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Lunada Bay Boys Judge James Otero Orders Post-Deadline Deposition Of Plaintiff Organization Coastal Protection Rangers To Take Place By August 24 Or, At The Latest, September 15

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

The other day the Lunada Bay Boys defendants asked Judge James Otero if they could depose the Coastal Protection Rangers, who is one of the plaintiffs in the case, despite the fact that the deadline for depositions has passed. Yesterday Otero issued an order allowing them to do so. There’s a transcription of the order after the break.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Judge James Otero Orders Post-Deadline Deposition Of Plaintiff Organization Coastal Protection Rangers To Take Place By August 24 Or, At The Latest, September 15

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A Bunch Of Emails Between The Los Feliz Village BID And The City Of Los Angeles Reveal A Number Of Interesting Issues, Not Least Of Which Is City BID Analyst Giving The BID Legal Advice On CPRA Requests Contrary To Holly Wolcott’s Position That This Does Not Happen

The other day I received a big pile of emails between the Board of the Los Feliz Village BID and people at the City of Los Angeles. They’re available here on Archive.Org. Note that the BID produced these by using some kind of bulk forwarding utility for Gmail to send these to their attorney, uniquely repetitive chair of the famed Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jeffrey Charles Briggs Esq.

Attorney Briggs then exported the forwarded emails as MSG files and passed them along to me. Unfortunately this process mangled the metadata and made it more trouble than it seems to be worth to sort and rename the files by date and time. Sr. Briggs seems to be willing at least to consider instructing his clients to provide actual exact copies of emails in the future, but for now we’ll work with what we got, especially since the whole process has taken more than six months to get to this point. Anyway, turn the page for discussion of a few highlights.
Continue reading A Bunch Of Emails Between The Los Feliz Village BID And The City Of Los Angeles Reveal A Number Of Interesting Issues, Not Least Of Which Is City BID Analyst Giving The BID Legal Advice On CPRA Requests Contrary To Holly Wolcott’s Position That This Does Not Happen

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Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Oppose Plaintiffs’ Motion For Administrative Relief With Another ‘Leventy-Dozen Pleadings Filed — Has Angelo Ferrara’s Lawyer Lost His Mind?

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Recall that about 10 days ago the Lunada Bay Boys plaintiffs filed a motion for administrative relief asking Judge Otero to deny the steaming heap of defense motions for summary judgment. Over the last few days the defendants have filed a ton of stuff in opposition to this motion and there are links to all of it after the break.

The most astonishing item, though, is Angelo Ferrara’s reply. There’s a complete transcription after the break, and it’s certainly worth reading. The words in the cartoon above are taken from this document, and here’s another sample: “If there were an Olympic sport of throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what would stick, Plaintiffs would take home the gold.” Not the least weird aspect of this document is that the lawyer refers to his client (Angelo) by his first name throughout.

Also worth taking a look at are:

  • More exhibits in support of Papayans’ motion — This has a list of the information that the plaintiffs hope(d) to get from Michael Papayans’ cell phone which, as you may recall, has been the subject of a long strange discovery trip of its own.
  • Stipulation to take nonexpert deposition of CPR — The time for depositions is done, but the defendants want to depose the Coastal Protection Rangers after the deadline, not sure why.
  • Blakeman reply brief“The case against Blakeman can be summed up in one sentence: On January 29, 2016, Blakeman allegedly surfed too close to Spencer, filmed Reed getting sprayed with drops of beer, and then, later that night, missed 61 calls from codefendant Sang Lee. There is no evidence linking Blakeman to any conspiracy without wild and unpermitted speculation.”
  • Jalian Johnston reply brief‘From the video of the incident: “fucking sexy baby…want to film it?”; “I seen you and I think I touched myself a little bit”; “I can do whatever I want.” As stated above, mere words cannot amount to an assault. This statement does not support the Plaintiff’s claim.’

Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Oppose Plaintiffs’ Motion For Administrative Relief With Another ‘Leventy-Dozen Pleadings Filed — Has Angelo Ferrara’s Lawyer Lost His Mind?

