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(Law and Crime)   Devin Nunes just got a better lawyer. Trump appointed judge just explained in detail how the case should have been filed, instead of dismissing case   (lawandcrime.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Pleading, U.S. District Judge, Rep. Devin Nunes, Cause of action, Judge C.J. Williams, Plaintiff, sufficient pleading of facts, false statements  
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3005 clicks; posted to Politics » on 15 May 2020 at 1:45 PM (10 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-15 12:18:18 PM  
Well that's some kind of bullshiat.
 
2020-05-15 12:21:34 PM  
U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa on Tuesday re-wrote substantial portions of a defamation lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes's (R-Calif.) father and brother.

Not a a lawyer, but isn't that pretty much an instant appeal?
 
2020-05-15 12:23:41 PM  
Truth as an affirmative defense is going to be hard for the Nunes family lawyers to overcome even with help from the bench.  I'm betting that there's going to be a demand for a jury trial filed by the defendants.
 
2020-05-15 12:24:43 PM  
This will all be over in 14 days.

"The judge gave the plaintiffs 14 days (as of Tuesday, May 12) to amend their complaint to "state whether it is alleging specific facts are false, and if so, which ones and why." The judge will toss the case if the plaintiffs do not file that amended complaint."
 
2020-05-15 1:02:34 PM  

thorpe: This will all be over in 14 days.

"The judge gave the plaintiffs 14 days (as of Tuesday, May 12) to amend their complaint to "state whether it is alleging specific facts are false, and if so, which ones and why." The judge will toss the case if the plaintiffs do not file that amended complaint."


Yeah, they're not going to be able to prove that stuff is defamation. All they've done, once again, is Streisand this story.
 
2020-05-15 1:12:26 PM  
That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."
 
2020-05-15 1:22:26 PM  

Nabb1: That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."


Yeah, isn't that pretty common practice here, for the judge to give the plaintiffs one shot at properly filing before they toss it out on their ass?  I mean, I'm not inclined to think well of any judge who Trump would appoint, but this doesn't sound like anything too untowards is going on; basically, all it means is that this is probably going to be tossed out on its ass in 14 days.
 
2020-05-15 1:34:48 PM  
So basically the judge told them to show damages or get the fark out?
 
2020-05-15 1:50:33 PM  

jake_lex: Nabb1: That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."

Yeah, isn't that pretty common practice here, for the judge to give the plaintiffs one shot at properly filing before they toss it out on their ass?  I mean, I'm not inclined to think well of any judge who Trump would appoint, but this doesn't sound like anything too untowards is going on; basically, all it means is that this is probably going to be tossed out on its ass in 14 days.


Parties are almost always given leave to amend in these situations, at least in my experience.  I think the rule reads ten days or whatever date is set by the court, but most courts are extending deadlines right now, and 14 days is a pretty narrow window
 
2020-05-15 1:51:03 PM  
That kind of thing is just fine for the local judge to do when there's a naive or indigent pro se party.  Judges shouldn't be bothering to do that when it's a farking congressman.
 
2020-05-15 1:51:51 PM  

Bootleg: U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa on Tuesday re-wrote substantial portions of a defamation lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes's (R-Calif.) father and brother.

Not a a lawyer, but isn't that pretty much an instant appeal?


Or, maybe a MOOOOOOOvvve for dismissal.
 
2020-05-15 1:56:36 PM  
Sure would be nice if Nunes would do his farking job and stop filing lawsuits.

He's literally too stupid to be used as compost.
 
2020-05-15 1:57:04 PM  
It's kind of weird that Nunes was on Fox last night admitting that the GOP was going to break the law to win this year because it's the only way they could be sure, but nobody much seems to be talking about it. Oh well, that's life in hell for you.
 
2020-05-15 1:58:13 PM  
All they did was list a bunch of shiat that they didn't like about the article, and all the judge did was go "ok, so where's the lie?" He didn't do any of the legwork of specifying which point they should attack or how. In fact, his explanation goes into much more detail about how the defendants could refute each claim to illustrate how broad and useless the complaint is in the first place.
 
