a joint site. Bankston’s staff did that, which started this ball rolling. Still doesn’t explain why an apparently unreviewed data set was put into the dropbox.
I agree that Jones made his own bed, but he seems to share it with Reynal. It would be interesting to see any admittedly privileged comms between the two of them regarding the long delays and non-responses to discovery requests.
Allegedly unreviewed. There’s plenty of legal and ethical violations present in the “unreviewed” data that should keep defense counsel and the defendant “entertained by the court system” for many years to come. For instance, if you have “unreviewed” information that you were required to produce during discovery but “unreviewed it” while it was knowingly in your possession then there’s plenty of “later reviewing by other interested parties” that will go on now. It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of guys I’m sure.
I was never in the position of being a firm employee. Contractor, billable expert, etc etc sure. I was extremely picky about who I’d support and never had a problem. Never danced around, if the data said X I reported X. If stuff got fuzzy then that’s what they got from me. On a single occasion their client had material of a underage encounter, showed the partner the pics/video/recorded phone calls. There was no possible doubt the client was a pervert. My portion of that contract was over. One of the partners of a firm I supported had a porn addiction, nothing illegal, just adult hetero but I had to wipe his magic porn PC about once a month. I’ve seen worse.
In short, working for owners of small business’ are like all the rest, except for dentists those b*st*rds would nickle and dime every invoice which is where I learned to have the task(s) signed off on at the end of each day.
You do as you are told and document it. Lawyers hate to be told “but what about….?” I was once asked to recover all the deleted files on a hard drive and my first question was always “Even the porno?”
How would you know what’s porn or not without recovering it first?
As Potter Stewart said in Jacobellis v. Ohio, you know it when you see it.
Bankston’s destruction of the Lafferty plaintiffs’ medical records was a good and moral thing to do. But I wonder if it will make it harder for those plaintiffs to prove that their records were distributed in violation of what I assume is a confidentiality order in Connecticut?
If Norm Pattis (who I assume is a lawyer in the Connecticut cases) willfully breached confidentiality rules (as alleged), then it’s not out of the question that he would simply deny it and say “Where’s your proof?”
Doesn’t work that way.
Testimony from the SH family lawyer: “Your honor, I was sent this information, and realized that not only should I not have this material, but neither should the person who sent it to me. I informed the court at the time it happened, and indicated that I had destroyed the documents as I was morally required to do. But make no mistake: I *was* sent these documents.”
I’m sure Bankston has a formal and certified document list of what was sent and destroyed. As for why the records in general were in circulation, I remember that Jones’ teams were doing discovery to basically claim the parents were nutcases or something and this was all a figment of their imaginations or mass hysteria, kind of like the Salem witch trials. That was because the false flag / witch trial idea was the theme propagated by Jones on his show.
I agree that circulating CT case docs to the TX family was well out of line, since the relevant connection wasn’t on the family level. What would a state of mind in a CT family have to do with the direct harassment experiences of the TX family, isn’t that almost a hearsay thing (IANAL)? The issue should have been brought up at trial, but AJ decided not to defend himself in any of the suits AFAIK and has had a series of default judgements imposed. The question follows regarding whether these files were leaked to the ‘horde of flying monkeys’ that populate the RWNM Freeper world.
So, the jury ruled for 4.1 M$ in compensatory damages. I think that number will stand up because compensatory damages are for costs incurred and documented. What will be interesting is how much the punitive damages will be to discourage AJ from doing this again. Then, multiply that sum by the number of families who lost kids, teachers and other loved ones at Sandy Hook and it will be a very big bill indeed.
In CA after a verdict like this an Order of Examination (OEX) is done to determine where the assets are. This is where AJ’s ex-wife comes in with her statement about how many places AJ’s squirreled away money. In CA you can’t dodge a court judgement like this one by going the BK route but I don’t know if TX allows it. BK is a federal court action, so perhaps our lawyers can sift it out for us.
In TX, punies cannot be over just short of $9 million because they have a cap of 2X compensatory plus $750K.
A rule that handily guts the purpose of punitive damages, which is to make them large enough that they hurt the defendant, persuading it to change its wrongful ways. For many of the worst offenders, the limit in Texas is pocket change. As elsewhere in the South, the rule also helps defund plaintiffs’ lawyers, who tend to support Democrats.
Yep, exactly. Also what so called “tort reform” is about.
Insurance companies usually get a good bang for their lobbying buck. But here, it’s virtually all business entities and the GOP against those harmed by their products and services.
Includes the Supremes, with its absurd affinity for mandatory arbitration, even where it forces lone individuals to contest their claims against large companies in a pro-corporation, secrecy-driven process.
Greg Abbott: Tort Reform Hypocrite
I despise Greg Abbott even more than I did previously every time I read an article reminding me of his utterly ridiculously hypocritical ways! He is an a**hole through and through, only to be surpassed by his bestie and Lt. Gov., Dan Patrick.
I think you omitted TX AG Ken Paxton who is particularly corrupt. All three of them need to be kicked to the curb this election.
Jury awards $45.2 million in punitive damages
That is not even close to the statute as I read it. Huh.
Overshire commented this at the Peter Navarro post. I have no idea if NBC is correct.
August 4, 2022 at 6:55 pm
Re: Alex Jones, NBC reporting the jury has awarded $4.11 million in actual damages, and will now consider punitive damages, which must be no more than 10x actual damages.
What are the chances the jury didn’t follow statute in the award and it will be reduced?
Don’t know yet. If had to bet, it may be that they were not told the cap rule and just found what they thought appropriate. Bankston seems to think the cap statute does not apply here, but I am not sure why he thinks that. If I were the defense, I would sure argue that issue immediately. Maybe there is a way around it, but I’ve not seen it. Will be interesting to see what happens!
Here is the relevant statute. See Section 41.008
Ah yes, indeed TX law prohibits the jury from being told about the cap. So, they did not know.
Even if limited to only the capped amount, it’s still pretty significant and a signal to the others who want to or are currently litigating. If multiplied in the other cases (this is where the 45 M$ will resonate as a true value not artificially constrained) it will add up to real money, enough to sink InfoWars by whatever name they’re using. Does CT also cap punitive damages?
