In early August, when Alex Jones’ infamous defamation case was the top legal news in the nation, this clip went viral:
Alex Jones’ brand sank from “right-wing conspiracy jerk who bullies dead kids,” to all that plus a perjury-committing moron. Never mind that no one can point out exactly where the perjury is–if the Reddit echo chamber repeats it enough, it becomes true. But did you know that everything you’ve read about this moment is based on a false premise?
That is, the plaintiff’s attorneys committed a clear ethics violation by recklessly using protected information on cross-examination.
Here is what you have been led to believe:
- Defense counsel accidentally disclosed protected documents to the plaintiff’s attorneys.
- The plaintiff’s lead attorney noticed the disclosed documents contained protected information, then notified the defense counsel immediately.
- Upon notification, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure dictate that an attorney has 10 days to respond to the opposing counsel in order to maintain privilege over accidentally disclosed documents.
- The defense counsel ignored the polite notification, thus failing to assert privilege.
- Therefore, by the defense counsel’s own incompetence, the accidentally disclosed documents became free and clear for the plaintiff’s attorney to use upon Jones’s cross-examination. Thus leading to the viral moment you see in the clip above.
Bullshit. I’m here to tell you the media deliberately ignored the full context of the situation. Here are the emails you never read about:
The defense counsel was notified about the accidental disclosure on Friday at 11:24 PM. 6 hours and 42 minutes later they responded, “Please disregard the link…”
These emails were revealed in an emergency motion filed immediately after Jones’ cross-examination. In the motion it is revealed that the plaintiff’s attorneys completely ignored the defense counsel’s request to disregard the information that was sent.
Why haven’t you read a single story about the defense counsel’s response? Is it because the media was more interested in pissing on Alex Jones’ face, rather than covering events in a comprehensive manner?
It doesn’t take a quantum physicist to figure out why the media ignored the response, but why did the court let this behavior slide? I’ve only been able to find two decent excuses:
- The defense counsel’s response wasn’t specific enough.
- The defense counsel’s response didn’t cover the items used to trap Jones during his cross-examination.
These are both post hoc rationalizations for the ethical violations committed by the plaintiff’s attorneys. Read what the plaintiff’s attorney says during cross. He clearly believed the information was protected, and it only became free for him to use after the 10-day grace period had passed.
Your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years and when informed did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protected in any way and as of two days ago it fell free and clear into my possession and that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text messages about Sandy Hook.
Even if you buy the rationalizations for the use of Jones’ text messages, do you think the above statement is an accurate representation of his correspondence with the defense? In what world is responding at 6 in the morning on a Saturday “not taking any steps to identify privileged or protected information?”
In light of the information above, do you think the plaintiff’s attorney is projecting his own unprofessional tendency to ignore correspondence onto the defense, or is he simply a liar?