FL Judge Strikes Allegations Against Dershowitz and Prince Andrew

The federal judge presiding over the never ending victims rights lawsuit seeking to overturn a federal non-prosecution agreement against Jeffrey Epstein yesterday ruled Jane Doe #3, aka Virginia Roberts, and Jane Doe #4 cannot join Jane Does 1 and 2 as parties to the lawsuit. He also ruled that if called as witnesses for Jane Does 1 and 2, their evidence will have to be admissible, relevant and non-cumulative.

More importantly, the judge ordered all of Roberts' claims against Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew and others stricken from the record, finding her allegations amounted to "redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” In doing so, the Court said it was acting on its own accord, which made a ruling on Dershowitz' motion to intervene unnecessary. [More...]

The Court has considered Mr. Dershowitz’s arguments, but it finds that his intervention is unnecessary as Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) empowers the Court “on its own” to “strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f).

... Mr. Dershowitz moves to intervene “for the limited purposes of moving to strike the outrageous and impertinent allegations made against him and requesting a show cause order to the attorneys that have made them.” (DE 282 at 1). As the Court has taken it upon itself to strike the impertinent factual details from the Rule 21 Motion and related filings, the Court concludes that Mr. Dershowitz’s intervention in this case is unnecessary. Accordingly, his motion to intervene will be denied as moot ...

... The factual details regarding with whom and where the Jane Does engaged in sexual activities are immaterial and impertinent to this central claim (i.e., that they were known victims of Mr. Epstein and the Government owed them CVRA duties), especially considering that these details involve non-parties who are not related to the respondent Government. These unnecessary details shall be stricken.The original Rule 21 Motion (DE 279) shall be stricken in its entirety...

As to the denial of Jane Doe #3 and 4's requests to be added as parties:

Although Petitioners already seek the invalidation of Mr. Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement on behalf of all “other similarly-situated victims”, Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 argue that they should be fellow travelers in this pursuit...

The Court finds that justice does not require adding new parties this late in the proceedings who will raise claims that are admittedly “duplicative” of the claims already presented by Petitioners.

Jane Does #3 and #4 can be fact witnesses. But Notice the words the court underlined in its order, not once, but four times:

The Does’ submissions demonstrate that it is entirely unnecessary for Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 to proceed as parties in this action, rather than as fact witnesses available to offer relevant, admissible, and non-cumulative testimony.

... Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 can participate in this litigated effort to vindicate
the rights of similarly situated victims — there is no requirement that the evidentiary proof submitted in this case come only from the named parties....The necessary “participation” of Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 in this case can be satisfied by offering their properly supported —and relevant, admissible, and non-cumulative —testimony as needed, whether through testimony at trial or affidavits submitted to support the relevancy of discovery requests.

...the merits of this case will be decided based on a determination of whether the Government violated the rights of Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, and all “other similarly situated victims” under the CVRA. Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 may offer relevant, admissible, and non-cumulative evidence that advances that determination, but their participation as listed parties is not necessary in that regard.

..The Court expresses no opinion at this time whether any of the attestations made by Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 in support of their motion will be relevant, admissible, and noncumulative.

Jane Doe #3's lawyer tries to put a favorable spin on the order, saying the Judge left the door open for her to bring up the allegations again.

Brad Edwards, an attorney for the Jane Does, said the women could still participate in the case later and that the sex abuse allegations may surface again as evidence....."We look forward to those later stages," Edwards said.

I think he's dreaming. When a judge strikes your factual allegations as "redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter” on his own accord, and writes four times saying future submissions must be relevant, admissible and non-cumulative, underlining those words each time, he's telling you they aren't coming in.

I think these lawyers are lucky the Judge didn't impose sanctions on them beyond striking their pleadings. If they are (in my view) foolish enough to try again, they should at least file them under seal and refrain from tipping off the media until the Judge has decided whether they are relevant and admissible. I doubt the Judge will be as forgiving the second time around.

I also think any publisher considering publishing Roberts' memoirs ought to think long and hard about the cost of defending the libel lawsuits that will surely be filed in response -- as well as the potential for multi-million dollar judgments.

Now that the Court has ordered the allegations against Dershowitz and Prince Andrew and all third persons other than Epstein stricken from the record, they may not be recounted here in comments. Comments containing details of stricken allegations will be deleted.

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  • Display: Sort:
    "Impertinent" allegations stricken. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 03:40:31 AM EST

    One of my favorite ambiguous legal terms (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 09:15:33 AM EST
    It is used to mean both "offensively rude and disrespectful" (as it is in ordinary speech) and also "not pertinent" -- or (as here) both at the same time.

    I cannot remember the last time (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 05:09:47 AM EST
    a court has struck allegations under as "redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter" on a motion, let alone on its own motion.  It's the kind of thing that very rarely happens. I guess that's because courts deal with people at their worst, deal with allegations about bad behavior all the time, and generally choose to let things play out.  A lot of the stuff alleged and proven in courtrooms would never fly in a Hollywood script - they wouldn't buy it because its too implausible.

    But here these young women - Roberts (Doe 3) and Doe 4 - don't have any right to be in court in the first place.  So they and their lawyers should shut up, go home and get on with more productive pursuits.

    An excellent idea for a law review article. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 06:03:54 AM EST
    It's "black letter" that (none / 0) (#9)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Apr 09, 2015 at 03:53:17 PM EST
    Motions to strike are disfavored and infrequently granted:

    They "should not be granted unless it is clear that the matter to be stricken could have no possible bearing on the subject matter of the litigation,,.. and "may cause prejudice to one of the parties."  5A CHARLES A.WRIGHT & ARTHUR  R.MILLER, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE: Civil 2d § 1380 (emphasis supplied)

     That's a very high standard.

      That treatise quote does not encompass a case where the prejudice is to a non-party such as Dershowitz (or the Prince), and I did not read the entire memorandum opinion, just the excerpts in the main post. Dershowitz remains a non-party because his motion to intervene was denied, but I'd guess the judge made findings the allegations would prejudice Epstein by requiring the expenditure of resources to investigate, seek discovery relevant to, etc., factual allegations that could have no bearing on the case.


    You are preaching to the choir! (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 09, 2015 at 07:11:29 PM EST
    Somehow, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 06:34:37 PM EST
    That wording seems more as though it would come from a British court than an American one.
    Or, maybe I've been watching too many BBC legal dramas.  ;-)

    Source of the wording (none / 0) (#7)
    by Michael Masinter on Thu Apr 09, 2015 at 12:53:06 PM EST
    The wording comes straight from Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, authorizing a judge to strike "any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter."

    Okay, thanks (none / 0) (#8)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 09, 2015 at 01:25:40 PM EST
    I do like the words "impertinent" and "scandalous."   ;-)

    Although Judge Marra struck the scandalous allegations in Doe v. Epstein, Mr. Dershowitz has repeated some of them in his counterclaim for defamation against Edwards and Cassell, filed in response to their defamation claim against him.  The defamation claims and counterclaims are pending in Broward County Circuit Court and are public records.