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"A Horse Walks Into a Bar" Makes His Appearance

The AutoAdmit saga continues: It seems that the defendant formerly known only as “A Horse Walks Into a Bar” has ridden onto the set, represented by counsel.

As I reported on August 6, the plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint (third try overall). In that complaint, they identified only one defendant by name, and in doing that, they managed to mis cross-identify the guy and cause a hail of feces to rain down upon an innocent man in the process.

The AutoAdmit-sphere has long known that “A Horse Walks Into a Bar,” is actually an individual by the name of Ryan Mariner. Prior to writing this post, I contacted Mr. Mariner to ask his position on using his real name. Mr. Mariner’s position was “I have done nothing wrong, so I don’t mind if you use my name.”

Mariner’s memorandum in support of his motion to dismiss begins with some lulz.

Mariner is not concerned with keeping his identity secret, since he has done nothing wrong. On the contrary, Mariner has been trying to proceed with this litigation for months. However, in an attempt to execute a strategy so Byzantine that Kafka himself would be dumbfounded, Plaintiffs’ counsel has failed to include any allegations that would support a cause of action, refused Mariner’s counsel’s offer to accept service and refused to simply dismiss Mariner. It appears Plaintiffs’ plan is to keep a lawsuit pending for as long as possible without actually prosecuting it. (source)

Despite Mariner’s attorney’s repeated requests, the plaintiffs have refused to properly serve him with the complaint. This didn’t sit well with Mariner.

Plaintiffs have moved this Court on several different occasions to allow additional time to serve Defendants, including one on June 18, 2008. See Plaintiffs’ Motions for Extension of Time to Serve Complaint [Doc. No. 45]. This came as a surprise to Mariner, who, through counsel, specifically contacted Plaintiffs on June 11 and indicated that counsel would accept service on Mariner. See Email of W. Anthony Collins, Jr., attached as Exhibit 1. Shockingly, Plaintiffs refused this offer and failed to serve Mariner, willfully refusing to prosecute their case against him. See Affidavit of W. Anthony Collins, Jr., ¶ 3. Then, without disclosing these facts to the Court, Plaintiffs filed yet another Motion for Extension of Time to Serve Complaint. See [Doc. No. 49] (source)

It seems funny that the plaintiffs would ask the court for more time to serve the defendants, refuse to serve a defendant who requested service, and then fail to tell the court about it. Not funny like a clown… funny like, WTF?

Next, Mariner begins pointing out what anyone with a law degree (and even many without) should have seen a long time ago — there is no valid cause of action against him. The only statements alleged to have been written by Mariner appear in the screen shot below (click it to enlarge):

I’ll give away some prizes to anyone who can come up with a supportable cause of action for the statements made by “A horse walks into a bar.”

It seems that MARINER’s counsel gave the plaintiffs the opportunity to get out of this case, at least with respect to him:

[C]counsel for Mariner had a phone conversation with Plaintiffs’ counsel and again indicated he would accept service, again this offer was refused. See Affidavit of W. Anthony Collins, Jr., ¶ 3-4. Counsel for Mariner also noted that no cause of action arose from the allegations in the First Amended Complaint and that Mariner should be dropped from this case. See id., ¶ 3-4. Nonetheless, when Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint, Mariner was not dropped despite Plaintiffs’ failure to come up with a single actionable allegation against Mariner. (source)

In addition to the fact that the plaintiffs seem to have no valid causes of action against Mariner, he also claims that the case against him should be dismissed because the plaintiffs have intentionally failed to serve him with the complaint.

Plaintiffs have intentionally refused to prosecute this case for well over a year, even going so far as to refuse to serve counsel for Mariner when requested that they do so. See Ex. 1. Instead of accepting Mariner’s counsel’s offer, Plaintiffs told the Court they needed more time to serve defendants and proceeded to ask for a remarkable seventh extension of time. See [Doc. No. 49].

Despite Plaintiffs’ several requests for additional time, they have willfully refused to prosecute their claims and their refusal to the offer to accept service on behalf of Mariner is inexplicable. Plaintiffs’ actions are litigation abuses that are unfair to Mariner, who continues to accrue costs as this matter languishes. In light of Plaintiffs’ willful conduct, this Court should either dismiss the Second Amended Complaint against Mariner for failure to prosecute or in the alternative deny any further motions by Plaintiff to extend service upon Mariner. (source)

Unless the Plaintiffs can conjure up some kind of “October Surprise” style documents and arguments, I predict that they are going to be the recipients of some pwnage after this one. I’m frankly surprised that Mariner was merciful enough not to file a Rule 11 motion along with this document. Perhaps that is in the works…

(Update, Sustained Objections has a very illuminating take on the cultural issues in play in this case)

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