Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz v. Maura Larkins defamation suit finally takes a step toward wrapping up

Good news for Bertha Lopez three days after her arraignment.

Today Stutz law firm finally filed a request for judgment in the Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz v. Maura Larkins defamation case. The lawsuit has been going on for over five years, and it has already gone to the Court of Appeal once, resulting in a loss for Stutz in its effort to enforce a bizarre injunction.

Stutz waited over five months to file for judgment since my answer was stricken on July 27, 2012. I have know idea why they waited so long.

I imagine Judge Judith Hayes wasn't happy about the long wait. Here are some quotes from the court transcripts showing how intensely Judge Judith Hayes wants to silence me.

Judge Hayes absolutely refused, even when striking my answer, to state whether she was aware that she was accusing me of currently publishing statements that had actually been erased from my website or were from public court records.

Even James Holtz seems to have some qualms about the judge's actions. He actually waived the $5000 sanction she gave me on May 30, 2012.

I am very confident that her decision to strike my answer will be overturned on appeal.

There is good news for each of the 100 people sued without being named by Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz in its defamation case against me. They've all been dismissed from the case!

Chula Vista Elementary School District is part and parcel of the case. My website discussed in detail the illegal actions of Bertha Lopez, Pam Smith, Larry Cunningham, Cheryl Cox and Patrick Judd. Nobody wants to believe that there is corruption in schools (that's where we send our babies!), and I was slow to believe it myself, but White Chalk crime is real.

In 2008, Bertha Lopez and the rest of the CVESD board gave tax dollars to support Stutz law firm in this case, although it is illegal for public entities to sue for defamation. CVESD hired Stutz to quash my deposition subpoenas for board members. Why didn't they pay one of their other law firms to do it? Perhaps they didn't want their other lawyers to know the facts of the case.

The request is a bit odd in some respects.

Stutz sued me in October 2007, but its prove-up of damages only mentions hits on my website for December 2010 and beyond. Where are the damages that Stutz claimed to have in 2007 when it filed suit? How about 2008, 2009 and 11 months in 2010?

Isn't it likely that by suing me, they themselves caused my website to have more hits?


Also, I imagine most people look at my site and think, "Ah! A disgruntled ex-employee!" Of course, other people might think, "Ah! Only the disgruntled ex-employees will tell the truth about what's going on inside their place of employment."

But the point that Stutz is supposed to address in its prove-up is whether it was actually damaged. Did it lose clients because of my website? How can they tell? It is true that some clients left, such as Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College, but wasn't it most likely a result of all the legal problems that the college had when Stutz represented them? (Think Omero Suarez, David Agosto.) If they'd been happy with Stutz, they wouldn't fire their law firm just because I had issues with Stutz. I'm sure Grossmont-Cuyamaca knows much more about Stutz than I do.

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