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2 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

But it seems a little sharp to try to trigger the 10 day period, as stealthily as possible, wait for your opponent to fuck up, and declare victory on privilege without a court ruling on it.

After four years of the defense abusing the discovery process and dealing exclusively in bad faith on the matter, I couldn't disagree with you more. It's a fucking war against jones, not some prim and proper trial. The defense fucked up because of their refusal to participate in discovery and outright fraud and perjury during that process. 

No fraud from the defense, no privilege issues. Stupid games and stupid prizes. 

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6 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

I'm not real excited about calling Bankston on the carpet for this, beyond what I have mentioned.  For one thing, we don't know what happened subsequently.  He may have disregarded the link after digging through it.  Reynal may have sent it again with the same or most of the same shit.  I dunno.

The other thing that kind of informs me on this, is that I have been on both sides of this scenario in federal court, where there isn't a rule with a firm time limit, but sort of a sliding scale test for waiver that takes a lot of things into account.  And that was the way it was in Texas courts before Rule 193.3.  Waiver of privilege can be a harsh remedy or result and the federal way of handling means you cant just wait a fixed period and obtain waiver and means you have to the court to get a ruling on it, or risk having documents excluded on the basis of privilege.

There's an advantage to having a known rule on the situation like 193.3 in that everyone should know what is the deal and what to do.  But it seems a little sharp to try to trigger the 10 day period, as stealthily as possible, wait for your opponent to fuck up, and declare victory on privilege without a court ruling on it.

That's a fair point as well. In isolation, rule or no rule, it looks to me like a bitch move. With more context, the bitchness of the move might entirely evaporate.

The more I reflect on it, the more I feel like Bankston lacked confidence in his original plan and maybe the "Perry Mason" theatrics actually diverted the jury's attention from what Bankston was supposed to be proving. Trick plays aren't called by a team with a clear advantage.

I didn't watch the whole trial, but is there a good link (video or article) that discusses how the SH team argued the compensatory damages would have been higher than $4.1m? I assume there's some kind of cottage industry of quantifying emotional pain and they trotted out an expert witness.

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11 minutes ago, Mrs Whiggins said:

Were I on the jury, that is exactly what I would want to know with respect to the law as written (for what a jury can and cannot do/award). IOW, if the plaintiff had to move 'X' amount of times, I want to know what the actual physical costs were, and then am I allowed to additionally compensate for the stress that moving a household entails; if there were death threats, I want to know approximately how many and what steps were taken to deal with that. Each of those types of things has physical costs as well as time, stress, and so on and Alex Jones & Co. contributed to these costs over not just one day, but years. The young man (separate lawsuit that may have been dropped because he passed away in a house fire) that Jones initially named as the shooter was absolutely dragged through the mud before the actual perpetrator was identified.

This specific event, I have my doubts. I would more likely believe Jones to instead rampage over the judge and judges in general, the law, and the court system and how everything is rigged against poor little (figuratively little) guys like Alex.

Interesting that you have this perspective as a layperson.  BrickHorn and I, and a lot of the lawyers here come from areas where the damages are pretty exclusively "financial" in nature, lost profits and such, and there are accepted ways of proving them, legally, that tend to require expert accountants and finance people to prove them up so you have pretty concrete numbers, with spreadsheets and the like proving them up, and the fighting that goes on is about methodologies and assumptions in arriving at those numbers.  Sidis and DalTexHorn are these kind of experts.

So, our focus tends to be on "the numbers" and that can be sort of N/A in this type of case, where the harm is less quantifiable.

In a case with a physical injury, as has been alluded to, the medical bills, which can rapidly mount up to six figures or more, provide kind of a basis for the pain and suffering.  They can argue, look at all these surgeries, treatments, and hospital stays, can you imagine the pain and suffering that went along with this?  Then you may have lost jobs or wages, and so on. Then you argue for 2x, 3x, 10x the medicals, whatever.

Unless, as has been pointed out, those numbers aren't so large.  Then it becomes an anchor.  If you only have $50k in out of pocket expenses, 10x that, which is probably an extreme multiple, is just $500k.  Meh.

So, my initial perspective, probably wrong, is that you need some concrete numbers to go off of, but that's just because of the kind of cases I deal with.

