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Taitz takes the stand

Larry Klayman sued Judicial Watch over something Orly Taitz wrote on her blog. In the trial, Orly Taitz (not a party to the defamation suit) was called as a witness. The transcript from May 30, 2014, makes interesting reading in a twisted sort of way.

The big picture is that Orly Taitz, quoting Freedom Watch staffer Constance Ruffley, wrote that Larry Klayman had been “convicted just recently of not paying a large amount in child support.” This statement was put in the context of raising doubts over whether people should donate money to support Klayman in filing Obama eligibility lawsuits. More details can be found in this article from Courthouse News Service and my articles tagged Klayman v. Judicial Watch. Taitz repeated a number of other negatives about Klayman, focusing on the fact that at the time Taitz was writing, Klayman had not filed some lawsuits that he was supposed to have filed. It was the child support issue, however, that was at the center, because what Taitz wrote was not true: Klayman was indicted, but not convicted.

Shortly after the Taitz article appeared, Klayman contacted Taitz to demand a retraction of her story because it wasn’t true. Taitz didn’t retract the entire story, but issued a correction, saying that Klayman “has not been convicted yet.”

The testimony establishes from Taitz what Ruffley told her. It attempts to establish (unsuccessfully from my vantage point) how long it took for Taitz to correct the article after Klayman contacted her. Klayman appears to assign great significance to the word “yet” in “not convicted yet” while Taitz seems to think it means nothing. This difference may be one of bias, or Taitz may not understand the connotation the word has in English.

Klayman (as Taitz has done in other cases) interrupts the judge—in this case drawing repeated warnings from Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. After the jury was excused, the judge chastised Klayman about interruptions, in the strongest terms. By my count, Klayman interrupted the judge twice during this final admonition. Nowhere does Orly Taitz speak her signature “let me finish” because Judge Altonaga was bound and determined that Taitz not be interrupted. Klayman did, however, use the phrase.

Taitz demonstrates her questionable legal skills in trying to define a “crime,” asserting that one can be convicted of something that wasn’t a crime. She also seems to think a class 5 felony in Ohio is a misdemeanor.

It has been often said in comments on this blog that Orly Taitz is jealous of her donations and defensive about her place as the only birther attorney actually doing anything. Klayman asked her point blank:

Q. So you were resentful that money donated to me for eligibility lawsuits wasn’t going to go to you, right?

and Taitz replied:

A. Absolutely not.

Who knew? Here’s the transcript courtesy of the Jack Ryan collection.

SD FL DOC 145 – Klayman v Judicial Watch – Testimony of Orly Taitz – S.D.fla._1-13-Cv-20610_145 by Jack Ryan

The jury found that Larry Klayman was defamed and that he should receive compensatory damages in the amount of $156,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $25,000.

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16 Responses to Taitz takes the stand

  1. avatar
    Thinker (mobile) October 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    The notice of appeal is Klayman appealing the judge’s ruling against awarding him attorney fees.

  2. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    So, let me see if I understand this. Orly doesn’t even fully understand the English language, yet is allowed to practice in a profession, where wording means everything?! The California Bar should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. avatar
    Woodrowfan October 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Klayman is famous for suing anybody and everybody…

  4. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Woodrowfan:
    Klayman is famous for suing anybody and everybody…

    Yeah, he’d sue his own mother…oh wait, he already did!

  5. avatar
    JPotter October 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Taitz and The Klay Man squabbling over birfer grift?

    Professional rivalry LOL

  6. avatar
    Notorial Dissent October 11, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    IANAL, and I may well have missed some subtle point in this legal proceeding, but I do not understand how the jury came to their conclusion, or how the judge let it stand. The defamation KKKlayman suffered was at the hands of Taitz, not the foundation, the alleged comment was a she said she said situation, of Taitz claiming the secretary or whatever she was said what she later repeated in print, with nothing but her dubious word on the subject. I do not see how the foundation could be held responsible for what an individual speaking in a private capacity, who was not a principal of the foundation, or speaking publicly on behalf of the foundation could make them liable for KKKlayman’s imagined slights. I just don’t see it.

  7. avatar
    bob October 11, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    Whether Ruffley was speaking for Judicial Watch was, as they say in the biz, for the jury to decide.

    As horrible a witness as Taitz may have been, it seems like Judicial Watch’s witnesses (including Ruffley) did themselves no favors. Reading a transcript does not convey tone, body language, or other indicators that may influence a jury’s determination of a witness’ credibility.

    I, too, am surprised by the jury’s verdict. But I see no legal basis for overruling it.

  8. avatar
    Notorial Dissent October 11, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    You mean other than that Judicial Watch wasn’t the one printing or making the claim, and that there is no evidence that Ruffley actually said what Taitz claims she did?? The only one who actually did anything public was Taitz. So, sorry, I just don’t see the connection.

    bob: I, too, am surprised by the jury’s verdict. But I see no legal basis for overruling it.