2020-05-15 2:00:26 PM  
Worst timeline.
The entire Justice Department now defends Trump and his cronies.
Trump appointed judges now defend other Trump lackeys.
There's no hope for any justice.
 
2020-05-15 2:00:54 PM  
I hate Nunes, and I hate Trump, but, this is actually very common. If they can't plead sufficient facts it will get tossed.
 
2020-05-15 2:08:19 PM  
trump filth is trump trump.
They will always be trump filth.

I'm thinking of creating a church based upon the religion that everything trump is evil.  That way when I'm called into jury duty, I can state my religious belief and ask the judge and all participants if they voted for trump.

Religious freedom!!!
 
2020-05-15 2:08:30 PM  
I feel dirty saying anything that could be construed as a defense of the grapefruit farker, but did anybody else notice that this ruling was what the defendants - that is, the people grapefruit farker's father are suing - asked for? The judge granted their motion for a more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). This is the relief they asked for. I fail to see the problem.
 
2020-05-15 2:10:15 PM  

Bootleg: U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa on Tuesday re-wrote substantial portions of a defamation lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes's (R-Calif.) father and brother.

Not a a lawyer, but isn't that pretty much an instant appeal?


Haha, you say it like there's the same justice system for powerful white people.
 
2020-05-15 2:15:01 PM  

BMulligan: I feel dirty saying anything that could be construed as a defense of the grapefruit farker, but did anybody else notice that this ruling was what the defendants - that is, the people grapefruit farker's father are suing - asked for? The judge granted their motion for a more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). This is the relief they asked for. I fail to see the problem.


I read the whole ruling and it seems they did initially move for a 12(b)(6), but the court found the complaint so poorly plead that it couldn't properly analyze the allegations under a 12(b)(6) analysis, so the court ordered them to provide more definitive allegations under 12(e).  Which I don't think would prohibit the defendants from filing a new 12(b)(6) based on the amended complaint, and in any event, I would think the court probably would have given them a window to amend the complaint under 12(b)(6) as well.
 
2020-05-15 2:15:08 PM  

Nabb1: That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."


There's a lot of hand holding in that order.  I'd expect a detailed take down of one or two of the insufficient allegations followed by "Plaintiff's allegations # 3-7 are insufficient for the reasons set forth above for #1.  Allegations # 9-11, 13,15 are insufficient for the reasons set forth above in the analysis of allegation #2" or the like. Unless the plaintiff was pro se, then the detail in the order wouldn't be unusual.
 
2020-05-15 2:15:58 PM  

Airius: I hate Nunes, and I hate Trump, but, this is actually very common. If they can't plead sufficient facts it will get tossed.


I think the point is that this is common for cases where Cleetus Militiason is filing as his own lawyer or Jose Sanchez pulled the short straw at legal aid and got the newbie lawyer.  But Nunez isn't indigent or poor.  He can afford a decent lawyer (obviously he can't find one because this is bullshiat and he went to the yellow pages for Ambulance Chasers).  His lawyer ought to be able to file a lawsuit that at least looks like it could succeed if you squint hard enough.  You can scroll the Fark archives for suits that are even more bonkers than Nunez's that succeed, so his lawyer is really farking bad at his job.  But he's paid top dollar, so he ought to be able to at least scribble in crayon on a page.  Judges should show leniency to the less fortunate and mentally-challenged sovcits, but a sitting Congressman should be expected to be able to wipe his own ass when suing his mother and his side-piece.
 
2020-05-15 2:20:34 PM  

jake_lex: Nabb1: That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."

Yeah, isn't that pretty common practice here, for the judge to give the plaintiffs one shot at properly filing before they toss it out on their ass?  I mean, I'm not inclined to think well of any judge who Trump would appoint, but this doesn't sound like anything too untowards is going on; basically, all it means is that this is probably going to be tossed out on its ass in 14 days.


