There has been some movement in the vexatious defamation lawsuit Ellora’s Cave filed against Dear Author and Jane Litte back in late September. A new document, a report on a meeting of the parties to plan discovery, was filed with the court on January 22, 2015.
Look at the dates here (hat tip to Deirdre Saoirse Moen, who is hosting this in her Dropbox)
Yes, folks, it’s been four months of the bullshit already, and we are going nowhere fast.
Ellora’s Cave has until July 15th 2015 to stall, drag their feet, and generally speaking, do nothing, before the court asks what the hold up is.
I wonder whether there are sanctions if the date comes around and plaintiffs have no discovery to show the court. And how many extensions (or whatever they are called in legalese) they can request before the court spanks them some more.
I’m hoping Courtney Milan will chime in to explain the legal differences between a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgement, but in the meantime, Ms Deirdre has this, with definitions from Wikipedia and hypothetical examples.
As I’m not the brightest bear on the planet, and as legalese is most obviously not English, I have to parse the following out bit by bit (this is from the bottom of page two and the top of page three):
(a) Describe the subject on which discovery is to be sought and extent of discovery:
The discovery is to be sought on the veracity of the statements in the blog, and whether the statements were made negligently or maliciously.
Who is seeking this discovery? Plaintiffs, Defendants, both?
Defendant expects to file a motion for summary judgement after Plaintiff completes its discovery.
So, JL/DA expect that discovery will show the suit has no merits and ask for the judge to say so, correct?
Discovery shall be suspended while summary judgement motions are pending.
Whose discovery? JL’s and DA’s?
Here’s why I’m confused.
If Ellora’s Cave is seeking discovery to prove that The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave is defamatory…
then EC, Patty Marks and Tina Engler/Jaid Black would have to prove, with their own records–show their books, financials, etc in public–that what DA and JL said in the Curious Case post is substantially false.
There is no way EC can prove this, a) because a lot of what the post said is opinion drawn from public records, and opinion is inherently protected by the First Amendment, and b) because (my opinion here) shenanigans after the suit was brought appear to confirm most if not all that was inferred in the post. So, Janen’s opinion passed the “substantially true” requirement.
And so, DA and JL, knowing that if Ellora’s Cave indeed does produce its records, will show that everything in The Curious Case is substantially true, will ask the judge to say, “Yo, EC, wtf are you doing wasting the courts’ time?”
So the last “discovery” is indeed DA and JL…oh.
Now I understand this:
Anyone betting on the likelihood of EC “just getting summary judgement and going”? I’m putting it a minus ten myself, but I’m feeling conservative this morning.