Category Archives: Cory Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys

Lunada Bay Boys Parties Still Getting Fussy Over Scheduling Of Jalian Johnston Deposition, Magistrate Judge Oliver Says Work It Out By This Friday Or Else Write “I Will Not Be An Asshole” 5000 Times On The Board Everybody Has To File Five Page Briefs Explaining Why They Can’t Schedule The Damn Depo Like Grownups

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 as of ten days ago the parties in the Lunada Bay Boys surf-thuggery case found themselves unable to schedule defendant Alan “Jalian” Johnston’s deposition. Well, this afternoon, Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver filed a minute order reporting that they still have not been able to schedule the deposition (as always, there’s a transcription after the break). Furthermore, she orders them to get their damn act together and have it scheduled by Friday, June 30 or else everyone has to write five page briefs explaining what they did to try to come to terms with one another. This is, I think, the judicial equivalent of the babies getting fussy and scratching at themselves until mom makes them put their mittens on.

Jalian Johnston, of course, is more than just a non-member of the County’s most famous nonexistent surf local nongang. He is also a make-believe poor boy who “likes to live as if he were penniless,” and, additionally, a dedicated crafter who sells his world-famous crafts at local souvenir shops. He is also the proud possessor of a Zonker-Harris-esque surflosophy, proudly propounded in that linked-to article which, also interestingly, turns out to essentially subvert a crucial element of the defense of the case:
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Parties Still Getting Fussy Over Scheduling Of Jalian Johnston Deposition, Magistrate Judge Oliver Says Work It Out By This Friday Or Else Write “I Will Not Be An Asshole” 5000 Times On The Board Everybody Has To File Five Page Briefs Explaining Why They Can’t Schedule The Damn Depo Like Grownups

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City Of Palos Verdes Estates Shortcircuits Ongoing Discovery Dispute By Just Handing Over The Damn Private Investigator’s Report On How The Undercover Sting Operation Got Blown, But The Squabbles Never Cease And Now They Are Fighting Over Scheduling Defendant Alan Johnston’s Deposition!

Jeff Kepley is sworn in as new police chief of Palos Verdes Estates, CA. The ceremony for Chief Kepley, who was joined by family, friends, council members from PVE, and many police from various cities, took place at the La Venta Inn, located in Palos Verdes Estates.
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.

A few days ago I wrote about a telephonic conference between the Lunada Bay Boys case plaintiffs and the City defendants1 before magistrate judge Rozella Oliver. They were fighting over a report submitted by a private eye hired by the City to figure out who blew a planned sting operation against the Bay Boys’ surf thuggery.

At that time Judge Oliver ordered the parties to brief her thoroughly on the matter. Well, it seems that the City decided to just hand over the report rather than fight about it any more. Hence they all filed a joint stipulation asking the judge not to make them write the briefs any more. You’ll find a transcription of the stipulation after the break. It’s not by any means clear that we’ll be able to get our hands on the report itself, although often discovery material turns up in the exhibits to later motions, so maybe we will.

However, all is not peaceful on the PVP!2 Evidently the parties had another telephone call with Judge Oliver yesterday in which they had to admit that they couldn’t agree on how to schedule defendant Alan Johnston’s deposition. She told them more or less to work it out amongst themselves or everyone would have to have another damn phone call. Here’s a link to the minute order summarizing the call, and a transcription of this one is also available after the break.
Continue reading City Of Palos Verdes Estates Shortcircuits Ongoing Discovery Dispute By Just Handing Over The Damn Private Investigator’s Report On How The Undercover Sting Operation Got Blown, But The Squabbles Never Cease And Now They Are Fighting Over Scheduling Defendant Alan Johnston’s Deposition!

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Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver To Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs And Defendant Brant Blakeman Re Discovery Matters: You Are The Grownups In The Room So Start Acting Like It Or We’re Just Gonna Have To Have Another Damn Phone Call!