Additional consideration: a simple "your pleading sucks and you suck" ruling would be appropriate but it could lead to accusations of bias or favoritism, and we all know Dickie Nunes loves to play the victim and has a large megaphone to shout about how badly he's being treated. So writing a point by point thorough analysis of the flaws in the pleading helps defend the court from Nunes claiming the judge just doesn't like him.
 
2020-05-15 2:21:30 PM  
Eh, it seems less like him doing their work for them, and more like him explaining very thoroughly how much they suck at their work.
 
2020-05-15 2:22:27 PM  
Well that answers the question of who is paying his legal fees.

The taxpayers.
 
2020-05-15 2:27:02 PM  
MOOOOre time...
 
2020-05-15 2:29:28 PM  
The article indicates this was the entry granting the defendant's motion for a more definite statement, not the defendant's motion to dismiss. I guess I'm failing to see what should cause me to be outraged because it appears that the judge granted the defendant's specific motion.
 
2020-05-15 2:29:53 PM  

Walker: Worst timeline.
The entire Justice Department now defends Trump and his cronies.
Trump appointed judges now defend other Trump lackeys.
There's no hope for any justice.


Not through the legal system at least.
 
2020-05-15 2:30:48 PM  
How is this not a massive conflict of interest and grounds for immediate removal from the case, if not immediate disbarment? It's not like they're acting pro se or some shiat.
 
2020-05-15 2:31:32 PM  

stan unusual: Nabb1: That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."

There's a lot of hand holding in that order.  I'd expect a detailed take down of one or two of the insufficient allegations followed by "Plaintiff's allegations # 3-7 are insufficient for the reasons set forth above for #1.  Allegations # 9-11, 13,15 are insufficient for the reasons set forth above in the analysis of allegation #2" or the like. Unless the plaintiff was pro se, then the detail in the order wouldn't be unusual.


Well, yeah, that's true.
 
2020-05-15 2:32:32 PM  
Good conversation ITT about the ruling containing reasonable specificity about the inadequacy of the complaint.

What is unarguably outrageous is this bit (from the judge):

How defendants' answer the complaint or the defense they assert to the defamation claim turns on what it is that plaintiffs allege is false in this bullet point.

God dammit so much. Stop with the apostrophe sprinkling.
 
2020-05-15 2:32:52 PM  

cefm: jake_lex: Nabb1: That's some pretty tortured interpretation to get to the conclusion the court "rewrote" the plaintiffs' petition.  That was a rather laborious tracking of the deficiencies in the pleading, but that's an explanation of the basis for ruling.  That opinion was actually a pretty detailed takedown of a really poorly plead cause of action.*  I'd bet the mortgage the author has never practiced, much less in federal court.

*I'd also wager the judge kicked it over to his clerk with something along the lines of, "This awful and I am going to order them to amend in 14 days under 12(e).  Draft it and I'll take a look at it before we enter it."

Yeah, isn't that pretty common practice here, for the judge to give the plaintiffs one shot at properly filing before they toss it out on their ass?  I mean, I'm not inclined to think well of any judge who Trump would appoint, but this doesn't sound like anything too untowards is going on; basically, all it means is that this is probably going to be tossed out on its ass in 14 days.

Additional consideration: a simple "your pleading sucks and you suck" ruling would be appropriate but it could lead to accusations of bias or favoritism, and we all know Dickie Nunes loves to play the victim and has a large megaphone to shout about how badly he's being treated. So writing a point by point thorough analysis of the flaws in the pleading helps defend the court from Nunes claiming the judge just doesn't like him.


It would also provide no record for appeal. If a judge makes a ruling with absolutely no support in the record, it's gonna get reversed.
 
2020-05-15 2:34:21 PM  

I'm an Egyptian!: Walker: Worst timeline.
The entire Justice Department now defends Trump and his cronies.
Trump appointed judges now defend other Trump lackeys.
There's no hope for any justice.

Not through the legal system at least.


