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Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

There’s a shared Dropbox account that was being used to submit evidence that the attorneys intended to use during the trial, and over the coarse of the trial there were a couple instances that Reynal, Jones’ attorney, attempted to cite evidence only to be told he couldn’t because it hadn’t been submitted- pure speculation but I think Reynal may have just dragged the wrong folder into the Dropbox without realizing it, and when the plaintiffs contacted him to ask if what he just submitted was privileged he assumed they meant the folder he THOUGHT he had submitted.

Last week Reynal spent 15 minutes attacking a poll that was cited by one of the expert witnesses, only for the the plaintiff’s attorney to immediately point out that Reynal had misread the poll and his entire argument was based on a mistake. Dude doesn’t seem great with details.

ruhk wrote:

There’s a shared Dropbox account that was being used to submit evidence that the attorneys intended to use during the trial, and over the coarse of the trial there were a couple instances that Reynal, Jones’ attorney, attempted to cite evidence only to be told he couldn’t because it hadn’t been submitted- pure speculation but I think Reynal may have just dragged the wrong folder into the Dropbox without realizing it, and when the plaintiffs contacted him to ask if what he just submitted was privileged he assumed they meant the folder he THOUGHT he had submitted.

I am not a lawyer, but the messages I saw do not appear to fit the definition of privileged. They are not trade secrets, they are not discussions of legal strategy between a client and his lawyer. What they are is damaging and applicable to the case. Moreover, they are precisely the sort of things that were requested and require of in the process of discovery. Destruction of evidence you are required to submit is not a right protected by the Constitution or the legal process. Once the evidence was in the possession of opposing counsel, Jones' lawyers were already in too deep to back out. They had to either let them have it or risk professional sanction.

There were a number of things that went wrong here, based on what I've read and talked about with a Real (TM) legal professional.

1. The defense attorney should have quit the moment that they found out about the existence of these files. They are an officer of the court and cannot do nothing when this kind of thing comes up. They also cannot allow their client to perjure themselves. They should have notified at least the judge, if not also the opposing counsel.
2. The moment it was discovered that this leak happened, the opposing attorney should have notified both the judge and the defense counsel.
3. The defense counsel should have notified Alex Jones about this and he should not have been surprised about this.
4. I'm not even sure how this was allowed to be presented in court due to all of the above.

Real trials are not movies, they are well choreographed performances and everyone is/should always be well aware of what is going to happen at every point in time.

The fact that this a) happened and b) Alex Jones was surprised is probably grounds for a mistrial.

Anyway, IANAL.

Edit: There is probably grounds for a complaint to the Bar about the defense attorney.

A normal attorney might be concerned about those things. Maybe not one that agreed to represent someone like Jones, especially with how Jones had been handling these cases so far, especially after Jones had already burned through and threatened to sue other lawyers working the same cases. Or one that had to be admonished by the judge for assaulting plaintiff’s counsel ON CAMERA after court had adjourned.

maverickz wrote:

There were a number of things that went wrong here, based on what I've read and talked about with a Real (TM) legal professional.

1. The defense attorney should have quit the moment that they found out about the existence of these files. They are an officer of the court and cannot do nothing when this kind of thing comes up. They also cannot allow their client to perjure themselves. They should have notified at least the judge, if not also the opposing counsel.
2. The moment it was discovered that this leak happened, the opposing attorney should have notified both the judge and the defense counsel.
3. The defense counsel should have notified Alex Jones about this and he should not have been surprised about this.
4. I'm not even sure how this was allowed to be presented in court due to all of the above.

Real trials are not movies, they are well choreographed performances and everyone is/should always be well aware of what is going to happen at every point in time.

The fact that this a) happened and b) Alex Jones was surprised is probably grounds for a mistrial.

Anyway, IANAL.

Edit: There is probably grounds for a complaint to the Bar about the defense attorney.

All of this comports with my understanding as well.

The only thing I could think of that might (and I emphasize might) save the defense counsel from severe disciplinary action would be if he himself was unaware of the contents of those emails until notified by opposing counsel that they had received them. It probably won't, but it is a faint hope.

