Ted Rall v. LA Times Update: Now We’re Waiting for the Court of Appeals to Rule

Now we’re waiting for the court to rule. Guesstimate is that it will happen in early 2019. If they rule for me (the plaintiff in Ted Rall v. LA Times et al.), anti-SLAPP is no longer an issue, the Times is out of stalling tactics, and we begin discovery: subpoenaing the Times’ secret documents and deposing their employees in preparation for trial in LA Superior Court.

If they rule for the Times (the defendant), my defamation and wrongful termination case ends. I will have to pay the Times hundreds of thousands of dollars in their padded $715-an-hour fees.

More importantly, losing my case would be a major defeat for anyone who works for what a California court defines as an employer of a “media company” with First Amendment rights: a newspaper, a magazine, a website, a social media platform, any number of Silicon Valley tech companies. If I lose, it means the Times’ argument that they can defame, retaliate and discriminate against their employers — even for sexist, racist or homophobic reasons — would become case law. Any “media” company in the state would become exempt from these important protections.

That’s why I’m fighting so hard. It’s not just for me. Tens of thousands of California workers, most of whom have never heard of me or my case, are in danger of losing their rights because of the Times’ reckless arguments.

In summer 2017 the Times won its abusive anti-SLAPP motions against me in LA Superior Court. We believe that Court made a number of errors in its decision that will be corrected when the Court of Appeals considers my case “de novo” — without considering the decision of the lower court.

Earlier this summer we filed our Opening Brief in the Court of Appeals. The Times filed its Respondents Brief. Now we’ve filed our response to their brief. There will be no more filings.

Next the Court will schedule oral arguments. They will either rule from the bench right there and then or issue their decision in writing shortly thereafter.

Some of you have asked whether Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong, the biotechnology entrepreneur and physician who purchased the Times earlier this year, has tried to resolve my case. The answer is no. Upon acquiring the Times Dr. Soon-Shiong said he intended to turn over a new leaf at an institution infamous for mismanagement and corruption; we still have yet to see any sign of improvement.

Thank you for your support. The fight for a free press continues.

12 thoughts on “Ted Rall v. LA Times Update: Now We’re Waiting for the Court of Appeals to Rule

  1. Dr. Soon-Chiong also bought the former Daughters of Charity Health System, where I once worked. Now called Verity, it declared bankruptcy recently. Heck of a job, Patrick! My only hope is that the hospital I used to work in is bought by the Santa Clara Valley public hospital.

  2. ” the Times is out of stalling tactics”

    … hope springs eternal …

    There are many, many stalling tactics they can play during discovery. “You said you wanted the contracts, but you didn’t specifically state that you wanted the contracts with staples in them … oh, THOSE contracts? we just forgot, here they are … We must have misunderstood your request …”

  3. Only relevant question is how deep are your pockets?
    You win they appeal, tie it up in court for yet more years.
    For them it’s a tax write off.
    They win you pay up.
    Those attorneys will charge you for every folder and paper clip on top of the hourly.
    Might also wonder who the judge plays golf with and went to school with. Or what school the kids attend and who their buds are.
    Who’s schmoozin who.

  4. Well, now we’re waiting.
    Take care of yourself.
    Go on vacation.
    Keep your nose clean.
    Think thrice before hitting send on any “I’m gonna relate my case to this current event” type articles.

    Good Luck

  5. Dude judges do not enjoy making case law.
    Every case can be cited on another case.
    I had an Americans with Disabilities Act case in the late 90’s.
    I was distance learning at a state U. Got my BA and was told I was admitted to the MA program.
    The program would have required me to attend a mere two-day four hour a day intro session and literally never see a living instructor again.
    When I told them I could not due to severe panic attacks from a head injury they denied me admission. If I did attend I would be so medicated I would neither participate nor recall a thing.
    I offered to attend via webcam. I offered to purchase them a webcam and have their tech guy set it up.
    My local CC had a video conference center. The distance learning office was on a much larger campus and surely had one also.
    In the end, the judge accepted their argument that if done by telephone conference I would have been “unable to interpret their non-verbale cues”.
    Judge and my attorney forgot about Blind people not being to read those same cues.
    My attorney stated the Judge simply did not want to make case law.
    States hate it when judges decide against accepted policies.
    Today everything I argued for is accepted policy for various educational programs.
    I also gather at the time anyone participating in telephone conferences was hindered by the inability to interpret those same visual cues, like eye rolling and giving the finger.
    In the end it is all about how valiant the judge setting precedents for legal future cases.
    Recall SCOTUS when ruling for Bush stated the decision could never be used in any other cases.
    What are the ramifications if you do win? How inconvenienced is BIGOV and BIG BUSINESS? How empowered is the GENPOP?
    Good luck.

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