Also, it seems these two lawsuits were the only ones going. I’ll apologize in advance for not digging in too deeply, but I’m not sure that all of the kids and adults killed at Sandy Hook that day were covered by either the TX or CT suits. If that is the case, are the uncovered families time-barred from going after Jones now?
Dunno about the statutes on them.
For the full Axios experience:
You’re absolutely right.
I’m still working on Axios “speak.”
On a more serious note, I do like the readability of the bullet point list.
If you’re interested, David Allan Green (a lawyer), did a post about his writing style which uses 1 sentence paragraphs.
Single sentence paragraphs are the stuff of journalism. They make for easy reading, but don’t suit very complex topics.
In the old days, stories were outputted onto photopaper, waxed, and then stuck onto the flats to be photographed to make the plates that went on the press’ cylinder. If each sentence is a ¶, it makes cutting bits out of stories and fitting stories to the available page space a snap; one swipe of the xacto blade will do it.
Actually, in the old days, type was cast in molten typecasting metal, an alloy of lead, tin, etc. Deleting a paragraph involved picking up the type and throwing it into the kill box to be remelted into tomorrow’s edition. You could end a paragraph by cutting a line in half at a comma, and then excising the tail off the comma to make it a period, but this put a tiny editorial decision into the hands of a compositor, not an editor or reporter.
Been there, a very long time ago. I learned hot-type production knowing it was a dying trade, seeing the computerization of printing in the immediate future.
Blue denim aprons, shiny molten metal squirting up from the casting mold of a Linotype, splashing off the cast iron and steel onto your lap. But I still remember how to run a Linotype, not that there are any around to run any more. Really hot work in the summertime!!!
I worked at the SF Examiner when they still set the paper in hot metal. I always loved the sound of the linotype. It was so musical. There is a documentary about the linotype, funded by Kickstarter in 2012. It’s pretty good as I recall. https://linotypefilm.com/
That is pretty awesome!
It’s the writing quality, not how many sentences are in a paragraph. Henry Kissinger could write with incredible density, but little clarity. Stephen Jay Gould could make the unfamiliar relatively easy to understand. They were writing to achieve different objectives: obfuscation and self-promotion vs. clarity and outreach.
Hmmmm…”2.3GB of it is phone material, including “intimate messages with Roger Stone.””
It really makes you feel for Bankston at being the one to have to have read “intimate texting between Roger Stone and Alex Jones.”
“Intimate messages” between Roger Stone and Alex Jones make Lovecraftian horror read like a child’s bedtime story. ~Shudders delicately~
There ain’t enough brain bleach in the world . . .
Right there with ya on that one…
The phrase “intimate messages with Roger Stone” immediately left me feeling nauseous…
Gotta wonder how many had images of his Dick, eh, Nixon tattoo.
Shoot. So Jones’s texts from late 2020 and January 2021 wouldn’t be included here — but that’s if we trust Reynal, who’s the only source of that assertion? Is it known, or can it be deduced, when Jones’s phone would have been imaged before coming into Reynal’s custody?
Whut? Why did you magically show up here to say that? Do you think we do not know?
I didn’t magically do anything, @emptywheel posted a tweet with a link to this post. I thought getting people to show up here was the point of doing that…
Anyway, Reynal is saying that Jones’s whole phone isn’t there, and sort of downplaying the contents. That doesn’t line up with what Bankston said yesterday, and I don’t take Reynal’s word for it. What I’m asking is, does anyone know when the image was made of Jones’s phone? If it’s known that it was done in early 2020 then maybe Reynal’s telling the truth. If it’s known that it only happened a few months ago, then maybe Reynal’s full of it.
“What I’m asking is, does anyone know when the image was made of Jones’s phone?”
Hmmmm… an interesting question.
I think you’re right that Reynal is unreliable.
Just as importantly, both these men are trial lawyers, so even the good guy is prone to exaggeration, and both are talking about their understanding off a very cursory review.
~300GB is a lot of data to make sense of in a short time. And, from what has been written, Bankston’s team had to wait ten days before they had full rights to explore the files, so they may have had only a couple of days to comb through the data and were probably scanning at the headline-level.
They may have proactively lined up some forensic talent while the clock was ticking, but even with tools and talent on tap the time available likely limited them to drilling down into results from keyword & phrase searches. The tools may be fast, but people – particularly teams – are comparatively slow in this process, and they had other trial-related matters to attend to.
I thought Bankston did an excellent job with the evidence drop by immediately framing it as evidence of perjury and failure to comply with discovery. The last thing in the world you want is for the judge to immediately pump the brakes on use of the information, and starting off by implicating both Jones and his attorney in misconduct makes it very unlikely the judge is going to do more than allow redaction of ACP material. (p.s. does the crime/fraud exception apply to discussions of evidence that was supposed to have been provided in discovery but wasn’t? bet it does…)
Welcome to EmptyWheel!
Don’t take bmaz’s bark as an insult, it’s actually a badge of pride. When I finally got one I knew I was part of the clan. That said, he and the other guard dogs here have a tough job because we get all sorts of trolls, puppets and worse on this site.
That made me feel better. Once dogmanaz called me unamerican, I was hurt !
You admitted that you don’t live here, and if you are going to whine like a baby and call me names, there are ways to deal with you. Grow up or be gone.
The context was a comment on the Dobbs decision in an open thread. I explained that the threats in Thomas’s concurring opinion regarding gay marriage had a long history and as an example explained that the law passed with 99 senators and Clinton’s signature that forbid HIV positive people to enter the US forced many US citizens to choose between a family member and living in the US. I believe it was an useful thing to remind people of, who perhaps did not know the history. Perhaps you, in fact, did not know that history.
You called me a name – unamerican – because I was forced into that Hobson’s choice by a perfectly “legal” maneuver of the US Congress and President. It is the kind of choice that women have to face now – move to another state if possible or have your life upended.
After referring to me as unamerican you proceeded to block me from commenting.
