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Good evening #Threadnought, let's talk about the hearing that was held this afternoon now that I've finished work. If I miss anything, well, sorry, I was the only one in the gallery and I'm working off of my notes and memory. 1/17
Takeaways: Slatosch will not be deposed right now, may be compelled to testify later. Judge Chupp does not like the idea of calling Ty to testify at all and seems like he would prefer any alternative to that. Sanctions on Lemoine dismissed. 2/17
I mentioned that the gallery was barren, but the plaintiff's chairs were not. Four of Vic's lawyers were present, though the only two I can name are Martinez and Ty. Only Martinez spoke for the plaintiffs. For the defense were @TXantislapplaw and his boss(?) 3/17
Lemoine handled all questions on fees and deposing Slatosch and his boss was there to argue on the sanctions against him. Listening in on the phone were the lawyers for the other defendants. 4/17
Kicking things off, Chupp wasn't entirely happy with the distinction Lemoine was suggesting between "ruling" and "final judgement" and seemed inclined to think that the discovery stay was still in place. Chupp also questioned why Lemoine didn't do this pre-hearing. 5/17
This seems to mostly be probing Lemoine though, as when Martinez tried to bring up the same point Chupp pivoted to him with the fact that there wasn't exactly much time to depose a surprise affiant. Martinez suggested that Lemoine et al could have requested a continuance. 6/17
Martinez argued that since Lemoine et al are being awarded costs, any litigation they undertake is automatically within the financial interest of Vic's team in response to the argument that if they cared about cost they could just not show up to the deposition. 7/17
Bottom line ended up being that Lemoine argued he can find out what he wants from Slatosch, or from Ty. Chupp seemed inclined towards Slatosch being the source instead of bringing up an attorney to testify. 8/17
When questioned if he would've subpoenaed Slatosch, Lemoine said yes but that he cannot due to him living outside of the 150 mile radius of jurisdiction for Chupp's court. Chupp (jokingly?) suggested Lemoine could serve Slatosch if they ran into each other at DFW Airport. 9/17
A very interesting thing Chupp said that I might be reading too much into: Lemoine argued he needs to depose Slatosch in order to establish frivolousness for sanctions. Chupp retorted that he should be able to accomplish that with the filings alone. 10/17
Chupp ultimately settled on saying no to deposing Slatosch *at this time* due to the possibility of it confusing things. Left the door open for him being deposed for the appeals court evidentiary hearing. And, oh, the appeals... 11/17
The early notice of appeal has confused things so much that even Chupp is concerned by the pandora's box it unleashed. There is possibility that the appeals court considers the early notice effective if they disagree with Chupp on the significance of his ruling. 12/17
Let's lay out the situation here. If the ruling starts the appeals clock, then the notice was timely filed and - this is the important part - the clock has by now ran out. If the final judgement starts the clock, then it was filed early. There are a few paths on this. 13/17
If Vic's team withdraws their notice of appeal, then in one scenario they're fixing a mistake, but in another they're waiving their appeal rights. If they continue it, then there is the chance that the appeals court bench slaps Chupp for continuing proceedings. 14/17
In response to all of this Chupp basically just told Martinez et al to fix it and said on the record that his ruling was not a final judgement. Unsure what Martinez is going to do to try and fix it but watch the filings I guess! 15/17
Lemoine's boss then stood to ask if the sanctions against Lemoine were dismissed. Chupp said yes. No argumentation, just an immediate ruling. Martinez did not contest. 16/17
Next hearing is on the 21st, Vic is set to testify. Currently, Ty is also set to testify! Chupp informed Martinez that he must file a motion to squash to prevent. Feel free to ask questions, IANAL so I may have misjudged significance and not included everything of relevance. /fin
One thing I forgot to mention: the hearing was *short*, start time was for 1:30 and we were out by 2.
I've noticed in the aftermath of this thread a lot of confusion on what's going on with the appeals. That's my bad, I kind of sped through the writeup on that part of the hearing. So, let's do a clarification minithread tacked on to this so hopefully someone sees it. 1/5
The absolute last thing Chupp wants is for Vic to lose his appeal rights unintentionally. I've seen some KF people read what I wrote to mean that Chupp ordered the notice to be withdrawn, and if that's how it read then I screwed up. He did the opposite, in fact. 2/5
Martinez *offered* to withdraw the motion and Chupp responded with the possibility that it may result in accidentally waiving appeal rights. In Chupp's opinion, his order is not yet appealable, but he did not want to give an order that the appeals court may disagree with. 3/5
As part of cleaning up this mess, Martinez asked Chupp to state on the record that his ruling was not a final judgement, which Chupp then did. I suspect we'll see that language used in a filing by Martinez to the appeals court as part of fixing everything. 4/5
Honestly, it seemed like pretty good lawyering. Now if he gets yelled at he can say the trial court judge told him he erred. I don't think Martinez will immediately withdraw, and probably first try to get clarification, but this is so far outside my wheelhouse I don't know. /fin
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