Category Archives: Lawyers

Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik et al Amended Scheduling Order means no revelations from this case before 2020 election, Seth Rich fake news media narrative

Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik et al Amended Scheduling Order means no revelations from this case before 2020 election, Seth Rich fake news media narrative

Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.”…Craig Murray

“Fox News news analyst Ellen Ratner relayed information from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Texas businessman Ed Butowsky regarding Seth Rich’s role in transferring emails to Wikileaks, according to an amended lawsuit that I filed this morning on behalf of Mr. Butowsky.”…Attorney Ty Clevenger

“Who murdered Seth Rich and why?”…Citizen Wells

 

Ed Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik, et al will be settled out of court, in mediation or at trial at such a late date that the major revelations from witness testimony will not be revealed before the 2020 election.

At least in this case, the fake news narrative perpetuated by NPR and the rest of the fake news media will prevail regarding Seth Rich and his alleged involvement in leaks to the DNC, until after the election.

From the Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik et al Amended Scheduling Order filed August 21, 2019.

“April 30, 2020 All discovery shall be commenced in time to be completed by
this date.
June 1, 2020 Deadline for motions to dismiss, motions for summary
judgment, or other dispositive motions.
July 27, 2020 Date by which the parties shall notify the Court of the name,
address, and telephone number of the agreed-upon mediator,
or request that the Court select a mediator, if they are unable
to agree on one.

August 10, 2020 Notice of intent to offer certified records.
August 10, 2020 Counsel and unrepresented parties are each responsible for
contacting opposing counsel and unrepresented parties to
determine how they will prepare the Joint Final Pretrial Order
(See http://www.txed.uscourts.gov) and Joint Proposed Jury
Instructions and Verdict Form (or Proposed Findings of Fact
and Conclusions of Law in non-jury cases).
August 10, 2020 Video Deposition Designation due. Each party who proposes
to offer a deposition by video shall serve on all other parties a
disclosure identifying the line and page numbers to be offered.
All other parties will have seven calendar days to serve a
response with any objections and requesting crossexamination line and page numbers to be included. Counsel
must consult on any objections and only those which cannot
be resolved shall be presented to the court. The party who filed
the initial Video Deposition Designation is responsible for
preparation of the final edited video in accordance with all
parties’ designations and the Court’s rulings on objections.
August 31, 2020 Mediation must occur by this date.
August 31, 2020 Motions in limine due.
File Joint Final Pretrial Order. (See http://www.txed.uscourts.gov).
September 18, 2020 Response to motions in limine due.3

September 18, 2020 File objections to witnesses, deposition extracts, and exhibits,
listed in pre-trial order.4 (This does not extend deadline to
object to expert witnesses) (Provide the exhibit objected to in
the motion or response). If numerous objections are filed the
court may set a hearing prior to docket call.
File Proposed Jury Instructions/Form of Verdict (or Proposed
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law).
Date will be set by court. If numerous objections are filed the court may set a hearing
Usually within 10 days prior to to consider all pending motions and objections.
the Final Pretrial Conference.
October 2, 2020 Final Pretrial Conference at 9:00 a.m. at the Paul Brown
United States Courthouse located at 101 East Pecan Street in
Sherman, Texas. Date parties should be prepared to try case.
All cases on the Court’s Final Pretrial Conference docket for
this day have been set at 9:00 a.m. However, prior to the Final
Pretrial Conference date, the Court will set a specific time
between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for each case, depending on
which cases remain on the Court’s docket.

To be determined 10:00 a.m. Jury selection and trial at the Paul Brown United
States Courthouse located at 101 East Pecan Street in
Sherman, Texas. A specific trial date will be selected at the
Final Pretrial Conference.5”

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.txed.183024/gov.uscourts.txed.183024.70.0.pdf

 

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Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik et al Agreed Motion to Modify Scheduling Order August 19, 2019, Additional time is necessary for completion of discovery

Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik et al Agreed Motion to Modify Scheduling Order August 19, 2019, Additional time is necessary for completion of discovery

Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.”…Craig Murray

“Fox News news analyst Ellen Ratner relayed information from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Texas businessman Ed Butowsky regarding Seth Rich’s role in transferring emails to Wikileaks, according to an amended lawsuit that I filed this morning on behalf of Mr. Butowsky.”…Attorney Ty Clevenger

“Who murdered Seth Rich and why?”…Citizen Wells

 

From the Ed Butowsky v. NPR Folkenflik et al Agreed Motion to Modify Scheduling Order dated August 19, 2019.