So, it's interesting that you come at it sort of the same way but without having the biases that some of us lawdogs have built in.

 

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28 minutes ago, chainsaw said:

I think we have the exact same opinion on this, then. Although whether Bankston "probably should have" kept that door closed is a really tough question implicating morality, ethics, and quite possibly even his patriotic duty to the American people.

I think he knew it was a bitch move to disregard Reynal's request to disregard the link. He probably said to himself that Jones's lawyers (including Reynal) had subjected him and his clients to hundreds of much worse transgressions. That's when his mind entered "After all, why not?" territory and he clicked that link.

I shed no tears for Reynal though. It's pretty trivial to lock the door once you know it shouldn't have been unlocked and opened.

Onward to the J6 committee.

A things have been missing from the analysis of this issue in this thread, but it was brought up in court and resonated with the judge. This was likely an attempt at an eleventh hour document dump/discovery supplementation. They just sent the wrong link. Then, Reynal said disregard the link and I’ll send you a new one, but he never did. So, defense counsel gives plaintiff a bunch of docs on the eve of trial (many of which are not privileged and should have been produced years ago and which defendant has testified don’t exist), plaintiff says “Hey, There’s some privileged stuff in here”, defense counsel  says “oh. Disregard and I’ll send you another link” but he doesn’t and he also never identifies the privileged material per the rule. Plaintiff’s counsel waits ten days per the rule and bingo privilege waived. 

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5 minutes ago, Mittens said:

 

 

 

And, honestly, what makes this worse is that the jury doesn't get told any of this. Jurors work on false assumptions because our laws have decided to not treat them like grown ups. We see the same thing where the jurors don't get know about a person's insurance. But often that leads them to assume the person has insurance and really doesn't need more money, so they lower the award without understanding the effects of subrogation. 

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1 minute ago, Dahobbs said:

And, honestly, what makes this worse is that the jury doesn't get told any of this. Jurors work on false assumptions because our laws have decided to not treat them like grown ups. We see the same thing where the jurors don't get know about a person's insurance. But often that leads them to assume the person has insurance and really doesn't need more money, so they lower the award without understanding the effects of subrogation. 

The only consolation is that there are multiple suits, but I think they're all in either Texas or CT,  and both have punitive caps.  CTs, however, is common law, and predated tort reform.

It will be interesting if the other suits bring in some bigger verdicts.  I think Bankston's firm is handling a couple more in Texas.  So they may revise their strategery.

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Others have mentioned some causation issues. If Alex Jones wants to appeal and can hire a quality board certified appellate lawyer with the stomach to represent him, that lawyer has a puncher’s chance at overturning the verdict, probably not at the Austin Court of Appeals, but better odds with the Texas Supreme Court. For appellate lawyers who geek out over this stuff, regardless of client this is a great case to take on appeal.

Case in point: A lawyer at my old firm Vinson & Elkins is a well-recognized First Amendment and appellate lawyer, and he’s represented the Church of Scientology on appeal. I’m fairly certain that on a personal level that organization disgusts him.

Edited by South Austin
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5 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

And, honestly, what makes this worse is that the jury doesn't get told any of this. Jurors work on false assumptions because our laws have decided to not treat them like grown ups. We see the same thing where the jurors don't get know about a person's insurance. But often that leads them to assume the person has insurance and really doesn't need more money, so they lower the award without understanding the effects of subrogation. 

You are correct in that I would appreciate as a layperson learning of any particular rulings that affect the outcome of a reward. Isn't that somewhat similar to how criminal sentencing works?

 

With respect to your other comment, why would I assume a person has insurance and what does that have to do with the case before me? I mean, defendant's attorney can harp on that to bias me, but if I'm sitting in a room with the other panel members, I have to look at what is before me and that info would not be relevant, IMO. Alex didn't say to himself, 'oh, these parents have $$ therefore I can spout whatever shit I want,' he didn't think about any of that, he just did it. And those plaintiffs are due (if so found) whatever costs were accrued whether they come from low SES or high SES status. Two cents as a random citizen, here.

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5 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

The only consolation is that there are multiple suits, but I think they're all in either Texas or CT,  and both have punitive caps.  CTs, however, is common law, and predated tort reform.

