John Doe A v. Penn State
First Penn State scandal lawsuit says Coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a boy more than 100 times and the abuse was enabled by the school's "negligent oversight."
Bradley v. Lohan
Former Betty Ford Center employee sues Lindsay Lohan for assault, alleging the actress threw a phone at her and yanked her wrist while refusing to be breathalzyed.
N.D. v. New York Post
Hotel maid allegedly raped by French politician sues the New York Post for falsely reporting that she is a prostitute who "routinely traded sex for money" with male guests.
Reinhart v. Mortenson
Two Montana residents allege the author of "Three Cups of Tea" "fabricated material about his activities and work in Pakistan and Afghanistan" to sell the book.
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• Maryland appeals court says dog owners can be held strictly liable for pit bull attacks. "Because of its aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries, pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls are inherently dangerous." Tracey v. Solesky

• Woman who has been diagnosed as a sex addict sues a school district for failing to prevent her from having sex with male students on the school bus when she was in 11th grade.
Barksdale v. Egg Harbor Township Bd. of Ed.

• Civil rights activist challenges Georgia's "stand your ground law." "By not defining what actions create a reasonable perception justifying the use of deadly force, the Act[] potentially deprives all Georgia[n]s of the right to life without due process of law." Hutchins v. Deal

• Former patient of a Rhode Island doctor sues him for featuring her in a book about drug addiction. "Plaintiff had expected, as any reasonable patient would, that her private conversations during her treatment sessions with the Defendant would remain private and confidential."
Lisnoff v. Stein

• Class action alleges the YMCA deceives consumers by representing that it practices "Christian" values while allowing its gyms to be used for gay sex trysts. "YMCAs around the country ... are currently being used as brothels for cruising, with the YMCA's knowledge and implicit consent."
Keister v. YMCA

• Social workers are not liable for a sexual assault on a 5-year-old boy by a 16-year-old male placed in an adoptive home. "To rule against the individual defendants in this case would definitely break new ground."
Doe v. Braddy

• Student sues college for refusing to grant her the "reasonable accommodation" of a single room after she complained about her roommate's exhibitionist behavior.
Blankmeyer v. Stonehill College

• School district can be sued over a guidance counselor's sexual relationship with a student who was over the age of consent. "The inherent imbalance of power between a guidance counselor in a public school and a student may render opportunistic sexual predation sufficiently shocking, even with a 'consenting' student over sixteen, to form the basis of a substantive due process claim."
Doe v. Fournier

• Utah judge finds a "credible threat" that Utah County officials will prosecute a polygamist and his wives for bigamy. The officials' acts "suggest that an actual prosecution of Plaintiffs is forthcoming."
Brown v. Herbert

• Louisville, Ky., strip club sues a competitor for displaying an electronic sign outside a convention center that said "Don't go to Godfathers, their girls are ugly and have crabs."
The Godfather v. Trixie's Lounge

• A lawyer cannot sue two women he dated for posting derogatory comments about him on liarscheatersrus.com. "[W]hen viewed within the larger context of the website on which they were posted, there can be no doubt that a reasonable reader would understand the comments to be opinion." Coulotte v. Ryncarz

• Oglala Sioux tribe sues beer makers and Whiteclay, Neb., bars for enabling alcohol abuse on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The illegal trade in alcohol has "caused devastating injuries to the Lakota people and massive financial damages to the [tribe]."
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Schwarting




Alltop_125x125.jpg







Porn Mogul Facing Default on Eve of Minor Abuse Trial Print

“Girls Gone Wild” mogul Joe Francis has less than a week to find a lawyer — and avoid a possible default judgment — in a case in which four women accuse him of sexually exploiting them when they were minors.

Joe Francis

After three years of litigation, the lawsuit is set for trial March 28. The plaintiffs sued Francis and three corporate entities he controls for “filming them exposing their breasts and and/or engaging in sexually explicit conduct” for videos in the popular “Girls Gone Wild” series.

On March 16, U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak entered a default judgment against the corporate defendants because Francis had failed to obtain counsel for them. Now Francis could suffer the same fate himself unless he can convince Smoak that he had good reason not to appear at a pretrial hearing March 15.

In a court declaration, he said he has been “earnestly searching for and attempting to retain new counsel,” contacting “dozens” of attorneys and/or law firms over the past few weeks. Those efforts, he added, have been “complicated” by the refusal of one of his former lawyers, Frederick J. Bateman, to turn over the case file.

“I expect to have new counsel make an appearance in this action shortly,” he states.

But the plaintiffs' lawyers say Francis could have appeared at the pretrial conference even if he didn't have the case file. And in another court document, Bateman says he has told Francis he would make a copy of the file available to him “upon payment of reasonable costs.”

The mercurial Francis has not been the easiest of clients. Bateman only agreed to represent him if he agreed to honor “the conduct requirements, the ethics requirements and the procedural requirements for moving this matter to trial” but was unable to restrain him from insulting and taunting plaintiffs' counsel at a deposition.

Had he ever paid girls to masturbate him, he was asked at one point? “Do you?” he replied.

Francis's most recent attorneys withdrew from the case in January. Bateman has sued Francis for unpaid fees, claiming he owes him $467,312.50, but Francis insists he has paid the entire amount of $288,307.76 due under the retainer agreement.

Smoak will hear evidence March 28 on Francis's claim that Bateman is withholding the case file from him. If he does enter a default judgment, the case against Francis and his corporate entities will go to trial only on the issue of damages.

Corporations cannot represent themselves and a default judgment can be entered against a corporation that is not represented by a lawyer. In a default damages proceeding, a defendant can only cross-examine witnesses and object to the plaintiff's evidence.

“Defendants’ numerous [procedural] violations demonstrate a flagrant and willful disregard of the rules of the court,” Smoak said in granting the default against Francis's corporations.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that the plaintiffs' identities could be withheld during the trial. The woman with possibly the strongest claim, identified only as Plaintiff B, alleges she appeared in a “Girls Gone Wild” video after employees of Francis videotaped her engaging in sexually explicit conduct with another minor female in March 2002.

Francis has declared that he is “fully prepared” to act as his own lawyer if he cannot retain counsel by March 28. Judging by his behavior so far in the case, that would truly be a spectacle to behold.


This story linked by:


By Matthew Heller
3/23/11


 

Editor's note: On Point's RSS feed has moved to this link.

rc_insidestories
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RC_OnFile

U.S. v. Arpaio
Subject: Civil rights
Document: Complaint

Schultz v. Medina Valley
Subject: School prayer
Document: Non-Kumbaya order

Chopourian v. Catholic Healthcare
Subject: Sexual harassment
Document: Verdict

Jackson v. Paula Deen
Subject: Sexual harassment
Document: Complaint

Marsh v. Air Tran Airways
Subject: Roaches on a plane
Document: Complaint

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RC_OnTrial

Peterson/Pryde v. Thyden
Court: Montgomery (Va.) Circuit
Subject: Virginia Tech shootings
Verdict: $8 million

Sheridan v. Cherry
Court: L.A. Superior
Subject: Wrongful termination

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RC_OnTheDocket

Brown v. Herbert
Date: 12/16/11
Court: USDC, Utah
Hearing: Motion to dismiss polygamy case

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