I gave it a rest.
Now, I write in a perfectly lighthearted way like the comment just above referring to you as a guard dog. I thought I was just being put through some sort of initiation rite, as Fran of the North said, and was pleased.
You are really being nasty here bmaz and I do not get it.
I honestly don’t give a damn what you “get”. Perhaps I know history just fine, and most other people here do too, and do not need your condescending explications. Then you tried to post a screed manifesto to support your decision to flee the US forty years ago because Reagan. So, if not un-American you sure are a pretty thin American as to the US. And, yet, you have the temerity to talk down to people here, and seem to take particular glee in it with me.
You are also a liar. Nobody here ever “blocked you from commenting”, and certainly not me. That is an outright lie (one you tried before), as evidenced by the fact you are here now and have been all along, except we declined to post your manifesto. And, no, you are not being lighthearted. If you really want to see me get “nasty”, you will never get that, you will be gone. How about we make amends and step back for the time being, and engage again another time? How about that Max?
I appreciate the gesture; I do not have any desire to be the object of your ire.
Your message presents a conundrum. On the one hand you are, I think, offering an opportunity to step back and reflect. On the other, you just accused me of being a liar, which I am not.
I must have really pissed you off sometime, for which I apologize.
I am neither a troll, a sockpuppet, a liar, an unamerican, nor anything else but an engaged reader of the brilliant posts here since about 4 years and a very occasional commenter – in good faith, perhaps longwinded, but with relevant, in my opinion, things to add. Where I live or why I live there has nothing to do with my patriotism or love for my country and its ideals. At some point I rubbed you the wrong way, and got some very ugly words thrown at me that I find very difficult to just let slide. I am not accustomed to having my patriotism questioned.
The substance of my comment above is lost in the noise of your attack. That’s too bad.
If this message makes you angry, just don’t publish it, and inform me that I should reconsider making any more comments on this site.
The main reason for reading this blog is to learn from Marcy Wheeler and the other brilliant posters, and that I do, and cherish.
Lol, gave you a good faith offer and you just pissed on it. Pretty much the attitude you have long often had here. Your pissy response doesn’t “make me angry” it just makes me think you are a giant pain in the ass that is every bit as much, if not more, concerned about attacking the people here as lending the well thought out comments you claim you are known for. You do what you want, but we are not going to have any more of this. Stick to the subjects and leave the moderators and other commenters alone.
I’m going to put on my mom voice now and tell you both you two need to go to separate corners. Don’t look at each other, just go about your business.
Max made a good point back in the beginning of this “discussion” about the destruction of human rights costing some their ability to travel and live where they wish. We’re looking at this affecting roughly 25% of the population now, maybe more, if some of us have to prove we aren’t pregnant, aren’t same-sex married, aren’t using contraception, aren’t non-binary.
I think we can agree moving/traveling freely is a fundamental human right which should be curtailed only between states in a declared war. Let’s move on.
Well, we shall see.
I LOVE this website, but am increasingly put off by BMAZ’s arrogance. Unfortunately, requiring readers to navigate and endure needlessly derogatory, if not crude and infantile, comment by her own “staff” has the effect of undermining Marcy’s brilliance. Might she step in on occasion to protect her own interests?
Hi there. I “LOVE this website” too. Which is why I have dedicated 15 plus years of my life, and over nearly half my marriage, to do it for free. Pro bono if you understand Latin. Because I very much care about his blog and the diverse subjects it covers. You, however, have been here for the entirety of seven comments. The last time you appeared was October of 2021. You pulled this same stunt back in March of 2020.
And now you decided to resurface to engage in yet another attack on the people that try to keep the place running, specifically me? This is the thing that concerns you most? I’m sorry, what exactly have “you” done to support this endeavor? Because we deal with attacks, trolls and nonsense 24 hours a day.
When I wake up in the morning the first thing I check to see is if the blog and comments are okay. Several times during the day I check to see the blog is okay. Even if I am in court or trial, if I have a break, I check to make sure the blog is okay and comments get cleared and dealt with. Before I go to bed at night, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I do the same. There is always something to deal with.
The level of garbage, even without the relentless attacks, and especially on me personally, is really tiring. I checked the record, and I have never, to my knowledge, interacted with you personally, ever. So you are just blithely inserting yourself into our business and thinking “you” should determine how we conduct ourselves and our business? That kind of stuff is really tiring too. What you see, and think you know, is a very small fraction of what we do. Maybe take that into consideration before you decide to interject yourself again in this manner.
If you really want to help this blog, maybe try donating a bunch of money or, at the very least, making substantive comments that really further the discussion here.
PS: By the way pverby, I am a “staff” member that has been here since before day one when it was just Marcy and me. I am not going to count them, but I have authored somewhere around 1,000 posts here, which I can guarantee you is more than anybody else short of Marcy. When “you” deign to call anybody here, much less me, “staff” you prove yourself uninformed and a jerk. Think twice about that before doing it again. We are not “staff” as to you, nor anybody else.
Rereading Bankston’s speech in the post above, I am struck by how brutally he comes down on Reynal in his remarks.
IANAL, but for one lawyer to come out and explicitly accuse the other side’s lawyer of “sanctionable” conduct strikes me as very very unusual. You might say that outside of court, and you might even say it to the judge in chambers or in a bench conference, but to put it on the record in front of the judge in open court like that seems like a pretty bold move.
And Bankston only uses that as a warmup.
He moved from that to slamming Reynal for distribution of medical records Reynal isn’t entitled to possess in the first place, let alone send to others (like Bankston) who aren’t entitled to them either.
And to cap things off, Bankston makes it personal for the judge, by laying out a pattern of behavior with respect to discovery and blowing off the court or flat-out lying to the court for 9 months. “It’s not just that he lied to me, your honor — he’s been lying to you, day after day, week after week, month after month, hearing after hearing . . .”
I’ve witnessed opposing counsel tell a judge a blatant lie, on the record, many times. Discovery mistakes, hijinx, and crazy stuff happens regularly. This is a unicorn situation in my experience. Bankston’s presentation was rather exquisite!