It will be interesting if the other suits bring in some bigger verdicts.  I think Bankston's firm is handling a couple more in Texas.  So they may revise their strategery.

They might. But sometimes you just get dealt a bad jury. And, again, this is still a multi-million verdict, larger than the famous Hot Coffee verdict (ignoring inflation) that got everyone all hot and bothered. I think that says something to how the average person's view of jury verdicts has changed over the years. Despite tort reform, I do think the average juror is more willing to compensate folks for injuries and knows a million dollars really isn't that much money. 

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11 minutes ago, wreckatx said:

A things have been missing from the analysis of this issue in this thread, but it was brought up in court and resonated with the judge. This was likely an attempt at an eleventh hour document dump/discovery supplementation. They just sent the wrong link. Then, Reynal said disregard the link and I’ll send you a new one, but he never did. So, defense counsel gives plaintiff a bunch of docs on the eve of trial (many of which are not privileged and should have been produced years ago and which defendant has testified don’t exist), plaintiff says “Hey, There’s some privileged stuff in here”, defense counsel  says “oh. Disregard and I’ll send you another link” but he doesn’t and he also never identifies the privileged material per the rule. Plaintiff’s counsel waits ten days per the rule and bingo privilege waived. 

The other thing that's really valid is that Reynal probably fucked this up partly because of the "fog of war," but also because he's a criminal lawyer that doesn't know wtf he's doing in civil court.  Bankston may have sent the email and then forgotten about it, again fog of war.  Until he needed to impeach Jones on the texts or emails.  And then he figured out he had a privilege waiver argument under the Rule, and made it.  But he didn't even need the waiver argument really, because none of the shit he used, afaik, could have been subject of a privilege claim.

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2 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

They might. But sometimes you just get dealt a bad jury. And, again, this is still a multi-million verdict, larger than the famous Hot Coffee verdict (ignoring inflation) that got everyone all hot and bothered. I think that says something to how the average person's view of jury verdicts has changed over the years. Despite tort reform, I do think the average juror is more willing to compensate folks for injuries and knows a million dollars really isn't that much money. 

Yeah, the notion of runaway juries is so oversold.

I'm having similar arguments/discussions with people on another forum that is more lawyer free than this place.  And the number of regular joe type of people that still harbor misinformation about the McDs case and other anecdotes about runaway juries is pretty stunning.

It continues to baffle me that the tort reform lobby sold that narrative so well against a motivated, organized, and generally politically connected group ("trial lawyers") whose business is persuasion.

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2 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

The other thing that's really valid is that Reynal probably fucked this up partly because of the "fog of war," but also because he's a criminal lawyer that doesn't know wtf he's doing in civil court.  Bankston may have sent the email and then forgotten about it, again fog of war.  Until he needed to impeach Jones on the texts or emails.  And then he figured out he had a privilege waiver argument under the Rule, and made it.  But he didn't even need the waiver argument really, because none of the shit he used, afaik, could have been subject of a privilege claim.

But you make the waiver claim because you are going to turn it over to the FBI and the 1/6 committee.

You also point out that the opposing counsel had illegally obtained plaintiff medical records.

If you are in that position after 8 years, 4 of it trying to get through discovery, then you get everything you can possibly be entitled to to hell with the pleasantries.

 

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32 minutes ago, DigglerontheHoof said:

I hope, for the SH families’’sake, you’re right.  

 

31 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Alex Jones is going to be an unrepentant shitbag, to the Sandy Hook families and everyone else.

For sure, Dicken's tale of repentant regrets doesn't apply to folks like Jones, who is more of the Limbaugh live forever variety, but reading some of the chatter, some of his fans were a little turned off and were bringing up other stories/topics they like that he addresses. He would be stupid not to heed that and feed that. He isn't the brightest bulb on the ferris wheel, but he is good at making money.

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1 minute ago, Wally Pryor said:

Let's revisit in the next couple of days. 

I hope you're right. I didn't realize until this morning there were punitive damages coming.

