Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
It’s time for another chuckle.
Things are not going well for Stephen Barrett and his Cronies in the Doctor’s Data v Barrett, et al, federal court case. They are in the Discovery phase and it appears that Barrett, et al, are desperately trying to avoid releasing information that could, and would, be used against them.
Doctor’s Data, in a recent filing to the judge, complained that Barrett was submitting over a thousand last minute documents full of redactions, then trying to close the discovery process before Doctor’s Data could demand un-redacted copies.
None of that surprises me. I’ll bet that doesn’t surprise you either.
I’ve said, all along, that Stephen Barrett) and his co-Defendants, desperately needed to avoid “Discovery.” More, he really needed, originally, to avoid being sued, answering a lawsuit, going through the legal process, being Deposed, and going to trial.
But all that is happening.
Despite his, and his minion’s, best efforts to destroy Doctor’s Data prior to trial, with an internet “hit” campaign, Doctor’s Data is chewing parts off of Barrett – constantly.
Currently there is a big “Discovery” fight where Barrett, and all, were trying to end the Discovery period before Doctor’s Data could get more information it wanted. Barrett lost that gambit when the judge ruled to give Doctor’s Data another thirty days to try to decipher the crap Barrett and his legal beagles were presenting at the last minute as required “Discovery.”
Barrett had submitted over a thousand pages at the exact last minute, a significant part of which was “redacted,” a process “to obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release.”
I’m sure anybody who just read that last sentence probably thought to themselves “Redact? I wonder what old Stevie needs to hide?” Everything? Most things?
I’ll explain, in a minute, what is important about Barrett’s efforts at “redaction.” But first, since it has been a while, let me refresh your memories with something I wrote last December 2011:
“In summary, the case against Barrett, so far, simply points out that he, Barrett, and his minions, masters and henchmen are operating a sleazy scheme for profit. Below, in what is called “The Background,” you will find a detailed explanation of the point of the case as the attorneys for Doctor’s Data, are laying it out for the Judge right now.
But don’t be fooled – for although this part of the case is very substantial it is just a step to get to the real meat of the case, which will come to light during the Discovery phase. And Barrett, his minions, masters, and henchmen are in an absolute panic about Discovery – for it will be there that vital information to increase the scope, and the focus of the case will be uncovered.
Why? Because during “Discovery” Barrett will be required by the Federal Court to answer virtually thousands of questions about how he, his minions, masters, and henchmen operate – and he will be videotaped. He cannot refuse, nor lie, for if he does either it is common practice for the Court, in these kinds of instances (Contempt of Court), to clamp the offender into the local jail until they straighten out their attitude.
So, Discovery will be the beginning of the end for the Quackbuster Conspiracy. Enough information will come out of that process to justify, I think, hundreds, if not thousands, of new lawsuits, financially devastating Barrett’s operation.
Then too, I predict, Discovery will show that Barrett, in fact, is merely a figurehead, a minor player in the ruse, and most likely was NOT majorly responsible for these writings – so, I think, the focus of the case will change and many more Defendants will be added.
Then too, is the issue of the conspiratorial “Google Bombing,” where Barrett’s minions and masters forced Barrett’s sleazy writings to the first page of the search engines. That issue, although mentioned, has not yet been dealt with. Discovery will bring this process, and name the conspirators, to light. Once that happens, I predict, the case will change significantly.”
But, just so you know why the fight is so desperate for Barrett and his cronies, I’ll reprint one more VERY important factor in this equation:
“Why is it important that the NCAHF and Quackwatch, Inc were left in the case?
Because this is going to be a jury trial. Barrett does not testify well in court, at all. The jury could very well award Doctor’s Data way more than what they asked for (Five Million in damages, and Fifteen Million in Punitive Damages). Barrett can’t even pay his attorneys fees much less a court judgment. The skeptics involved in the “Googlebomb,” for the most part, it looks to me, are people who can’t hold a job – so that’s no help. Which leaves a few “skeptics” and the individual Board Members of the NCAHF and Quackwatch, Inc.”
What would Barrett be wanting to hide from the court?
A lot of things.
(1) For instance, I don’t believe for a minute that Barrett writes, nor edits, all those websites. I think it is done under his name by others. So, who should the REAL DEFENDANT(s) in this case be?
(2) Who is paying Barrett’s legal fees? Barrett claims he has not had a job since 1993.
(3) Who put up the money to pay off the (1.2 million?) settlement with Ilena Rosenthal?
(4) Who does, and pays for, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to push Barrett’s sleazy articles to the first pages of search engines?
(5) What about his “expert witness” business connection with bobbie baratz?
And much more…
The big “discovery” fight…
From the Plaintiff’s Extension Motion:
- After more than 2 months of “meet-and-confer” conferences between the parties in efforts to resolve discovery disputes, Defendants suddenly, during the past few days, have sent Plaintiff 1,004 pages of additional items. Although Defendants characterize these items as “supplemental,” they are not, because they do not contain new items that were unavailable to Defendants before now, and virtually all could have been delivered 2 months ago but were not.
These items were delivered as electronic documents, and all must be stored, printed, organized, and analyzed. It has already been determined that they contain hundreds of redactions which Plaintiff contends are inappropriate, especially considering the items are also labeled “Confidential” pursuant to an agreed protective order already in place ; and, many of these items pertain or could pertain directly to the causes of action at issue in this case. However, defense counsel claims that certain privileges apply, so the parties still must meet and confer on this issue. Plaintiff’s attorneys must now read more than a thousand new pages of production, chart which are improperly redacted, supplement the above-discussed interrogatory answers with yet additional allegedly libelous statements; and, determine which items are responsive to previous meet-and-confers and which issues remain outstanding.
What’s coming up…
Depositions. Barrett, and others (like bobbie baratz?), are going to be officially Deposed. (smile here).
What’s good about this? A lot. For one thing Barrett’s own attorneys are going to get a look at how bad Barrett is going to be in court. I suspect that situation will dismay them.
So, too, will the Doctor’s Data’s attorneys see how bad Barrett is in court, and will begin to plan how to best use that in front of the jury so as to influence the jury towards a MAXIMUM punitive damage award.
What do I mean? Barrett really does believe that he is the “Czar/God of US Health Care.” he won’t be able to hide that from the jury – and, for certain, the jury is NOT going to take orders from Barrett about what they will decide. So, the Plaintiff’s best strategy is to play Barrett’s personal arrogance and bigotry right at the jury. The attorneys will see exactly how to accomplish that at Deposition.
Barrett’s attorneys are NOT going to be able to keep Barrett out of sight of the jury. They are going to be watching him every second. Every move.
Just what we want.
Stay tuned. And smile.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate