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Good evening again, #Threadnought!

More filings! I'll get these uploaded shortly.
We've got a response to the motion to compel, and a request for an oral hearing.

Letter requesting oral hearing:

Response to the motion to compel:
I'm going to do the livetweet on these first, then the Funi motion for fees.

Going to get a drink (tea, because I has a cold) and then get rolling.
Right - as usual, I'm going to jump to the end.

Right. Let me clean that up, and I'll be back in a sec...
OK. So having jumped to the end of the filing, two things immediately stand out:
(1) Plaintiff's lawyers want the court to make Lemoine pay sanctions;
(2) This is signed by a new lawyer who has not entered an appearance in the case.
The second might actually be fine - the new lawyer is from Hsu's firm, so maybe Hsu's notice of appearance is sufficient. Don't know. Even if it's not fine, it's unlikely to be more than a minor embarrassment, easily fixed. But it popped out.
The first strongly suggests that this might be a more entertaining filing than the Volney fees motion. But before we jump back to the start, there's one thing that I think is worth mention:
The biggest benefit that bringing in a new firm was likely to have for Vic was in the area of distancing Vic from Ty and Ty's mistakes. That could have serious benefits, particularly in the area of sanctions.
But for that to really be effective, Ty would have to go overboard and there would have to be some expression of contrite contrition for Ty's prior failings. This... It seems likely that this is going to go in a different direction.
OK. So let's go back to the start and see what kind of clownery awaits us.
First thing that jumps out is the difference in style between this and Ty's own efforts. This has a much more polished and professional feel right from the start, and it look like it will use the more formal "Plaintiff" instead of "Vic," which was driving 2/3 of the lawyers nuts.
My recollection from reviewing the firm's website is that An Lee Hsu is more of a transactional lawyer than a litigator. I'm wondering if Sellers is an associate who usually works with Martinez, who (IIRC) is the more litigation-oriented partner.
Ummm - that said, I think this paragraph is wrong, and I think the paragraph is wrong for a reason specified in the paragraph itself.
This is the first page, so there's plenty of time to turn me around on this - but the big lift for this filing is going to be in explaining why the court's ruling on the motion to dismiss didn't end the automatic stay that runs until the court rules on the motion to dismiss.
Could it happen - sure. I'm not unconvinceable. But this is signed by someone from a generalist firm, and Lemoine is a TCPA specialist. So I'll probably stop and check citations as we continue thorough this.
OK. This paragraph has more problems than the last one.

(1) the court has not already decided that the action was brought for an improper purpose, although I'm sure defense will be more than happy to accept a concession by the plaintiff on that.
(2) The response to a motion to dismiss falls under "prosecuting the dismissed claims."
(3) To the extent that 2 is not correct, do you really want to argue that "our lies aren't relevant because they were just part of a response?"
As I mentioned before, there was real potential to make up desperately-needed ground by sidelining Ty. It would still be possible to do that and simultaneously vigorously defend the discovery motions.

IMO, requesting sanctions negates a lot of that potential.
The background section is more or less unremarkable. I mean it doesn't actually say that the court decided that Vic brought the case with intent to harass and that other stuff from ¶ 2, and it's pretty sterile in its phrasing, but not really remarkable overall.
I agree that this is the key question.

More specifically, the question is whether the stay was automatically lifted when the court ruled on the motion to dismiss, but that's more or less a rephrasing of the question.
OK. Now we get to the meat of the argument:

The court's ruling on the motion to dismiss doesn't re-open discovery because it doesn't count as a final ruling until the sanctions ruling is done.
On first look, this strikes me as not implausible, but not necessarily likely. Some of the sanctions cases we've seen, and particularly Landry, seem to at least contemplate the possibility of discovery, or at least an evidentiary hearing of some kind.
At the same time, most of the jurisprudence on these issues seems to be at the Court of Appeals level rather than the Tex S. Ct. So it will be interesting to see what authorities they have for this argument.

Given that they are requesting sanctions, strong support is expected.
OK. This paragraph is absolutely correct if and only if the stay is, in fact, still in place. It does nothing to advance the argument that the stay is in place; it assumes that conclusion.
Ummm - and now they're onto the relevance of the request? If it was me, I think I'd provide some authority for the argument that the dismissal isn't final until the fees motion is decided up front. Cliffhangers are generally disfavored in legal writing.
But it looks like we're continuing with relevance and leaving the question of legal authority for the central argument for later. Bold choice.
It's not disputed that Slatosch breached? Really?
Technically - and this might kinda be a BIG technically - I'm not at all sure it's correct to say that the statements made in the Slatosch affidavit were in fact made under oath.