In the tapestry of my mind, Bankston’s name now resides near Banksy’s (who, interestingly, created an agency called Pest Control.)
In the civil cases that impacted me there was plenty of crazy. Just to name two circumstances, one was an instance of blind arrogance that resulted in a gem of evidence that fell in my lap and benefited me. Another was a boatload of discovery that an unwitting participant readily provided.
But this, as you say, seems to be a unicorn. Epic.
Bankston seized the day.
Well, I think he was rightfully pissed. He gets this giant file, starts opening stuff, and finds things he is most definitely not supposed to see. And when you see that, you can’t unsee it, so he is technically doing something illegal unwittingly. Imagine your friend sends you some pics, in a folder, on dropbox say, and they are labeled img0625.jpeg, and similar, and you start opening them in a batch (multiple select, right click, open with…) and voila!!! They are child porn pics. You wouldn’t be thrilled, and then you have to immediately dispose and wipe evidence you ever had it, but also say out loud that you looked at something you shouldn’t have looked at. All because Pattis was so lazy he imaged his entire computer practically and sent it over, and then some nitwit paralegal with a dropbox account screwed up, and then a seasoned lawyer somehow was too lazy to go through and specify what was privileged. Sheesh, what a bunch of idiots.
You don’t understand privilege. Bankston could have looked at ANYTHING sent to him on day 1 and he wouldn’t have been doing something “illegal.”
He might have looked at something “privileged” but even then, it’s not “illegal.” However, for the purposes of the trial, the only privileged things would be Jones’ communications with his lawyers and/or any specific medical info about Jones. Other than that, it’s all a wide open playing field.
I’m sure Bankston made a point not to open emails or texts between Jones and his trial counsel just to avoid any whiff of unfairness that would result in a mistrial or overturning the case on appeal.
Apologies if this is addressed below. Bankston would have have had authority to look at the material AJ/ Reynal was legally entitled to posess. Reynal/ AJ providing the material doesn’t make it illegal to posess. If the child porn scenario doesn’t make sense, think Snowden release & national security/ secret material delivered to an unknowing attorney or other party. Psychiatric records don’t have the same binding prohibitions on posession as child porn or top secret material, but they are clearly sensitive. At the least an attorney with unauthorized posession of an individual’s psychiatric records has stepped into vulnerablility.
Um, no, an attorney is not a mandatory reporter and owes no duty whatsoever, especially when Jones never even made a motion, thus waiving any ability to have it protected (which would failed even if he had tried. You are misrepresenting the situation to people here.
My bad. I did misunderstand the situation when I posted. I wasn’t thinking of mandatory reporting obligations. I was muddled about the various attorney’s clients.
That said, it seems like a 3rd party’s psychiatric medical record are reasonably recognizable as so sensitive that the recipient attorney has an obligation to hold the records in confidentiality, regardless of opposing counsel’s claim or non-claim of privilege. IANAL, but I thought that Judge Gamble was implying something along those lines with ordering the destruction of medical records of persons not a party to this trial. She did that without any specific claim of privilege from Reynal.
So I mis-spoke (typed). The unintended recipient attorney doesn’t have liability for posession of the errantly provided medical records. But as I understand it, the court does believe the unintentional recipient does have an obligation to keep confidential 3rd party medical records inadvertently provided in discovery. And to make that clear, the judge ordered the records destroyed (if they weren’t already). (Cringing about potential reply)
Not entirely sure your point since the attorney who accidentally received them DID keep the medical records confidential and, in fact, destroyed them.
Also, and I think a TON of people are missing this. The psych records are most likely from a defense expert exams of the plaintiff/parents. Not some secret records from their private and personal psychiatrists. If you sue for mental suffering or illness resulting from a tort you open yourself up to be examined. It’s gross, yes, but true.
What’s the likelihood that AJ’s lawyers could be hit with HIPAA violations?
I would think the chances of a HIPAA violation are ZERO because they aren’t covered entities as defined by the law (Provider, Health Plan, their clearing houses and associates). However, as discussed at length above, there appear to be a number of legal and ethical violations which may escalate in severity based on the inclusion of HIPAA protected information. While it may be illegal for a person (including a lawyer) to reveal HIPAA protected information, unless they are specifically a covered entity it’s not a HIPAA violation.
IANAL, exactly. There may be liability, but its not HIPAA for just that reason.
Zero chance. They’re not covered entities, but there are ethical issues at the very least. Info like that would probably be something a judge would order to be kept confidential. It’s mental health records for minors…
Well, they’re already going to be sanction hearings in Connecticut so things aren’t looking rosy, that’s for sure:
Scroll down to see where Reynal is also order to appear as well.
Just as the First Amendment binds the government and not the general public when it comes to restrictions on free speech, HIPAA binds medical providers – doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, etc. — and not the general public. If Reynal was a lawyer for a hospital, then he might get hit with violating HIPAA, but HIPAA doesn’t cover him for revealing medical information that he received as part of discovery in a trial in which he was involved.
He was not yet officially counsel for one of the parties in the case in question. Well *that* may get him into trouble, but that’s not a HIPAA violation either.
I sent this article and video to my friend, Richard, who was Melvin Belli’s (the King of Torts) partner in the nineties. He wrote back and said if Jones wants to sue Reynal for malpractice, he’ll take the case.
I’m still trying to figure out how AJ’s lawyers got a hold of medical records they are not allowed to even have access to, let alone pass along. Maybe the answer is obvious and I am missing it. Just learning the who, what, when, where, why of how they obtained them will be valuable to learn in order to understand the lengths his lawyers are willing to go.
Jones is facing a similar suit in CT, and his lawyer there is the one who sent the files to Reynal in TX. The only thing I can think of is that the plaintiffs in the CT case were obligated to share certain medical records with Jones’ CT lawyers as part of discovery to prove their claims of emotional distress.
