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.
Oh dear. Hitting PACER just now is Defendant Brant Blakeman’s Request for Judicial Notice in Support of Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification. It seems that plaintiff Diana Reed was sued in LA County Superior Court for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and a few other such torts, arising out of a music promotion business run by Reed and her husband Gabe. Blakeman is arguing that these allegations, along with the fact that Reed didn’t defend the suit, make her unfit to represent the class of people harmed in the Lunada Bay Boys case.
According to the complaint in the fraud suit,1 the Reeds accepted tens of thousands of dollars from the business manager of some band in exchange for the band being allowed to open for an Aerosmith concert in Mexico City and to go on some rock tour that the Reeds were promoting. None of this ever happened, the band didn’t get its money back, they sued, the Reeds didn’t defend the case, and the court entered a default judgment for more than $440,000.
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, when I decided to start collecting the pleadings in Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys, I had no idea how much material it was going to involve. By the way, the full collection is available here on Archive.Org. In any case, a bunch more stuff hit PACER last night. It consists of allegations by Victor Otten, plaintiffs’ attorney, that Bay Boys defendants Brant Blakeman and Alan Johnston are stonewalling court-ordered discovery and that “there is a clear pattern emerging that the individual defendants are withholding and/or destroying evidence and misusing the discovery process.”
There are links and brief descriptions of the new material after the break, as always, but first I have some interesting details about defendant Alan Johnston’s cell phone. It seems that on December 12, 2016, the magistrate judge, Hon. Rozella Oliver, issued an order to compel defendant Alan Johnston to hand over two cell phones and corresponding passwords to the plaintiffs:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT that Mr. Johnston overnight his cell phone(s), both his old, water damaged phone and his current phone to his counsel. Mr. Carey1 is directed to hand over the cell phone(s) to Todd Stefan at Setec Investigations, 8391 Beverly Blvd #167, Los Angeles, CA 90048, the party chosen by Plaintiffs to conduct the examination of the phone.
Mr. Otten and Mr. Carey shall reasonably cooperate to agree upon a set of search parameters to guide Mr. Stefan’s forensic investigation of the phone(s), including text messages, contacts, photographs, and videos by December 14, 2016. If the parties cannot agree upon a set of search parameters, they shall submit their proposed search parameters to the Court by December 14, 2016. Mr. Johnston is ordered to cooperate as necessary with Mr. Stefan with respect to passwords. Defendant Alan Johnston is ordered to pay the cost of the forensic investigation within 10 days of his attorney being sent a statement.