Friday, June 16, 2017

Defendant tries to seal lawsuit, blames JJ

Attorney Tom Ostenson cited this website as the main reason for his trying to seal a lawsuit that was filed against him recently.   The popular tennis teaching pro couple Courtney and Todd Middleton sued Ostenson after they lost their tennis pro jobs at River Hills Racquet Club in Hinds County Circuit Court on April 4.  The complaint accuses Mr. Ostenson of using his influence with several board members to get the Middletons fired from their jobs after an alleged dispute took place between the two families.   The lawsuit argues Mr. Ostenson is guilty of tortious interference with their employment contracts.  The defendant filed the motion to seal the case on May 25 and cited this post as the basis for his motion. 

 Mr. Ostenson argued:

The Motion to Seal Case Record, Pleadings and Documents is being filed without waiving Ostenson’s right to compel arbitration.  (KF: If there is indeed an arbitration clause, expect him to invoke it.)

Ostenson and his attorneys are cognizant of the fact that all pleadings, orders, judgments, and other documents filed in the record in this case are readily available in electronic formats accessible through the Court’s Mississippi Electronic Courts (“MEC”) system. Subsequently, private, personal, confidential, financial and other sensitive information and data that previously was only available by a review of the Court’s physical file is now available via MEC. Ostenson is seeking that both the electronic court record available through MEC and the physical file be sealed by this Court.

 It is anticipated that pleadings and other documents filed may contain inappropriate and salacious factual allegations by Plaintiffs regarding Ostenson  and his family members. Ostenson asserts that these highly personal and harassing allegations are false and defamatory and have caused harm and embarrassment to himself and to his family members. The pleadings and other documents containing these false allegations and defamatory allegations should be sealed to mitigate the harm  and help prevent  any further  scandalous  and  libelous  accusations by Plaintiffs from being made.  (KF: That is the nature of a lawsuit.  No party enjoys going to court.  There is nothing special about this lawsuit.  There are no minors involved in the case.  The courts allow documents such as financial statements to be filed under seal and Mr. Ostenson knows that as a practicing attorney. A lawsuit is usually embarrassing for both sides.  The defendant simply wants special treatment.)

7. Because the pleadings that  have  been filed and will  be  filed in this proceeding will be replete with references to private, personal, confidential, financial and other sensitive information and data, the most efficient and practical manner in which to safeguard this information from the public domain is to seal the case record and all pleadings and documents.Ostenson believes that maintaining the confidentiality of the case record, and any other pleadings or papers filed in this matter is in the paramount best interests of the parties. Due to the nature of the proceedings, there exists an overriding privacy interest that overcomes the right of public access and supports sealing the court record file.  (KF: The Middletons probably think he was looking out for their best interests when they lost their jobs, if the allegations are true.). 
Then there is this fish story:

9.  The  personal  and confidential nature of the information being sought and requested in these interrogatories, requests for admission and requests for production provide the Court with a compelling and reasonable basis to seal the court record file and all pleadings. Many of Plaintiffs’ discovery requests are implicitly and apparently intentionally defamatory. There exists a substantial probability that Ostenson will be prejudiced if the court record is not sealed at this junction of the litigation. In the alternative, Ostenson would request that should any discovery by either party be filed in the court record, that it be filed under seal.
If Mr. Ostenson is indeed a practicing lawyer who is familiar with discovery, then he should know that discovery is not filed in the public court file nor in the online system for public viewing.  Neither the Kingfish nor any reporter can see those questions nor what the responses are.

