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RICO Act, Proposed Class Action against the Church - it is filed

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14 minutes ago, USU78 said:

Damages = actual harm + proximate causation. How's she gonna prove that?

So many defects in the complaint, so little time and desire to parse them all out...

Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine!

There.  Nice and easy.

Thanks,

-Smac

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24 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

So why would a lawyer with so much experience file a lawsuit that is so defective?  Is the idea to actually win the suit, or perhaps something a bit more Fabian?

I doubt the court will call her out for it, but this looks very much like a frivolous lawsuit.

Much like the Tom Phillips case was found to be (emphases added):

Quote

Calling it an abuse of the legal system, a British judge dismissed a lawsuit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Thursday. The suit was filed in early February, specifically naming the church and President Thomas S. Monson as its representative to be perpetrators of fraud.

A decision issued by Judge Howard Riddle of the Westminster Magistrates' Court closes the case against Pres. Monson.

...

According to a statement released Thursday by the LDS Church, Riddle dismissed the lawsuit brought by Tom Phillips, a former bishop and stake president. Riddle said no secular court in England would allow religious teachings to be brought before a jury.

"I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others," Riddle said, according to the press release.

"This case was a misuse of the legal system and should never have been brought," said Malcolm Adcock, the LDS Church's assistant director for public affairs in Europe, according to a BBC report early Thursday.

Yep.

-Smac

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Forgive my war story, but it seems apropos.

I defended a fraud case in federal court in Oregon.  The judge didn’t care much for the claim, and by extension, for the plaintiff.

I filed a Rule 12b (6) motion, which the judge granted with leave to amend.  Plaintiff’s counsel amended the fraud claims in the complaint, a new 12b (6) motion was filed and the judge granted that one as well, again with leave to amend...rinse and repeat through the 9th amended complaint.  

My understanding is the plaintiff (who ultimately lost the case on a jnov) paid his counsel for each of the ten complaints.

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5 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Forgive my war story, but it seems apropos.

I defended a fraud case in federal court in Oregon.  The judge didn’t care much for the claim, and by extension, for the plaintiff.

I filed a Rule 12b (6) motion, which the judge granted with leave to amend.  Plaintiff’s counsel amended the fraud claims in the complaint, a new 12b (6) motion was filed and the judge granted that one as well, again with leave to amend...rinse and repeat through the 9th amended complaint.  

My understanding is the plaintiff (who ultimately lost the case on a jnov) paid his counsel for each of the ten complaints.

Amazing. After about the third amended complaint wouldn’t you realize either your case or your lawyer was useless?

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45 minutes ago, smac97 said:

So many defects in the complaint, so little time and desire to parse them all out...

Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine!

There.  Nice and easy.

Thanks,

-Smac

Just got done reading it.  Oi weh!  There were some real howlers in there.  Wow. Just wow.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, let’s roll said:

Forgive my war story, but it seems apropos.

I defended a fraud case in federal court in Oregon.  The judge didn’t care much for the claim, and by extension, for the plaintiff.

I filed a Rule 12b (6) motion, which the judge granted with leave to amend.  Plaintiff’s counsel amended the fraud claims in the complaint, a new 12b (6) motion was filed and the judge granted that one as well, again with leave to amend...rinse and repeat through the 9th amended complaint.  

My understanding is the plaintiff (who ultimately lost the case on a jnov) paid his counsel for each of the ten complaints.

Nine amended pleadings?  Your judge was a lot more accommodating than the federal judiciary in Salt Lake.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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This is a stupid lawsuit.  Our courts are already overloaded with the valid conflicts needing to be resolved; it is irresponsible to waste the court's time with something so obviously frivolous.

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19 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Your judge was a lot more accommodating then the federal judiciary in Salt Lake.

then
/T͟Hen/
adverb
  1. 1.
    at that time; at the time in question.
    "I was living in Cairo then"
    synonyms: at that time, at that point, in those days; More
  2. 2.
    after that; next; afterward.
    "she won the first and then the second game"
    synonyms: next, after that, afterwards, subsequently, later
    "she won the first and then the second game"
     

    than

    /T͟Han,T͟Hən/
    conjunction & preposition
    1. 1.
      introducing the second element in a comparison.
      "he was much smaller than his son"
    2. 2.
      used in expressions introducing an exception or contrast.
      "he claims not to own anything other than his home"

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25 minutes ago, longview said:
then
/T͟Hen/
adverb
  1. 1.
    at that time; at the time in question.
    "I was living in Cairo then"
    synonyms: at that time, at that point, in those days; More
  2. 2.
    after that; next; afterward.
    "she won the first and then the second game"
    synonyms: next, after that, afterwards, subsequently, later
    "she won the first and then the second game"
     

    than

    /T͟Han,T͟Hən/
    conjunction & preposition
    1. 1.
      introducing the second element in a comparison.
      "he was much smaller than his son"
    2. 2.
      used in expressions introducing an exception or contrast.
      "he claims not to own anything other than his home"

I admit I can be pretty sloppy in writing posts.  Many of them are stream-of-consciousness type musings.

