Here’s another episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign. It first ran five years ago today.
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SOUND: Skype rings once.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
AARON: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, it’s Aaron. It looks like both trial courts have told The Bomber that he’s really lost his cases as far as they’re concerned.
JOHNNY: He’ll appeal.
AARON: (Telephone Filter) Probably, but based on the record, he’ll lose in the end.
JOHNNY: Let’s hope so.
AARON: (Telephone Filter) Yeah. Look, let’s get together and look over your notes one more time. There may be something there that will be useful if … no, when … The Bomber appeals.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …
JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my investigation of The Unappealing Wrap-Up Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @Aaron There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Your turn to buy.
AARON TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @JohnnyAtsign The usual diner on 355 for lunch.
SOUND: Road noise. Car interior POV.
JOHNNY: There’s a diner on MD 355 not far from the Montgomery County District and Circuit Courthouses that’s roughly half way between Westminster and where Aaron lives in Virginia. It’s been a convenient place to meet on days when there’s been a hearing or when we needed to go to one of the courthouses to retrieve documents. But even in the best of traffic, it’s still more than an hour’s drive.
SOUND: Cross fade from road noise to restaurant background.
AARON: (Fading up) … completely incompetent, but we need to go over the evidence and the record with a fine-toothed comb to make sure there aren’t any gotchas.
JOHNNY: But the appeal has to be based solely on the record, right?
AARON: Yes. It’s hard to get new evidence in during an appeal, especially in a civil case.
JOHNNY: OK. The state case should be fairly airtight for all of you. Didn’t the judge say that The Bomber hadn’t presented any evidence to support his case?
AARON: He said, “not a scintilla.” Uh, huh. It appears that the basis of that appeal will be that the court got the law wrong on The Bomber’s burden to prove falsity. The Bomber also asked for a new trial, and the court ruled against him. The Court of Special Appeals isn’t going to try to overturn the higher Court of Appeals on the falsity standard, and I’ll be surprised if the Court of Appeals suddenly moves away from the standard they been developing over the past 20 or 30 years.
JOHNNY: What about the federal suit?
AARON: The judge wrote a very detailed memorandum explaining why the federal claims failed. The Bomber may appeal, but it’s sure to be futile. The problem here is that the state law claims weren’t dismissed with prejudice, and The Bomber has announced his intention to file a state suit based on them.
SOUND: Restaurant background out.
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SOUND: Restaurant background.
JOHNNY: Hold it. Wouldn’t all that nonsense be barred because of the outcome of last year’s state lawsuit?
AARON: It should be, but that’s why we need to go over things carefully and make sure nothing has slipped through a crack.
JOHNNY: Well, some of the allegations are easily knocked down. That whole story about you assaulting him, for example. At least two courts have ruled that it didn’t happen.
AARON: Yes, and the defamation and false light claims and anything to do with emotional distress should bite the dust as well. That’s what he couldn’t prove in the state suit. There are reasons based in case law why his claims of interference with his business should fail as well, but we need to go through the evidence. It’s always safer to have both the law and the facts on your side when you go to court.
JOHNNY: And the facts are where I come in.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheBomber Facts are stubborn things, aren’t they?
MUSIC: Theme up and under
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next time? Sometimes, you just might find you get what you need. Join us, won’t you?
Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Swell theme and under
ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be sure to join us next Monday, same time and URL, for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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One of the reasons that some pro se litigants fails it their failure to pay proper attention the details of their cases. Others win because they do