Just a guess on my part
Maybe I misunderstood but I thought Bankston noted that even the lawyers in CT were not to have them? I thought he noted they are to only receive MD statements summarizing patient’s condition, not records? IANAL
I don’t know either. I can’t tell if, when Bankston alerts the CT lawyers for the Lafferty plaintiffs, he is telling them that Jones’ lawyers are improperly sharing them beyond the named attorneys in the case, or if he is telling them that Jones’ lawyers in CT have obtained information they are not allowed to have at all. Certainly the first one is true, but the second may also be true.
If Jones’ CT lawyers were not supposed to have them, then the Lafferty lawyers are going to have a field day with this, and another judge will have an opportunity to rake Jones and his lawyers over the coals.
Already scheduled. Next week for Pettis, who’s in CT, the week after for Reynal.
Given the mindset and ethical standards of AJ and his legal team, does anyone doubt there is a large probability that these sensitive records made it to 4chan / Q / Freeperville / Faux / …? I noted above about the horde of flying monkeys which already made their appearance in this trial (among many others) with their harassment of the TX families. Michelle Malkin was famous for unleashing them.
oh my. could the 48 year old Mr. Jones bring Trumplandia down at last? could these details GIVEN to the DOJ finally be the straw??? thanks so much for making it clear (Axios style–I can imagine the side eye).
We are definitely cursed with living in interesting times. Speculating that if this does cause a major upset in T’landia, it won’t be as simple as Donald just fading away & R’s seeing integrity as an obligation of political elites.
IANAL so I just don’t get why judge Gamble doesn’t start screaming and throwing things or burst into uncontrollable laughter.
She’s walked up to the line, exercised admirable restraint here.
She was probably holding her head on early in this video.
Now that was a backside whoopin’ like I’ve rarely seen. Thanks for the link.
Very professional. She’s leaving very little room for appeal, clearly.
Thanks for that. I’m guessing she has a punching bag in her chambers.
I cannot help but speculate this last-minute disclosure came accidentally-on-purpose. A desperate measure to seek to sabotage the proceedings and win Alex Jones a delay.
Jones also might be signaling allies that he has a lot of embarrassing dirt on them, by tossing out a big sample. So they better find a way to get him out of his current jam or it too might see the light of day.
In particular, Roger Stone’s name getting thrown out as exchanging “intimate” messages with Jones seems a possible signal to Stone that he’s in deep too and it is in his interest to practice his dark arts on Jones’ behalf or he’ll get taken down too.
In short, a desperate Hail Mary pass by a very desperate man.
Got anything to back that up?
They did say this was speculation.
The logical thread of your comment implies that Bankston tossed Stones name out to help Alex Jones with this wild movie plot version of reality. It’s not credible. It could work in an actual movie as that’s a narrative stream where it’s easy to ignore real motivations as there is no fact checking in plot lines. In reality Jones thought his text messages were hidden as they are damning to his defense here. So no you don’t pass the smell test.
Lol, that is ludicrous and not within the same galaxy as anything I said. Also, too, never waltz in here to spew stupid shit like that, or you will be permanently gone. There is a “smell test” for you.
I think when he says “you don’t pass the smell test” he’s addressing Terrapin. In short, an example of nesting failure – if anything the main thrust of Broken’s comment agrees with your skepticism.
I am speculating and I said so. While this release could have been an accident, I find that scenario implausible, especially if Alex Jones doesn’t sue his lawyers for malpractice.
There is nothing “implausible” whatsoever about it. This stuff happens all the time. Why in the world would Jones desire this to occur??? Now that is implausible.
It’s backed up in the cloud. Ask me how I know… ;D
Well, I can’t see anyone in the Biden administration that has the power to help him out here would be willing to intervene to save Jones. It would be more likely that if Jones was drowning they’d toss him an anchor. So, if no one is there to help what good is a signal? Now, if AJ had implicated Biden in some way, this idea might make more sense as an attempt at blackmail. I’m sure the RWNM will get to that point soon.
However, Biden does need to get rid of the holdovers (DeJoy, Cuffari, etc.) even if it offends his idea of norms and independence. Trump already crossed that line and he has to restore the proper order here.
And several hundred other holdovers. Biden had better put the screws to Schumer and get those judicial vacancies filled, too, in case Moscow Mitch runs the Senate next year.
DeJoy and Cuffari have gotten the most ink recently, but the stuff they’ve done in pretty clear violation of their obligations / job descriptions should have been enough to fire them on those grounds unrelated to their political views.
For example, Cuffari (who apparently also lied on his intake form about not being disciplined previously) flatly refused to follow the archives law and deliberately intervened to prevent others from doing so. In any other place I’ve been, that’s an immediate termination offense.
Two bad apples, for sure, in a big barrel of them. But it’s been the GOP norm for several presidents that they appoint Cabinet level and other senior staff who are adamantly opposed to the statutory missions of their agencies. It goes back to Reagan, at least, but BushCheney took it to new heights and Trump followed that template.
The need for a new administration to clean house promptly is an established issue, but Dems simply do not treat it with the urgency that master bureaucrat Dick Cheney treated it. Personnel is policy.
True enough for starting and acceleration points, but the idea of the civil service was to insulate the machinery of government from political whims. The civil service idea really got traction after Garfield was shot by a disgruntled office seeker under the then-accepted spoils system.
So, Individual-1 and Shrub both operated under the spoils system which is why there are burrowed believers under civil service protection. Individual-1 took it farther along that path, though, as shown by his treatment of dissenters (i.e. McCabe).
There are several thousand political appointees needing Senate confirmation that are legitimately part of the spoils system.
Republicans since BushCheney also seem to have tried to convert political appointees into career slots. They are also ruthless in gaming the civil service, trying to hire only radical Republicans. It’s not a program the Dems seem to have found a way to counter.
Biden can’t fire DeJoy. The USPS board of governors has to vote to replace him. I *think* that Biden has had to wait til the terms of some DeJoy backers expired and nominate new members, two or three of whom I think were confirmed? Sorry, I’m fuzzy on the specifics, but there is a meeting of the board of governors on the 9th. Let’s keep an eye on that and hope that DeJoy is ousted.
The Cuffari holdover, I got nothin’.