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 hours ago, sjdawg said:

I'm no fan of the Mormon church but these class actions seems pointless and destined to fail. I don't get the point

The point is that they can say that they filed a law suit against the church, regardless of how ridiculous it is or how far it gets in the courts. Anything to make the church look bad and feed the critics.

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14 hours ago, provoman said:

RICO Act, Proposed Class Action against the Church - it is filed

If there is one thing I have learned from reading legal blogs over the years, it is this: It's never RICO!

Well, as Ken White explains (warning: contains vulgarity), not literally never, but pretty much never. 

As others have mentioned, it's too bad that people waste the court's time with frivolous lawsuits like these. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Amulek said:

If there is one thing I have learned from reading legal blogs over the years, it is this: It's never RICO!

Well, as Ken White explains (warning: contains vulgarity), not literally never, but pretty much never. 

As others have mentioned, it's too bad that people waste the court's time with frivolous lawsuits like these. 

I've never heard of somebody succeeding on a civil RICO cause of action in Utah, and I'm 35 years in the biz.  That includes the handful I myself have filed.  Doesn't mean no one ever did, just that, if one or more did succeed, it's a mighty rare and exotic bird.

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Posted (edited)

From the complaint:
"Indeed, it was not until August of 2015 that the Church removed Smith’s seer stone from
its vault and allowed it to be photographed. Upon information and belief, said act was the
first in over a century where COP openly admitted that its founding prophet used a seer stone
to create the Book of Mormon,"

How about the Children's Friend article in Sept 1974 which states:
"Joseph also used an egg-shaped, brown rock for translating called a seer stone.
Martin Harris said that on the seer stone “sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet
Even with the help of the Urim and Thummim and the seer stone, it wasn’t easy to translate the sacred record. It required the Prophet’s greatest concentration and spiritual strength."

And This Ensign article by Richard Lloyd Anderson in 1977
On the means of translation Stevenson reported, “He said that the Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then used the seer stone.
After Martin Harris lost the part of the translation done in 1828, Oliver Cowdery became chief scribe for the entire Book of Mormon as it is now printed. Toward the end of this new work of 1829, David Whitmer on occasion watched and afterwards spoke of the seer stone."
 

Edited by JAHS
Added an additional article
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14 hours ago, provoman said:

Laura Gaddy has filed a proposed Class Action Lawsuit against the Church

all docs here https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NuthcL9L-MZhnDRKcwp1E49Sx2472Dud

Kay Burningham has been working on this for 10 years. This complaint is a summary of her 2011 book.  Well written, but not likely to survive. Her goal is probably not to win in court but to attract publicity. 

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15 minutes ago, Amulek said:

If there is one thing I have learned from reading legal blogs over the years, it is this: It's never RICO!

Well, as Ken White explains (warning: contains vulgarity), not literally never, but pretty much never. 

Quite an entertaining (if swear-ish) and accurate description of RICO.  Some excerpts:

Quote

RICO is a really complicated racketeering law that has elaborate requirements that are difficult to meet. It's overused by idiot plaintiff lawyers, and it's ludicrously overused by a hundred million jackasses on the internet with an opinion and a mood disorder.
...
RICO is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, because *&^%$%@ Congress likes acronyms like your great-aunt likes porcelain cats.

Congress passed it in 1970 to address organized crime. It was specifically designed to help with some of the difficulty that prosecutors traditionally had in cracking big organized crime rings — mafia families, drug trafficking organizations, that sort of thing.

The stuff that crime bosses did was already illegal. But it could be very hard to attack the whole enterprise instead of one act after another. You could take down some mook for one street assault, but you couldn't take down the mook's boss's boss. You had to nibble at the edges, and meanwhile the crime family or drug ring or whatever kept making money.

RICO was designed as a way to describe, legally, the whole criminal enterprise based on some of its acts, go after people who supported it, and take its assets.
...
It's so overused — especially by crazy pro se plaintiffs — and so needless that a lot of federal judges have special RICO orders they issue in RICO cases demanding that the plaintiff explain, in painful detail, why they think they have a RICO claim. Like this one, for instance. Judges issue them automatically as soon as a RICO case hits their docket to gather information to dismiss the case because it's not &^%*$#@ RICO you idiot.
...
Let me answer that by telling you the elements of civil RICO — that is, the list of things a plaintiff would have to prove to win a RICO case.

