Ted Rall v. LA Times et al. – Lawsuit Update

Remember this the next time someone tells you it’s too easy to file a lawsuit in American courts. We need tort reform, but not to make it harder. It needs to become easier to seek justice!

As I wrote earlier, a judge in LA Superior Court ruled against me in the first round of anti-SLAPP motions filed against me by the LA Times. The Times is deploying anti-SLAPP — a law promoted as a way to protect whistleblowers and critics against wealthy corporations — against me because I am suing them for defamation and wrongful termination. (This was after they falsely claimed I had lied about being roughed up by an LAPD police officer in the course of a jaywalking arrest, and continued to lie after I used their own evidence to prove it. The Times and its publisher had a close financial and political relationship with the LAPD, which I had repeatedly criticized in my cartoons.)

On November 20 the ethics-impaired LA Times — terrified that my case might someday be heard before a jury of my peers — continued its scorched-earth litigation tactics and asked a judge to issue a judgement against me for about $350,000 of the Times’ legal fees. The fees included Times lawyer Kelli Sager’s $705/hour fee, which she described as “discounted.” It also included fees for preparing the anti-SLAPP motions themselves, which violated court rules by running 27+ pages instead of the allowed 15, and a previous judge threw out of court.

The Times also requested that I be forced to post an “appeals bond” equal to 1.5 times the value of the award, thus amounting to about $525,000. That bond would have to be posted in cash; in other words, I would need to send a bonding company 100% ($525,000) to post the bond in order to continue my case.

Remember: the Times is the defendant! They wronged me, not the other way around.

The judge ruled in the Times’ favor.

Corporate media takes care of its own, so I do not expect much solidarity from my fellow inked-stained wretches.


  • God, that sucks. How will you raise that bullshit amount?

  • I don’t fucking believe it…. Well, of course I do — I just don’t want to. In my idealistic world, it seems, delusion springs eternal.
    So just to clarify: Pony up $525,000 to pass GO, or you forfeit the whole game? If that’s really the case, my faith in the “justice system” has been reduced even further, which I didn’t think was possible, since it was already nil.
    Is there at least a consolation prize? Maybe an autographed picture of Kelli Sager, suitable for throwing poison darts at?

  • “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”. – Will Shakespeare, King Henry VI (Act IV, Scene II)

  • All I can do is try to drive traffic to your GoFundMe page via Facebook and Twitter, but $525,000 is outrageous!
    I wish I had a rich relative who could jump in and cover this.

  • God Bless American – the best justice money can buy. The judge is either bought or Ted done broke his daughter’s heart.

  • But, Ted, it costs serious money to participate in that campaign to stop «Fake News» that equally serious media conglomerates like Tronc are currently driving. If people – and justice – get trampled along the way, it’s collateral damage and required for the common good….


  • All I can think of is any alliance w/ deep pockets wiould do – now is not the time for compunction.

    No angle for Peter Thiel, but what about Disney?

  • Outrage! You must keep fighting them, not just for yourself, but for everyone who believe in free speech and hates police. Your fans believe in you, and are ready to give more. If you walk away now, everyone who donated to your cause will feel cheated. I know it seems hopeless, but great men of history are able to whether these setbacks and persevere. You will too.

  • The evil beauty of killing cases early on is that there won’t even be stats on how many legal challenges are (un)successful because it won’t even qualify as a challenge yet… That said, I do hope you still going to beat this… Right?

    I made the mistake of reading Matt Taibbi’s excellent The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap and now react to every mention of the U.S. justice system with about as much cynicism as upstanding Soviet citizens did of their system in their day and age.

    It seems the company already achieved their main goal. Noam Chomsky makes the case that U.S. planners did achieve their main war aim in Vietnam (and so could draw back eventually) simply because Vietnam could not chart an independent course worth emulating after all the bloodletting. By the time they head to the evac choppers, I don’t expect hordes of citizens following in your footsteps and challenging individualized injustices by power structures through the court system. Even if an eventual jury of peers will have the same gut reaction to the Kelli Sagers of the world as Glenn did here.

    • Yada-yada-yada. 🙁

    • @andreas5

      Both you and Will Shakespeare make observations here worthy of thoughtful consideration.

      • Just keep in mind, Glenn, how it went for Dick the Butcher and friends. I fear Shakespeare would rather have taken Ms Sager’s part against Ted’s….


      • To get a feel for the Bard as a (reconstructed) person, you can watch him come to life in the imitable Upstart Crow. Warts and all, and lovingly done. The kind of play/show that the actors have visible fun with.

        Especially Mark Heap as Robert Greene the jealous aristocrat out to put Shakespeare in his place. Ask him how he will get at the Bard, and watch him laugh maniacally while repeating the words: “abusive of privilege!” 😉

        I thought this was OT to start with turns out that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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