I am also curious whether this would constitute grounds for a mistrial. Mostly, I am concerned that it seems like precisely the kind of f*ckery Jones would pull to prolong this fiasco and try to make a farce of it altogether. I could very easily see him stringing together a series of theatrical court appearances ending in reboots every time his secretly instructed counsel f*cks up a case. That is precisely the kind of chaotic f*ckwit we're dealing with.

If it was done to spark a mistrial it wasn’t done with Jones’ approval because there was tons of financial data in the leak, stuff that he worked desperately to avoid handing over during discovery. This is just the FIRST of the Sandy Hook trials and just the financial info alone will severely impact the outcomes of the future cases even if this one does go into mistrial.
Not too mention the planned subpoena by his ex in order to re-litigate custody of their kids, or the planned subpoena by the Jan6th committee. The leak is a huge can of worms that I can’t believe Jones would willingly let be opened.

I doubt it will be a mistrial if the plaintiff sticks to items they asked for only. They can then say we asked for emails and were told none existed. Then we got the full phone, contacted the defense on the error. No response, we now have proof defense was withholding evidence we asked for.

I am super curious how long deliberation will take considering one of the last things the jury heard before closing arguments was an Infowars clip from last week of Jones calling the jury blue collar idiots who are so stupid they don’t even know what planet they live on.

As well this is just the damages portion, he’s already lost the case via default.

maverickz wrote:

There were a number of things that went wrong here, based on what I've read and talked about with a Real (TM) legal professional.

1. The defense attorney should have quit the moment that they found out about the existence of these files. They are an officer of the court and cannot do nothing when this kind of thing comes up. They also cannot allow their client to perjure themselves. They should have notified at least the judge, if not also the opposing counsel.
2. The moment it was discovered that this leak happened, the opposing attorney should have notified both the judge and the defense counsel.
3. The defense counsel should have notified Alex Jones about this and he should not have been surprised about this.
4. I'm not even sure how this was allowed to be presented in court due to all of the above.

Real trials are not movies, they are well choreographed performances and everyone is/should always be well aware of what is going to happen at every point in time.

The fact that this a) happened and b) Alex Jones was surprised is probably grounds for a mistrial.

Anyway, IANAL.

Edit: There is probably grounds for a complaint to the Bar about the defense attorney.

Jones already lost this defamation case (along with two other related ones). The judge issued default judgements against Jones back in 2021 because he “intentionally disobeyed” the court’s requests and showed “flagrant bad faith and callous disregard” in not turning over related documents for months and months.

This trial is just to figure out how much money Jones is going to have to pay for his defamation.

IANAL, but I would imagine it's hard to get a mistrial declared because Jones has already been found guilty and the texts and emails his attorney accidentally handed over contained financial information the plaintiff attorneys had been looking for to figure out how much money he should have to pay. They're asking for $150 million, which, according to texts from Jones' phone, would equal maybe six months of revenue from InfoWars.

Court is live right now with the defense trying to accuse the plaintiffs of forcing a mistrial while simultaneously making a last minute motion to have the data destroyed and a mistrial declared. The Plaintiffs’ attorney interrupted at the start to notify the judge that he had been contacted by multiple law enforcement agencies.

EDIT: judge denied the motion. She flatly refused the mistrial request and was willing to seal specific parts of the data if the defense could make specific requests, which they couldn’t.

IMAGE(https://i.postimg.cc/DZQ2hVpy/55-C0263-E-054-A-4-D72-A192-90-AEE6490295.jpg)

EDIT2: oh, and near the end Bankston specifically said that he had been contacted by the Jan6th Committee and asked the judge for approval to hand over the info. The judge approved.

Cracker Barrel adds Impossible Sausage to their menu. Not as a replacement, as an option. Conservatives lose their goddamn minds.

Yet more examples of how conservatives are only interested in control, and don't care about anything else (like the lives of "babies").

4 police officers federally charged with civil rights violation in Breonna Taylor death

NBC News wrote:

Four police officers in Louisville, Kentucky, have been charged with civil rights violations related to the 2020 botched raid in which Breonna Taylor was killed, federal officials said Thursday.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges at a press conference Thursday, saying the Justice Department alleges that the offenses the officers are charged with "resulted in Ms. Taylor's death."

