The defamation lawsuit filed by Kailyn Lowry against her Teen Mom 2 co-star Briana DeJesus is still ongoing, and now the attorneys involved are getting caught up in the pettiness!
The last time we checked in on the lawsuit, Briana’s attorney had filed an affidavit by Kail’s ex, Chris Lopez. Chris states in the affidavit that he was the one who told Briana the details about Kail allegedly attacking him in a dispute over their son’s haircut. Briana repeating those claims on Instagram is essentially what the whole lawsuit is based on.
Chris also reveals in his affidavit that he and Briana spent “three days in Miami together” in April. Kail’s attorney previously argued that Briana “has never even met” Chris in an attempt to debunk Briana’s claim that she got her information from him.
The fact that Briana got her information from Chris deals a HUGE blow to Kail’s defamation claim because it was arguably quite reasonable for Briana to believe his first-hand account of what happened.
The affidavit was filed on November 24, which was 22 days after it was initially taken on November 2. I will point out that November 24 is the day before Thanksgiving.
#TeenMom2 Chris Lopez says in a new court filing that he was the one who told Briana DeJesus that Kail Lowry broke into his mom's house and hit him. He also says he and Briana spent 3 days together in Miami back in April! Read his full declaration! https://t.co/fBahis6j3i pic.twitter.com/VccmrY2PLN
— Starcasm (@starcasm) December 6, 2021
A hearing on Briana’s Motion for Summary Judgment (i.e. this case is stupid and should just be thrown out) was scheduled for January 14. Briana’s attorney, Marc Randazza, wanted to delay the hearing because he was going to be out of the country without internet access on the 14th.
Mr. Randazza contacted Kail’s attorney, Nicole Haff, to ask if she would agree to the delay — which is customary in these situations. However, Ms. Haff was not willing to agree to the delay for two reasons.
I will let the two attorneys speak for themselves via their own emails.
Kail’s attorney Nicole Haff:
I inquired with my client concerning your request to adjourn the hearing scheduled for January 14, 2022. We are a fairly laid back office and usually, we grant these, as a matter of course. This, however, is an unusual case, and your client can ask the Court for an adjournment. Ms. Lowry does not consent.
For one, Chris Lopez’s declaration was executed on November 2. Despite this, your office e-filed it the night before Thanksgiving, presumably in an attempt to upset my client before the holiday. In the past week, Ms. Soto informed my client, via social media, that she was sending her a surprise. The surprise was a treadmill. When read with the message, a reasonable reader would view it as your client calling my client overweight. We know your client sent it because her name was the shipping receipt.
If your client wants favors from my client, she should stop antagonizing her and perhaps issue an apology for the very statements she made which is the focus of this lawsuit.
Feel free to make the request to the Court. If you do, please include this email, in its entirety, in your request.
— Starcasm (@starcasm) July 27, 2021
Briana’s attorney Marc Randazza:
I can assure you, our filing of that before Thanksgiving was in no way intended to upset her over the holiday. In fact, I am not sure why it would. Nevertheless, that decision was mine – to get it filed as soon as Mr. Lopez signed it for us. That said, please extend my personal apology to your client if it did in any way upset her holiday.
The treadmill, well I had nothing to do with that. That seems like an awfully expensive thing to send to someone as an insult. If Ms. Lowry doesn’t want it, I could stand to lose a few pounds myself.
I do ask that you reconsider, though. My request is not made for my client’s benefit. As I stated in my text to you, it is a personal conflict of mine — not my client. My client isn’t requesting this — I am.
And, I’d like to believe that we’ve gotten along well enough in this case, and we’ve been able to disagree, without being disagreeable.
The inability of the attorneys to agree on a delay resulted in Marc Randazza filing a Motion to Continue on Wednesday. In addition to complying with Ms. Haff’s suggestion that he include her email in the Motion, Mr. Randazza also called out opposing counsel for her “pettiness and schoolyard conduct.”
Attempting to recap the relatively short Motion (aka Pettypalooza) with quoted excerpts would be doing our readers a disservice. So, here is the full motion:
MOTION TO CONTINUE HEARING
Defendant Briana Soto, through undersigned counsel, respectfully moves this Court for an Order continuing the hearing on Defendant Briana Soto’s Anti-SLAPP Motion for Summary Judgment Under Fla. Stat. § 768.295 currently set for January 14, 2022 until January 19, 2022 or such other time as the Court may be available. This is due to a personal scheduling conflict of Defendant’s attorney. In support thereof, Defendant states:
1. Due to personal scheduling conflicts, undersigned counsel for Defendant Soto is unable to participate in the scheduled hearing on January 14, 2022 due to the fact that he will be out of the country, in a remote area, and will be unlikely to be able to access a reliable internet connection.