Earlier today Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver held a telephonic conference with attorneys for the Lunada Bay Boys plaintiffs and also defendant Brant Blakeman. They’re evidently still squabbling over discovery matters. This may be the same dispute I wrote about in January or it may be something else. It has to do, though, with Blakeman claiming that the plaintiffs’ responses to his supplemental interrogatories were inadequate. It’s possible that this disagreement is the one described in these two docket items:

Here is a copy of Rozella Oliver’s order and also there’s a transcription after the break.
Continue reading Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver To Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs And Defendant Brant Blakeman Re Discovery Matters: You Are The Grownups In The Room So Start Acting Like It Or We’re Just Gonna Have To Have Another Damn Phone Call!

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Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Orders Further Briefing From Parties On Question Of Whether Lunada Bay Boys Case Plaintiffs Can Get Their Hands On Investigative Report About PVE Police Leak Of Undercover Anti-Bay-Boys Sting Op

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.

You might recall that in early 2016 the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department organized a sting operation to catch zillionaire surf thugs the Lunada Bay Boys in the midst of their zillionaire surf thuggery but someone tipped off the Bay Boys, no doubt because they’re not just all sleeping with each others’ spouses up there on The Hill, they also all grew up together like a bunch of hillbillies in a holler and they operate on a need-to-know basis but they have their own ideas of who needs to know what.

In any case, PVE Chief of Police Jeff Kepley hired an outside investigator to find out what had gone wrong, and the plaintiffs in the case want a copy of the report via discovery. The City of PVE and Jeff Kepley are claiming that the report is privileged under the Work Product Doctrine. So they all had a phone conversation with Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver, and the Judge filed these minutes of the discussion and ordered everyone to submit further briefing by July 6. And if you hate PDFs, turn the page for a transcription of the whole order.
Continue reading Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Orders Further Briefing From Parties On Question Of Whether Lunada Bay Boys Case Plaintiffs Can Get Their Hands On Investigative Report About PVE Police Leak Of Undercover Anti-Bay-Boys Sting Op

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Taking It To The Fricking Ninth Circuit: In Petition Filed Today Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ask Permission To Appeal Denial Of Class Certification! Judge Otero’s Many Manifest Errors Enumerated!! The Argument In One Sentence: “Absent an appeal, anarchy remains.”

… by making multiple manifest legal errors … the District Court denied Petitioners’ motion for class certification.
A little more than two weeks ago, federal district court judge James Otero denied class certification in the Lunada Bay Boys case, turning it into a merely personal dispute between a bunch of thuggish zillionaire surf-localist gangbangers and the few surfers brave enough to put their names on the case. Today, the plaintiffs filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for permission to appeal Otero’s decision immediately, rather than, I guess, waiting until the whole case is done, which is probably the more normal time to appeal. This is a so-called interlocutory appeal, in other words, which is made before the case which gives rise to it is settled. Obviously it would cause chaos if lawyers were allowed to appeal every random decision a lower court judge made while the actual case was proceeding, which is probably why it’s necessary to (a) ask the Ninth Circuit for permission to appeal and (b) to argue that the case will suffer “irreparable harm” if the appeal of the given order, in this case denial of class certification, isn’t allowed to proceed while the underlying case is ongoing. The basic argument seems to be this:

Californians have a constitutional right to access their public beaches. Accordingly, Petitioners ask this Court for the opportunity to appeal now, so that their motion for class certification can be given proper consideration under the correct interpretation of rule 23. As this Court has recognized, there is no reason for a plaintiff to litigate to finality “when a certification decision is erroneous and inevitably will be overturned.”

