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Suing Sacha Baron Cohen Roy Moore Faces Feb Summary Judgment Cites Age of Consent of 15

By Matthew Russell Lee,  Patreon, thread, II

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 3 – Roy Moore's defamation lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen, which has survived a motion to dismiss, was on for a conference on July 31 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Andrew L. Carter. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.

 On December, with the case reassigned to new(er) SDNY Judge John P. Cronan, another conference was held, which Inner City Press also covered and live tweeted, here. The defendants want to more for summary judgment, and limit discovery to issues of a consent agreement and the First Amendment. Moore's lawyer Larry Klayman pushed back; now the motion is due February 8:

Larry Klayman, for Moore: Comedy is not immune from a defamation action... Ms. McNamara (for Cohen and Showtime) is trying to drive up our costs.

 Judge Cronan: The question is whether sufficient discovery has occurred.   Ms. McNamara: We do not think that a deposition of Mister Sacha Baron Cohen is necessary on this. We propose Todd Schulman (sp), on the issue of corporate ownership, before we file for summary judgment.

Ms McNamara: The First Amendment issues can be resolved by looking at the episode itself. Discovery is not necessary, as Judge Preska decided, and the 2d Circuit in the Borat case

Klayman: This is not like Borat. He called Judge Moore a pedophile. So we asked for documents. They responded, Defendant rejects the request as overly broad. They didn't even do a search. You can't respond to discovery like this.

Klayman: Basically they are saying, We have a new judge, let's try again what Judge Carter rejected. He said, Lay it out on the table. But they want. Judge Moore is basically bankrupt at this point.

 Klayman: These defendants think they are above the law, because of money.  Judge Cronan: We're talking about the consent agreement, and about the First Amendment. How do your [discovery] requests relate to that? Klayman: The release excluded sexual orientation

 Klayman: Sacha Baron Cohen had his lawyer in Beverly Hills set up a fake company only for this interview. What's the rush here? McNamara: He released any claims for defamation. And similar fraud allegation were thrown out in the Borat case. Judge Cronan: Who are you proposing be deposed?

McNamara: Todd Schulman. He is a key executive who works with Mr. Cohen.  Judge Cronan: Wasn't the case about Borat about an allegation he was a drivers' ed teacher or something? McNamara: The release is the release.

Another defense lawyer: Schulman is busy, not sure when he can be produced. Klayman: What do the defendants have to hide here? Sacha Baron Cohen, he tried to interview Ben Carson at HUD, using a phony identity card on the ground to avoid legal problems

 Klayman: Discovery is set to continue to Feb 1. I propose we be allowed to continue, to see what we come up with. They might think we are on a contingency fee, just want to drive up our costs. We want to hear from Sacha Baron Cohen himself.

Klayman: In Alabama the age of consent is 15. Even if Judge Moore dated young women, he was in the 30s, he was not a pedophile.

Klayman: People hate my client Judge Moore for his political views. They don't like he comes from the South. He's not a racist. I went to Duke. The South is less racist that the North at this point.

Judge Cronan: They say they have enough for summary judgment

Klayman: What makes them better than my client? Why can't we get discovery? This is called Constitutional due process. They are throwing their weight around. Some Judges bend over, not you, Your Honor. We are as deserving as trillion dollar corporations

Judge Cronan: So, discovery on these issues: the consent agreement and First Amendment. If any dispute, confer. Then defendants' motion for summary judgment due on February 1.

 Klayman, citing holiday season, gets discovery extended to January 15. So defendants' brief will be due Feb 8. Klayman says Judge Carter invited him into chambers and asked if he was willing to discuss settlement: Yes. But the defendants said No.

Klayman: They published this for cold cash, calling Judge Moore a pedophile. It harmed Judge Moore. Let's do discovery and see if it deserves to go to a jury.

Judge Cronan ends by referring again to Judge Preska's decision in the Borat case, say he will be available if any discovery disputes. Expect them.

    When the suit arrived for a pre-motion conference back on August 1, 2019 before Judge Carter, an even more preliminary matter was raised. Moore's lawyer Larry Klayman, previously of Judicial Watch, had yet to apply to be admitted to practice in the SDNY for the case, pro hac vice.    

The reason quickly came out. In a 1997 case before then District Judge Denny Chin, Klayman has asked Judge Chin about any contacts or connections with John Huang, a Democratic Party fundraiser Judicial Watch was then, well, Watching.   

It seems that when Judge Chin asked Klayman "You asked questions of the court, at least in part, because of my race?"  Klayman replied, "In part. And let me tell you why ... We are all human, and sometimes, sometimes subjective criteria can unwittingly, no matter how ethical, no matter how decent, no matter how honest someone is--and we believe you to be that--they can subjectively influence our decision-making. Honor has to search his own soul to a large extent."    

Judge Chin imposed a condition that Klayman, on any future pro hace vice application in the SDNY would have to disclose Judge Chin's order against him in that case, Macdraw, Inc v. The CIT Group Equip, et al., 91-cv-05153 (DC). There was no sunset clause on this mandate to disclose.    

Judge Carter on August 1 summoned each party's lawyers to his robing room, first together then one by one, ex parte. When they emerged a schedule was set. Klayman's pro hac vice application is due on August 8, and then on August 22 the status of the case, including if the party's consent to referral to an SDNY Magistrate Judge.   

Inner City Press afterward in the hall outside Judge Carter's courtroom asked Klayman if he or his client are amenable to referral to a Magistrate. Klayman told Inner City Press that he found Judge Carter to be fair, emphasizing that was on the record, he would like it reported.   

When Inner City Press asked about a separate disciplinary action pending in the District of Columbia Klayman said it was a complaint by a dissatisfied client who sued Voice of America and said he had gotten Gloria Alred, who was at the SDNY this week speaking to the press about Jeffrey Epstein, to express support for him.     Klayman's Law Group, with an American flag on the business card he gave to Inner City Press, has offices in Washington and Florida. Whether the long ago interchange with Judge Chin will or should have an impact on this case in the SDNY in 2019 in a question for another day. August 8, to be precise.

 This case is Moore et al. v. Cohen et al., 19-cv-4977 (Cronan).


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