This just in…. AJ will not be able to attend the upcoming CT trial on medical grounds. Word has it he is suffering from “Reynal Failure”.
Ba dump dump dump, rim shot.
I waited a long time here, and NO Punaise ??
Lol, good one. Punaise may actually be working his day job! Will be along though.
I seem to recall him saying he was traveling (perhaps to see in-laws?).
Geez, I sneak off to France for a few weeks and get Wally Pipped? :~)
Just kiddin, hee. Good one, though… he may have to undergo Die-Alex’s treatment,.
Tough crowd I tell ya, tough crowd
no mercy I tell ya…
I just wanna know who will be minding his Pees and Q’s.
Dont piss me off or urine my bad books.
No respect, no respect….
I’m sure Rudy would be happy to take Alex to the Mayonnaise Clinic Total Condiments to get the treatment he needs.
hey, lemme ketchup! I relish that thought.
Trying to curry favor?
Hella pain. Yo!
Sir, ah cha’d be happy to welcome you home.
Just announcing his return.
nope! still 9 hour time difference with multiple distractions…
We been, eh, jonesin’ for yer return, see.
This takes me back to the first days of the Internet, when someone said “To err is human. To really fuck up takes a computer.”
That goes back well before the internet.
Ah the good old days when the internet was text based!
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Jones’ phone is everything conservatives WISH Hunter Biden’s laptop was.
I hope they string this asshole up by his nuts.
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Ah this is delicious! Saw AJ in 1993 on local cable access. Since then he has become the Rush of conspiracy/one world gov. etc.
His timing couldn’t have been better, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and Ruby Ridge the year before.
Still I was shocked to learn just how wealthy and powerful he had become.
One part that still intrigues me is his leaked “I wish I never met Trump” comments in 2019. Just cynicism or something more behind that.
Seeing him carrying on with his megaphone in Arizona in 2020, and then J6, after Sandy Hook et al I truly hope this leads to some justice.
1. The defendant’s attorneys were not permitted to withdraw to protect themselves from allowing Jones’ perjury.
2. The court did not permit a continuance. Was one requested?
3. The court did not grant the inevitable motions for a new trial.
4. Jones will up against an insurance company if he wants to make a claim against his lawyers. Then he will be the plaintiff seeking money, needing to win at every stage.
The whole thing smells like an agreed way to deal with the defendant’s misbehavior during discovery, and the failure of the attorneys to comply in a timely fashion.
The court seems to have made it clear that its was going to complete the trial.
1. Have you a link supporting your point that Jones’s lawyers attempted to withdraw, but that their motion was denied?
2 & 3. Obtaining a continuance or having a motion for a mistrial granted were always long shots, once this case reached the penalty phase. It was reasonable for the court to deny both. To have granted either would have meant long delays that would have only benefited the party whose conduct led to the requests.
4. Not many lawyers would willingly commit sanctionable malpractice to help a client raise funds. It’s a sucker’s play. It would turn a negligence claim into an intentional tort, which isn’t covered by insurance. It would likely be a fraud on the court and criminal fraud against the insurer, which would likely lead to disbarment for the lawyer, and prison time for both lawyer and defendant.
Yes, given that a jury had already decided in favor of plaintiffs, this judge was determined to complete the penalty phase of this trial. A good call. Nothing unusual or conspiratorial about that.
Re #1: I don’t know about Raynal, but one of Jones’ CT lawyers asked to leave the case and the request was granted. From CTInsider last week:
1. How were they going to stop Jones’s perjury?
2. Continuance? To what purpose? There’s already ample evidence that likely both defense counsel and the defendant have been lying under oath/to the court on several substantive issues, including about relevant discovery materials, etc, etc. “Your honor, my [pathological liar of a] client requires time to recollect more [of his] truths! If you would just give us more time [to waste the court’s time]… In the meantime, we are continuing to look for and review documents relevant to the case [that you now know that we’ve had in our possession for months if not years]!”?
3. Motion to dismiss wasn’t granted at least 16 or 17 times already (according to the judge)…who apparently got tired of said motions and began asking after each request if it was a serious request or not. In the main video here you can see the judge giving defense counsel a chance to back out of motion #17 (or is it #18?) which, if one is paying attention, is likely giving defense counsel a chance to not go on the record with yet another potentially frivolous dismissal request.
4. Maybe Jones can find someone else incompetent to take the case based on the potential payout for previous counsel’s incompetence?
Occam’s Razor would indicate that a pathological liar has found an incompetent lawyer, after shopping around for someone who would let defendant put on the case the way the defendant wanted it conducted. And not a brilliantly devious defense lawyer that would somehow magically believe that selling their own client out was the best deal to be had.
The latest is that the dump was contents of the hard drive on *Pattis’s computer*. Which makes it more interesting.
Pettis has some problems coming.
“It’s just a flesh wound . . .”
The best part might be the end, where the judge complains about the noise a camera is making. Which should not be necessary, as digital camera’s don’t have aperture. She says.
Depends. If it’s a DSLR, there’s a bit of noise from the mirror movement and another bit of noise from the travel of the shutter. Typically, these cameras will have a “Quiet” mode, but it isn’t silent, per se. If it’s a mirrorless, there’s still going to be noise from the shutter, and I assume those too have a “Quiet” mode, though I’ve not used one.
And there are various digital cameras which do not necessarily have a sound to them, but there’s a feature to enable sound so that the person taking the shot knows that it is happening.
‘Well, your honor, I’m asking for you to declare a mistrial, because I just shot myself in the dick…”
***said with a straight face***
The scene from Blazing Saddles where Cleavon Little pulls a gun on himself somehow comes to mind, too…
A great movie, which could never be made today.
No! One of my favorites from long ago, I watched it again a couple of years ago, and oh my. Could never be made now.
Mel would be like kryptonite to the PC crowd…
“Spring time… for Hitler… und Germany…”
‘We’re moving to a faster pace, look out here comes the master race!”
Humor can be truly offensive and humor can be a really effective weapon…
Sometimes both at the same time.
Different movie (The Producers), but that one also could not be made today.