Most of this petition is far too technical for any discourse that I might construct upon it to be profitable for anyone, but the introduction is quite comprehensible and quite stirring. Turn the page to read that. Also, it’s worth reading the summary of the many points where Otero seemingly ignored the expertise of the plaintiffs’ witnesses, but I’m not reproducing that for technical reasons. You can find it, along with the nitty gritty technical nerdview, by reading the petition your own self, friend!
Continue reading Taking It To The Fricking Ninth Circuit: In Petition Filed Today Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ask Permission To Appeal Denial Of Class Certification! Judge Otero’s Many Manifest Errors Enumerated!! The Argument In One Sentence: “Absent an appeal, anarchy remains.”

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Lunada Bay Boys Lawsuit Will Not Be A Class Action! Judge Otero Files Order Denying Motion For Class Certification. But, Says Otero, The Experts Are Mostly But Not Totally Expert Enough!

Pretty, pretty Palos Verdes…but no class at all!
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.

Perhaps you recall that yesterday’s scheduled hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion to have their lawsuit against the putative Lunada Bay Boys certified as a class action was cancelled by the Judge on the grounds that he would be able to rule without hearing oral arguments. Well, this morning his order denying class certification hit PACER. I can tell you right now that his reasoning with respect to the conclusion that this case cannot proceed as a class action is completely beyond my ability to interpret sensibly, so you’ll have to figure that part of it out yourself.

The introduction to the order strikes me as pretty skeptical of the plaintiffs’ claims generally, and even a little sarcastic. For instance, in what must be for the plaintiffs a particularly disconcerting example of judicial humor, Otero begins his summary of the facts with the following pun: “Riding the wave of the Point Break remake, Plaintiffs initiated this putative class action lawsuit…” It can’t be pleasant to read insinuations from the judge that one’s lawsuit was essentially a movie tie-in! There are excerpts after the break.

Otero also responded to ongoing debate over plaintiffs’ expert witnesses by saying that the economist Philip King is certainly expert enough, but that his method of arriving at an estimate of $50,000,000 in damages is nonsense.1 It seems to be that King will be allowed to testify but not testify to damages. Also, Otero says that the plaintiffs’ other expert, Peter Neushul,2 is certainly expert enough to testify about surfing in Southern California. Anyway, after the break, find some excerpts from the less technical parts of the order.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Lawsuit Will Not Be A Class Action! Judge Otero Files Order Denying Motion For Class Certification. But, Says Otero, The Experts Are Mostly But Not Totally Expert Enough!

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Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

Dwarf bottlebrush plant from some plans that the East Hollywood BID exchanged with a bunch of lackeys at the City of LA in preparation for planting them along Vermont Avenue, most likely to thwart the homeless in some manner.
Tonight I had the pleasure of receiving from self-proclaimed active member of the revitalized Hollywood community1 Jeffrey Charles Briggs almost 200 emails between the East Hollywood Business Improvement District and various far-too-friendly folks at the City of Los Angeles. For now these are available here on Archive.Org. They’re PDFs, but they’re that super-PDF-format that one can make with genuine Adobe software that embeds attachments right in there with clickable links.2 I have only been able to give these a cursory look-over, but I can already see a few crucial items. I’ll be writing on these matters as soon as I possibly can, but if you want a preview of one of them take a look at this juicy little number.

And tomorrow is a huge day at the Civic Center. In the morning there is a hearing in the Lunada Bay Boys case, featuring Palos Verdes Peninsula zillionaire surf-localism-thuggery at its most flamboyantly weird. In the afternoon there is an essential meeting of the Ethics Commission. Turn the page for times, locations, and brief descriptions. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
Continue reading Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

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Plaintiffs: Not Only Is Our Expert Philip King Really Really Expert With Respect To Calculating The Economic Cost Of Lunada Bay Boys Psychopathic Surf Localism, But Defendants’ Motions Challenging Expertise Are Unmitigated Fraudulent Bullshit

Philip King of San Francisco State, not just an expert on recreational economics. but a really exceedingly extraordinarily expert expert!
For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit.

