Debbie Cook strikes back

Mike Laws

Patron Meritorious
I don't understand how come a pair of highly-respected local lawyers takes on the case for the CofS. I mean, it's like being a Mafia lawyer. They can't be *that* hard-up for money.

It can't be doing their reputation any good at all. As I imagine they will discover as they get more and more involved in the blood and guts. :)

Paul

Texas is both a big state, but a relatively small community in the legal arena. Had drinks with one of my attorneys and chatted about this when SP times first broke it. He said he knew the firm the COS hired, they had a good name, but supposedly were loosing attorneys because of financial problems. Perhaps the found the goose that laid the golden egg filled with nitroglycerin!
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Here's the whole article, sometimes it does need to be copied over and I think this is one time.
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/02/debbie_cook_fil.php

Yesterday, Debbie Cook began her defense against Scientology's lawsuit which seeks $300,000 in damages because she dared to speak out to her fellow church members in an e-mail sent on New Year's Eve.

Cook, through her newly hired San Antonio attorney, Ray B. Jeffrey, filed to dissolve the temporary restraining order that Scientology was granted a week ago which prevents her from talking to anyone -- even her own husband -- about the case or about Scientology. Friday morning, a hearing will be held over Cook's motion, but we are learning that the real fireworks are coming next Thursday, when a hearing about a temporary injunction will give Cook the opportunity to introduce evidence that Jeffrey characterizes as "beyond the pale of what a human being should endure."

We spoke at length with Jeffrey today about Cook's plans to fight back against Scientology, and about his own preparations for what he acknowledges is likely to be a long, and brutal contest.

According to Jeffrey's website, he's a veteran of more than 75 trials since 1989, and served as the mayor of Bulverde, a San Antonio suburb, for a couple of years.

But I asked him what his experience is in litigation with the Church of Scientology.

"None. I've had a mild interest over the years. I've always been aware of Scientology, but that's the full extent of it. Coincidentally I read the Reitman book on vacation last summer. It was quite fascinating," he says, referring to Janet Reitman's history of the church, last year's Inside Scientology.

Jeffrey explained that when Scientology filed its lawsuit, it requested, and was granted, a temporary restraining order. "They're only good for 14 days," he says, "so they're really easy to get."

The TRO runs out next week, and the next step in the process is for there to be a hearing to see if the same restrictions on Cook will be continued in a temporary injunction, which could last the duration of the case.

In other words, Cook could simply wait a few more days for the TRO to expire, and then really begin to fight the case. Instead, as a measure of how anxious she is to take on the church in this matter, she filed a motion yesterday to dissolve the TRO. That's what will be discussed in a hearing tomorrow morning.

"What we've done is rather than wait around, rather than wait until next Thursday, there are so many problems with the restraining order, we're asking that it be dissolved. We're able to do that on only two days notice," Jeffrey says. "We'll argue that they didn't follow the law in getting this TRO and that they didn't follow the rules for any kind of injunctive relief."

Jeffrey explained that the TRO is stunningly broad. "It prohibits her from going and getting a lawyer and defending herself in the lawsuit. It's that broad. She's barred from talking to anyone, even her husband. That on its face is completely inappropriate," he says.

Also, he points out, the church has not explained how it is being harmed by Cook's actions so far, which amounts to an e-mail sent to her fellow church members that complained that her religion had gotten away from its underlying principles.

"The church has an obligation to show what is the irreparable harm that will occur if she is not enjoined from speaking. They don't even make an attempt to spell out what that is. It's just an abusive TRO. I hope that it will be dissolved. If not, it just stays in place until next Thursday, the hearing for the temporary injunction."

I asked him for a preview of what might come out in that hearing next week, and he said they would enter evidence for how Cook and her husband Wayne Baumgarten were compelled to sign such seemingly draconian non-disclosure agreements.

"The shame of it is, she's still a faithful Scientologist with great love for the church and doesn't wish any ill on the church. And why they would squash her, when she has done nothing more than communicate with other Scientologists about the direction of the church, and in a very positive way," he says. "I want to point out, however, that the Texas Constitution is even more protective of free speech than the federal Constitution."

And if the court denies her requests?

"We could seek extraordinary relief from the appellate court, and I'm confident that would be granted," he says.

I asked Jeffrey if he was aware of Scientology's litigation history -- its reputation for "scorched earth" tactics.

"I fully understand that they're going to argue and fight over everything, and they're a multiple billion dollar organization," he says.

And Debbie? Is she up for a prolonged fight?

"For 17 years she supervised well over a thousand employees, managed a budget of 150 million dollars a year, worked extreme hours, had incredible pressures," Jeffrey says. "You know that saying, that which does not kill you makes you stronger? Well, she's ready."

And the other side? I asked him about George Spencer, the local attorney that Scientology hired. (I've put in a call to Spencer and will update this if I hear from him.)

"He's a respected lawyer in San Antonio," Jeffrey says. "He's the son of one of the founders of the firm, Clemens and Spencer. His wife is a probate court judge in San Antonio. And I'll tell you something interesting. His co-counsel, Mark Cannan, was the attorney for the San Antonio Express-News. He is knowledgeable about First Amendment law, and he should know better, in my opinion."
 
