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
… a class representative’s adequacy may be challenged when the credibility problems “relate to issues directly relevant to the litigation or there [must be] confirmed examples of dishonesty, such as a criminal conviction for fraud.” The documents to be noticed indicate a suit against Diana Milena Reed alleging, among other things, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. Additionally, the documents indicate that Diana Milena Reed failed to defend the suit against her, resulting in a default judgment in the amount of $445,727.62. As Defendant indicates in his Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion, both the allegations of fraud and the failure to attend to a previous suit are directly relevant to the Court’s consideration of Plaintiff Diana Milena Reed’s adequacy as a class representative.
Defendant seeks judicial notice of documents from proceedings that are directly relevant to the matters before this Court. A class representative’s credibility and interest in litigating the case are relevant considerations when the court determines the plaintiff’s adequacy to represent the class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(4).
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. Given the level of contention in the pleadings filed in advance of the hearing, it may turn out to be quite entertaining. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
Believe it or not, the picture of Aerosmith was produced by the U.S. Navy, putting it squarely in the public domain. I got that copy via Wikimedia.
- Which can be found in the linked-to pleading filed just now as an appendix.
- I removed citations to cases. You can find those in the original document if you need to see them.