As we have said before, defendants in Brett Kimberlin’s federal RICO case do themselves no favors by not taking it seriously. Today, Judge Grimm promulgated an order denying defendants’ motions to dismiss. Mr. Kimberlin has been ordered to explain his mistake in the summons for Twitchy.com, but that is less important than the fact he was given leave to file another amended complaint addressing all of the issues defendants have raised up until now. In terms of legal strategy, this is like a poker game where Mr. Kimberlin gets to see everyone else’s hole card prior to making his next bet. Judge Grimm also seems to be seriously thinking about the RICO case, so Mr. Kimberlin has his work cut out for him, but Grimm expressed annoyance at the behavior of defendants Aaron Walker and William Hoge.
I close by noting that the deluge of filings in this case has rendered the docket almost unmanageable. I remind the parties that the issues in this case, as framed by Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint, revolve around Plaintiff’s allegations of a RICO conspiracy to defame him as well as various other tort claims alleged against Defendants. And at this early stage, the only question before the Court is likely to be whether Plaintiff validly has stated a claim or whether dismissal is appropriate to some or all Defendants.
It is clear to me that the animosity between and among the parties in this case runs deep and that at least some of the parties here have been feuding with one another for some time. But the role of this Court is no more or less than to address the actual and concrete controversy that Plaintiff has brought before it in this case, as well as any defenses and counterclaims raised by Defendants. This Court is not “a trampoline for the excess energies of litigants whose need to have the last word exceeds the boundaries of fair briefing of issues.”
We like the phrase “actual and concrete controversy.” Grimm has so far dismissed all attempts to prejudice the court by calling Mr. Kimberlin “libel-proof,” a strategy that Mr. Walker pioneered and his fellow defendants have all tried in turn. They do not want to admit an actual or concrete controversy exists because they really do not have any other defense. Some of them continue to provide actionable evidence of malice in their blogs all the time in seeming expectation of a miraculous result in court. For instance, here is a paragraph from Mr. Hoge’s reaction to our post Friday on Ace of Spades:
Mr. Hoge and his fellow defendants set out to destroy funding for Mr. Kimberlin’s nonprofits through systematic defamation and character assassination, including attempted perjury. Mr. Hoge has eagerly chronicled the resulting financial damage to Mr. Kimberlin’s organizations, gleefully affirming the plaintiff’s claim of financial damages. But he thinks the plaintiff is “evil,” and should not be allowed to claim those damages in a courtroom, because of all the horrible things that he and his fellow defendants keep saying about the plaintiff. So far, all the defendants have echoed this losing strategy. Judge Grimm has put them on notice that this road does not lead to victory, and that their political views do not provide an excuse for libel.