Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Hoboken SLAPP-suit heard 'round the world

Major SLAPP-suit on the First Amendment and frivolous litigation highlights actions and support of Lane Bajardi, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and Councilwoman Beth Mason

The SLAPP suit heard around the world or at least throughout the state of New Jersey is seeing major coverage in and around the Tri-State area.

The NJ Law Journal released a major story yesterday and it's listed as among the top stories today.



Lane Bajardi, an anchor on radio station 1010 WINS who is active in Hoboken politics, filed a suit in 2012 against 17 defendants, claiming he was defamed by various blog postings, including one calling him a "paid political operative," and another accusing him of attempting to steal emails sent to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. 

The article continues:

Gibson and Cox failed to conduct a reasonable inquiry into whether the allegations in the suit had evidentiary support, Arre said. And Cohen's claim that he had a reasonable basis to believe actual malice could be proven was contrary to evidence that the defendants' allegedly defamatory statements were substantially true. 

To read the entire article, a free limited membership is available at their site.

In addition to the major write-up at the NJ Law Journal, articles about the Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi frivolous SLAPP-suit appear on the NY PostHudson County ViewRadioinkHoboken Patch and the Hudson Reporter among others.

An initial news article also appeared today on NJ.com. (The article may be updated.)

Notably missing is any mention of the frivolous SLAPP-suit at the rigidly censored website Hoboken411. Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi played significant roles on the political content there with Lane Bajardi ghostwriting almost all political articles from 2007 to 2011, a period of heavy activity on behalf of Beth Mason and her failed mayoral candacies and political operations.

Councilwoman Beth Mason, a sponsor of Hoboken411, who has called the notorious website her "favorite" new site has not been publicly seen or heard since Hudson Superior Court issued the final motion decision on the case by trial Judge Patrick J. Arre.

Councilwoman Beth Mason is MIA the last two consecutive City Council meetings
since the SLAPP-suit sanctions came out.
Mason again missed the City Council meeting last Wednesday, her second consecutive after the legal decision came out.

After publicly backing the SLAPP-suit  in an August 2012 Hudson Reporter story where she charged the defendants with "bullying," she's not made comment anywhere or issued a press release, even to the friendly confines of the Hudson Reporter where's she's spent major dollars on advertising in recent years.

It's unclear in the Hudson Reporter SLAPP-suit story if it requested comment of Beth Mason or Richard Mason as no mention is made of either.







Talking Ed Note: A little context to this case and the brilliant ten second deposition snippet courtesy of Grafix Avenger above.

Last July, depositions were finally scheduled after the close of discovery earlier in April. Bajardi attorney Jonathan Z. Cohen, (JZ) of Wayne, PA who took over the case from Ohio based law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease and Whitney Gibson the previous November declared his clients of "limited" financial means.

An onslaught of motions and other related legal maneuvers quickly followed with an announcement all defendants would be videotaped although the practice is largely confined to cases where serious medical issues/terminal conditions may limit availability of witnesses at trial.

On the morning of July 18, 2014 Jonathan Z. Cohen hired a Philadelphia based legal services firm to record the deposition via transcription and brought along its video team to Hoboken. After the first defendant deposition in the morning, Lane Bajardi was set to finally take his own deposition in the afternoon. Bajardi and his wife, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi had skipped out on their depositions scheduled months earlier in January.

During a lunch break, MSV asked for a business card of the Philadelphia based video team and contacted the Philadelphia firm to retain them for the afternoon. Upon return from lunch, Lane Bajardi along with his attorney JZ discovered the video team was being kept on and would videotape his deposition!

This certainly came as a surprise if not a shock and this ten second unedited snippet leading to filming captures all of Lane Bajardi's numerous nervous tics before questioning starts.

In the legal decision issued by the court last week, it wrote of Lane Bajardi and his wife, "misrepresenting" to attorneys and the court that "requisite evidence existed and would be uncovered." (Page 35 - Judge Patrick J. Arre legal decision, Hudson Superior Court.)

None of which was ever produced and absolutely no news here. Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi's "misrepresenting" was witnessed first hand for almost three years. Thankfully, the truth has emerged and is beginning to be told.