  9. avatar
    bob October 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    The evidence that Ruffley said what she said (and in what capacity) is Taitz’s testimony. If believed by the jury, that’s sufficient evidence — no corroboration necessary. And that the jury found for Klayman implies it did find Taitz credible in this one respect.

    Again, I am surprised. But this is the very basis of juries: people hear all the evidence and make decisions.

  10. avatar
    Bob October 11, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Haven’t looked carefully but I don’t see any mention of Orly’s ongoing Ebola tuberculosis enterovirus pneumonia rhino virus persistent cough cough hairball lawsuit on the Gerbil Report. This story seems right up their alley yet they aren’t covering it — was it even mentioned in the comments?

    Where’s the Orly coverage from Gerbil Report?

    Is it possible that she’s too kooky for them?

  11. avatar
    J.D. Sue October 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    bob: Again, I am surprised. But this is the very basis of juries: people hear all the evidence and make decisions.

    —-
    Indeed. Particularly troubling that this jury’s determination seems to have been based upon the jury finding Taitz to be a credible witness; i.e., the jury would have to believe that Taitz accurately quoted Ruffley as using the term “convicted” instead of “indicted”. Funny, since Taitz actually demonstrated for the jury her ease in misquoting people. See Transcript at 14:

    TAITZ: So what I am saying that when Ms. Ruffley said that Mr. Klayman was convicted of nonpayment of child support, I did not know what level is it considered in the state of Ohio. And from what I read — I did read the opinion of Your Honor and from what I understand in Ohio, it is not considered to be a crime.

    KLAYMAN: Objection, Your Honor.

    THE COURT: I’m sorry, you asked the question.

    KLAYMAN: Well, I am talking about her talking and characterizing your opinion, I think that’s inappropriate.

    TAITZ: I am not characterizing, I am quoting.

    Now, of course, Taitz did not accurately quote the judge’s opinion; the judge did not say in her (summary judgment) opinion that non-payment of child support in Ohio is not a crime. The judge only said that the defamatory statement did not impute “a crime amounting to a felony” and thus Klayman could not proceed on that particular theory for defamation per se. See linked order at 7-9.
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/06/05/klaymansupport.pdf .

    p.s. from this we also see (as if we didn’t know already), that Taitz doesn’t understand very basic concepts of criminal law, didn’t learn about “defamation per se” like the rest of us in any Torts class for 1st year law students, and STILL didn’t learn anything about defamation per se when the judge explained it in the opinion misquoted by Taitz. Sheesh!

  12. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Bob: Where’s the Orly coverage from Gerbil Report?

    They seem to really hate her, because she regularly speaks out against A&Z’s “investigation”.

  13. avatar
    Thinker (mobile) October 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    J.D. Sue: The evidence that Taitz is sloppy/dishonest/stupid is in the very blog post she wrote that Klayman claims contained the defamatory statement. Here is the paragraph:

    “Ms. Ruffley actually advised me that Larry Klayman is not licensed in California, she told me that he no longer works with the Judicial Watch and that donors should know about litigation in Ohio, where he was convicted just recentlty of not paying large amount in child support. She provided a lot of other information. I will publish only, what is a public record. I am not publishing anything, that is not in public record.”

    Taitz explicitly says that what she has posted is in the public record. But it’s not. The premise of Klayman’s lawsuit is that he was not convicted. If he was not convicted, then there is no public record anywhere saying he was. Honestly, to me, this point alone is enough to conclude Taitz is not credible.

  14. avatar
    J.D. Sue October 11, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    It would be interesting to see what other evidence was presented at trial. I note that the jury went so far as to award punitive damages. That suggests to me that the jury really believed that Judicial Watch was out to get Klayman, rather than simply believing that Ruffley misspoke or was ill-informed.

  15. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) October 13, 2014 at 4:42 am #

    bob: And that the jury found for Klayman implies it did find Taitz credible in this one respect.

    Didn’t the defense try to impugn the witness by quoting her crazy birfer lawsuits? Including a possible motive to lie for one of only three other birfer lawyers (Van Irion and Apuzzo, not counting Berg) in the country? Including her sanctions which imply she is more than willing to lie in court?

    And apart from all that she has another motive to lie, namely that otherwise Klayman could sue *her* because if Judicial Watch wasn’t responsible for the false claim, then she would have been.

    Otherwise it’s no wonder the jury believes the testimony of someone who’s a lawyer.

  16. avatar
    bob October 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in): Didn’t the defense try to impugn the witness by quoting her crazy birfer lawsuits? Including a possible motive to lie for one of only three other birfer lawyers (Van Irion and Apuzzo, not counting Berg) in the country? Including her sanctions which imply she is more than willing to lie in court?

    No, not really.