2. Upon learning of the scheduling conflict on December 15, 2021, undersigned counsel contacted counsel for Plaintiff requesting a brief continuance of the hearing so that a formal request to the Court would not be needed.
3. Despite Defendant’s reasonable request, Plaintiff’s counsel refused to consent to any continuance of the hearing, citing unrelated personal grievances between the Parties. See Exhibit 1, emails between counsel.
4. While the parties are certainly disagreeable to each other, relations between counsel have been cordial — including the defense canceling a deposition to accommodate Plaintiffs counsel’s personal issues. There is no good cause for the parties’ incivility to each other to cause incivility between counsel.
5. Defendant’s request for a brief continuance is made in good faith and not for any improper purpose of delay; Defendant would prefer that this case be resolved as soon as possible for the reasons set forth in her Anti-SLAPP Motion, however no party would be prejudiced by a slight delay in hearing the Motion.
6. The Florida Bar’s Guidelines for Professional Conduct encourage a duty of courtesy and cooperation to fellow professionals within our court system. Specifically, the Guidelines encourage attorneys to “cooperate with each other when conflicts and calendar changes are necessary and requested” (Guideline (B)(4)) and recommends that attorneys “accede to all reasonable requests for … rescheduling … that do not prejudice the client’s opportunity for full, fair, and prompt consideration and adjudication of the client’s claim or defense” (Guideline (B)(8)). Undersigned counsel simply notes that Plaintiffs counsel’s conduct falls short of these aspirations.
[NOTE: Not an actual spin-off] pic.twitter.com/mIJK4oWoQP
— Starcasm (@starcasm) December 19, 2021
7. The only reasons offered by the Plaintiff to decline this request for professional courtesy are as follows:
7a. Reason One: Defendant filed an affidavit on 24 November, which upset the Plaintiff over Thanksgiving.
This affidavit was filed in lieu of forcing both attorneys to attend a deposition in Wilmington, Delaware. The original deposition was canceled as a courtesy to Plaintiffs counsel. The affidavit did all the work a deposition would do. This saved both parties considerable resources and travel. Plaintiffs counsel states that this was signed on November 2, 2021, which is true. See Notice of Filing Supplemental Evidence to Defendant Briana Soto’s Anti-SLAPP Motion for Summary Judgment Under Fla. Stat. § 768.295. Plaintiff’s counsel then makes the wild leap that the fact that it got filed on 24 November was an attempt to upset the Plaintiff. See Exhibit 1. This simply makes no sense. There is nothing in the affidavit that a reasonable person would consider to be “upsetting.” Further, the undersigned can attest that if the intent were to play “mind games” by filing something on the eve of Thanksgiving, it certainly would not have been a milquetoast affidavit that contained facts that the Plaintiff does not even seem to contest.
The timing was the unfortunate result of incompetence, but hardly a fiendish plot to upset Ms. Lowry. If the Court would like to examine, in camera, internal messages at this firm wherein sternly disapproving language was used once the fact it had not yet been filed had been discovered, it is welcome to see them upon request. But, suffice to say that the undersigned swears under penalty of perjury that this accusation is unfounded.
It is not a reason to deny a reasonable request for a continuance because a party claims to have been upset by the filing of an affidavit. This is not prejudice to the Plaintiff; this is the Plaintiff acting with spite, and the attorneys not insisting on being a buffer between client spite and professional conduct.
7b. Reason Two: The Defendant allegedly sent the Plaintiff a treadmill.
As the Court can see in the emails filed herewith (Exhibit 1), Plaintiff’s counsel claims that the Defendant sent the Plaintiff a treadmill. Plaintiff’s counsel then claims that Plaintiff interpreted this as Defendant calling Plaintiff “overweight.”
Seriously? This degree of pettiness and schoolyard conduct should find its way into a CLE about how and why the modern practice of law is so uncivil.
This should have been embarrassing to commit to writing. The reason that Plaintiff’s counsel will not agree to a reasonable continuance is because one party believes that a gift from the other was part of a spat over their respective waistlines?
Again, this is not prejudice as a reason for refusing to grant a continuance. This is, again, spite. If this court wishes to have civility, it should not stamp its imprimatur on junior-high level spats and spite.
8. Spitefulness is not a reason to deny a reasonable request for a professional courtesy. There should have been no reason to even file this motion. Nevertheless, here we are.
In light of the foregoing, Defendant respectfully requests that this Court enter an Order continuing the special set hearing set for January 14, 2021 to be reset to a date no earlier than January 19, 2022.
Dated: December 15, 2021.
RANDAZZA LEGAL GROUP, PLLC