Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Midnight Train to Georgia: Sanity's return.

Patel Hearing, Part Three:  Closing Arguments.

After ripping our heroes a new one, Judge O'Kelley announced that it was time for closing arguments.  Chintella, Duffy, and Nazaire would each have fifteen minutes to briefly sum up their case. Chintella would go first, followed by Duffy, followed by Nazaire. And they would start, right, now.


So Chintella stood up and said that he took the case because he felt it was socially important, but that after more than a year he and his client were looking forward to its conclusion.  He described the case as complex and felt that should count in his favor. Finally, he considered the case to have been a good learning experience and appreciated the opportunity.

As far as closing arguments go...well, I'm in no position to judge.  But it did have two essential qualities.  It was brief (8 minutes start to finish) and relevant (it addressed the question of whether he should be awarded attorney fees).

In response, Judge O'Kelley fussed at Blair for becoming emotionally invested in this case. He said that an emotionally compromised attorney is no better off than an attorney who represents himself.

He then indicated that Duffy should begin his closing argument.


Duffy decided that now was a good time to start making a case. He went over copyright law and addressed the forged signature issue (namely that it was irrelevant).  At a guess I would say he gave an identical closing argument at another hearing.  Judge O'Kelley asked a question about standing, but I'm not sure what the answer was.

Next, Duffy argued that Chintella was keeping the case alive in hopes of getting sanctions out of them sanction.  Without pausing for breath he then complained that Chintella's recent attempt to convince them to settle for $38,000 was ridiculous.

The irony of that statement was not lost on Judge O'Kelley.
Judge O'Kelley: That's sort of the inverse of what your firm was doing at the beginning of this case, is it not?
Paul Duffy: Well, yeah, in a way.
They (Duffy and O'Kelley) then moved onto the subject of metadata.  Just what was Duffy's role in creating the documents submitted to NDGA.  Once again, Duffy took a page from Nazaire and characterized it as "boiler plate".   O'Kelley pressed for details and surprisingly Duffy gave them up, saying that he would provide most of the content and the defense attorney would sign them. O'Kelley said that wasn't exactly his idea of "boiler plate".

Nazaire, redux.

Once Duffy was finished mumbling, it was Nazaire's turn and I'm sure everyone reading this will be shocked to learn that he still had a lot on his mind.

Nazaire's closing argument was pretty much a repeat of his previous arguments only shriller and with a greater emphasis on racism. The one new argument that he shouldn't be sanctioned because fraud on the court is not the same as fraud against a person.  His closing point was that Chintella shouldn't be awarded sanctions because he has already made a ton of money on the case.

Judge O'Kelley pointed out that that wasn't how sanctions worked. Then he started asking questions.

O'Kelley asked Nazaire about the depositions that had been scheduled. Had anyone shown up? Nazaire claimed Lutz was going to attend the August 21st deposition until Chintella unilaterally rescheduled it for sometime in September. Which made Nazaire feel that the whole thing was a farce so Lutz didn't attend at all.
"But did YOU show up?" Judge O'Kelley asked.
Nazaire said he had no intention of showing up at something so that people could later point and laugh at him.1

Next, O'Kelley asked about Discovery. Had Nazaire produced all that was asked of him? Nazaire contended that there had been too much asked and that he couldn't of possibly....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He had forked over a copy of the copyright assignment and some answers to the interrogatories.

Judge O'Kelley then gave the defense< the opportunity to rebut Nazaire's claims. Chintella2 pointed out that there were supposed to be two depositions. One of Mark Lutz (scheduled for August 21st) and one of AF Holdings (scheduled in September). He further pointed Paul Hansmeier had attended a deposition as AF Holding's representative in another case.

Nazaire found this preposterous. Mark Lutz was the owner, so who else would show up on behalf of AFH? And whoever heard of depo-ing a company anyway?

Judge O'Kelley pointed out that deposing a company was very doable.  Then his attention returned to Chintella.
Judge O'Kelley:  Have you deposed Mark Lutz before?
Blair Chintella:  No. No one has.
A long, heavy silence filled the court room.  The kind of silence nobody in their right mind would break. Fortunately we had Nazaire on hand.
Nazaire: Lutz is the owner.  Nobody has said otherwise.  This is a closed case, I'm not being paid.
O'Kelley pointed out that while the case may be dismissed, it was and always has been active.

A Somber Monologue

O'Kelley's next question concerned the picture. It wasn't an actual picture. Was Nazaire even sure it was him? Nazaire said that he was. That his name was found under it on FightCopyrightTrolls.

After considering that for a moment, O'Kelley said that he didn't have much to do with the Internet; that he considers it to be the worst thing to have happened.  He called it a haven for cowards to attack others and says that there are so many more problems now that didn't exist before the digital age.  But, he concluded, that was neither here nor there and the problems in this case could not be entirely blamed on the Internet.

He went onto say, once again, that he was not pleased with how this lawsuit has gone since the day it was filed. Furthermore, he believes that Duffy did more than just provide boiler plate to Nazaire.

He then said that the court would take it under advisement and that a written order would be issued.  With that, court was adjourned.


"I am so sorry I caused you to draw attention to yourself." Blair said.
Less than five minutes had passed since Judge O'Kelley had left the room.  Blair, Graham, Oralea and I were gathered around the defense table.  Nazaire glowered at us from the plaintiff's side. He looked like a bullfrog. Duffy was gathering his things.
"Its OK.  I came up to you before you spoke to me."
"I'll take you up on that Mountain Dew now." he said and I passed it over.
"Hey! No food or drinks in the court room!" Graham said.
With that we went our separate ways.  I'd originally planned on staying and geocaching but playing a bit part in the hearing kinda blew that idea clean out of my head.  Instead, I got into my car and left a bat out of Hell.

1 That's how he put it, too. I swear, at times, his speech patterns reverted to that of a seven year old.
2 In this portion of the hearing, Blair was far more effective. He seldom spoke, but when he did, he was concise and on point.

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