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7 minutes ago, Mrs Whiggins said:

With respect to your other comment, why would I assume a person has insurance and what does that have to do with the case before me? I mean, defendant's attorney can harp on that to bias me, but if I'm sitting in a room with the other panel members, I have to look at what is before me and that info would not be relevant, IMO. Alex didn't say to himself, 'oh, these parents have $$ therefore I can spout whatever shit I want,' he didn't think about any of that, he just did it. And those plaintiffs are due (if so found) whatever costs were accrued whether they come from low SES or high SES status. Two cents as a random citizen, here.

It isn't relevant. But the problem is juror's make assumptions. I've literally had a juror tell me that the group reduced damages because the plaintiff must have had health insurance that paid for a lot of the treatment. No lawyer brought up insurance. It is purely the creation of the jurors based on their experience. The jury isn't supposed to make up facts like that, but they do all the time. I actually think the judge in every case should tell the jury that if insurance pays for a treatment, the plaintiff has an obligation to pay insurance back for those payments if the client receives anything from the defendant. The jury needs to know about things like that so we don't get the backroom speculation that fouls up a verdict. 

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3 minutes ago, BrickHorn said:

Appellate lawyers are a different breed, man. Some of us became lawyers because we argue all the time anyway, or because we are good at writing, or because we like money. But appellate lawyers actually enjoy law. As in: they geek out over cases and opinions and statutes and shit. They like reading about law. They like thinking about it. They like talking about it, even in social settings.

Makes me fucking sick. 

Do you sometimes think you should have stayed an engineer?  I do.

But, I do enjoy geeking out on areas of law that are more compellng than IP. 

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1 minute ago, Dahobbs said:

It isn't relevant. But the problem is juror's make assumptions. I've literally had a juror tell me that the group reduced damages because the plaintiff must have had health insurance that paid for a lot of the treatment. No lawyer brought up insurance. It is purely the creation of the jurors based on their experience. The jury isn't supposed to make up facts like that, but they do all the time. I actually think the judge in every case should tell the jury that if insurance pays for a treatment, the plaintiff has an obligation to pay insurance back for those payments if the client receives anything from the defendant. The jury needs to know about things like that so we don't get the backroom speculation that fouls up a verdict. 

I can believe you and I am certain I have biases of which I am unaware. One has to consider the law as it stands and also--were I in the plaintiff or defendant's position, what were the events that preceded landing in this court.

I get called for duty multiple times a year every year but never get picked. I think actually sitting through it would drive me nuts, but I believe it is the responsibility that one owes as a citizen to give proper diligence. I mean, really, people completely ignoring reams of great American literature filled with examples and consequences of what happens when the law is abused by those in power, or when the public shrugs off the importance of civic responsibilities for the good of one's neighbors and yet a great number of folks simply cannot be bothered.

 

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14 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

It isn't relevant. But the problem is juror's make assumptions. I've literally had a juror tell me that the group reduced damages because the plaintiff must have had health insurance that paid for a lot of the treatment. No lawyer brought up insurance. It is purely the creation of the jurors based on their experience. The jury isn't supposed to make up facts like that, but they do all the time. I actually think the judge in every case should tell the jury that if insurance pays for a treatment, the plaintiff has an obligation to pay insurance back for those payments if the client receives anything from the defendant. The jury needs to know about things like that so we don't get the backroom speculation that fouls up a verdict. 

I really feel like there needs to be some kind of referee/babysitter to prevent this.

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2 hours ago, South Austin said:

Case in point:  A lawyer I know had a pretty good car wreck case several years ago that went to a jury. Significant medical expenses, and she was a dentist, so there was a decent chunk of lost past and future income. Some soft damages on top of that. He wasn’t asking for the lottery. Really just trying to make her whole with some pain and suffering on top of that. The jury gave him the jelly of the month club. Coincidentally, a friend who’s a corporate lawyer somehow made it onto his jury, and she told me that she wanted to give the plaintiff more, and she had to practically fight the other jurors just to give her the money they ultimately awarded.

I've been called for jury duty exactly once, and I didn't even get to the questioning part of voir dire, as they seated the whole jury before it was my turn.  The case was fascinating but tragic, so I paid attention as it played out over the weeks:  a well-off Austin lady had pulled out in her SUV onto the 183 frontage road just west of I-35, and failed to notice a kid riding his bike on the shoulder.  She hit him and killed him.  She was being sued by the family.  Her attorney was an experienced, late middle-aged pro, totally comfortable in the process, and the plaintiff's attorney was a green as grass kid who struggled to even stick to the basics without the judge having to (gently) admonish him.  I left voir dire thinking "this isn't going to go well for the family", not just because of the plaintiff's attorney but also because of the general makeup of the jury.

