Tag Archives: Cory Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys

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.”

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!

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!

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

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.

Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant Blakeman Raises Questions About Proposed Class Representative Diana Reed’s “credibility and interest in litigating the case” On Basis Of Default Judgment Against Her For Fraud Involving, Inter Alia, Aerosmith Concert in Mexico City

If you want to know what Aerosmith has to do with anything you have to read the blog post!
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.

Bay Boys defendant Blakeman is asking the court to take judicial notice of the complaint and the default judgment against Reed as part of his argument that she’s not moral enough to represent the class of people harmed by the actions of the Bay Boys. The reasoning runs like this:2
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant Blakeman Raises Questions About Proposed Class Representative Diana Reed’s “credibility and interest in litigating the case” On Basis Of Default Judgment Against Her For Fraud Involving, Inter Alia, Aerosmith Concert in Mexico City

Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant Blakeman’s Attorney Urges Federal Court To Treat Plaintiffs’ Claims Skeptically Given, E.G., With Respect To “Nefarious Charge” That Blakeman Sold Drugs Out Of The Bay Boys’ Fort, ‘the only witness is someone named “the Weasel”.(!)’

Why do lawyers always think that saying my name is enough to impeach my testimony? At least I’m not freaking Rumpelstiltskin!
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.

Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant Blakeman’s Attorney Urges Federal Court To Treat Plaintiffs’ Claims Skeptically Given, E.G., With Respect To “Nefarious Charge” That Blakeman Sold Drugs Out Of The Bay Boys’ Fort, ‘the only witness is someone named “the Weasel”.(!)’

Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant “Blakeman Looked Possessed Or Possibly On Drugs”: Plaintiffs’ Attorney Otten Alleges Bay Boys Defendants Blakeman, Johnston Withheld Evidence, Gave Wrong Phone Passwords Necessitating Court-Ordered Phone Cracking, Committed Other Evidentiary Shenanigans

“Blakeman looked possessed or possibly on drugs. His behavior got more bizarre throughout the morning.”
For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on the suit.

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.

But according to a declaration filed last night by plaintiffs’ attorney Victor Otten, the process is not proceeding as planned. It seems that the phone wasn’t actually water-damaged, that the handed-over passwords were wrong, thus requiring the forensic investigator to brute-force the phone, and many more similar such shenanigans:
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant “Blakeman Looked Possessed Or Possibly On Drugs”: Plaintiffs’ Attorney Otten Alleges Bay Boys Defendants Blakeman, Johnston Withheld Evidence, Gave Wrong Phone Passwords Necessitating Court-Ordered Phone Cracking, Committed Other Evidentiary Shenanigans

City Of Palos Verdes Estates Tells Federal Court That One Of The Plaintiffs’ Experts Ain’t Expert Enough, Other Documents Filed Including Many Responses To Interrogatories

A really pretty archetypally Californian road in the really pretty archetypally Californian City of Palos Verdes Estates, which is a really pretty archetypally Californian example of the kind of hell on earth that gets created around here when zillionaires are allowed to own entire cities and operate them according to customary zillionaire practices.
This is just a short note to memorialize the fact that a bunch of paperwork was filed in the case of Cory Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys. I have added the new material to the Archive.Org page (look for docket numbers 204 through 207). There are links to and brief descriptions of the new material after the break. Don’t forget to look at the plaintiffs’ responses to the defendants’ interrogatories, which aren’t always available to the public via PACER. In this case they were put on the record as part of a lawyer’s declaration. And also don’t forget that there’s an upcoming hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion to certify the case as a class action, scheduled for Tuesday, February 21 at 10 a.m. in Judge Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Courthouse downtown.
Continue reading City Of Palos Verdes Estates Tells Federal Court That One Of The Plaintiffs’ Experts Ain’t Expert Enough, Other Documents Filed Including Many Responses To Interrogatories

Lunada Bay Boys Tell Federal Court “We Don’t Even Exist So How Can They Sue Us??!” — Defendants’ Oppositions To Motion For Class Certification Filed In Palos Verdes Estates Surf Localism Thuggery Case

Looming reality in the form of the 1st Street Federal Courthouse as seen from the shores of Lunada Bay. Is it getting closer? Is it just an illusion? We will find out on February 21, 2017 at 10 a.m.!
See here for yesterday’s post on this matter and if you need background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on the suit.

Well, just one day after I decided to add Cory Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys to my PACER watchlist, an avalanche of opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion to have the thing turned into a class action suit hit the RSS feed. It’s all pretty interesting, and I have uploaded it all to the Archive.Org page that I made yesterday to host all this stuff on. There is a list of new items with links after the break, but the common theme of many of them, as exemplified in the Objection to Plaintiffs’ Evidence in Support of Motion for Class Certification, a 112 page behemoth with which most if not all of the individual defendants seem to have joined in, seems to go something like this:

  1. There is no such thing as the Lunada Bay Boys.
  2. But if there is such a thing as the Lunada Bay Boys, none of the defendants are members of it.
  3. But if some or all of the defendants are members of it, they didn’t do any of the stuff alleged in the complaint.
  4. But if they did do some or all of the stuff alleged in the complaint, they didn’t do it to the plaintiffs.
  5. But if they did do it to the plaintiffs, there wasn’t really any cognizable damage.
  6. But if there was cognizable damage, it’s not really possible to figure out who was damaged.

The City of Palos Verdes Estates (PVE) along with their Chief of Police take a slightly different tack in e.g. their opposition to the motion for class certification. Their theory seems to be that since one plaintiff said something nice about the PVE cops in 2016, they must be innocent all the way back to 1966. Perhaps that even makes sense (?!)

In any case, the hearing on this is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in the brand new shiny beautiful 1st Street Courthouse in Courtroom 10C. Perhaps I’ll see you there. As mentioned above, turn the page for a list of links to newly filed items.1
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Tell Federal Court “We Don’t Even Exist So How Can They Sue Us??!” — Defendants’ Oppositions To Motion For Class Certification Filed In Palos Verdes Estates Surf Localism Thuggery Case