Friday, January 2, 2015

Cans of worms repost and explanation

Cans of worms

More than one can of worms here.

Here is a repeat of this post from August 15, 2014. Someone viewed it yesterday and that reminded me of how cryptic it was. Well, I can talk about it now. It refers to my shock at what I found at that time. As a war refugee over the summer, I lacked my regular printer, so I finally got around to going to Office Depot near Modiin and had them print out the whole stack of Toyota's filings and exhibits leading up to the May 19 hearing at which the federal court issued an order that Toyota used to create and serve at least two vastly overbroad subpoenas. The court's alarm at Toyota's filings and exhibits also caused the judge to subpoena plaintiffs' top expert Michael Barr, who had previously found Toyota's software massively defective and able to cause sudden acceleration. That subpoena later led to enormous numbers of expensive and stupid attacks by Toyota's lawyers against Barr.

Perhaps I should add here [as an update to this post] that I was unaware of the runup to the May 19 hearing or the hearing itself, and therefore I was not represented there to tell my side of the story. Toyota just sent its lawyers in there to tell the judge whatever they wanted to tell him, and he believed them, not having any opposing facts or arguments at hand.

The printed out stack of Toyota's filings and exhibits against me, (which may have contained some duplicated files; there were so many that I had not properly organized them) was several inches (4 - 6 cm) thick when printed out at Office Depot. It filled a bag. This stack is now sitting next to me on my bookshelf, gathering dust. Some of it is lost or was used for scrap paper. It remains around two inches. I suppose it must have cost Toyota--a wild guess--$200,000--to create this stack of paper.

When I got to Jerusalem in August, I took the printed stack with me, and I began reading the filings more carefully than when I had read them on-screen during the thick of our subpoena defense efforts earlier in the summer. I was then shocked to notice that Toyota had claimed that all the docs in the collection here were covered by the court's protective orders. What a crazy thing! So, trying to plan my defense, I began to realize this was a can of worms, as the court eventually also found. I could not believe how egregiosly Skadden, Arp's Lisa Gilford, the Toyota defense counsel, had misstated and / or obscured obvious facts to the court. There were only 88 docs actually covered by the court's protective orders, but Toyota's papers implied 3,000 were. I could not imagine that this was inadvertent, but I still don't know for sure.

At around the same time I posted a post called Twister. (See below.) This was after I noticed the particularly vague and weasily wording of Lisa's smooth writing in the filings. Do all products liability defense counsel write like this? It sounds like a craftily worded Toyota PR statement after the company got some bad press. And Lisa then also had the chutzpah to call me a rogue, when she apparently had no regard for the rule that you should tell the truth in court filings. It was beyond the scope of my lawyers' work to prove that she actually lied to the court, but at least the court found that she erred in claiming court order protection applied to 3000 docs when it actually only pertained to 88.


Beautiful words - but twisted facts

Reading Toyota's motion that led to the subpoena, I am amazed at how beautiful and wise the words sound, and how cleverly the facts are twisted.