Oh boy! No doubt you recall that in January, the plaintiffs filed a declaration of Philip King in which King, a professor of economics at San Francisco State who studies coastal recreational economics. King made a preliminary calculation of the economic damage caused by the aggressively psychopathic surf localism of the Lunada Bay Boys at around $50,000,000 since 1970.

Well, a couple weeks ago some of the defendants, namely the City of Palos Verdes Estates and their fine upstanding police chief Jeff Kepley came back on the plaintiffs with a bunch of pleadings claiming that Philip King didn’t have the first idea what he was talking about and asking the court therefore to toss out his declaration and stuff. Tonight the plaintiffs responded with three new items arguing against this and also accusing the defendants of practicing some kind of technical subterfuge on the court by filing a motion to strike and engaging in bad-faith meet-and-confers prior to filing the motion. Links and summaries after the break.
Continue reading Plaintiffs: Not Only Is Our Expert Philip King Really Really Expert With Respect To Calculating The Economic Cost Of Lunada Bay Boys Psychopathic Surf Localism, But Defendants’ Motions Challenging Expertise Are Unmitigated Fraudulent Bullshit

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Plaintiffs: Your Honor, We Respectfully Request That You Pay No Mind To Brant Blakeman’s Request For Judicial Notice Because It Is Late, It Is Irrelevant, It Is Not On Point, It Constitutes Unprofessional Subterfuge, And It Is Stinking Amateurish Bullshit Of The First Water

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit.

Oh dear, friends, more drama swirls around the Lunada Bay Boys case.1 You may recall that, the other day, defendant Brant Blakeman asked the Judge to take judicial notice of the fact that proposed class representative Diana Reed had a default judgement against her in L.A. County Superior Court for a bunch of torts including one or more flavors of fraud and that that fact made her somehow unsuitable to represent the class of plaintiffs in this case. Tonight the plaintiffs’ response hit PACER, facetiously but accurately summarized in the headline, along with some other stuff, and I have copies for you along with descriptions, find it all after the break.
Continue reading Plaintiffs: Your Honor, We Respectfully Request That You Pay No Mind To Brant Blakeman’s Request For Judicial Notice Because It Is Late, It Is Irrelevant, It Is Not On Point, It Constitutes Unprofessional Subterfuge, And It Is Stinking Amateurish Bullshit Of The First Water

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ordered To Reveal Names Of Witnesses Including, Presumably, The Weasel. Meanwhile, Blakeman Is Ordered To Cough Up Videos, Etc. Only From 2013 To Present. Perhaps The Meet-And-Confer Didn’t Work Out, As A Telephonic Conference Is Scheduled For Wednesday.

Why is it so hard for everyone to believe that my actual real-life name actually is “The Weasel”?!!?!
For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit.

A quick note to announce a recent order in the Lunada Bay Boys case that hit PACER last week and somehow I missed it. It’s an order by magistrate judge Rozella Oliver to compel discovery and production, binding on both plaintiffs and defendants. The plaintiffs are ordered, in part, like this:

Plaintiffs are ordered to identify witnesses in response to Interrogatory Numbers 1 through 12. For each interrogatory, Plaintiffs shall identify the responsive witnesses by name. For each witness, Plaintiffs shall specify whether that witness is represented by Plaintiffs’ counsel, or, if Plaintiffs know, by other counsel. For each witness, Plaintiffs shall provide contact information for that witness or state unambiguously that Plaintiffs do not have contact information for that witness.

This seems to be in response to interrogatories propounded by defendant Blakeman, copies of which can be found in this declaration starting at page 92. Famously, one of the plaintiffs’ witnesses seems to be known only as “The Weasel.” Presumably, in response to this order, The Weasel’s true name will have to be revealed.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ordered To Reveal Names Of Witnesses Including, Presumably, The Weasel. Meanwhile, Blakeman Is Ordered To Cough Up Videos, Etc. Only From 2013 To Present. Perhaps The Meet-And-Confer Didn’t Work Out, As A Telephonic Conference Is Scheduled For Wednesday.

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