1. On March 21, 2019, this Court entered a Scheduling Order (Dkt. # 57), which set forth various deadlines up to an including a Final Pretrial Conference on January 31, 2020. Pending before the Court at that time were Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim, filed on October 16, 2018 (Dkt. # 25) and Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint, filed on March 15, 2019 (Dkt. 53). On April 17, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a
Report and Recommendation, recommending that Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss be denied (Dkt. # 58), and on August 7, 2019, the Court adopted that Report and Recommendation and denied the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, and additionally granted the Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend his Complaint (Dkt. # 65).

2. The parties have exchanged written discovery, but have mutually agreed that in light of the number of witnesses who must be deposed, several of whom are non-parties outside the control of any party, additional time is necessary for completion of discovery, the deadline to file dispositive motions, and trial. In addition, Plaintiff wishes to further amend his pleadings, based on events which occurred after the current Scheduling Order’s deadline to amend pleadings. Accordingly, the parties jointly request that portions of the March 21, 2019
Scheduling Order be modified, as set forth below.”

Read more:

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.txed.183024/gov.uscourts.txed.183024.68.0.pdf

 

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Epstein prosecution continues, Civil suits continue against estate, Co conspirators will be prosecuted and sued, Bill Clinton accused and prosecuted?

Epstein prosecution continues, Civil suits continue against estate, Co conspirators will be prosecuted and sued, Bill Clinton accused and prosecuted?

“Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.”…Fox News May 13, 2016

“If This Story Gets Out, We Are Screwed”…Wikileaks: Doug Band to John Podesta

“Willing to help. Fantastic lawyer. Kept me out of jail.”…John Podesta, Wikileaks email

 

From the Jeffrey Epstein indictment.

“4. In creating and maintaining this network of minor victims in multiple states to sexually abuse and exploit, JEFFREY EPSTEIN, the defendant, worked and conspired with others, including employees and associates who facilitated his conduct by, among other things, contacting victims and scheduling their sexual encounters with EPSTEIN at the New York Residence and at the Palm Beach Residence.”

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.518649/gov.uscourts.nysd.518649.2.0_1.pdf

From the Manhattan U.S. Attorney.

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, August 10, 2019

Statement Of Manhattan U.S. Attorney On The Death Of Defendant Jeffrey Epstein

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Earlier this morning, the Manhattan Correctional Center confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein, who faced charges brought by this Office of engaging in the sex trafficking of minors, had been found unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter of an apparent suicide.  Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains ongoing.

 

We continue to urge anyone who feels they may be a victim or have information related to the conduct in this case to please contact 1-800- CALL FBI.”

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/statement-manhattan-us-attorney-death-defendant-jeffrey-epstein

From NBC News.

“Accused child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein wired a total of $350,000 to a pair of possible co-conspirators just days after the publication of a newspaper story alleging he sexually abused dozens of underage girls, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The prosecutors said the payments, which were made last November after the bombshell Miami Herald story came out, demonstrate Epstein’s willingness to tamper with witnesses.

“This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations,” the prosecutors wrote in court papers arguing that Epstein should remain behind bars until his trial.

Epstein wired $100,000 to one of his associates two days after the story was published, the court papers say. Three days later, he sent $250,000 to someone identified as one of his employees, prosecutors said. Neither of the two were named, but both were said to be possible co-conspirators in the alleged sex crimes that were the subject of the Miami Herald article.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/jeffrey-epstein-tampered-witnesses-sent-350k-2-people-prosecutors-n1029381

From CBS News.

“An attorney who has represented more than a dozen women accusing Epstein of sexual abuse called the apparent suicide “unfortunate and predictable.”

“We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in their pursuit of finality and justice,” Edwards said. In a statement on Twitter, Lisa Bloom, who represents three accusers, said civil cases would continue.

Epstein’s alleged victims said through their attorneys they are angry they won’t get a chance for justice since the criminal case will end with his death.

“I don’t blame them for being very angry,” said CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman. “They have lived with shame – either privately or publicly – they deserve their day in court to show that they are survivors. They deserve their day in court to show that they are survivors. ”

Klieman said the spotlight could now turn to Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstien’s one-time girlfriend who has been accused of procuring girls for him.

Civil cases against him can proceed against his estate, Klieman said.”

