Hey — Anything Happening in the SD FL Tea Party Case?

Tea Party Withdrawal Motion Funny you should ask!

First, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion seeking to file a motion under seal because the motion allegedly contained defamatory statements made by defendants about plaintiffs and they did not want these allegedly false statements further disseminated.

 Judge Marra, however, said that if that were so then all actions for defamation, slander, or libel would be entitled to be filed under seal.

(Smart guy, this judge.)

Also, the plaintiffs filed the emergency motion through the CM/ECF system, which is a no-no. So then what? Well, funny you should ask.

Then plaintiffs’ counsel Gus Sardinia and Frank Herrera filed a motion to withdraw as counsel, saying that there may be conflict in continuing to represent the plaintiffs because the lawyers are considering filing their own lawsuit against the defendants over the allegedly defamatory statements:

On or about July 29, 2010 it came to the undersigned’s attention that the Defendants had begun defaming the Plaintiffs and their counsel. Plaintiffs attempted to bring the same to the attention of the Court under seal, but such relief was denied. (D.E. 56 & 57).1 Having evaluated the defamatory statements, Plaintiffs’ counsel is considering bringing an action of their own against the Defendants in connection with the defamatory statements.

 They also ask Judge Marra the following:

Based on a recent string of emails between counsel and Mr. Guetzloe, the undersigned anticipates that the Defendants will oppose this Motion falsely asserting that the undersigned have perpetuated some wrongful campaign of injustice on the Defendants. In the event that the Defendants’ opposition to the instant Motion includes any defamatory statements against the undersigned (as it is anticipated it will), or reference to prior defamatory statements, counsel asks that the Court immediately strike or seal the same to avoid the perpetuation of such defamation.

So in other words everything is pretty much hunky dory in Tea Party land!

More on it all here.