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City of PVE And Jeff Kepley And The PVE Police Officers’ Association File Opposition To Motion Because They Don’t Want To Hand Over Text Messages From Cops’ Personal Phones — No One Seems To Be Discussing The Fact That The California Supreme Court Decided In March That Work Information On Personal Phones Is Public Record

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Last week the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys case asked magistrate judge Rozella Oliver to sanction the City of PVE because they refused to hand over work-related text messages. Oliver subsequently denied this motion on technical grounds. At roughly the same time the plaintiffs filed a motion for administrative relief, essentially asking Judge Otero to deny the zillions of defense motions for summary judgment because of various discovery failures on the part of the defense.

And tonight the City of PVE and Jeff Kepley filed their opposition to that motion. The most important item is this memorandum of points and authorities which has, as these all seem to, a good discussion of the facts of the dispute.

The main issue seems to be, though, that the plaintiffs’ asked for material from the personal phones of PVE cops and the cop union intervened and said via their lawyer, Howard A. Liberman, that they weren’t going to hand it over because it would violate the officers’ privacy and also it would violate their contract with the City of PVE. The City also argues that they can’t hand it over since they don’t have control over it.

There are links to all the other goodies after the break, by the way, along with more of the usual uninformed speculation.
Continue reading City of PVE And Jeff Kepley And The PVE Police Officers’ Association File Opposition To Motion Because They Don’t Want To Hand Over Text Messages From Cops’ Personal Phones — No One Seems To Be Discussing The Fact That The California Supreme Court Decided In March That Work Information On Personal Phones Is Public Record

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Venice Beach BID Still Not Operational Despite The Fact That Their Contract Was Attested More Than Two Months Ago — Mark Sokol Sent Out A Letter, Likely Ghosted By Tara Devine, Two Weeks Ago Begging For Patience And Donations And Offering A Freaking Unmonitored Email Account For Consolation!

It’s been a long, long year for the Venice Beach BID, friends. Last August they had their first hearing but due to generalized arrogance they messed up the process and so the City Attorney called a do-over, which happened last November. For undisclosed reasons it took until June of this year for their administration contract to get signed and as of today they still have not commenced operations.

And evidently the property owners are getting restless out there on the very West side, because on July 31, Mr. Venice Beach himself, Mark Sokol, sent out a letter to the property owners (transcription after the break) begging their forbearance, asking them if they had any office space to donate, and telling them they weren’t going to get any money back even if the BID didn’t start working until freaking December cause that’s the way they roll.

And if you have questions you’re welcome, according to this letter, to send them to admin@venicebeachbid.com even though, and I am not making this up, no one checks that account. Just as an aside, not in the letter, but you may have more luck with tara@venicebeachbid.com or marksokol@hotmail.com or mark@mphotel.com or carl@lambertinc.com or sheumann@sidewalkent.com. Property owners were also offered a chance to sign up for a mailing list, although signups seem to be closed now. Anyway, there’s a transcription after the break, and I’m not sure what it all means, but it seemed important to publish it.
Continue reading Venice Beach BID Still Not Operational Despite The Fact That Their Contract Was Attested More Than Two Months Ago — Mark Sokol Sent Out A Letter, Likely Ghosted By Tara Devine, Two Weeks Ago Begging For Patience And Donations And Offering A Freaking Unmonitored Email Account For Consolation!

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Motion Asking For $32,000 In Sanctions Against Charlie And Frank Ferrara And Their Lawyers Due To Their “intransigence and disregard for standard discovery protocol and obligations” And Their “failure to abide by the Court’s July 13, 2017 order” — Take That, Bay Boys!

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Maybe you recall that on July 13, 2017, the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys case appeared before Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver and complained that Charlie and Frank Ferrara weren’t complying with discovery obligations. This led to Oliver issuing a minute order directing that particular batch of Ferraras to “produce responsive documents from the cell phone imaging and responsive cell phone bills and records by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 17, 2017.”

