A Bad Day in Court

I got a taste yesterday of how Gary Webb, another victim of the LA Times’ corrupt relationships with sleazy government entities, may have felt. Here’s an update on my defamation and wrongful termination case against the LA Times:

Perhaps in order to run up her legal fees, LA Times attorney Kelli Sager split the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motions against me into three tranches of defendants, each with its own set of documents and hearing dates.

Yesterday LA Superior Court ruled in favor of the Times’ anti-SLAPP motion regarding the four individuals: fired former publisher and billionaire Austin Beutner, a political ally of the LAPD union who received a patrolman’s personal LAPD files in a secret meeting with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck that the Times refused to disclose to readers; editorial page editor Nick Goldberg, who authored a piece announcing my firing and calling me a liar, and then ignored evidence that he was mistaken; readers’ representative ombudsman Deirdre Edgar, who authored a second piece calling me a liar that itself contained multiple lies about said evidence; and reporter Paul Pringle, who failed a reporters’ basic responsibility to fully investigate the matter despite being assigned to do so.

This decision can be appealed to the Court of Appeals.

Next week, at 9 am on July 28th at LA Superior Court, the same court will consider the Times’ second tranche of anti-SLAPP motions, these for the corporate entities the LA Times and its parent company Tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing).

Anti-SLAPP was designed by the California state legislature to protect individuals expressing their free speech rights from being silenced by deep-pocketed corporations using frivolous lawsuits to intimidate them and others. Ironically, the Times — owned by Tronc, a $420 million corporation — is abusing the statute to try to destroy me, their former $300/week cartoonist.

Until anti-SLAPP is resolved, discovery is not allowed. I have to prove, without discovery, that I am likely to prevail before a jury. If the Times ultimately prevails on anti-SLAPP, I would be ordered to pay the Times’ legal fees, which the Times said last year would amount to at least $300,000.

The fight continues.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditDigg thisShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

7 thoughts on “A Bad Day in Court

  1. I’m sure you’re legal representation is doing what they can, but have any left-leaning law firms reached out to you, like the ACLU or a Kunstler/Ron Kuby-esque firm? This is something that would have a huge chilling effect on media and political activists if the Times prevailed, hence a great cause for activist-friendly lawyers to get behind.

  2. «Land of the free, home of the brave». Of course, allowances must be made that those deathless lines were written by a slave owner, who decried that slaves might make it over to British ships, who would free them, wherewith slave owners like himself would incur grave economic losses….

    Good to see that in that Shining City on a Hill (and what can be more shining than LA), legislation, the ostensible purpose of which is to protect the rights of ordinary individuals (and political cartoonists) to free speech against the rich and powerful, can still be used by the rich and powerful against those individuals. Sort of restores my faith in humanity and the US Republic….

    Henri

  3. Ted, not being permitted to present a counterpoint to Republican propaganda by use of the same media that presents it, is now being victimized by the same media—namely the LA Times— that once decried it.

    “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.”—James Madison, 1822

    As denizens of this tragic-comic age, Madison’s words ring true.

    The United States now becomes what that the Republican McCarthyites claimed as being institutionalized in the old U.S.S.R.

    The Republicans used the “Fairness Doctrine” to promote their opinions on news programs, and once they gained a foothold, they put an end to the doctrine that they once used to bring them to prominence.

    The Democrats, aspiring to be Republican-lite, never made any move to reinstitute the “Fairness Doctrine” and so here we are, with the Democrats trying to out-demonize the intrinsic Republican demonizers, failing badly at it, and all to no good effect for the plebeians.

    “The doctrine, instituted by the Federal Communications Commission as public policy in 1949, requires the nation’s radio and television stations to ‘afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.'”

    http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-21/news/mn-8908_1_fairness-doctrine

Leave a Reply