Hmmm . . . Mel Brooks obviously came along at the right time.
OTOH, the film version of the Broadway musical adaptation of “The Producers” came out in 2005, which wasn’t that long ago, and was reasonably successful. And who’s really to be offended, Nazis? I’d like to see a Mel Brooks treatment of the White Power movement, which seems ripe for just that sort of “Springtime for Hitler” skewering.
It’d have to be a treatment a la Brooks because the beloved comedian and filmmaker is 96 years old.
Saw an interview of him not too long ago, and he still seemed fairly spry.
He’s still very sharp but we’re asking an awful lot of a 96-year-old to expect he’ll whip out another screenplay or script at this point in his life. We need to look for the next Mel Brooks.
Not sure, but may have had to do with his birthday.
I expressed myself poorly. I was thinking of someone working in the style of Mel Brooks, not the Great Man himself. From what I’ve read of those White Power clowns, they don’t want to live in the real world with the rest of us, they want to live in a whites-only theme park, without realizing how mind-numbingly boring that would be.
Has anyone looked up Reynal’s background? His CV doesn’t lend itself to criming. He was a Holder appointee back in the day. Curiouser and curiouser.
I did, and I was curious as well. He must be getting paid very well but his malpractice provider should be getting nervous…
A Guardian article quotes plaintiffs’ financial expert as assessing Alex Jones’s net wealth at about $240 million. Not enough detail to sort out how many companies and other entities Jones – like Trump – might have distributed that wealth among. Notes that there is at least one other case in Texas and the much larger case in CT.
Raises issue of punitive damages, but fails to note low cap that Texas imposes on them. CT, too, seems to have a low cap for punitive damages – costs of litigation less taxable costs. Pays the lawyers, but does little to dissuade defendants from committing future harmful conduct. The rule is unsurprising, though, given the significant role insurance companies have played in the CT economy.
Much of my legal ‘education’ has come from reading this site, and other than Mockingbird, I have not read nor watched much courtroom drama. However, given the context, I could not resist watching both Mr. Bankston’s cross examination and the mistrial link above. It appears to my inexperienced eye that Bankston gave a top-notch and impressive performance in both. I am curious what the lawyerly types here thought.
I think I see an exhibit in Ralph Nader’s American Museum of Tort Law (https://www.tortmuseum.org) in the making.
Question for lawyers: Judge Gamble said both sides were asking her to make her decision on the basis of “technicalities”. Is there a difference between “technicalities” and “the law”? Iow, how is it a technicality that the defense did not meet the legal requirements to make the carelessly shared information privileged, especially when the defense didn’t even make an effort to meet the requirements?
Not a lawyer, but what I understood her to be saying was that both sides were arguing from a close – not to say, tight – reading of the texts of the several orders, and that she would favour a more common-sense approach to the meanings of said orders, texts, etc. Personally, I think she was just clearing a path so as to limit any potential later protests, motions, from AJ’s lawyers should they disagree with her rulings, by making a public declaration of even-handedness. Not that it’s likely to stop them from asking (18th time) for a mistrail. Just my feeling, not backed up by actual legal experience.
String that fucker up by his nuts until he screams…then yank even harder.
Now take a deep breath… clear your mind…
And then tell us how you REALLY feel…
I see that apart from the $4.1MM in compensatory damages Alex got whacked with yesterday, he just got slapped w/ $45.2MM in punitive damages to boot.
I wish I could say I felt the least bit sorry for Jones…
But I don’t…
Way over the legal limit for punitive damages in Texas, based on $4.1 million in actual damages.
It does tell you that he and his lawyer made a really bad impression on at least 10 minds in that courtroom.
And all of them in the punitive phase, because the jury must be unanimous in the punitive phase.
Bump “what is the provenance of the purported phone data?” (mentioned at lease once above). Obviously, phone data/ image obtained through downloading from an errantly provided Dropbox link does not meet any standard for a “forensically sound” image of a specific phone.in a criminal case. Reynal claimed in the hearing that the phone was not AJ’s phone. Seems to me a critical, still hidden, piece of information is how solid the connection between this phone image data is to a phone that AJ actually used. Presumably the provenance is better than “Hunter’s laptop” but there is still a big gap between the story so far & proof that the purported AJ text messages are actually AJ’s messages. Particularly given AJ’s attorney’s apparent IT ineptitude.
Recommend actually watching the hearing video. I read the post and most of the comments before watching it – the video is worth watching 1st. (Duh!)
I’m so sorry you didn’t read the thread.
It’s the contents of the hard drive of one of Jones’s *other* lawyers, who shouldn’t have had all of it, either. So, it’s legit (as far as anyone can tell).
Via JJ MacNab:
7:10 PM · Aug 5, 2022
LATER REVISION! [sorry]
4:16 PM · Aug 5, 2022
Of course the cap applies. As to what number that would result in, my guess is that will be well argued to the court and Gamble will then decide. Greg may be right, but I am not sure that is completely clear.
I can’t remember who it was, but someone in an interview mentioned that they may argue the cap is unconstitutional, they failed to follow up on the comment but digging around I found that there are several angles that have been argued in various states.
I’ve also noticed that most of the cap conversations use the terms “malpractice” or “personal injury” is defamation considered a “personal injury” or is it a category of its own?
No, defamation is clearly a tort, i.e. a personal injury. Among others, one who has discussed an appellate challenge on constitutional grounds is the plaintiff parents’ attorney Bankston. (FWIW, such an argument stands very little chance of success in Texas).
A few observations:
1. The video of Jones being scolded from the bench is priceless. Gamble has the look and tone of someone about to explode but keeping it together for the sake of decorum. You sure as hell don’t want to be the lawyer standing next to the client who’s receiving that lecture.
2. It’s fun to speculate about how all that data was disclosed. But it may have just been a generic blunder. Lawyers and their staff work under tremendous pressure in trial. They get little sleep and their nerves get frayed. Lawyers often don’t have time to double check their work because they’re being pulled in all directions.
In other words, just when the stakes are highest, the potential for mistakes is highest too. It could just be as simple as that.