There's also a lot of downplaying of the contents of the affidavit going on here.
I'm not a litigator, but I don't think I'd want to remind the court of the misconduct surrounding the whole "under oath" thing just now. Maybe that's me.
Ummmm.... Ah... Yeah. *wince*
The highlighted bit in the last paragraph is, IMO, two things:
(1) A risk; and
(2) A signed invitation to Mr. Lemoine.

Given the level of investigation that the Worst Law Firm in Texas put into the first six months of this case, that strikes me as maybe just a tad bit unwise.
Also, *NOW* you care about whether things that Slatosch said are legal conclusions? Really? The guy with the affidavit that said "I breached the contract?"
Paragraph 17 isn't the worst possible argument - or wouldn't be, anyway, if it wasn't for the bit where they're totally ignoring the nature of the "failure to follow technical rules regarding...the requirements for admissibility of supporting affidavits."
Judges are notorious for remembering nitpicky little details like the whole "the other lawyer fraudulently notarized the affidavits" thing. And for getting grumpy with people who try to gloss over things like that.
Also, they've apparently finished the part that is responding to the motion to compel on the merits. We've still got the cliffhanger regarding support for the central argument on the stay, and there's no direct engagement with Lemoine's motion at all.
I'm still far from certain that Lemoine's motion to compel will be granted. Judges often dislike prolonged fights over collateral matters like this, and there's considerable discretion to bar further discovery and just move on fees and sanctions.
That said, even before the motion for sanctions, I don't think this makes the judge more inclined to reject Lemoine's request. If anything, it might tip the needle just a hair in the other direction.
Moving on to the motion for sanctions.

To refresh recollections:
(1) Ty filed affidavits with fraudulent notarizations.
(2) Ty filed these motions attached to a legal filing best described as a flaming bag of dog feces deposited on Judge Chupp's desk.
(3) Ty then told the court that he didn't plan on arguing the dog feces response that he filed past the deadline because he had planned on arguing the Amended Petition he filed after letting the defense waste a holiday weekend on the hellfiling.

That is where things stand now.
In this environment, the Plaintiff's lawyers just became the first lawyers in the case to demand that the other side's lawyer be sanctioned for misconduct.

I cannot begin to explain how bad an idea I think that is.
But let's see the justifications. Who knows? Maybe there's an ironclad case out there saying that the discovery stay remains in place pending the resolution of the fees motion.
I'm starting to suspect that there might, in fact not be a case citation offered to support their argument that the stay is still in place.

If that's correct, I'm going to lose it.
Still no case cites. And with signature pages, we're running out of motion.
Indisputably? Indisputably?

Citation bloody needed! Whattheholyfuk - where's the damn citation? What the hell???
This. Is. Law. Nothing - nothing - is bloody well indisputable. The whole damn profession is built around disputing things. That's the whole centerpiece of a lawyer's damn job - disputing things. It's what lawyers live to fecking do.
Do you know what "have indisputably violated" translates as when it's not accompanied by anything that looks like a citation? Do you?

It's like schadenfreude - hard to give a literal translation - but a good approximation would be "Hi. I'm wearing clown shoes. On my ears."
And then, to hammer that point home, they go on to request sanctions under yet another provision, but still without providing a case citation that clearly supports their central argument.
Just as a reminder - their central argument for sanctions is that "until the Court has ruled on a motion to dismiss" doesn't really mean "until the Court has ruled on a motion to dismiss" but instead means "until the Court has ruled on a motion to dismiss and done other suff."
And with that, mercifully, the filing is done - all but the obligatory lone wheel rolling away from the wreckage.
1⃣ This filing cited a total of Zero cases - a remarkable achievement that I don't think even Beard himself had accomplished before now.
2⃣ In all seriousness, this is a remarkably bad piece of work.
3⃣ I know a few judges. None of them like sanctions motions. I heard several explain this - at some considerable length - without being asked. Sometimes you have to ask anyway. When you do, you best have good reason and a compelling argument.
4⃣Ty's antics surrounding the TCPA hearing were as close to a good reason as any judge is ever likely to see. To date, defense counsel had not filed such a motion - likely because of the provision for TCPA sanctions.
5⃣Not only did Vic's new lawyer decide to launch this particular first strike, the demand for sanctions is based on an argument that doesn't even attempt to cite to a distantly-nearly-kinda-sorta-analogous case. This will impress Judge Chupp to no end.
6⃣Just not necessarily in a favorable way.
7⃣I am now starting to wonder if those goofy pants that Vic is always wearing radiate some kind of magical field that instantly turns any lawyer who walks past them into a clown.

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