MILE SQUARE VIEW BREAKING NJ FIRST AMENDMENT NEWS
Superior Court hammers Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi with $276,677 in frivolous litigation fees
Court: Bajardi's guilty of perpetuating "a SLAPP-suit" disguised as a defamation claim
Bajardi attorneys sanctioned by the Court: $4,000
In a major First Amendment decision issued today by Hudson Superior Court, Councilwoman Beth Mason's "friends" - Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Bajardi were slammed with $276,677 in defendants' legal fees for perpetrating a SLAPP suit.
|Lane Bajardi of 1010 WINS and a "friend" of Beth Mason and Richard Mason was slammed along with his wife for over $275,000 for frivolous litigation.|
SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation and was evidenced in many defendants' motions with the Bajardis' own emails before Hudson Superior Court in the almost three year civil litigation.
The court's ruling is likely to harbor major First Amendment ramifications for political free speech. Judge Patrick R. Arre issued an order for frivolous litigation and sanctioning several of the Bajaridis attorneys issuing the bulk of fees in motions by the Hoboken defendants heard in oral argument last May.
The bulk of the more than $275,000 fees were awarded to the defendants who went to trial: Nancy Pincus ($26,033) who writes the website Grafix Avenger, Roman Walter Brice, editor of The Hudson Mile Square View ($22,687) and named Screen Defendant M. Heyer $225,757.
Otther anonymous screen name defendants in the case dismissed in April 2014 were awarded $2,200.
The Court agreed with defendants' request for sanctions hitting Bajardis attorneys: a $2,000 sanction to Jonathan Z. Cohen of Pennsylvania and $1,000 sanctions each to Whitney Gibson of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease of Ohio and Amy Cox of Pennsylvania.
In its 36 page legal opinion, the court wrote, "Plaintiffs acted in bad faith and continually pursued claims with no basis in fact, while misrepresenting the facts to their counsel and to the Court," further adding, "this case at a minimum demonstrates bad faith, and approaches a fraud upon the Court."
From page 24 of the decision, the court ripped Lane Bajardi, who makes his living on the First Amendment as a radio newsreader on the graveyard shift for 1010 WINS as well as his wife, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi.
Describing Lane Bajardi and Kim Bajardi, the Court wrote, "Plaintiffs... manipulated their attorney to perpetrate and perpetuate a SLAPP-suit disguised as a defamation case involving weighty issues of constitutionally protected First Amendment political free speech."
The legal opinion then went on to directly state, "Plaintiffs produced no evidence..." restated repeatedly throughout.
Talking Ed Note: The complete 36 page legal decision is included below:
Beth Mason and Richard Mason can enjoy this copy of the full legal opinion:
|Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi - court designated frivolous litigator & SLAPP perpetrator|
Update: The NY Post covered the story early in the am: