If you read this blog, you'll notice three recent comments from someone trying to defend the CVNA. Looks like someone is violating their lawyer's request that they shut up, sit down and leave Patriot Place tenants alone until after all the suits are over. They got one dismissed - the one everybody knew would be dismissed (more on that in a minute), and they are feeling a little froggy. Let's hope they keep talking against their Attorney's wishes.
Again, it's interesting that members of the CVNA hired a lawyer who told them to stop doing exactly what they got sued for doing. If the lawyer felt they weren't doing anything wrong, why would they ask them to stop? It's because any idiot knows what they are doing is wrong and the first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole - stop digging.
The commenter's IP address = 126.96.36.199. I only expose them because they are loading up comments under different names. I don't mind if you use a fake name to hide your identity - that's 100 percent okay. What is not okay is commenting multiple times under different names to make it seem like there are more people making a point than there really are. The commenter names covered here are "Roy T" - "M. E. Ramirez," and "it's the gutter."
As many of you know, Three Legged Monkey owner Mike Armstrong had his lawsuit against three CVNA members dismissed. Because you were reading the El Paso Times, you didn't get the whole story - I now have it.
First of all, you can't trust the El Paso Times to get it right ever. They indicated in the March 17, 2012 article Armstrong's suit against the mayor was dismissed along with the one against the CVNA members. On March 28, 2012, they had to retract that claim and correct the record by stating that the suit against the mayor is alive and well (not really and we'll get to that).
Judge Chew dismissed the case based on a lack of evidence to substantiate Armstrong's claims. That's a little misleading to those of us who are lawyers. Because I've been sued and I'm familiar with Judge speak, I know what Judge Chew was referring to and it's not what you think.
The main problem with Armstrong suit is that it's a case of "monkey see, monkey do" - pun intended. He only sued after someone else did it first (David Cooper suit). Armstrong went the way of Norma Chavez - he "gathered evidence" and put it in a file so that he could sue these people later with his mountain of "evidence." He, like Norma, has no idea how the law works and thinks the more you have, the better. The problem with that method is that it's stupid and shows a complete lack of understand of how suing for defamation works (defamation was his lead claim). In fact, gathering all the crap and throwing it a the judge will only hurt your case because you have to prove every single incident hurt you, and that's unlikely to happen. You need on instance of defamation and that's it.
The reason Armstrong's suit got thrown out wasn't because he couldn't show where these people said nasty, untrue things about him and his business. It's because he couldn't provide any evidence of how it damaged him.
In order to sue for defamation and win, you have to prove what was said or written damaged you in some way. Often this means proving that you lost your job, or people stopped shopping at your store or otherwise hurt you monetarily. You can't sue, and win, for hurt feelings. You have to prove damages.
Obviously Armstrong couldn't bring a mountain of claims against the CVNA and then show direct proof for each claim where he was financially damaged. What he needed to do was file suit after the very first incident and then cite direct numbers of how it affected his business. He didn't do that.
Armstrong really hasn't had it all that bad since he's never been shutdown. Yes, he's has to fight to stay open and what is happening to him is "unfair," but there's no law against things being "unfair." The fact is - he's made money and he's still open. If I were him, I'd go back to my house and swim around in my large pile of cash and forget about the CVNA.
Bottom line - the Armstrong suit dismissal wasn't much of a win since they still had to pay their own legal fees and his bar is still open.
The suit brought by David Cooper is a lot different than the one brought by Armstrong. If you google Cooper, you'll realize he's been in a lot of legal fights and has done well in them. He knew what he was doing from the word "go" and basically let everyone from the CVNA to city officials walk into a big trap.
Cooper didn't wait for things to pile up - he filed suit right after there was an official move to block him from doing business. It was brilliant and just about every lawyer I know who was paying attention saw the city walk right into the trap. Too bad the city's own attorneys couldn't see it and help avoid it.
The way Cooper has structured his lawsuit shows savvy - at least that's what one highfalutin attorney in El Paso has told me repeatedly about the case. This attorney gets the impression that Cooper has a lot of experience with litigation and knows when to strike. Cooper's history confirms this.
Not only did Cooper strike when the iron was hot, he took the case to federal court. This is a place the city knows nothing about. Armstrong played in state court and got his ass kicked by a lazy judge - something Cooper and his lawyer knew would happen and avoided by going federal. You don't have elected judges making decisions at the federal level and that's not going to bode well for the city. Elected judges often rule based which side is going to make sure they're reelected - this won't be the case here.
The city is down about $1,000,000 so far in legal fees if my math is correct. That means they've got a few million more once the depositions start and from what I understand, the list is long and distinguished.
So... the CVNA folks are far from out of the woods at this point and their lurking around the internet on blog is only going to make the case against them all that much easier.
Please see 911 documents below.