The mystery of the data leak was also revealed during today’s motion- It was an inadvertent link sent bundled with other stuff by a paralegal working for the defense, when the plaintiff’s counsel contacted the defense about it the reply was simply an email saying “please disregard.” Texas has a specific law that protects accidental evidence leaks like this and apparently defense thought their response was enough to trigger it. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that it only applies if specific information is cited instead of a blanket retraction like “please disregard.” The judge agreed.

maverickz wrote:

There were a number of things that went wrong here, based on what I've read and talked about with a Real (TM) legal professional.

1. The defense attorney should have quit the moment that they found out about the existence of these files. They are an officer of the court and cannot do nothing when this kind of thing comes up. They also cannot allow their client to perjure themselves. They should have notified at least the judge, if not also the opposing counsel.
2. The moment it was discovered that this leak happened, the opposing attorney should have notified both the judge and the defense counsel.

The plaintiff's attorney did contact the defense attorney and asked for a record of what might be privileged or protected and got no response.

“Did you know [that] 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?” he asked. “And when informed, [they] did not take any steps to identify it as privileged, or protected in any way?”

Definitely time to move for a Bad Court Thingy.

maverickz wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I suspect that the attorney "leaked" those texts to opposing counsel on purpose. Irrespective of his responsibility to his client, his duty does not extend to getting disbarred for violating the rules of discovery. If he was in possession of the evidence and deliberately withheld it, he could be in a sh*tton of trouble himself.

$5 says this is all headed for a mistrial.

Defense has tried to call for a mistrial every chance that he gets (I think he's up to 18ish times now?) and every time it gets shot down. Don't think that's happening.

This is the absolute best rendition of what happened yesterday.

It's only missing the podium slam with the accusatory point for the "I KNOW YOU LIED" part

I did enjoy watching his face get red.

I know she is being used as a political pawn but I still feel bad for her.

Griner gets 9 years of jail time after guilty verdict

Wow is that attorney f*cked.

The judge is far too nice.

MyPillow chief spends tens of millions in fresh crusade to push Trump’s big lie

The MyPillow chief executive, Mike Lindell, a fervent Donald Trump ally, says he has poured $35-40m into a wide crusade – a wave of lawsuits to get rid of voting machines that he faults for Trump’s defeat, a new movie about voting fraud, and a hefty legal stable – to promote charges that the 2020 election was riddled with fraud, despite a flood of contrary evidence.

In his frenetic quest to dispense with electronic voting equipment that he has often charged is defective, Lindell is hosting a two-day “Moment of Truth” summit on 20 and 21 August in Missouri, that he expects will draw 200 federal and state officials and staff, as well as hundreds of representatives from groups nationwide who have investigated alleged election fraud this year and in 2020.

On a related front to boost his cause, a small segment of the summit will feature 10 conservative sheriffs who have become increasingly active in fighting purported election fraud, who Lindell told the Guardian he invited so they would have “a platform to get their voices heard”.

One leading voice is slated to be the former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who runs the rightwing Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). The organization hosted a July meeting in Las Vegas that Lindell attended and publicized via a TV operation he owns, and has taken the unorthodox step of making monitoring election fraud its top priority, which Mack has dubbed a “holy cause”.

The upcoming Lindell summit underscores the growing roles of him and his allies in a sprawling network waging a multi-front war to push Trump’s “big lie” about the 2020 election, and mobilize activists to ramp up their scrutiny of the fall elections as poll workers and poll watchers. These moves could curb voting rights and intimidate voters, say election watchdogs.

The “big lie” network has been bolstered by other multimillionaires including Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive of Overstock, and at least $1m from a Donald Trump political action committee.

Byrne co-founded the America Project with retired army Lt Gen Michael Flynn just a few months after they attended a meeting with Trump in December 2020, where wild schemes to overturn Joe Biden’s win were discussed. He has boasted of pouring $3m into a self -styled “election integrity” drive to hunt for potential fraud by training activists in poll watching and canvassing.

Non-partisan election spending analysts warn of threats to democracy in the new voting blitzes that mega-donors who promote Trump’s “big lie” are underwriting.

“Mega-donor spending, long associated with Super Pacs and non-profits, is now also aimed at shaping even how our elections are administered,” said Sheila Krumholz, who leads OpenSecrets, which tracks campaign money. “Election administration is critical infrastructure in a democracy and should not be determined by partisan power-brokers.”

