For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit.
This is just a brief note to memorialize the fact that, in response to the big pile of stuff filed over the weekend by plaintiffs’ attorney Victor Otten in the Lunada Bay Boys suit, Brant Blakeman’s attorney Richard Dieffenbach has filed this reply, which is written with a certain je ne sais quoi, as they say. For instance, in his interrogatories to the plaintiffs, Brant Blakeman propounded1 the following question:2
IDENTIFY ALL PERSONS that have knowledge of any facts that support your contention in paragraph 18 of the Complaint that BRANT BLAKEMAN “sell[s] market[s] and use[s] illegal controlled substances from the Lunada Bay Bluffs and the Rock Fort” and for each such PERSON identified state all facts you contend are within the PERSON’s knowledge.
And after more than a page of objections as to why this question is improper and they don’t have to answer it and so on, the plaintiffs say they’re gonna answer just a little bit anyway, and here’s what they answer:
In addition to each defendant named in his individual capacity and other person identified in Plaintiffs’ Initial and Supplemental Disclosures, and the evidence submitted in support of Plaintiffs [sic/ motion for class certification, Responding Party identifies the following individuals: and individual that is goes [sic] by the name The Weasel.
Well, I can certainly sympathize with Richard Dieffenbach at this point. On Saturday night about 5 MB of pleadings hit PACER. Evidently the guy feels compelled to3 respond by today. He’s got to grind out page after page of the usual mind-numbing prose,4 when all of a sudden he stumbles upon this phrase about an individual that goes by the name “The Weasel.” A gift!:
The responses Mr. Otten references were late, incomplete (notably no contact information is provided any witness and no documents were produced), and still awaiting further analysis by my office (which may have been done if they were received on January 10, 2017 as Mr. Otten agreed to do). To the extent they have been reviewed, they include unsubstantiated allegations and vague speculative references, such as, in response to the specific question request to identify witnesses to the nefarious charge of the complaint of Mr. Blakeman selling drugs, the only witness is someone named “the Weasel”.(!)
And I suppose I can forgive Richard Dieffenbach his seeming lack of reading comprehension, because Victor Otten didn’t say that The Weasel was the only witness, just the only witness who wasn’t a party to the case or otherwise already identified. After all, who expects, in the middle of a document dump on this scale, to be confronted with a cast of characters sporting colorful sobriquets such as “The Weasel”?! This is federal court, after all, and not a freaking comic book. Who wouldn’t be startled out of their wonted professional composure? So, friends, that’s the story of that!
Image of the only witness came to us via Wikimedia, with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto.
- This seems to be the term of art for asking a question in an interrogatory. People ask questions, parties to a case propound them.
- All of the following material comes from Exhibit 3, filed on Saturday night.
- Or perhaps actually is compelled to. Who knows what obscure rules are lurking here with terrifying consequences for those who disobey?
- One wonders what did lawyers do before copy/paste was invented? Read Bleak House to get some idea…it’s not pretty. (What lawyers did, that is. The book is not only pretty, it’s downright freaking beautiful).