May 25, 2014–San Diego, CA–Today California Coalition for Families and Children delivers its update on the RICO litigation to its membership and interested friends, along with a special message endorsing Carla Keehn and Joseph Adelizzi in the June 3, 2014 judicial election. From the email:
DIVORCE INDUSTRY RICO LITIGATION
Last week’s round of briefing against the San Diego County Bar Association and the local divorce industry was a herculean event, but we’ve established some major beachheads from which to launch further attack in the litigation. I attach a copy of our 186 page opposition brief. Additional links to all of the pleadings are at our website at http://www.weightiermatter.com.
Thank you to the many CCFC members and friends who volunteered to share the workload with the legal team. We’re grateful to have so many eager hands and sharp minds.
Our lawsuit has brought together a “perfect storm” of an experienced legal team and the pure accident of California Coalition’s commercial and my personal injury to achieve standing to assert both civil rights as well as competitive injury under federal statutes. CCFC’s membership has added a deep familiarity with the family law industry and actual customs of local courts and practitioners. We know where the bodies are buried before discovery begins, and we’ve been enabled to plead our knowledge and documentation in abundance in our 1500 page appendix to the complaint.
The soft shod and brown-shirted family lawyers are well-prepared for one-on-one civil rights and state court negligence/fraud/breach of contract claims, but few lawyers understand, much less expect to see a family court litigant group successfully assert RICO against the enterprise level collaboration. RICO is often bypassed in favor of civil rights because plaintiffs haven’t been able to cobble together the collective industry-level knowledge on their own, and law firms which can do the investigation won’t spend the money to do so in a measly divorce case. By attacking the $50 billion industry as a whole and aggregating our client base to an “association” level, we’ve changed both the stakes and the number of deliriously hubristic card sharks in our casino.
May 19, 2014—San Diego, CA—California Coalition For Families and Children, PBC announces filing of motions and oppositions in its Racketeering and Civil Rights lawsuit against Family Courts and the Divorce Industry. The latest round of filings explains to the United States District Court the foundation for the lawsuit and request that the Court permit the case to move into discovery.
“Defendants filed an avalanche of almost two hundred pages of attacks on the First Amended Complaint on virtually every legal ground that could be imagined” says Colbern Stuart, President of California Coalition. “They threw the book at us, and we responded in kind.”
California Coalition’s opposition brief totaled 186 pages of analysis explaining the legal foundations of the Action. The motions were filed as part of an “Omnibus” round of briefing ordered by presiding District Court Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo. In the filing, defendants joined forces and also filed separate “joinder” briefs on issues unique to each defendant. “They pretty much ganged up on us in this round—we’re facing an army of lawyers representing lawyers–divorce law firms, forensic psychologists, family law judges, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Commission on Judicial Performance, even Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye” says Stuart.
The “Omnibus” filing challenged the legal foundation for California Coalition’s First Amended Complaint. At this round of the litigation, no party can present evidence, but the District Court Judge examines the Plaintiff’s legal theories to determine if they state a cause of action recognizable under law. If the Complaint states “cognizable claims”, the case goes forward. Defendants can also assert technical defenses, such as expiration of statutes of limitation, or jurisdictional issues. Such defenses don’t adjudicate the merits of the claim—but only whether the complaint meets a checklist of technicalities. It’s common for such motions to be raised at the outset of the litigation. For many issues, the complaint can be “fixed” by simply amending to satisfy the technicalities. In other cases, such as statute of limitations or jurisdiction bars, judicial or other immunities, and certain other “all-or-nothing” defenses, a court isn’t required to grant the plaintiff permission to amend if it’s apparent that even an amended complaint couldn’t go forward. The Omnibus brief filed by all defendants raised many of these “all or nothing” defenses.
[More at WeigtierMatter.com]