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Tue Jan 22, 2019, 09:37 AM


Reminder: Hearing Today in Stormy Daniels v. Essential Consultants et al.

There is a possibility that today will be the end of the road in Daniels' case against Cohen and Trump over the hush agreement under which she was paid $130,000 just prior to the election.

To briefly recap, Daniels has filed two principal cases involving Trump. The hush agreement case came about after Cohen won a sizeable arbitration award against Daniels for her activities in January/February 2018, when she was making various media statements hinting at the existence of the agreement after the Wall Street Journal had published details of the agreement and the payment on January 12. In the hush agreement case, Daniels sought no monetary damages, but primarily sought a declaration of the court that the contract was void (and thus she wouldn't have to pay the $20M arbitration award against her).

During the course of that first case, Daniels also filed a defamation suit against Trump for certain comments to the press and Twitter about the case. That suit backfired spectacularly, and Trump has been awarded $300k in legal fees. That case is now over.

In the contract case, both Cohen's company and Trump have agreed and admitted to the court that the contract is void, and thus argue that there is nothing further to fight about. Daniels disagrees, and believes that despite the defendants' having basically surrendered the suit, that she is entitled to discovery in order to expose them as liars, etc., but that objective isn't really strongly tethered to any ostensible goal of the lawsuit - i.e. to have the court basically confirm that the defendants have conceded the basis for the suit having been brought in the first place. Additionally, Daniels is seeking to amend the suit in order to remove a later-added defamation claim, having learned how the Texas SLAPP standards make those claims risky. Amusingly, Cohen and Trump are seeking to maintain that claim against them IN the suit, because they have an unopposed SLAPP motion against that one too.

So, what's on the menu today:

Dec 18, 2018
SCHEDULING NOTICE by Judge S. James Otero re: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Strike Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint Amended Complaint/Petition 14 31, NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to AMEND Amended Complaint/Petition 14 91 . The hearing on Defendant Michael Cohen's Motion To Strike Plaintiff's FAC (ECF No. 31) and Plaintiff's Motion To Amend the FAC (ECF No. 91) is continued to Monday, February 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM. The hearing on Defendants' Motions To Dismiss the Declaratory Relief Cause of Action (ECF Nos. 87 and 88) will remain on January 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM.

The judge has scheduled the hearing on whether Daniels may remove the defamation claim to February 4, and has scheduled the hearing on the plaintiff's motion to dismiss for today at 2PM.

At the conclusion the judge may: issue an order from the bench either dismissing the case or maintaining the case, or listen the arguments, ask a few questions, and decide to issue an order at some later point.

Regardless of what happens today, expect a round of "I'm still relevant to something" sounds out of Michael Avenatti late this afternoon Pacific Time.

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