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:
Jalian often sleeps in the back of his old Lexus (“It has a killer little bed in back,” he says gleefully), has been known to dine on complimentary guacamole and chips at Whole Foods, and likes to live as if he were penniless.
As far as his parents’ reaction to his lifestyle?
“They’re pretty cool with me, because they let me hang around,” he said, his bright blue eyes shaded by a baseball cap stitched with beach glass. “Maybe they don’t understand exactly where I’m coming from, because I don’t like … I’m not just dying to get a job. A good day surfing with my friends is like five grand to me, you know?”
You may recall that one essential element of the plaintiffs’ case is that it’s possible to actually quantify the damage caused by the surf thuggery of the Lunada Bay Boys. One of the plaintiffs’ witnesses, Philip King, is an expert in recreational economics and has calculated that the lost value to surfers who were prevented from using the beach is about $50,000,000 since 1970. This calculation is hotly disputed by the defendants, who’ve filed many a motion arguing against the validity of King’s estimate. It’s possible that the presiding judge, James Otero, has at least partially agreed with the defense on this point.
However, now comes defendant Jalian Johnston himself, stating on the record of his own free will, that one day’s surfing at Lunada Bay is worth $5,000 to him. If the lost surf value since 1970 is really about $50,000,000, this comes to only 10,000 days of surfing at $5,000 per day. Since there have been about 17,155 days since 1970 it would seem that the plaintiffs’ argument is made by this defendant’s own admission. No wonder they can’t get him to agree to be deposed! They might ask him about this five grand thing and hit one into the stands!1
Transcription of Rozella Oliver’s minute order:
Plaintiffs and Defendant Alan Johnston (“Defendant”) have informed the Court that they have been unable to resolve their dispute regarding the scheduling of a deposition of Defendant. The Court previously held a telephonic hearing regarding this dispute on June 15, 2017.
The parties are directed to meet and confer one more time regarding this dispute. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, they shall file separate letter briefs, no longer than five (5) pages, by June 30, 2017. The letter briefs shall include a statement of how each party proposed to resolve the dispute at the final meet and confer. If it appears necessary, the Court will schedule a telephonic hearing. Otherwise, the Court will take the matter under submission upon filing of the letter briefs.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Image of Jalian Johnston started on Patch.Com and ended up, after having fallen among thieves, here on this website, proudly bearing the proudest of marks, viz. ©MichaelKohlhaas.Org.