Tag Archives: James Otero

Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Angelo Ferrara, Jalian Johnston, and Brant Blakeman File Motions For Summary Judgment, Blakeman Makes Highly Rapey Argument That Johnston Couldn’t Have Assaulted Diana Reed By Spraying Beer On Her Cause She Was Smiling The Whole Time, Plaintiffs Ask For Extra Time To Respond To Barrage Of Motions

Jalian Johnston spraying beer on Diana Reed next to the Lunada Bay Boys fort. Brant Blakeman: They taught me at the Palos Verdes School Of Bro-fessional Surf Thuggery that smiles equal consent…”
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.

Earlier today I wrote about a bunch of filings in the Lunada Bay Boys case, but clearly I wrote too soon. Quite soon after I published that post, a bunch more paper hit PACER. This includes motions for summary judgment from defendants Angelo Ferrara, Jalian Johnston, and Brant Blakeman. There’s also a request from the plaintiffs for a time extension to respond to all these zillions of defense motions for summary judgment. A major argument therein is, as promised, the fact that Jalian Johnston won’t be deposed until July 28 and the unextended deadline for the plaintiffs to respond is July 31.

If there’s an award for rapiest pleading filed in federal court, Blakeman’s motion is gonna be a strong contender. He actually claims that even though Jalian Johnston did spray beer on Diana Reed, she was smiling the whole time so it can’t be assault:

Plaintiffs’ case against moving party Brant Blakeman consist solely of Spencer’s claim that Blakeman surfed too close to him on one occasion at Lunada Bay and Reed’s claim that Blakeman videotaped her at the patio structure at the Bay when defendant Alan Johnston opened a can of beer that sprayed some drops on her arm.

These factual claims fall far short of establishing a violation of the Bane Act by Blakeman, which requires violent acts, physical threats, coercion, or intimidation resulting in fear of injury or harm and, thereby, prevents them from exercising a constitutional right. With respect to the incident in which Blakeman did nothing more than videotape Reed, who, by the way, was photographing Blakeman and others with her own camera and invited a photographer from the LA Times, Reed can be seen throughout the video smiling, smirking, and in no apparent distress. Indeed, she spent over 60 minutes at the bay and made no attempt to leave the patio structure

Anyway, turn the page for links to the new filings. I’m super-busy with another project, to be announced soonest,1 so no time for more than that. Also, don’t forget that the hearing for all of these defense motions for summary judgment is scheduled for August 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Angelo Ferrara, Jalian Johnston, and Brant Blakeman File Motions For Summary Judgment, Blakeman Makes Highly Rapey Argument That Johnston Couldn’t Have Assaulted Diana Reed By Spraying Beer On Her Cause She Was Smiling The Whole Time, Plaintiffs Ask For Extra Time To Respond To Barrage Of Motions

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Lunada Bay Boys Parties Jointly Ask Judge Otero To Dismiss Suit Against Anonymous Minor Defendant NF, Michael Papayans Files Motion For Summary Judgment

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 bunch of paper was filed this afternoon in the Lunada Bay Boys surf localism case, including a hitherto unanticipated1 joint stipulation to dismiss the case against the anonymous minor defendant NF. There’s a transcription of this PDF after the break along with a link to the proposed order that the parties submitted with it.

Also, following along with his putative partners in horridity, Lunada Bay beatdown artist Michael Papayans filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis of the fact that the named plaintiffs, Cory Spencer and Diana Reed, said in their depositions that he didn’t personally beat up either one of them. As always, this motion comes with a bunch of supporting exhibits, mainly excerpts from the plaintiffs’ depositions. There are links and some brief commentary after the break.

Oh, also! There’s yet another telephonic hearing before the magistrate judge scheduled for tomorrow morning, so we can expect yet another minute order telling everyone to cut out the damn nonsense!
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Parties Jointly Ask Judge Otero To Dismiss Suit Against Anonymous Minor Defendant NF, Michael Papayans Files Motion For Summary Judgment

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City Of PVE Argues That They Put Many Cops On Anti-Bay-Boy Patrol, Tying Up Resources And Allowing Criminals From South Central LA To Commence Unprecedented “Burglary Spree” — Residents Complained But Kepley Kept Cops On Bay Anyway, Which Is How Seriously He Took It. Therefore, Your Honor, Please Dismiss The Damn Case! Also 9th Circuit Won’t Hear Interlocutory Appeal On Class Action Certification

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.

Today the City of Palos Verdes Estates and its police chief, Jeff Kepley who, along with the Lunada Bay Boys themselves, are defendants in the monumental anti-localism case brought by Cory Spencer and his co-plaintiffs, filed a massive slew of papers with the court. The main item is this motion for summary judgment, asking the judge to obliterate the case against PVE and Kepley.

The rest of the paper filed consists of various exhibits and proposed orders in support of this motion, and is extremely interesting as it contains huge selections from the depositions of Cory Spencer and Diana Reed. There are links to all the new stuff after the break along with brief descriptions. There is presently a hearing on this motion scheduled for August 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse.

The merits of the motion are beyond my amateurish capacity to discuss, although they make interesting reading if you’re so inclined. The main argument seems to be that the plaintiffs didn’t really suffer any harm, and the City didn’t have a duty to do anything more than what they did to protect them. Also, the following freakish little argument did catch my eye. My general feeling is that the appearance of “gang-affiliated criminal groups from south Los Angeles” in government-generated discourse is irrefutable evidence that they’re lying. But judge for yourself:

A number of the above-described events (as well as Plaintiff Spencer and Reed’s alleged incidents discussed under the factual background above) took place during a time the City was experiencing a substantial increase in residential burglaries by organized gangs or gang-affiliated criminal group from south Los Angeles. It is typical for the City to have zero to three burglaries per month, but in December 2015 the City experienced 20 to 25 burglaries. In fact, a number of residents complained about the amount of law enforcement resources allocated toward patrolling Lunada Bay, as well as the tough stance Chief Kepley took against local surfers harassing or intimidating other surfers. Nonetheless, the City directed law enforcement resources to ensuring access to Lunada Bay and preventing harassment. Chief Kepley opined that given so few incidents at Lunada Bay and the burglary spree in the City that the Police Department efforts were appropriate and reasonable in scope and size.

Also, you may recall that in March the plaintiffs asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to file a motion asking them to overturn Judge Otero’s decision to deny certification as a class action. I didn’t hear about it at the time, but one of the exhibits filed today is the Ninth Circuit’s denial of the request for permission to appeal. Anyway, turn the page for links to and brief descriptions of all the new paper filed today.
Continue reading City Of PVE Argues That They Put Many Cops On Anti-Bay-Boy Patrol, Tying Up Resources And Allowing Criminals From South Central LA To Commence Unprecedented “Burglary Spree” — Residents Complained But Kepley Kept Cops On Bay Anyway, Which Is How Seriously He Took It. Therefore, Your Honor, Please Dismiss The Damn Case! Also 9th Circuit Won’t Hear Interlocutory Appeal On Class Action Certification

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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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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: 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 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

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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

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