I was right.  Total jury award?  $0

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So court is back in session, Dan Solomon is doing some good minute-by-minute reporting on it (thread if you click through the tweet):

 

TLDR: he's explaining what a corporate shell company is, and walking through the accounting tricks that jones and infowars use to hide their wealth. The plaintiff's expert witness has also said he was able to determine that free speech systems revenue for FY2021 was $64,000,000.

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1 hour ago, wreckatx said:

A things have been missing from the analysis of this issue in this thread, but it was brought up in court and resonated with the judge. This was likely an attempt at an eleventh hour document dump/discovery supplementation. They just sent the wrong link. Then, Reynal said disregard the link and I’ll send you a new one, but he never did. So, defense counsel gives plaintiff a bunch of docs on the eve of trial (many of which are not privileged and should have been produced years ago and which defendant has testified don’t exist), plaintiff says “Hey, There’s some privileged stuff in here”, defense counsel  says “oh. Disregard and I’ll send you another link” but he doesn’t and he also never identifies the privileged material per the rule. Plaintiff’s counsel waits ten days per the rule and bingo privilege waived. 

Excellent summary.  And the judge still did the right thing by giving Reynal a shot at clawing back anything that's genuinely PRIVILEGED.  Not what Alex's folks might think of as "confidential," but actually subject to a legal privilege.  

46 minutes ago, BrickHorn said:

Appellate lawyers are a different breed, man. Some of us became lawyers because we argue all the time anyway, or because we are good at writing, or because we like money and aren’t qualified to do anything else. But appellate lawyers actually enjoy law. As in: they geek out over cases and opinions and statutes and shit. They like reading about law. They like thinking about it. They like talking about it, even in social settings.

Makes me fucking sick. 

So, I'm one of the dwindling breed that does both -- full-on trial law, and full-on appellate law.  And as to the bolded......

hand-up-raise-hand.gif

 

I love geeking out over arcane stuff.  I love standing in front of a panel and just having a free-form Q&A that depends on your encyclopedic understanding of the law and the facts, and having prepared for and anticipated every angle.  And yeah, there are some topics that we'll get jazzed up about as we're discussing it in the office, and I'll stop and say "you realize like 20 people in the world actually give a shit about this, and we're 10% of 'em?"

So, even watching the details and asides in this case is interesting as hell to me.  Nerd.

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21 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

So, I'm one of the dwindling breed that does both -- full-on trial law, and full-on appellate law.  And as to the bolded......

hand-up-raise-hand.gif

 

I love geeking out over arcane stuff.  I love standing in front of a panel and just having a free-form Q&A that depends on your encyclopedic understanding of the law and the facts, and having prepared for and anticipated every angle.  And yeah, there are some topics that we'll get jazzed up about as we're discussing it in the office, and I'll stop and say "you realize like 20 people in the world actually give a shit about this, and we're 10% of 'em?"

So, even watching the details and asides in this case is interesting as hell to me.  Nerd.

Same here. I’m a trial lawyer by trade, but I handle a lot of my own appeals, and I love researching and drafting for an appellate brief. And my arguments before the Fifth Circuit are some of the best experiences in my legal career, well beyond most trial proceedings. I’ve thought that if I could start over I’d clerk for a federal appellate judge out of law school and have a full-time appellate practice.

I sort of like the practice of law. But I still love the law.

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15 minutes ago, Underdog said:

Isn’t he also in the middle of a divorce?  Ex-wife to be willwant her piece of the pie for sure, she’s watching these proceedings with keen interest, I’m sure. 

I'm sure it's only a matter of time until he's on to divorce #2

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2 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Same here. I’m a trial lawyer by trade, but I handle a lot of my own appeals, and I love researching and drafting for an appellate brief. And my arguments before the Fifth Circuit are some of the best experiences in my legal career, well beyond most trial proceedings. I’ve thought that if I could start over I’d clerk for a federal appellate judge out of law school and have a full-time appellate practice.

I sort of like the practice of law. But I still love the law.