Every new litigator hears it at one time or another, early in his or her career: "This is not a court of justice, counsel. It is a court of law."
 
2020-05-15 2:34:28 PM  

stan unusual: Truth as an affirmative defense is going to be hard for the Nunes family lawyers to overcome even with help from the bench.  I'm betting that there's going to be a demand for a jury trial filed by the defendants.


Here's hoping they wouldn't be too badly cowed by Nunes.
 
2020-05-15 2:38:15 PM  
The AG of the United States is acting as the president's personal attorney. I guess judges can start helping other Republicans too. The smell of desperation is hanging in the air and it has a sweet Tang to it
 
2020-05-15 2:39:00 PM  

DoctorCal: Good conversation ITT about the ruling containing reasonable specificity about the inadequacy of the complaint.

What is unarguably outrageous is this bit (from the judge):

How defendants' answer the complaint or the defense they assert to the defamation claim turns on what it is that plaintiffs allege is false in this bullet point.

God dammit so much. Stop with the apostrophe sprinkling.


I assume this is a result of careless editing. At some point it probably read "defendants' answer to the complaint ..." or something.
 
2020-05-15 2:40:17 PM  
Found the story a bit hard to follow as every other person in that idiot's family is named Tony/Toni.
 
2020-05-15 2:41:23 PM  

NotTheBestDad: Found the story a bit hard to follow as every other person in that idiot's family is named Tony/Toni.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-15 2:44:43 PM  

slepygryhnd: thorpe: This will all be over in 14 days.

"The judge gave the plaintiffs 14 days (as of Tuesday, May 12) to amend their complaint to "state whether it is alleging specific facts are false, and if so, which ones and why." The judge will toss the case if the plaintiffs do not file that amended complaint."

Yeah, they're not going to be able to prove that stuff is defamation. All they've done, once again, is Streisand this story.


The stuff they allege as defamatory were opinions and rhetorical coloring. Calling people "doo-doo heads" isn't really defamation. The entire article was pretty much just asking loaded questions. Sort of a Rush Limbaugh broadcast except in print.
 
2020-05-15 2:44:54 PM  

Nabb1: BMulligan: I feel dirty saying anything that could be construed as a defense of the grapefruit farker, but did anybody else notice that this ruling was what the defendants - that is, the people grapefruit farker's father are suing - asked for? The judge granted their motion for a more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). This is the relief they asked for. I fail to see the problem.

I read the whole ruling and it seems they did initially move for a 12(b)(6), but the court found the complaint so poorly plead that it couldn't properly analyze the allegations under a 12(b)(6) analysis, so the court ordered them to provide more definitive allegations under 12(e).  Which I don't think would prohibit the defendants from filing a new 12(b)(6) based on the amended complaint, and in any event, I would think the court probably would have given them a window to amend the complaint under 12(b)(6) as well.


The defendants moved in the alternative for dismissal or for a more definite statement.  The judge could have tossed the suit but instead granted the motion for a more definite statement.  I'm sure the defendants would have been happier with a dismissal, but that's what they'll probably get in two weeks anyway.

I'm not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to a Trump appointee or to any member of Devin Nunes's family (except maybe his cow), but as you noted before this is all pretty standard stuff.  Matt Nahum, the author of the article, doesn't appear to be a lawyer, so he may not understand the procedural niceties, but a good judge will lay out in detail why a pleading is deficient before tossing it.  There's no dark conspiracy here.  The judge is saying to the plaintiffs: "look, if you want to keep this case in my court, you gotta say something more than just 'he was being mean to me!'"  The subtext, though, is: "and I don't think you'll be able to do it in fourteen days."

tl;dr - move along, nothing to see here.  It would have been much more suspicious if the judge denied the defendants' motion.
 
2020-05-15 2:47:26 PM  

stan unusual: Truth as an affirmative defense is going to be hard for the Nunes family lawyers to overcome even with help from the bench.  I'm betting that there's going to be a demand for a jury trial filed by the defendants.