Well, it appears, to no one’s surprise, that these Ferraras have not complied with this order. Thus, today, plaintiffs’ lawyers Samantha Wolff and Victor Otten filed a motion for monetary sanctions against both the Ferraras and their lawyers based on two allegations:

  1. Defendants Charlie and Frank Ferrara and their counsel willfully failed to preserve electronically stored information and failed to conduct their due diligence in responding to Plaintiffs’ discovery requests, resulting in the spoliation of critical evidence; and
  2. Defendants Charlie and Frank Ferrara and their counsel willfully failed to comply with this Court’s July 13, 2017 Order.


As usual, this motion comes along with a ton of interesting exhibits. Most of them in this case are meet-and-confer emails, progressively more exasperated on the part of the plaintiffs. There are links to everything after the break1 as well as some transcriptions. But first, here are links to what seem to me to be the most interesting items:
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Motion Asking For $32,000 In Sanctions Against Charlie And Frank Ferrara And Their Lawyers Due To Their “intransigence and disregard for standard discovery protocol and obligations” And Their “failure to abide by the Court’s July 13, 2017 order” — Take That, Bay Boys!

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Apparently The City Attorney Of Los Angeles Has Opined That Business Improvement Districts Can’t Spend Money On Things That Aren’t In Their Management District Plans Unless The Plans Are Amended — At Least That’s What Shadowy BID Consultant Tara Devine Said In 2012 And Why Would She Lie About That?

When business improvement districts in California are created, it’s required by the Property and Business Improvement District Act of 1994 at §36622 to file a so-called management district plan (MDP) with the City. This is meant to describe exactly what the BID is going to spend its money on, and it’s incorporated into the City’s Ordinance of Establishment, by which means the BID is created. It must be approved by the City Council, and the City has the power to revise it at will. The law makes it pretty clear that BIDs are actually forbidden from spending money on activities that aren’t in the MDP, although this facet of the law is generally ignored by the City.

And I’m presently working on a project that requires a close reading of invoices submitted by Tara Devine1 to the South Park BID over the years, which I obtained last month as the fruit of a CPRA request.2 Although 2012 is outside the timeline I’m working on, I was fascinated to note that Tara Devine seems to have been engaged by the South Park BID to actually write that year’s annual planning report3 for them. One of the things that she billed for in the course of performing her contract to do so Tara Devine billed for was a conversation with accounting firm RBZ, since merged with Armanino, and the subject of that conversation was wholly new to me:
Continue reading Apparently The City Attorney Of Los Angeles Has Opined That Business Improvement Districts Can’t Spend Money On Things That Aren’t In Their Management District Plans Unless The Plans Are Amended — At Least That’s What Shadowy BID Consultant Tara Devine Said In 2012 And Why Would She Lie About That?

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110 New Emails Between The City of LA And The East Hollywood BID Reveal Essentially Nothing About Anything, As Do The BID’s Bylaws — Also A Bunch Of Advertising Slash Branding Bullshit From The Fashion District Is Easy To Mock But Not So Informative After All

Ah, friends, just another desultory announcement of yet another batch of public records obtained from our friends at the BIDs, the meaning of none of which is yet clear, but we don’t let that worry us here in MK-dot-Org-landia. Everything happens for a reason, as they say, and I’m sure all this junk is no exception and some day it will prove to comprise crucially important pieces in puzzles whose very existence is as yet undiscerned. But for now I’m just announcing its existence, and do with it what you will. Anyway, here’s what I got:

  • Emails between the East Hollywood BID and the City of LA — March 2017 through July 2017. There are 110 emails here, attachments are attached to the emails, it’s amazing how empty of content this batch is. About 84% of them consist of Nicole Shahenian trying to get people to use her new email at ehbid.org. I don’t know for sure but I’d bet money that she made this switch because of my CPRA requests. Also, Aram Taslagyan’s replacement as CD13 East Hollywood field deputy introduces himself herein, but I already forgot his name.