 

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FBI FOIA response to Attorney Ty Clevenger suggests Obama White House pressured intelligence agencies to blame Russia, Rybicki transcript, FBI still balking on Seth Rich records

FBI FOIA response to Attorney Ty Clevenger suggests Obama White House pressured intelligence agencies to blame Russia, Rybicki transcript, FBI still balking on Seth Rich records

Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.”…Craig Murray

“Unfounded links between Clinton and the Rich killing predate the July 13, 2016, “bulletin” and coverage of it by a sketchy site called WhatDoesItMean.com. What’s more, the “hit team” story, which Sines says was repeated several weeks later, wasn’t the primary Rich-related conspiracy that gained traction.”…Washington Post July 9, 2019

“Who murdered Seth Rich and why?”…Citizen Wells

 

Just in from Attorney Ty Clevenger  and LawFlog.

“Transcript suggests Obama White House pressured intelligence agencies to blame Russia

Newly released documents from the FBI suggest that the Obama White House pushed intelligence agencies to publicly blame the Russians for email leaks from the Democratic National Committee to Wikileaks.

This afternoon I received an undated (and heavily redacted) transcript of an interview of James Rybicki, former chief of staff to former FBI Director James Comey, that includes this excerpt: “So we understand that at some point in October of 2016, there was, I guess, a desire by the White House to make some kind of statement about Russia’s…” and then the next page is omitted.

The comment is made by an unidentified prosecutor from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel or “OSC,” not to be confused with the office of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller (the OSC is a permanent office that investigates Hatch Act violations, and Mr. Comey was under investigation for trying to influence the 2016 Presidential election).

The context of the statement makes it all the more interesting, because the OSC prosecutors were noting that the FBI publicized its reactivation of the Clinton email investigation shortly before the 2016 election, and they were wondering why the FBI did not counterbalance that by publicizing the “Russian collusion” investigation into Donald Trump. In that setting, one of the prosecutors then commented that the White House wanted some kind of statement made about Russia.”

“In other words, it looks like the Obama White House put its thumb on the scale, pressuring intelligence agencies to adopt the Democratic National Committee’s talking points, i.e., to blame the stolen emails on Russian hackers rather than an internal source (like Seth Rich). Thanks to Roger Stone, we now know that neither the FBI nor anyone else from the U.S. government actually examined the DNC servers that supposedly were hacked. Instead, the FBI, et al. relied exclusively on a redacted report from CrowdStrike, a private security company with strong Democratic affiliations that was hired by Perkins Coie, the same firm that hired Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS.

As I noted in my July 23, 2019 post, CrowdStrike and the DNC are both fighting subpoenas that I issued (on behalf of Ed Butowsky) for information about the servers and the purported Russian hacking.

The Rybicki transcript was part of 55 additional pages that the FBI belatedly produced in response to my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Ty Clevenger v. U.S. Department of Justice, et al., Case No. 18-CV-01568 (E.D.N.Y.). (The FBI is still refusing to search its Computer Analysis and Research Team (“CART”) files for records related to Seth Rich, and that’s were any relevant records most likely would be found. I’ll be battling the FBI in federal court next month to make it search for records in CART).”

Read more:

Transcript suggests Obama White House pressured intelligence agencies to blame Russia

 

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Joel and Mary Rich v. Fox News appeal, Seth Rich murder investigations and reporting, Appeal of Rich’s failed lawsuit almost unreported

Joel and Mary Rich v. Fox News appeal, Seth Rich murder investigations and reporting, Appeal of Rich’s failed lawsuit almost unreported

Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.”…Craig Murray

“Unfounded links between Clinton and the Rich killing predate the July 13, 2016, “bulletin” and coverage of it by a sketchy site called WhatDoesItMean.com. What’s more, the “hit team” story, which Sines says was repeated several weeks later, wasn’t the primary Rich-related conspiracy that gained traction.”…Washington Post July 9, 2019

“Who murdered Seth Rich and why?”…Citizen Wells

 

This is possibly the most unreported important news story I have ever encountered.

Joel and Mary Rich lost their lawsuit against Fox News in 2018 and on September 27, 2018 filed an appeal.

First, their lawsuit results.

From the Federalist Papers.

“Fox News Wins Seth Rich Lawsuit; Judge Dismisses

A New York City judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich on Thursday that asserted Fox News Channel colluded with the White House to propel a false, politically-biased narrative about Rich’s death.”

