Judge Scolds Activist Lawyer Larry Klayman
WASHINGTON (CN) - A federal judge took attorney Larry Klayman to task for his "consistent pattern of engaging in dilatory tactics" and disobedience of the court during a 5-year legal battle against Judicial Watch, which Klayman founded.
The judge granted Judicial Watch's motion to strike aspects of Klayman's contributions to the parties' revised joint pretrial statement.
"The court concludes that the requested sanction is appropriate under the unique circumstances presented in this case - most notably, Klayman's consistent pattern of engaging in dilatory tactics, his disobedience of court-ordered deadlines, and his disregard for the federal rules of civil procedure and the local rules of this court, coupled with the patent failure of the court's use of lesser sanctions in the past to have any discernible effect on Klayman's conduct in this litigation," U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote.
Klayman sued Judicial Watch in 2006 along with its president Thomas Fitton, secretary and director Paul Orfanedes, and director Christopher Farrell, alleging breach of contract Lanham Act violations and defamation in connection with the events that occurred after Klayman left his position of chairman of the group.
Judicial Watch filed a counterclaim against Klayman, alleging breach of contract, indemnification, unfair competition and cybersquatting.
"Despite the passage of five years, resolution of this action has been needlessly delayed, largely as a result of Klayman's conduct in this litigation," Kollar-Kotelly wrote, recounting numerous instances when Klayman refused to file documents and responses on time.
Citing his routine disobedience, Judicial Watch filed is motion to strike with regard to Klayman's pretrial statement, specifically his statement of the case, list of witnesses, list of exhibits and deposition designations.
"Klayman filed a two-sentence opposition to defendants' motion to strike, claiming in relevant part that 'the sanctions requested by defendants is [sic] not warranted,'" according to the Aug. 10 decision.
The motion to strike precludes Klayman from presenting any affirmative evidence in support of his claims or in his defense of the counterclaims.
"Without a doubt, this is a severe sanction," Kollar-Kotelly wrote. "Its application in this action will effectively prevent Klayman from carrying his burden of proof on his claims, thereby almost certainly requiring dismissal."
Klayman, who is representing himself in the matter, filed a complaint against Facebook in April 2011, accusing the social networking site of not responding quickly enough to calls to remove an anti-Israel page.