Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News

It’s been about two years since Brennan Gilmore filed a defamation suit in the U. S. District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, against Alex Jones and a non-related group of defendants. Earlier this year, the judge ruled against most of the defendants’ motions to dismiss (Allen West’s motion was granted), and all but one of the remaining defendants then filed motions for reconsideration or for an interlocutory appeal to a higher court to resolve disputed matters of law. Those motions were fully briefed, so the court scheduled a hearing to consider them on 5 September. However, the court gave notice last week that it would rule on the motions based on the written briefs and that the hearing was cancelled.

Since the briefs were filed, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that bears on when a district court must certify a question for an interlocutory appeal. The lawyer representing several of the defendants had planned to bring that ruling to the court’s attention during the hearing. Because he will no longer have that opportunity, he has filed a motion to be allowed to supplement his brief.

2 thoughts on “Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News

  1. I don’t think that assessment is fair, BSB.

    First, Moon has a history of standing up for speech i am pretty sure he didn’t like. There was a case where the city hall had an open mic, so a guy got up there and started talking about what he saw as the dangers of muslim immigration. Suddenly, the counsel decided they didn’t want to let *every* opinion be expressed and the man was ultimately arrested. I may be wrong in my reading, but when moon struck all that nonsense down and issued an injunction in the guy’s favor, i got the sense that he deeply disagreed with everything the guy was saying, but still believed he was right.

    So while i don’t agree with everything moon has ruled, I think he is acting in good faith.

    In the specific issue i am pressing for reconsideration on, that the virginia long arm statute cannot be ignored, the problem to a real degree is that the 4th circuit has gotten stuck on this dumb idea that if the legislature says it wants a long-arm statute to reach to the outer limits of due process, then we can just ignore the language of what the statute says. They had to be specifically rebuked in Maryland on this point and i think new case law in virginia clearly indicates that they were wrong in regards to virginia, too. The reality is even if a legislature wants to make sure its law reaches as far as the constitution allows, the statute might not match the constitution because of 1) a mistake in draftsmanship, or 2) a difference in their conception of the constitution. The latter should be uniquely respected because the Virginia legislature might decide that even if the courts *say* they can exercise jurisdiction in a particular case, they might feel that this is wrong and they don’t believe the commonwealth can rightfully reach out to that situation.’

    So I’m not just blowing smoke in the filings: the judge was perfectly reasonable in his conclusion at the time. And now i think Virginia has made it clear that the long-arm statute is not to be ignored, although they have not rebuked that notion as clearly as maryland has. It takes a certain “judicial humility” to convince a judge to change his or her mind but i find that humility all the time.

    As for the propriety of cancelling a hearing, I will note that most of the motions i have filed in most federal cases were decided without a hearing. I did prefer one in this instance, but its not weird to forgo it.

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