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Smurf

Gold Meritorious SP
I don't understand how come a pair of highly-respected local lawyers takes on the case for the CofS. I mean, it's like being a Mafia lawyer. They can't be *that* hard-up for money.

It has nothing to do with being hard up for money. Taking the case means revenue for the attorneys involved.. knowing that if they turn it down, some other attorney will take it on. It's not personal. It's business.
 

freethinker

Sponsor
It's prostitution. :coolwink:
It has nothing to do with being hard up for money. Taking the case means revenue for the attorneys involved.. knowing that if they turn it down, some other attorney will take it on. It's not personal. It's business.
 

Illegal Alien

Patron with Honors
"Jeffrey explained that the TRO is stunningly broad. "It prohibits her from going and getting a lawyer and defending herself in the lawsuit. It's that broad. She's barred from talking to anyone, even her husband. That on its face is completely inappropriate," he says."

Why? Thats a question the man in the street should ask.
Why would a church go to such extremes to hide what she knows??
:nervous::hide:
 
It has nothing to do with being hard up for money. Taking the case means revenue for the attorneys involved.. knowing that if they turn it down, some other attorney will take it on. It's not personal. It's business.

Moreover its smart business. :)

The client is widely disliked, very litigious, and well off financially. There is a prospect of many months of active litigation in this which can be billed with the additional likelihood of actually receiving PAYMENT. Moreover, if the church is satisfied more work may come.

Barring questions of legal misconduct the lawyers aren't normally themselves financially on the hook except for the possibility of unpaid bills. Wealthy groups which stiff their lawyers have a hard time finding legal representation. As lawyers they are required to perform a good job of representing their clients. Someone is going to make money off the church. From their perspective it might as well be these guys.


Mark A. Baker
 

TheRealNoUser

Patron with Honors
This is all playing out so perfectly. The stupidity of Scientology and Scientologists is now about to be recorded for posterity. They claim to be able to erase the "Reactive Mind" of a person, yet they are utterly incapable of doing anything other than following the well-scripted playbook of reactive behavior themselves.

Abso-fucking-lutely hilarious.

As I said in a previous post, it is beautiful to see karma in action.
 

Dave B.

Maximus Ultimus Mostimus
Paul, again is correct . . . what's new? :biggrin:

If one reads the "Vexation Litigation" piece on wiki, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vexatious_litigation

Not only do we find the church cited as . . . what was that lovely label again? . . Notable vexatious litigants but the law provides, and the Courts have ruled those who are found to be frequent vexation litigants can be barred from filing cases/claims without the prior review and approval of a senior judge.

It can get to the point where such a litigant is simply barred form the courts.

This gets more and more delicious by the minute. Based on what I've read, not only is the agreement far too broad and restrictive to be valid, let alone enforceable, but I'd say there are no true grounds for a claim that it has been broken by that email.

I do hope Debbie is pissed enough to counter sue. :yes:

R

Awesome! That sounds like Corporate $cientology getting fair-gamed. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch a guys & gals.
 
Originally Posted by Smurf
It has nothing to do with being hard up for money. Taking the case means revenue for the attorneys involved.. knowing that if they turn it down, some other attorney will take it on. It's not personal. It's business.
It's prostitution.

If you are going to be a prostitute, don't be a cheap one...:yes:

Mimsey
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
Scientology Weirdness #109: Why is it that when two (2) elite level KSW Scientologists (David Miscavich and Debbie Cook) are having a dispute, instead of using Ron's Third Party Law to handle it, they pay wog lawyers and wog judges many hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and handle it?

It's just one example of how the tech is complete bullshit and they know it.
 
No, the tech does work - after applying the Anti Social Personality bulletin, they have declared each other and now they are fair gaming each other!!! Mimsey
 

cyan

Patron
I am fascinated by this case and hope it will be half as interesting as we all know it can be. I, too, have made a batch of popcorn and await further details.

Having said that, I am also fascinated by some of the snarky and passive-aggressive attacks leveled at Mark Baker in this thread and the "CoS Sues Debbie Cook" thread. I suspect few of us posting here are lawyers and our arguments, from the perspective of interested observers, are just as valid as anyone else's.

But not Mark's apparently. He's freely admitted he's not a lawyer, isn't giving legal advice and is simply expressing his opinion.

Nope. Not good enough, Mark. Either agree that this case has the potential to blow the church completely out of the volcano or keep your IANAL mouth shut. There's a good lad, speak when spoken to.

Mark seems to have raised the hackles of a few (I'm thinking of HH, Axiom and, to a lesser degree, Rene, who seems to have at least retained a sense of humor and wit). I suspect this is for two reasons:

1. He's expressed a belief that this case will be decided on the relatively mundane questions of contract law and not, as we'd all wish, on the question of whether or not DM is a raving loon.

2. He has the temerity to speak calmly, not rise to the bait and not stoop to sarcasm or ad hominem attacks like others have chosen to (#9 here, #218 here, #160 here, among others).