“It is understandable that plaintiffs might feel that their grief and personal loss were taken advantage of, and that the tragic death of their son was exploited for political purposes,” but Fox evidently did not intend to inflict emotional distress, Judge George Daniels wrote in his decision.”

“Daniels also dismissed a second and separate lawsuit brought forth by Rod Wheeler, a private detective who was also a Fox News contributor and hired by the Rich family to investigate their son’s death. In it, Wheeler accused Fox News and Zimmerman of misrepresenting his analysis of Rich’s death in their story, and Butowsky of defaming him on Twitter after the story was published, according to reports by The New York Times.

“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler was quoted in the Fox News article.”

Read more:

https://thefederalistpapers.org/us/fox-news-wins-seth-rich-lawsuit-judge-dismisses

The appeal.

From Jennifer Taub, law professor and author.

“NEW: I just attended oral argument for the appeal brought by Seth Rich’s parents against Fox News

1/

The Riches sued Fox for intentional inflection of emotional distress. This case is related to a conspiracy theory broadcast by Fox News that in 2016 Seth, a DNC staffer, had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks prior to being shot and killed”

“4/

At oral argument today, Judge Calabresi told Rich’s counsel Arun Subramanian “You have to convince us that this is outrageous to the parents. .not to the son. The defamation case died with the son.” Also that the propensity for parents’ vulnerability and defendants’ awareness

5/

Judge Calabresi suggested that the outrageous conduct here involved interfering with the parents’ investigation including by planting a person from Fox News (Wheeler) to pretend he was working solely for them “

“11/

Judge Calabresi interrupted and said that if Seth Rich were in a coma, then couldn’t a defamation suit brought by Seth proceed regardless of first amendment claims. And then also, couldn’t this separate cause of action be brought by parents?

12/

Judge Calabresi added that the only question then would be whether New York recognizes this separate cause of action — whether there was “outrageous conduct” by Fox with respect to the parents

13/

Attorney Terry says New York Court of Appeals has rejected claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress with more outrageous facts (Note that NY CT App is the highest court in the state of New York and though this case is in federal court, New York law applies)”

“18/

Attorney Terry returned to the main argument he is making on behalf of Fox News “a defamation claim cannot be restyle as an intentional infliction of emotional distress case.” He also said, that the conduct should not be recognized as outrageous as a matter of law

19/

Terry said that NY courts have dismissed intentional infliction of emotional distress cases e.g where reporters told rape victims their names would not be published then publishing them. He said that wasn’t treated as outrageous conduct, so this should not

20/

Terry added that Seth’s parent must also prove that Fox’s conduct was INTENDED to cause them harm

21/

Judge Calabresi said that in order to prove intent, “wrecklessness” would suffice. He also suggested that perhaps given this “odd situation” the 2nd circuit could certify to the NY Court of Appeals this question of whether these facts amounted to “outrageous conduct.””

Read more:

https://threader.app/thread/1092478914998484994

It would be nice to have the appeal outcome stated explicitly.

If anyone has this reference, please supply as a comment.

By inference and the fact that it has not been shouted from the rooftops by the fake news media, it could be assumed that the outcome did not favor the Rich Family.

 

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Bauman v. Butowsky et al, Dismissed, Circumstances surrounding Seth Rich’s death remain unresolved, Bauman “Democrat crisis management person”

Bauman v. Butowsky et al, Dismissed, Circumstances surrounding Seth Rich’s death remain unresolved, Bauman “Democrat crisis management person”

“On March 1, 2017, Wheeler told Butowsky that he (Wheeler) had independently acquired some “dynamic information” from one of his sources, the “lead detective” on the Seth Rich murder case. Wheeler also claimed that he had learned and knew who was “blocking the [murder] investigation”…Butowsky Vs Folkenflik, NPR, et al

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells

 

The ruling by judge Richard J. Leon was filed on March 29, 2019 dismissing the case against Ed Butowsky.

Heard much about this from the fake news media?

Heard much in the fake news media about the lawsuits Ed Butowsky has filed against those making false allegations against him?

Perhaps they are too busy trying to keep the false Russian Narrative alive and trying to obfuscate the Seth Rich murder story and possible link to the DNC leaks to Wikileaks.

From the ruling by judge Richard J. Leon on Bauman v. Butowsky, et al.

