Tag Archives: Victor Otten

Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Reply To Opposition To Their Motion For Administrative Relief, Include Fascinating Transcript Of Yet Another Telephonic Hearing About Discovery Transgressions By Defendants

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 couple weeks ago the plaintiffs asked Judge Otero to deny all the various and sundry motions for summary judgment filed by all the various and sundry defendants in this tangled web of a lawsuit. The basis of this plaintiffs’ motion is their pretty darn plausible assertion that approximately none of the defendants are cooperating with their discovery obligations, making it impossible for the plaintiffs to reply effectively to the defense motions.

Of course, both the City defendants and the individual defendants filed the usual eleventy-jillion briefs in opposition. And yesterday the plaintiffs filed their reply to the opposition. This was written by Kurt Franklin, and is very much worth reading.1 There is a transcription after the break. The hearing on this motion is scheduled for September 5, 2017 in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse.

The reply came with the usual batch of exhibits, among which is this gem of a transcript of the July 25 hearing before the Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver about Sang Lee’s discovery failures. If you’ve been following along, this was the hearing after which Oliver issued an order requiring Lee to hand everything over that very day. Another good read is this excerpt from the Steve Barber deposition in which he admits to being a Bay Boy buddy and also discusses at length the phone-carrying habits of the PVEPD.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Reply To Opposition To Their Motion For Administrative Relief, Include Fascinating Transcript Of Yet Another Telephonic Hearing About Discovery Transgressions By Defendants

Share

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!

Share

Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Sang Lee Files Motion To Dismiss All Counts Against Him Except Negligence Cause He Didn’t Do Nothing, Your Honor!

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 may recall that the other day, the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys case filed a bunch of paperwork having to do with defendant Sang Lee’s uncooperative attitude towards his discovery obligations, leading to the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the case, issuing a minute order telling Sang Lee to get moving and hand over the goods.

Victor Otten’s most recent letter to Sang Lee’s attorneys noted that “… you have stated an intention to file a motion for summary judgement, this will be our last attempt to resolve this matter informally. Moreover, should you file a motion for summary judgement without providing adequate discovery responses, that will be a basis to oppose the motion.”

Well, today Sang Lee filed that very motion to dismiss, along with a bunch of supporting exhibits. His main argument seems to be that all of the plaintiffs have admitted that he personally didn’t do anything to them, so how can he be guilty of intimidating them away from the beach?

Of course, with respect to the allegation of conspiracy, and especially given that, according to Victor Otten, Sang Lee has withheld all the essential evidence, the fact, and it does seem to be a fact, that Sang Lee didn’t intimidate anyone in person seems pretty irrelevant. The plaintiffs’ theory seems to be that he coordinated via cell phone with the actual intimidaters, which certainly sounds like conspiracy to me. Well, as Victor Otten said on July 4, “…should you file a motion for summary judgement without providing adequate discovery responses, that will be a basis to oppose the motion.”

Don’t forget, the hearing on this motion and the parallel motion by Jeff Kepley and the City of PVE is scheduled for August 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. Maybe I’ll see you there! Meanwhile, turn the page for links to all the new pleadings.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Sang Lee Files Motion To Dismiss All Counts Against Him Except Negligence Cause He Didn’t Do Nothing, Your Honor!

Share

Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Victor Otten Files Declaration And A Bunch Of Exhibits Documenting Absolute Failure Of Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Sang Lee To Cooperate With Discovery, Threatens Motion To Compel Absent Prompt Compliance

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 Thursday the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the Lunada Bay Boys zillionaire surf thuggery case, ordered various defendants to quit taking the piss and get cracking with their discovery obligations. In particular, the order filed stated with respect to defendant Sang Lee that:

The parties are also directed to file any meet and confer letters regarding the dispute and the privilege log served by Defendant Lee at least 24 hours before the next telephonic hearing.

Well, yesterday evening plaintiffs’ lawyer Victor Otten fulfilled his part of that obligation by filing a declaration and a bunch of letters between his office and Sang Lee’s attorneys about discovery. This is pretty interesting stuff for a number of technical reasons, and there are links and descriptions after the break.
Continue reading Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Victor Otten Files Declaration And A Bunch Of Exhibits Documenting Absolute Failure Of Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Sang Lee To Cooperate With Discovery, Threatens Motion To Compel Absent Prompt Compliance

Share

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!

Share

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”.(!)’

Share

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

Share