The defendant wasn't finished but instead directed his creeping barrage of allegations towards this website:

 10. After the filing of the Complaint on April 4, 2017, Ostenson discovered that on April 5, 2017, a Jackson area blogger had posted the Complaint.3 Exhibit “E”. The release of this Complaint to a Jackson area blogger has damaged the reputation of Ostenson and his family members and subjected them to unjust public ridicule  as  illustrated in the approximate mostly negative and libelous comments posted in response to the Complaint. Additionally, the Complaint was released to and published on a national tennis website frequented by Plaintiffs. Exhibit “F”. These events provide a clear and compelling reason to grant Ostenson’s request to seal  the case record and all  pleadings against  the  disclosure of private, personal, confidential, financial and other sensitive information and data.
The only thing that was posted here was a public record - the complaint.   Period.  The complaint was not released to this blogger.  It was already on file at the courthouse.  Shades of Robert Shuler Smith's false accusations against this website last year.  Maybe I should be the one accusing Ostenson of defamation.  JJ will post any responses filed by the defendant when they become available.  In fact, the post was very short:

That is it.  Really tough stuff. 

Attorneys Walter Wilson and Randy Dean of Wells Marble represent Ostenson.  Mr. Ostenson has also filed a motion to compel arbitration. 

Kingfish note: Well, Mr. Ostenson, if you had bothered to learn how these things are covered on this website, you might have discovered that the Kingfish was covering cases before they were posted online.  The Irby case is one such example.  Most of the pleadings and records submitted to the public court file were not available online.  Yours truly would  go down to the Circuit Clerk's office and copy the latest filings in that case and then post them on this website.  In fact, the Kingfish is probably the only reporter in town who knows how to find files without the help of the clerks.  He just looooves digging through those big red books.

The lawsuit will probably become moot in any event if the case indeed goes to arbitration.  


Anonymous said...

After reading all that, I need a hug.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. - mr37

Anonymous said...

Bunch drama queens I would embarrassed to represent any of these children!

Anonymous said...

Not surprising considering the Star Chamber they run at River Hills.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Tom needs a hug, make it a Kingfish Hug

Anonymous said...

Walter Willson
Randy Dean

Insurance defense lawyers generally.

Wonder what insured covered the intentional claims in that complaint?

I imagine there is a pending dec action to deny coverage by insurer somewhere.

There must be some juicy stuff all up in these papers!

Anonymous said...

That original comment thread has been the best one so far this year. There wasn’t any back and forth arguing. No race, public school debates. It was just some good ole laughing at the expense of petty rich folk. I’m not going to lie, every time I pass Tuesday Morning I think of dear ole Ginger Ostenson. All she ever wanted was to give the world a Christmas hug.

Anonymous said...

"Star Chamber"? What is that?

Anonymous said...

sounds like KF needs to get a life

Anonymous said...

With regard to paragraph 9 Kingfish, discovery often does become part of record when motions to compel or motions for summary judgment are filed. This is what that request was directed towards. You know that happens.

Hugs, not drugs said...


Anonymous said...

Who cares about the details of things like this? Grow up.

Anonymous said...

The ones who care most, 608, are the ones trying to seal the case because they don't want their childish activities where they tried to ruin some people's life over pettiness. I wouldn't want my stupidity displayed either if I had done these things.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an episode from Dynasty or Dallas.

Anonymous said...

Trite. catfish should be above this hooey.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you wonder if people have ever heard of the Streisand Effect.

Anonymous said...

If someone drags their "hooey" into our taxpayer funded courts, then we absolutely have a right to know about it and be judgmental about the silliness af their "hooey" and the waste of our tax dollars. If you don't want the public to see your dirty (and petty) laundry, don't ask the taxpayers to fund resolution of your "hooey" disputes.

Anonymous said...

Well said,4:11 PM and7:49AM

Anonymous said...

Next week, stay tuned for another captivating episode of "How the Hills Roll"... lol

Anonymous said...

Send in the clowns....too late, they're here!!

Anonymous said...

I don't feel sorry for any of the clowns in this caper.

A_Geezer_Opines said...

In the Allegation, Page 2 of 8, Paragraph numbered 6, the writer refers to "...factual allegations...." Isn't that an oxymoron and an impossibility?

At least one online source defines "factual" as "...concerned with what is actually the case rather than interpretations of or reactions to it...actually occurring...."

The same online source defines "allegation" as "...a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof...."

How, then, can something that is an allegation be factual at the same time, and how can something that is factual be only an allegation.

I get a headache pondering these deeply disturbing questions.

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