“While there is, of course, no real comparison to be made between the public debate over the Kennedy assassination and Seth Rich’s murder, this case does share much with Lane. Like the Kennedy assassination, the circumstances surrounding Seth Rich’s death remain unresolved. Compl. at ¶¶ 2, 29. Perhaps this would be a different case if the murderer had been caught, tried, and convicted and the motive made public; the present state of play, however, effectively precludes a factual determination as to the falsity of Butowsky’s statement. See Campbell vCitizens for an Honest Gov’tInc., 255 F.3d 560, 577(8th Cir. 2001) (“[w]hile we are not aficionados of conspiracy theories, we suppose that if [defendant’s] assertions are true, there would be inherent difficulties in verifying or refuting such a claim”). To be sure, my decision in this case in no way condones Butowsky’s conduct. But our Circuit Court has said that “where the question of truth or falsity is a close one, a court should err on the side of non-actionability.” Moldea II22 F.3d at 317. I will heed that admonition.

The remaining statements—that Bauman is a “Democrat crisis management person” “assigned” by the DNC to act as the Rich Family spokesperson, Compl. at ¶ 53—are not defamatory. To be defamatory, a statement must not only be capable of injuring the plaintiff “in his trade, profession or community standing” but also goes beyond mere offensiveness to “make the plaintiff appear odious, infamous, or ridiculous.” Competitive Enterprise150 A.3d at 1241 (internal quotation marks omitted). As with falsity, whether a statement is capable of defamatory meaning is a threshold question of law for the Court. Jankovic vInt’l Crisis Grp., 494 F.3d 1080, 1091 (D.C. Cir. 2007). The pleadings in this case make clear that Bauman is a public relations specialist, see Compl. at ¶¶ 14, 22, 51, and Bauman does not appear to dispute that his work often relates to Democratic Party causes, see Def. Butowsky’s Mot. to Dismiss at 5-6 [Dkt. # 12]; Mem. in Supp. of Def. Heavin’s Mot. to Dismiss at 1 [Dkt. # 14-1]; see generally Pl.’s Opp’n to Def. Heavin’s Mot. to Dismiss; Pl.’s Opp’n to Def. Butowsky’s Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. # 23]. Thus, an accusation of being a “Democrat crisis management person” would hardly harm Bauman professionally. Indeed, it could be easily viewed by many as a badge of honor. Nor would the assertion that Bauman had been tasked by the DNC to handle communications on a matter of public interest that had quickly become politicized make him appear odious.

Of course, defamatory meaning need not be express. White vFraternal Order of Police909 F.2d 512, 518 (D.C. Cir. 1990). A statement may be defamatory by implication  if “a reasonable person could draw a defamatory inference” from the statement. Parnigoni vStColumba’s Nursery School681 F.Supp.2d 1, 15 (D.D.C. 2010). “In other words, defamation by implication evolves from what a statement reasonably implies.” Id. Here, the overarching defamatory inference that Bauman presents is that Butowsky’s statements form part of a larger narrative accusing him of working alongside the DNC to conceal criminality “at the highest echelons,” to cover up Seth Rich’s murder, and to impede law enforcement’s investigation into the murder. Compl. at ¶¶ 4, 59, 75, 129. But defamation by implication requires “an especially rigorous showing,” as the publication “must not only be reasonably read to impart the false innuendo, but it must also affirmatively suggest that the author intends or endorses the inference.” Guilford Transportation IndustriesInc., 760 A.2d at 596 (quoting Chapin vKnight-Ridder993 F.2d 1087, 1092-93 (4th Cir. 1993)). In the article on which Bauman relies, Butowsky certainly states his opinion that the DNC is engaged in nefarious activities, and he suggests that Bauman appeared at the DNC’s behest and that his role is deserving of suspicion. SeeCompl. at ¶ 53. But the facts alleged are insufficient to show that Butowsky intended, or affirmatively endorsed, the implication that Bauman’s job was, as the complaint puts it, to “execute the DNC’s plan to cover up Seth Rich’s murder.” Id. at ¶ 4; see also id. at ¶ 129(b) (“assigned and paid by the DNC to serve as the Rich family spokesperson so that he could obstruct the  investigation into Seth Rich’s murder”). Accordingly, Butowsky’s statements, although clearly hyperbolic, are not actionable in defamation.