Look, I don't know Mark, I'm not an ex-scientologist, I mean no disrespect and, for all I know, Mark is a complete a-hole who regularly kicks puppies and reveals to little children that Santa is a myth.

And from everything I've read, he certainly doesn't need a nobody like me to rise to his defense.

But I have to say, as an interested outsider, someone who has read through many posts here and elsewhere, knows enough about the CoS to not get too lost in some of the more acronym-laden threads. . .some of y'all are coming off as prissy and unwilling to engage on the actual issues of the case (issues that have been raised before in thousands of cases establishing case law and even, more relevantly, in other Scn cases where the Church has won on narrow rulings on that which the courts have jurisdiction over).

Yes, we'd all like this to be the case that tears the church apart and lands DM in jail. Give me a minute, I need to drool on the fantasy for a second. . .okay, I'm back.

Yes, we'd all like Debbie to get in front of the judge and say she was coerced into signing the NDA and she personally saw DM making and selling meth in the CST vaults, Breaking Bad style.

Yes, we'd love this to be Ali/Frazier ('75). And Mark has readily admitted he'll admit he was wrong if that happens.

But if it turns out to be more Holyfield-Tyson II, I've seen little to indicate some of you would be willing to do the same.

Final thought: Maybe y'all are friends, you're all in the backroom back-slapping each other and just having a laugh because, at the end of the day, anyone who wants the CoS to never again hold sway in anyone's lives, are all on the same team.

If THAT'S the case, then I'll owe everyone here MY apology. I'll give it in advance and you can hold it in escrow. Wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong, certainly won't be the last.

End outside rant.

You may all return to you original (and vastly more interesting and important) programming.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
There are other perspectives to this "We're a law firm, so we might as well be hired by the Church of Scientology as anybody else" angle.

Bad press about the Church of Scientology is rampant throughout Texas. The cult down there does not issue ANY good vibes. It doesn't add any value to Texas society. It isn't considered glamorous in any way. And it is way outside the bounds of what Texans consider amusingly weird. It is just fucktard weird. And anybody who rubs up against the cult is going to be tarred by its nasty brush.

Another thing is that everybody in Texas may not read The New Yorker, but millions of Texans read Texas Monthly -- particularly the current issue in which the cover story is "The Greatest BBQ Story Ever Told." For those of you who don't know it, Texas Monthly has a readership of 2.4 million people -- see http://www.texasmonthly.com/mediakit/. Actually, now that I think about it, Texas Monthly is The New Yorker of Texas.

The timing of the recent article "His Town" about Marty and the Squirrel Busters in Texas Monthly," (this month's issue) could not have been more timely. Regardless of how you swing regarding Marty, the article makes the cult look like the unAmerican, looneytunes, stalkers they are.

I know law firms, and before this I never heard of Clemens & Spencer, the cult's law firm against Ms. Cook. Although their lawyers might be lovely people and good lawyers, they won't be writing many of the words in any legal documents they file at the Bexar County Courthouse. Lawyers elsewhere (under Frau Yingling's supervision) will do that.

I almost feel sorry for Clemens & Spencer, since they have no fucking idea what they've agreed to here. By the time this little engagement is over I bet they'll wish they'd never heard of the Church of Scientology. This engagement cannot do anything good for their street cred in the eyes of any client they might yearn to represent. I also wonder how many other firms in San Antonio the cult approached to take this matter -- and were turned down -- before they approached Clemens & Spencer?

Interestingly, their Web site ( www.clemens-spencer.com ) is not up and running tonight, although that link is listed in Martindale and other online law firm directories. I dunno how long ago it quit working (I couldn't raise it on the Wayback Machine). Anonymous, was this your handiwork?

TG1
 
I think Debbie's lawyer should check with Mark Baker, because he said that there is no case for coercion.

In fact Mark was so certain of it I don't even know why the court system is needed when all they need to do is ask Mark.

These judges and lawyers are so ridiculous to try to operate without Baker, they just don't get it.

You do have a point there. Experts should be informed.
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
Having said that, I am also fascinated by some of the snarky and passive-aggressive attacks leveled at Mark Baker in this thread and the "CoS Sues Debbie Cook" thread. ----snipped for brevity---


Mark is being attacked? LOL.

No, what actually happened was that that conversation was just fine until Mark started making some legal assertions that were sadly misguided and amateurish. When this was politely pointed out to him he responded with more legal sounding lectures and accusations that I was having a "hissy fit".

I considered it a public service announcement to let the readers know that Mark did not have any idea what he was talking about.

Naturally, it was revealed today in the newspaper that the legal theories that Mark Baker was so expertly lecturing about are completely wrong--and that Debbie Cook's attorney is definitely going to use the defense of coercion.

Did Mark apologize for being so nasty and wrong? If he did, I missed it.

Being a Scientologist is never having to say you don't know everything.

If you want to understand the reactions that Baker gets, read more of his exchanges. Unless you are a Scientologist, you'll get it.
 
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