However, the burgeoning “big lie” ecosystem seems to have other priorities: it includes non-profits such as the Texas-based True the Vote, which co-sponsored the CSPOA Las Vegas summit in July, and has teamed up with another sheriffs’ group, Protect America Now, run by the Arizona sheriff Mark Lamb, to form an alliance to police this year’s voting for fraud.

Another influential activist with strong fundraising ties on the right is Cleta Mitchell, a former Trump campaign lawyer who has spearheaded numerous “election integrity” summits in key swing states and is a leading figure at the Conservative Partnership Institute, to which Trump’s leadership Pac last year gave $1m.

Mitchell participated in Trump’s infamous call on 2 January 2021 with the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump urged him to “find” 11,870 votes to block Biden’s win there. Mitchell was subpoenaed last month by a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether Trump’s call and other related efforts broke state laws.

The “big lie” advocates have spent tens of millions of dollars pushing baseless claims of widespread election fraud in 2020 as they have built an infrastructure of loyalists in swing states to be poll watchers and poll workers, and helped enact new laws in 18 states since 2021 that include new limits on absentee voting and other measures to make voting more difficult.

Despite powerful evidence presented to the House panel investigating the January 6 Capitol attack, including former attorney general Bill Barr’s comments that he told Trump there was no evidence of significant fraud in 2020, and numerous studies showing that voting fraud is historically small, the pro-Trump network seems to be growing.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
maverickz wrote:

There were a number of things that went wrong here, based on what I've read and talked about with a Real (TM) legal professional.

1. The defense attorney should have quit the moment that they found out about the existence of these files. They are an officer of the court and cannot do nothing when this kind of thing comes up. They also cannot allow their client to perjure themselves. They should have notified at least the judge, if not also the opposing counsel.
2. The moment it was discovered that this leak happened, the opposing attorney should have notified both the judge and the defense counsel.

The plaintiff's attorney did contact the defense attorney and asked for a record of what might be privileged or protected and got no response.

“Did you know [that] 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?” he asked. “And when informed, [they] did not take any steps to identify it as privileged, or protected in any way?”

I've been known to be wrong, often.

Garland needs to act. Until there are consequences for subverting democracy we'll get more of this.

Verdict is in for the Sandy Hook damages trial- the number is a shockingly low 5 million, less than a week’s worth of revenue for Jones, but the jury HAS NOT been released as there is a new charge pending and more evidence being brought into consideration tomorrow morning.

OG_slinger wrote:

4 police officers federally charged with civil rights violation in Breonna Taylor death

NBC News wrote:

Four police officers in Louisville, Kentucky, have been charged with civil rights violations related to the 2020 botched raid in which Breonna Taylor was killed, federal officials said Thursday.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges at a press conference Thursday, saying the Justice Department alleges that the offenses the officers are charged with "resulted in Ms. Taylor's death."

Finally. I heard this morning but couldn't post as I'm on the road all day.

ruhk wrote:

Verdict is in for the Sandy Hook damages trial- the number is a shockingly low 5 million, less than a week’s worth of revenue for Jones, but the jury HAS NOT been released as there is a new charge pending and more evidence being brought into consideration tomorrow morning.

Punitive damages have yet to be determined. I'm hoping that's where they really hit him.

JC wrote:
ruhk wrote:

Verdict is in for the Sandy Hook damages trial- the number is a shockingly low 5 million, less than a week’s worth of revenue for Jones, but the jury HAS NOT been released as there is a new charge pending and more evidence being brought into consideration tomorrow morning.

Punitive damages have yet to be determined. I'm hoping that's where they really hit him.

Bankston was explaining in an interview that punitive damages are rarely more than 10x the compensatory damages, so unless the new charges are extremely convincing the total will still be less than a third of the requested amount.

There’s still more defaulted trials, though, with plenty of time to comb through the new data. Plus Jones’ ex-wife is looking to reopen their custody battle with the leaked data and both Congress and several other law enforcement agencies have expressed interest in getting their hands on it.

Paleocon wrote:

Wow is that attorney f*cked.

I’m no legal scholar, but that looked like the kind of spanking you’d normally have to pay for.