Plus, as a public figure, doesn't Nunes have to prove actual malice?
 
2020-05-15 2:55:26 PM  
I've been watching a lot of video from a lawyer's youtube channel and this kind of thing does not see too exceptional. Someone above mentioned that this was usually done with pro se cases but not with cases filled by professional lawyers but what I have seen is the reverse, although the judge do accept less precise language from non lawyers.

Watching videos does not make me a lawyer though so it is not unlikely that I'm missing something.
 
2020-05-15 2:55:55 PM  

BMulligan: I'm an Egyptian!: Walker: Worst timeline.
The entire Justice Department now defends Trump and his cronies.
Trump appointed judges now defend other Trump lackeys.
There's no hope for any justice.

Not through the legal system at least.

Every new litigator hears it at one time or another, early in his or her career: "This is not a court of justice, counsel. It is a court of law."


And it's not even looking like that anymore. Then what?
 
2020-05-15 3:01:21 PM  
From what I could tell, this looks fairly normal. The judge is telling the plaintiff in a defamation case to explain how the defendant is defaming them.

This isn't important enough to get a one-paragraph mention on page 23 of the county newsletter in whatever Iowa backwater county the trial is taking place, except for the fact that a US Congressman and his family are the plaintiffs.
 
2020-05-15 3:06:11 PM  
Wow right wing lawyers act like right wingers on twitter. They go right to the conclusion skipping all evidence.
 
2020-05-15 3:10:37 PM  

King Something: From what I could tell, this looks fairly normal. The judge is telling the plaintiff in a defamation case to explain how the defendant is defaming them.

This isn't important enough to get a one-paragraph mention on page 23 of the county newsletter in whatever Iowa backwater county the trial is taking place, except for the fact that a US Congressman and his family are the plaintiffs.


I sort of feel if I made legal allegations against someone without listing specifically a single one, the judge wouldn't waste his time walking me through it.
 
2020-05-15 3:11:04 PM  

ukexpat: stan unusual: Truth as an affirmative defense is going to be hard for the Nunes family lawyers to overcome even with help from the bench.  I'm betting that there's going to be a demand for a jury trial filed by the defendants.

Plus, as a public figure, doesn't Nunes have to prove actual malice?


No. Nunes is not a party to this suit.  His family members and the family business as an entity are the plaintiffs - probably in part to get around the actual malice standard (Nunes has or I think had his own action filed) - and none of them would be public figures.
 
2020-05-15 3:17:15 PM  

I'm an Egyptian!: BMulligan: I'm an Egyptian!: Walker: Worst timeline.
The entire Justice Department now defends Trump and his cronies.
Trump appointed judges now defend other Trump lackeys.
There's no hope for any justice.

Not through the legal system at least.

Every new litigator hears it at one time or another, early in his or her career: "This is not a court of justice, counsel. It is a court of law."

And it's not even looking like that anymore. Then what?


Then it's business as usual. I had been practicing for probably less than a year before I had a judge openly and explicitly refuse to enforce a statutory provision regarding an award of attorney fees, and invited me to go ahead and take him up to the Court of Appeals, if it was worth my time for the sum involved (he knew it would not be). It happens - some judges don't know the law, some judges don't respect the law, and some seem to neither know or respect the law. It's not common, but it happens. Like any other system designed and operated by humans, it's terribly imperfect. That's why we've spent the last 400 years looking for a better legal system, and I'm sure we'll find it one of these days.

Yup. Real soon now.
 
2020-05-15 3:21:21 PM  

Corvus: Wow right wing lawyers act like right wingers on twitter. They go right to the conclusion skipping all evidence.


Lawyers here:  Calmly discuss federal rules of civil procedure like adults.

You:  WARRRRGARBLE

It's okay to admit you have no idea what we are talking about.
 
2020-05-15 3:26:06 PM  
The judge should've just appointed a 3rd party to explain why Nunes was right, and maybe find something else Nunes could sue for also.

The case citation would've been really easy to find.
 
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