 As Bauman has not met the first element of a defamation claim, I need not address Butowsky’s argument that Bauman is a limited purpose public figure under the First Amendment. ——–

b. Remaining Causes of Action

Bauman also brings claims for defamation per se and false light against Butowsky. For the reasons stated above, Bauman has not stated a claim for defamation per se, which occurs when a defendant falsely accuses the plaintiff of committing a crime or other unlawful act. Seee.g., Guilford TranspIndus., Inc., 760 A.2d at 600. Additionally, “[w]hen a false light claim is based upon the same factual allegations as a defamation claim, the two are analyzed identically.” Parisi vSinclair845 F.Supp.2d 215, 218 n.1 (D.D.C. 2012) (citing Blodgett vUnivClub930 A.2d 210, 223 (D.C. 2007)). Bauman therefore also has failed to state a false light claim.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Heavin’s Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and Butowsky’s 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim are hereby GRANTED, and this case is DISMISSED as to those defendants. A separate order consistent with this decision accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.”

Read more:

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.196850/gov.uscourts.dcd.196850.35.0_1.pdf

 

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Thrivent Financial vs Perez Department of Labor Acosta DOL, Status of lawsuits, Defense of alternative dispute resolution with mandated arbitration

Thrivent Financial vs Perez Department of Labor Acosta DOL, Status of lawsuits, Defense of alternative dispute resolution with mandated arbitration

“The MDRP is the sole means for presenting and resolving grievances, complaints, or disputes between Members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries and Thrivent or Thrivent’s directors, officers, agents and employees. The MDRP reflects Thrivent’s Christian belief system and strives to preserve Members’ fraternal relationship.”…Thrivent v. Perez Sept. 29, 2016

“Thrivent contends that its commitment to individual arbitration is ‘”important to the membership because it reflects Thrivent’s Christian Common Bond, helps preserve members’ fraternal relationships, and avoids protracted and adversarial litigation that could undermine Thrivent’s core mission.’”…Thrivent v. Acosta Nov. 3, 2017

“pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions are inappropriate in insurance policies and incompatible with the legal duties insurers owe policyholders when handling their claims.”…NAIC, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016

 

From Bloomberg  Sept. 29, 2016.

“Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is accusing the Department of Labor of exceeding its statutory authority by attempting, with its new fiduciary rule, to force all disputes into federal court rather than allowing for alternative dispute resolution methods (Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Perez, D. Minn., 0:16-cv-03289, complaint filed 9/29/16).

Thrivent’s lawsuit, filed Sept. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, takes aim at the rule’s “best interest contract” (BIC) exemption”

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/employee-benefits/thrivent-financial-joins-fray-in-challenging-dols-fiduciary-rule?context=article-related

From the lawsuit.

“Thrivent’s Member Dispute Resolution Program
42. Thrivent’s MDRP is incorporated into all of Thrivent’s fraternal insurance contracts through the open contract provision by which Thrivent’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are incorporated into all Thrivent insurance contracts, as required under state law. The MDRP Bylaw was adopted by Thrivent’s Member-elected Board of Directors as a part of Thrivent’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in 1999 (at which time Thrivent was known as AAL). In so doing, Thrivent’s Board of Directors determined that the MDRP is in the best interests of Thrivent’s Membership.

43. The MDRP Bylaw, which is Section 11 of Thrivent’s Bylaws, requires binding, mandatory arbitration for any Member disputes with Thrivent. Section 11 “applies to all past, current and future benefit certificates, members, insureds, certificate owners, beneficiaries and the Society. It applies to all claims, actions, disputes and grievances of any kind or nature whatsoever. It includes, but is not limited to, claims based on breach of benefit contract[.]” Bylaws, § 11(b). “No lawsuits or any other actions may be brought for any claims or disputes covered by” Section 11. Id. § 11(c).

44. The MDRP is the sole means for presenting and resolving grievances, complaints, or disputes between Members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries and Thrivent or Thrivent’s directors, officers, agents and employees. The MDRP reflects Thrivent’s Christian belief system and strives to preserve Members’ fraternal relationship.”