To win, a plaintiff would have to prove (1) conduct, (2) of an enterprise, (3) through a pattern, (4) of racketeering activity called "predicate acts," (5) causing injury to the plaintiff’s "business or property."
...
An enterprise is a legal entity or group of people. So, for instance, the Gambino Crime Family can be an enterprise, or Prenda Law. But the enterprise has to be different than the defendant for a RICO claim. Instead, the defendants have to be people and entities who run the enterprise. So if you filed a crazy pro se complaint saying that General Motors is a criminal enterprise and named General Motors as the defendant, your claim would be legally insufficient.

Another potentially big problem for Ms. Burningham: She has named the Church and some of its constituent organizations.  However, I don't think these entities, being part and parcel of each other, can "conspire" with themselves.  I don't think RICO allows such claims.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 minutes ago, topcougar said:

Kay Burningham has been working on this for 10 years. This complaint is a summary of her 2011 book.  Well written, but not likely to survive. Her goal is probably not to win in court but to attract publicity. 

Ahh.  That makes sense.  This is why her complaint seemed so behind the times.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Nine amended pleadings?  Your judge was a lot more accommodating than the federal judiciary in Salt Lake.

Thanks,

-Smac

My view after the 2nd amended complaint was that the judge wasn’t accommodating the plaintiff, but punishing him by giving him the chance to spend more money pursuing what the judge clearly deemed a defective claim.  Like The Nehor, I was surprised the plaintiff didn’t grasp the judge’s message and/or lose confidence in his attorney at some point.

The ultimate irony was that the plaintiff got a jury verdict at trial based on his appeal to the jury to “stick it to the Fortune 500 company” and the judge granted our jnov motion, so the plaintiff got to pay for not only 10 complaints but a jury trial, jnov opposition, and unsuccessful appeal to the 9th Circuit as well. 

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WHEREFORE, Plaintiff LAURA GADDY, individually and on behalf of the Class, prays for the following relief:
2. An award of special damages in the actual out-of-pocket monetary loss from such violations in
the sum of the amount that Plaintiff and each class member has paid in tithing, tuition and/or
personal missionary expense over the course of their affiliation with the Mormon Corporate
Empire;

Right! good luck with trying to get back donations voluntarily given to a charitable organization. 🙄

 

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6 hours ago, let’s roll said:

who ultimately lost the case on a jnov

Meaning?

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35 minutes ago, Calm said:

Meaning?

Sorry, lawyer speak.  JNOV is an acronym for a Latin phrase meaning judgment notwithstanding the verdict...in other words a judge finds that the jury verdict is unsustainable and, in essence, overrides it.

It rarely happens.

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25 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Sorry, lawyer speak.  JNOV is an acronym for a Latin phrase meaning judgment notwithstanding the verdict...in other words a judge finds that the jury verdict is unsustainable and, in essence, overrides it.

It rarely happens.

So the Lawyer was able to talk the jury into thinking he had a point when he did not? Persistence so he wore them out?  Or played on sympathy so they gave an award to him without him legally deserving it?

Just find the people factor in law to be very interesting.

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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

So the Lawyer was able to talk the jury into thinking he had a point when he did not? Persistence so he wore them out?  Or played on sympathy so they gave an award to him without him legally deserving it?

Just find the people factor in law to be very interesting.

The lawyer convinced the jury that the big bad Fortune 500 franchisor (from California no less, a red flag for Oregonians) had defrauded the local small businessman franchisee to the extent that he had no choice but to close his franchised locations.  The judge found that the oral conversations of purported fraud were all contrary to written agreements between the parties on the same topics.

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Thank you for sharing. Out of points but will try and get back to show my appreciation.

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19 hours ago, smac97 said:

18. Subsequent paragraphs go through the personal life of the named plaintiff.  Lots of emotional rhetoric.  Poor form for an experienced attorney.

You missed the best one:

214. "Once they have returned from their missions, and despite the fact that many baptize few during their service, their investment and immersion in the Mormon society and culture is so high that it takes years, even decades, before many dare inquire about Mormonism’s foundational facts, let alone develop the ability to critically think"

A legal adult in this church can't think like a legal adult for perhaps decades after they hit legal age.  🤣 

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22 minutes ago, helix said:

You missed the best one:

214. "Once they have returned from their missions, and despite the fact that many baptize few during their service, their investment and immersion in the Mormon society and culture is so high that it takes years, even decades, before many dare inquire about Mormonism’s foundational facts, let alone develop the ability to critically think"

A legal adult in this church can't think like a legal adult for perhaps decades after they hit legal age.  🤣 

I'm sure this will be very persuasive to a federal judge who has spent years having Latter-day Saint lawyers appear before him/her with extensive legal and factual arguments and reasoning that are excellent evidence of their ability to "critically think."

🤨

-Smac

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