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#threadnought I will be leaving for Fort Worth shortly. Follow this thread for updates to the sanctions hearing. IANAL so I cannot live tweet, but I will take notes and let you know if anyone else shows up.
Here we go!
Passed security and headed to the third floor.
And @SharonFGrigsby is here.
I am told that Vic is here. He and Ty got here early.
And @LawoftheGame is here. Follow him for his excellent reporting.
And @ottovonbisbark is here, but apparently she will not live tweet.
Heading into the court room. Phone going off.
Back out. The bailiff has to be somewhere at noon. We reconvene at 1:00.
General comments. Judge Chupp is not patient today.
Chupp got visibly irritated with lots of people - Martinez, JSL, and Jeff Helberger (who is asking JSL questions) all received a little of his ire.
Vic Mignogna is here. Rial and Toye are here. Marchi is not.
Ty Beard is here but asked zero questions. Only Martinez spoke for plaintiff and Ahn Hsu whispered in his ear periodically.
We began with Martinez requesting the continuance and Judge Chupp saying maybe, but let’s see what defendants have to say first.
Then JSL took the stand and the rest of the morning was his testimony.
Jeff Hellberger offered 3 exhibits into evidence that were affidavits related to business expenses. Judge Chupp took it but said he didn’t need it and would give it to Tina.
Martinez objected to the affidavits as not business records and Judge Chupp told him to look at page 7. Martinez apologized and withdrew the objection.
JSL’s testimony was all about his own TCPA and litigation experience and how rates were priced for different levels of experience and how much time he and Mitchell had to spend on the case.
Direct examination was fairly boring and not unexpected. Occasionally, Martinez would object and Chupp would say Overruled.
JSL did respond to Helberger regarding time spent watching Nick, and Chupp got annoyed. Chupp wanted to why he should care about what happened on YouTube.
JSL started to explain and Chupp cut him off. “Why don’t we just go over what you billed?”
Martinez objected again, but I don’t know to what because Chupp interrupted him too, “He’s moving on.”
At some point JSL mentioned that they had an exhibit 6 they would introduce with extra invoices related to depositions that came in late.
Martinez objected as hearsay and Judge Chupp said Overruled very quickly.
There was some back and forth and Chupp said, “He can say what depositions cost.”
At some point in Helberger’s direct on exhibit 6, Helberger paused for several seconds and JSL said, “Ask me about the second page.”
Chupp was not amused. Martinez objected and Chupp said, “You don’t get to ask him what questions to ask.” Helberger started to say something and Chupp told him, “You can sit.”
Martinez began his cross. He had some foundational questions, but lots of it ended in nitpicks that seemed to annoy Chupp.
He seemed fairly competent for the most part, but occasionally asked questions that seemed really dumb, too.
For example, he asked if it was normal for an attorney to spend more time prepping for a deposition than they spent on the deposition itself. My not a lawyer answer would be, “Only if you’re a serious and competent attorney.”
JSL said it was normal and prepping for Vic’s depo was an opportunity for a kill shot so of course you over-prepare for it.
At one point JSL gave a demonstration of proper question answering by opposing counsel, like all of law Twitter has been saying you should always do. Be a question answering machine.
Martinez: Can you read the top of page 1...
JSL: I can.
Martinez: Please do so.
JSL: [a brief pause] Okay, I read it.
Martinez: Can you read it out loud?
JSL: Yes.
Martinez: Please do so.
Neither attorney seemed surprised by the other’s reaction, but Chupp seemed annoyed that they would play these games when he just wants to wrap this up.
There were a few times when Helberger objected and Chupp was short with him, too. “Overruled. Ask him to rephrase the question if you don’t understand it.”
At one point Judge Chupp jumped in to ask JSL questions about some of the items he billed.
“How many hours did you bill for Mitchell? Why was that necessary? How many motions did you file with this court?” Chupp went down a list of them and when he got to the TCPA motion he said, “I apprec that one. That’s a real motion.” Clearly disparaging the others as not.
Judge Chupp: If I give you zero in attorneys’ fees are you really telling me you will bill your clients $280,000 for this case?
JSL: Yes.
At the end Chupp had a short argument/misunderstanding with JSL as to who else was being called as a witness besides JSL.

Judge Chupp: “Are you not understanding what I am saying?

“David has to be somewhere at noon. Let’s take a break and come back at one.”
Not a good angle, but Vic and Ty. M
All done. Some surprises in the afternoon. Chupp was more and more unhappy with how long this was taking.
He did conclude by saying he would try to have this done tomorrow!!
I don’t have a lot of time, and this weekend will be taken up with family, so I doubt I will produce a pseudotranscript like last time.
I will summarize briefly now. Vic testified. JSL wanted to get the GFM and Nick Rekieta into the record, but Judge Chupp was not having it.
Chupp repeatedly complained that JSL was asking the same question about the GFM over and over. Vic said he had nothing to do with the GFM and no control.
Vic did admit he had not read the filings with anything more than cursory attention and didn’t know what was in it.
“I trust my attorneys.” was a frequent reply.
The only real surprise in Vic’s testimony was a surprise for Martinez when he found out about the transfer of Vic’s house to the trust. He asked for a recess to confer with co-counsel.
Judge Chupp was very surprised - especially when he found out the transfer took place after the TCPA hearing.
After that, the trust information went nowhere. Chupp wanted to stay on fees and sanctions. Fraudulent conveyance wasn’t going to figure into it.
After Vic was done, Chupp questioned JSL about his high fees and clearly thought they were too high.
He even said,”How many hours, how many motions have you filed with the court?” He went down a list and when he got to the TCPA motion he said, “I appreciate that one. That’s a real motion.”
Then Chupp asked, “If I give you zero in attorneys fees, are you really going to bill Rial and Toye $280,000?”
JSL: Yes
Oops, looks like my notes flipped back to this morning.
John Volney and Sam Johnson gave fairly dry testimony on their fees.
Judge Chupp made them exciting, though. He asked why the big difference in fees between them and JSL. He’s the expert, he had the exact same case to prosecute. Why did he take 200 hours more than Volney and why is Johnson’s fee so low?
He told Johnson, “Either he’s charging too much or you’re charging too little.”
I thought Johnson answered well - to the effect that the same causes of action didn’t require the same amount of work for Marchi because it was just one tweet.
But Chupp made it sound like he was going to award $X per defendant and that was it.
Martinez tried to argue that sanctions were not required under the TCPA. Chupp read from the statute where it says they are. One of the defense counsel suggested he was reading from the new TCPA effective 9/1.
Chupp said, “Is that what you’re doing? Never mind. I’ll look it up. I think I have to award sanctions.”
Martinez tried to argue the sanctions should only be a nominal amount. Chupp said, “Why? He considering suing other people.”
Chupp argued that point with Martinez saying, “I’m not about to sue anyone. He said he hadn’t made a decision - not that he isn’t considering other lawsuits.”
Martinez next spent some time arguing that Casey had submitted bills for client Funimation even though he never entered notice as representing Funimation.
I think @questauthority already explained why this was dumb and Judge Chupp just stared at Martinez while he made the argument as if he just wanted this day to end.
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