“47. A key benefit of the MDRP is that it preserves the fraternal relationship between Thrivent and its Members by avoiding adversarial litigation that could threaten to undermine the organization’s core mission. Thrivent’s Bylaws provide that no lawsuits or other actions are permitted for claims or disputes covered by the MDRP. Thrivent’s MDRP provides for resolution of disputes on an individual basis, involving Thrivent and the Members. Representative or class actions are not permitted under the MDRP Bylaw, which provides that “no disputes may be brought forward in a representative group or on behalf of or against any ‘class’ of persons, and the disputes of multiple members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries (other than immediate family) may not be joined together for purposes of these procedures.” See Bylaws, § 11(e).
48. The MDRP is consistent with Thrivent’s fraternal nature, consistent with the Christian belief system of its Members, and reflects the careful balancing between Thrivent’s and its Members’ desire for a prompt, fair and efficient resolution of disputes, on the one hand, and the protection of the interests of all Members on the other. As such, the MDRP is an integral part of Thrivent’s governance structure. Experience has shown that the MDRP not only provides a fair and efficient process for dispute resolution, but is also in the best interest of Members.”

https://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Thrivent_Financial_for_Lutherans_v_Perez_et_al_Docket_No_016cv032?1552582945

DOL temporarily stopped enforcing anti-arbitration provision.

“Thrivent Financial for Lutherans convinced a federal judge in Minnesota to temporarily stop the Labor Department from enforcing the fiduciary rule’s anti-arbitration provision against the nonprofit financial entity.

Thrivent showed the threat of irreparable harm to its business model, both now and in the future, was sufficient to have its request for a preliminary injunction granted, Judge Susan Richard Nelson held Nov. 3 (Thrivent Fin. for Lutherans v. Acosta, 2017 BL 396118, D. Minn., No. 0:16-cv-03289-SRN-DTS, order granting preliminary injunction 11/3/17″

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/employee-benefits/thrivent-financial-wins-battle-over-labor-dept-arbitration-ban?context=article-related

Status report January 2, 2018.

“While the administrative process continues forward, it is not yet complete. On November 29, 2017, the Department published in the Federal Register a final rule extending the transition period and delay of applicability dates for the relevant prohibited transaction exemptions from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. See 82 Fed. Reg. 56545 (Nov. 29, 2017). The Department believes that this administrative delay will provide the Department time to complete its review of the underlying Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions and its intended proposal of “a new streamlined class exemption.” Id. at 56548. The Department believes that both its review and any proposed changes can be implemented before July 1, 2019. See id. at 56552 (explaining the Department’s belief that the additional time “is sufficient to complete review of the new information in the record and to implement changes to the Fiduciary Rule and/or PTEs, if any, including opportunity for notice and comment and coordination with other regulatory agencies”) ”

https://www.dolfiduciaryrule.com/portalresource/ThriventvPerez2018-01-02ECF112JointStatusReport.pdf

Status report July 2, 2018.

“Pursuant to the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order dated November 3, 2017, the parties submit this joint status report to address whether a continued stay of proceedings is necessary. The parties agree that a continued stay of proceedings is appropriate and anticipate providing a subsequent report to the Court on September 4, 2018.

In its Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the “implementation and enforcement of the BIC Exemption’s anti-arbitration condition against Thrivent . . . until the conclusion of this litigation or such time as the Court so orders.” ECF No. 111 at 19. The Court also stayed the case, concluding that “[s]taying this matter will allow the administrative process to fully develop, possibly resolving this dispute, and thereby promoting judicial economy.””

https://www.napa-net.org/sites/napa-net.org/files/uploads/thrivent-dol-status-report.pdf

A status report for September 2018 has not been located.

However, the following suggests the Department of Labor is continuing to work on the “Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions.”

RIN Data

DOL/EBSA RIN: 1210-AB82 Publication ID: Fall 2018
Title: Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
Abstract:The Department of Labor in 1975 issued a regulation defining who is “fiduciary” under section 3(21)(A)(ii) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as a result of giving investment advice for a fee or other compensation.  On April 8, 2016, the Department replaced the 1975 regulation with a new regulatory definition.  The new regulatory definition was vacated in toto in Chamber of Commerce v. Department of Labor, 885 F.3d 360 (5th Cir. 2018).  The Department is considering regulatory options in light of the Fifth Circuit opinion.
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL) Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage
Major: No Unfunded Mandates: No
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1002 (ERISA sec. 3(21))    29 U.S.C. 1108 (ERISA sec. 408)
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI) 07/06/2017 82 FR 31278
RFI Comment Period End 08/08/2017
Final Rule 09/00/2019

https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201810&RIN=1210-AB82

How will this play out? Who knows.

The NAIC in 2016 stated: “pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions are inappropriate in insurance policies and incompatible with the legal duties insurers owe policyholders when handling their claims.”

Hopefully justice will prevail.

***  Update Mar 15, 2019  ***

According to a USDOJ attorney who worked on the lawsuit, it has ended.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/