By Mirror Contributor Evan Gahr
On March 12, lawyers for ratings-addled MSNBC host Ed Schultz asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit against him that that she already scheduled for trial.
But what else would you expect from the dynamic duo of John Hayes and Jeffrey Landa?
Last month, they asked the same judge to seal the transcript of Schultz’s deposition — two years after they filed it.
That didn’t go over too well.
United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Beryl Howell openly mocked Hayes and Landa for their request. “This horse has clearly left the barn,” she said.
And after dragging her feet on scheduling a trial date for nearly 10 months, Howell set it for early May.
That was a pleasant surprise for the plaintiff, NBC News producer and sound engineer Michael Queen. His 2011 federal lawsuit alleged that Schultz owed him money for arranging his MSNBC gig. Queen claimed breach of contract and partnership.
In 2012, Howell ruled for Schultz, saying Queen never had a partnership or contract with him.
In April 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC circuit partially reversed Howell, ruling that the partnership claim could proceed to trial but the contract breach was a no go.
The trial is set for May 11 and could last six days.
Schultz doesn’t think much of Oprah, so don’t expect him to go on OWN with this.
Something else he wanted under wraps: He once lobbied for a show on FNC.
His lawyers filed an unsealed motion for a “judgment on the pleadings,” essentially a request for dismissal, on March 17. (After the deposition debacle it finally dawned on them that publicly filed documents are — little steps for little feet — available to the public.)
The redacted version placed in the court record says Queen’s claim should not proceed because even if there was a partnership he is not entitled to $100,000, the minimum required for court jurisdiction.
Financial figures are blacked out. So it is impossible to evaluate the assertion that Schultz could not possibly owe Queen more than $100,000.
The appeals court already ruled Queen is entitled to a trial.
But jurisdictional arguments this late in the game do occur, according to American Jewish Committee general counsel Marc Stern.
Hayes and Landa also filed a motion to amend their response to the original complaint—but neglected to first confer with opposing counsel, as boiler plate federal rules require.
Howell rejected the motion.
On March 20, Queens’ lawyers filed a sealed motion in opposition to Schultz’s.
Stay tuned for the next edition of The Ed Legal Show.