Monday, November 30, 2009

A Chestnut Pulled From The Hilarious RRA Pleadings File!


Bob Norman as usual is ahead of everybody else and has a story that refers to Scott's delay tactics in a suit Rothstein brought on behalf of infomercial king Russ Whitney.

From what I can tell, it appears that Scott was filing SLAPP suits on behalf of Whitney against various critics and naysayers, including pro se defendant John Reed.

Scott went after Reed in a few suits filed in federal court here in Miami (Judge Seitz transferred the latter-filed one to Judge Marra, who sent them both up to the Middle District where a suit against Reed was already pending).

The Middle District docket is a hoot. The number of delays sought by Whitney -- often on an emergency basis -- is staggering, as are the reasons proffered.

My favorite is this emergency motion seeking to put off depositions of the defendant yet again because Scott was once sick, but now is well, and simply has to go on a European cruise with 18 of his closest friends, depos be damned:
3. On June 15, 2005, lead counsel, Scott Rothstein was undergoing medical procedures and was unable to be available for the conference. As this Court has been previously informed, Mr. Rothstein was suffering from a potentially significant health condition necessitating immediate medical intervention.

4. The depositions are currently set for July 5, 7 and 8, 2005, by agreement.

5. Mr. Rothstein was not medically cleared to travel until Monday, June 27, 2005.

6. Over a year ago, Mr. Rothstein purchased non-refundable tickets for a cruise which departs from Rome on July 1, 2005, for which he was scheduled to leave the country on July 29, 2005 at 3:00 PM, that will keep him out of the country until July 14, 2005. Mr. Rothstein was not going to travel because of his medical condition, but is now cleared to travel. Mr. Rothstein has not taken a vacation for more than a few days in over three years and it would be in his best interest healthwise to travel on the trip.

7. Additionally, Mr. Rothstein would be traveling with eighteen (18) of his friends with whom this special vacation was planned, and Mr. Rothstein was the person that principally coordinated the vacation, and the activities at each of the destinations, and will be acting as host on board the ship for all of his guests.

8. Upon learning of the conflict, the remaining attorneys working on the above styled action were preparing to cover the depositions in Mr. Rothstein’s absence.

9. Plaintiff, Whitney, was out of the country until this week and was not reachable until June 27, 2005. Upon returning, without waiving any attorney/client privilege, Mr. Whitney demanded that Mr. Rothstein represent him, stating that he was hired to represent him and that he would not allow anyone else from the undersigned firm to appear on his behalf at something so important as these depositions. This has placed Mr. Rothstein between a rock and a hard place. If the brief continuance is not granted, Mr. Rothstein will either appear at the depositions or lose an important client damaging his law firm. If he appears, he will lose all of the money for the trip, flights and hotels.

10. Mr. Rothstein is the CEO and senior shareholder of undersigned’s law firm, and has earned an excellent reputation as a trial attorney. Thus, Mr. Whitney hired Mr. Rothstein specifically with the understanding that it would be Mr. Rothstein that handled the most important portions of this litigation.
Can you believe this was actually submitted to a federal judge? On an emergency basis?

Reed's pro se response to an earlier but equally ridiculous "emergency" motion for a postponement of an evidentiary hearing, which lays out the improbable series of delays throughout the litigation due to illness, travel, and just about everything else, is here.

BTW, Judge Frazier denied Scott's illness/cruise emergency motion (D.E. 128):
The Court has continued matters in this case twice before at the request of Plaintiffs' counsel and will not continue these matters a third time. The request to continue depositions was untimely. The depositions currently set for July 5, 7, and 8, 2005 will go forward.
The parties settled on confidential terms shortly thereafter.

Maybe the best part of this story is that Rothstein was apparently counsel for the cruise line and presumably could have changed the date if he really needed to?

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