Yeah, I break it down for people this way, by analogy.  I love the fight.  I love fighting by Marquess of Queensberry rules, like you do in appellate practice.  But I also like the street-fight rules of litigation (there ARE rules, for sure....but the situation is a lot more fluid and free-wheeling).  If you really love fighting, then you love to both box and whoop someone's ass in an alley.

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28 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

Excellent summary.  And the judge still did the right thing by giving Reynal a shot at clawing back anything that's genuinely PRIVILEGED.  Not what Alex's folks might think of as "confidential," but actually subject to a legal privilege.  

So, I'm one of the dwindling breed that does both -- full-on trial law, and full-on appellate law.  And as to the bolded......

hand-up-raise-hand.gif

 

I love geeking out over arcane stuff.  I love standing in front of a panel and just having a free-form Q&A that depends on your encyclopedic understanding of the law and the facts, and having prepared for and anticipated every angle.  And yeah, there are some topics that we'll get jazzed up about as we're discussing it in the office, and I'll stop and say "you realize like 20 people in the world actually give a shit about this, and we're 10% of 'em?"

So, even watching the details and asides in this case is interesting as hell to me.  Nerd.

The job won't save you Jimmy

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6 minutes ago, Gil Bang said:

The job won't save you Jimmy

Yeah, yeah.  But I like to play chess.  It's fun.  So each day, I play a match, and I like what I do.  It's just a job.  But it's better to do a job I get a kick out of than a job I hate.  And, you know, actually making a difference for some people feels pretty good, too.

But yeah....in the end, it's a job like all the rest of 'em.

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1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

The only consolation is that there are multiple suits, but I think they're all in either Texas or CT,  and both have punitive caps.  CTs, however, is common law, and predated tort reform.

It will be interesting if the other suits bring in some bigger verdicts.  I think Bankston's firm is handling a couple more in Texas.  So they may revise their strategery.

Another saving grace on this is that CT is a great state for plaintiffs in general.  Punitives may be capped, but I'm not sure there's a better state in the country to bring a suit, at least for compensatory damages.  Jury verdicts and settlements there tend to be very high.

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1 hour ago, Underdog said:

Isn’t he also in the middle of a divorce?  Ex-wife to be willwant her piece of the pie for sure, she’s watching these proceedings with keen interest, I’m sure. 

His current wife got arrested for beating Jones up late last year. Spent Christmas in jail I think. 

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13 minutes ago, Captainant said:

The jury continues to be sassy

And reynal continues to piss off Judge Gamble

 

You have to be careful with the charge in Texas as Plaintiff, even if it is agreed to. A few years ago the Supreme Court took a verdict away where jury found in the plaintiffs favor and awarded a bunch of money based on an agreed charge. Defendant appealed and challenged the charge. Supreme Court said the wrong theory of liability was presented in the charge and the defendant had no obligation to object and "give up a winning hand." 

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1 minute ago, Dahobbs said:

You have to be careful with the charge in Texas as Plaintiff, even if it is agreed to. A few years ago the Supreme Court took a verdict away where jury found in the plaintiffs favor and awarded a bunch of money based on an agreed charge. Defendant appealed and challenged the charge. Supreme Court said the wrong theory of liability was presented in the charge and the defendant had no obligation to object and "give up a winning hand." 

This doesn't really mean all that much.

We all know that if a case goes to the Supreme Court in Texas, the plaintiff loses.  

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Just now, Wally Pryor said:

Just for grins I'm setting the over on the punitive settlement at $100MM.

The guttest of gut feels. 

I assume you mean the award from the jury. Any settlement is likely to be less than $6 million (absent some major appellate point for the plaintiffs that limited the damages presentation I suppose). 

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1 minute ago, Chad Fuck said:

This doesn't really mean all that much.

We all know that if a case goes to the Supreme Court in Texas, the plaintiff loses.  

Sure. But it now means that appellate courts have to follow the same rule. So, you have a few more folks that can take away your verdict before getting to the Supremes. 

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1 minute ago, Dahobbs said:

Sure. But it now means that appellate courts have to follow the same rule. So, you have a few more folks that can take away your verdict before getting to the Supremes. 

200.gif

Yuuuurrrrp.

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