And turn the page for the rest of the junk and more random commentary!
Continue reading 110 New Emails Between The City of LA And The East Hollywood BID Reveal Essentially Nothing About Anything, As Do The BID’s Bylaws — Also A Bunch Of Advertising Slash Branding Bullshit From The Fashion District Is Easy To Mock But Not So Informative After All

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Motion To Compel Sang Lee And Jeff Kepley To Get Busy And Cough Up The Damn Discovery Is Denied On Highly Technical Grounds By Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

On Tuesday of this week, the Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs filed a motion asking magistrate judge Rozella Oliver to compel defendants Sang “Friend N A Pirate” Lee and Jeff “On Admin Leave” Kepley to get busy and comply with their discovery obligations. The very next day, Wednesday, August 9, Oliver issued an order denying the plaintiffs’ motions.1 As always, there’s a transcription of the order after the break. The reasons for denying the motions are pretty technical2 but seem to hinge on the principle that a decision on them is beyond the authority of the magistrate judge and the plaintiffs have to bring their motions to Judge Otero instead. Not much of a loss, then, it seems.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Motion To Compel Sang Lee And Jeff Kepley To Get Busy And Cough Up The Damn Discovery Is Denied On Highly Technical Grounds By Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ask Otero To Deny Defense Motions Due To Evasion Of Discovery Obligations Which Made It Impossible To Meaningfully Oppose, Also Lengthy Excerpts From Sang Lee’s Deposition! Also Transcript Of A Mindblowingly Weird Telephone Conference With Rozella Oliver About Why Ferraras Didn’t Comply With Discovery Obligations!

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

This case is getting ultra-Byzantine, but if you’re following along, you may recall that the defendants have really not been complying with their discovery obligations. There’s a summary of some of the nonsense available. Also, all the defendants have filed motions for summary judgment, an outline of which and links to various stories on is also available. The Bay Boys based their motions for summary judgment on claims that the plaintiffs haven’t produced any actual evidence against them. At the time, plaintiffs’ lawyer Victor Otten warned them that their failure to comply would be grounds for moving to deny their motions.

And yesterday, that’s exactly what happened. Victor Otten filed this motion for administrative relief, claiming that the failure to comply with discovery has not only made it impossible to reply effectively to the motions for summary judgment, but in fact created the very grounds on which those motions rely:

Plaintiffs’ motion is made on the grounds that, due Defendants’ wrongful withholding of discovery—including withholding discovery that Magistrate Judge Oliver ordered them to produce—Plaintiffs have not had the opportunity to present the entirety of the factual record in opposition to Defendants’ motions. Indeed, Defendants’ basis for summary judgment is a purported lack of evidence; but to grant summary judgment at this stage would be to reward Defendants’ discovery misconduct.

The plaintiffs’ motion is based on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56(d), which states in part:

If a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may … defer considering the motion or deny it …

A hearing on this motion is scheduled for September 5, 2017 in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. The hearing on all the motions for summary judgment is scheduled for 10 a.m., and some of the paper filed yesterday gives 10 a.m. as the time for the motion to deny. One of the filings gives the time as 9 a.m. That’s probably wrong, but I don’t know for sure.

And there was a bunch of other good stuff filed as well. One of the two absolutely do-not-miss items are a transcript of a telephonic conference with magistrate judge Rozella Oliver concerning Charlie and Frank Ferrara’s failure to comply with discovery orders. This features defense attorney Tiffany Bacon and a bunch of deeply lame excuses for noncompliance. The judge seems dumbfounded that an actual professional lawyer would make these excuses out loud.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer Victor Otten also makes a plausible accusation that the defendants conspired to destroy evidence and an impassioned plea for sanctions against them. The other essential item is a set of lengthy excerpts from Sang Lee’s deposition including a bunch of really damning emails, some of which are quoted in the cartoon above. Turn the page for brief descriptions and links to a bunch of other items.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ask Otero To Deny Defense Motions Due To Evasion Of Discovery Obligations Which Made It Impossible To Meaningfully Oppose, Also Lengthy Excerpts From Sang Lee’s Deposition! Also Transcript Of A Mindblowingly Weird Telephone Conference With Rozella Oliver About Why Ferraras Didn’t Comply With Discovery Obligations!

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