…except when the posting mistake was pointed out to the defense team and they still had time to address it, they apparently did nothing.
By then it was checkmate already. They had no good options once that cat was out of the bag.
I’m all for the simpler explanation as smart people do stupid shit all the time. It happens. The question then becomes, “What do we do with the stupid shit that the smart people just handed to us?” and we’re seeing that play out.
AJ is a miserable human being and you actually raise your fucking hand like you’re going to ask a fucking question as the judge tells you to please stop fucking about? (from the video link posted where she tells him that he has to tell the truth, you lying fat fuck–I think that’s a quote?)
One of my favorite activities is observing the jaw-dropping incompetence on the Right. Those guys could screw up a two-car funeral. It’s frightening to think that some of them actually rose up to positions of significant power in our government.
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Brits are agog that Boris Johnson is doing so little during his final days in office, despite Britain being beset by problems, most of them created by him or his party. But here’s the thing: Boris hasn’t changed for thirty years, it’s just that they’re now noticing it.
A lot of MSM headlines regarding congressional legislation read, in effect, “If Dems Can Pass It.”
A more accurate headline – for reporters who don’t have their heads up access journalism’s ass – might read, “If Republicans Stop Obstructing Responses to… the climate crisis, health care price gouging, monopoly pricing of essential goods,” you name it.
Well, now, today, that legislation has passed, with Madam Vice President Harris voting to break the 50-50 tie. So, unless something untoward happens in the House, where Madam Speaker Pelosi has said we have the votes, Biden’s next great accomplishment is solid gold.
Yep. Although the Senate Parliamentarian blew up a couple of very key portions of it, on pretty dubious conclusions in the “Byrd bath”. People regularly carp about “unelected” federal judges deciding public policy, but what about the Senate Parliamentarian? Nobody elected her.
Checking Dr. Wheeler’s Twitter feed this morning, I see that she questions whether the term “election deniers” is an adequate description of those Republicans seeking to usurp the right of the American people to choose their own leaders. I feel the same way about calling Alex Jones a “conspiracy theorist”. I’ve heard that term used to describe people who think that the moon landing was staged, that the Earth is flat, or that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare. But Alex Jones is a creature from a whole different cesspit of depravity, rank malignancy, and evil.
How much hot air from the fanatic
is contrived or semiautomatic?
No matter how fixed or emphatic,
We deserve to be free from the static.
Now fate has squeezed the acrobatic,
Grabbing the nuts by the erratic,
Grinding it into something pragmatic,
We might even call it democratic.
It’s the last paragraph of this article on Trump and his generals that’s most revealing. It’s not the click bait contention that Trump wanted his 21st century generals to be like Adolf Hitler’s (except for the clique that ran Operation Valkyrie, the failed July 1944 attempt to kill him).
Trump moaned that his generals took an oath of loyalty to the Constitution, not to the presidency or to him personally. For Trump, that was the height of disloyalty, and he reacted by discarding such generals as unreliable – and turned exclusively to those who would say, Yes.
Trump really means that he chose from “outside the system.” This is beyond the usual narcissism and blame shifting. It’s an indicator of Trump’s guilty state of mind. It’s the same method Trump used to discard White House advisers, who told him something was unprecedented or illegal. That would be a reason he listened to the Powells and Eastmans, and one reason for his unprecedented DoD and DHS staffing choices during his lame duck presidency. He’d found people who might help him bring off his coup.
This is one of those things that can drive the commentariat nuts when they are not fully aware of what GEN Milley’s obligations were according to his oath. The Texas National Security Review’s Doyle Hodges (an ex-ADM) seems to forgotten what entity he swore his oath to when he whines that Milley’s refusal to follow illegal orders was ‘illegal’. The oath is to support the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The section about following of orders of officers appointed over him by POTUS is kind of irrelevant since as JCS chief there are no other officers appointed over Milley. SecDef might otherwise qualify. Note, however, that POTUS or his political minions is not an exception to the ‘foreign and domestic’ clause.
Since the US Constitution also incorporates all treaties confirmed by the Senate as well, that would mean the launching of illegal wars for political purposes or human rights violations of the Geneva Conventions, etc., are likewise out of bounds.
GEN Milley wouldn’t do what the palace wanted, but someone like Mike Flynn (and there are several of those at the the top brass level) certainly would. Since Individual-1 was in charge of promotions I would suspect there are the seeds planted in the DoD for next time. I hope I am wrong, but time will tell.
The Baker & Glasser book excerpted in that Guardian article is also excerpted in the New Yorker. Another theme about how uniquely bad Trump was concerned his fetish for Russian-style military parades. Trump is quoted yelling at Kelly, saying he wanted lots of troops, but no wounded warriors. Kelly says they are the real heroes, apart from those buried in Arlington. Trump says, fuggedabout it, it’s a bad look for me.
It’s not as if Trump invented that take. The breathless MSM seems to have forgotten that George W. Bush refused to attend any military funeral at Arlington, or public military funerals anywhere – while he was waging his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Arlington National Cemetery is across the Potomac, about a five-minute motorcade ride from the White House.) He wasn’t seen at many military hospitals, either. Presumably, it was a bad look for him, too.
That was bad enough (W once bypassing a Veteran’s Day remembrance to make a political speech in PA, kind of like Abbott after Uvalde), but we also had a base in WA (it might have been McChord) that went from individual funerals to monthly ones for all the service members killed that month. That lasted only briefly until Shrub’s WH was shamed into honoring soldiers with the one thing they all are supposed to get for a send-off instead of a hideous abomination of the monthly corporate birthday bash.
In the GOP view, vets are tools for the corporate masters too cheap to pay for their own armies (like Blackwater by whatever name they use now), props for flag-waving political rallies and to know their place when it comes to cutting costs for tax giveaways to the GOP’s ‘friends’. Given how close the Bush and Bin Laden families were known to be, I would not be surprised to find out MBS wanted
… Bush to not embarrass the Bin Ladens who may or may not have bankrolled the 9/11/01 attacks.