Critters Documents

Feld vs PETA Motion to Compel

Publishing single court documents is easy: just incorporate a link into a post.

However, I wanted a better approach for those cases where I had several court documents. I decided to take a copy of the PACER docket, and then replace the links with those for a local document. People can then access the documents in context. For those documents I don’t have, I leave the links off. Most of the time the documents aren’t all that useful—a howdy doody to a new lawyer, an order allowing a schedule delay, and so on. Other times I felt the document wasn’t essential to understanding what was happening, or it was available in another case.

The first case I’ve ported to this online format is one of the cases associated with ASCPA et al vs. Feld Entertainment, Inc: Feld vs. PETA, where Feld was compelling compliance to a document subpoena. You can get a feel for the antagonism between the animal welfare groups and Feld’s lawyers from some of the filings. It only gets better with the primary case.

I followed the Motion to Compel case in order to get a more comprehensive view of the overall set of cases (yes cases). I also had a suspicion about why Feld subpoenaed PETA. It seemed to me that Feld’s lawyers were fishing for anything that, no matter how thinly, Feld could use to pull PETA into the Feld vs. ASPCA et al RICO (Racketeering) case. If so, they didn’t find it.

Access the local docket page for 08-mc-00004

The ASPCA et al vs. Feld document docket page is going to be a long time coming. It has over 620 docket entries, with over a 1000 document links. It’s going to take some time to prepare.


Bad Dentists and Open Libraries

The newest addition to the document collection is an opinion by Judge Paul Crotty related to the case Robert Allen Lee vs. Stacey Makhnevich et al. The case is a class action lawsuit against a dentist who forces patients into signing a confidentiality document before treatment, and her attempts to intimidate the dental patient, Lee, who wrote uncomplimentary comments about her practice on Yelp and other online sites.

The opinion I snagged rejects the defendants’ attempts to have the case thrown out in court. It’s a lovely piece of legal writing. Don’t let anyone tell you that legal documents are dry and uninteresting. The best legal documents don’t just quote relevant law—they tell a story. They paint pictures, break new pathways, shape history.

I also wanted to point out the source of the document: the Santa Clara Law Digital Commons. This site is a rich pool of legal articles and opinions that are freely and openly available to everyone—the way such writings should be. The site is well organized, cleanly designed, and very accessible: a prince among sites. From its About page:

This digital repository is a project conducted by the Heafey Law Library located at Santa Clara University’s School of Law. This archive contains scholarly materials published by our faculty and other archival collections. The purpose of this digital repository is to preserve the scholarship of Santa Clara Law and enable wider access to these materials. (emph. added)

You can read more about our copyright-claiming dentist in the ABA Journal.