Civil Litigation

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Waco tragedy. Years back, I filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for information relating to that event, and after 2-3 years of fighting, got a huge amount. From time to time, I’ll blog some of the finds. The one discussed here was one of many shockers.

At the outset many people asked, why didn’t ATF arrest David Koresh peacefully? The official line was that Koresh was a paranoid recluse who rarely, if ever, left the Davidian residence at Mt. Carmel. The only way to arrest him was a dramatic raid featuring
Continue Reading Waco: why didn't ATF make a peaceful arrest?

Arizona sued Cochise County three weeks ago for its “unqualified handover” of elections duties from the Board of Supervisors to Recorder David Stevens. Tomorrow, a judge from Nogales will hold an initial hearing in Bisbee, and discuss whether to transfer the case to Phoenix or Tucson.Attorney General Kris Mayes filed the Motion For Change Of Venue a few days ago, suggesting that they were correct in initially bringing the case in Cochise County, but now have a right to ask for it to be transferred to Maricopa County. Cochise County Superior Court then brought in Judge Thomas Fink, the
Continue Reading UPDATE: Hearing Tomorrow In State's Suit Against Cochise County Re: Giving Elections Duties To Recorder Stevens; Bisbee, Nogales, Tucson, Phoenix?

In a pot-and-kettle situation, former Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem is (incorrectly) urging the court to deny any sanctions against him and/or his attorney because the Adrian Fontes’ Motion was filed two days late. Meanwhile, attorneys for the Secretary of State’s Office filed their request for $7,500 in sanctions in Finchem’s failed Election Contest.Unfortunately for Finchem, the basis for yesterday’s Objection (below) is that Superior Court Judge Melissa Iyer Julian asked for sanctions motion(s) to be filed “within 10 days”. Opposing counsel correctly – under court rules – read that to mean 10 court days, instead of
Continue Reading BREAKING, IRONY: Finchem Asks Judge To Deny Fontes Sanctions Because Of Timeliness; Meanwhile, State Separately Asks For $7,500 Sanctions (READ Filings)

 In a detailed, 23-page Order, Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney ORDERED the City of Phoenix to remove the “public nuisance” it has permitted on public property near downtown. The sprawling encampment has become known as “the Zone” and has received national attention recently.The lawsuit filed last summer by business owners in the area – including the sandwich shop recently featured in the New York Times – asked the Court to order Phoenix to “refrain from expanding, maintaining, and/or operating” the proliferation of tents and makeshift shelters. Phoenix tried to dismiss the case, which the judge refused in January.Today,
Continue Reading BREAKING: Judge ORDERS Phoenix To Stop Allowing Encampment For The Unhoused In Downtown "Zone" (READ: Order)

The Arizona Supreme Court this morning REFUSED to “stay” the execution warrant against Aaron Gunches. The sister of his victim asked on Friday, saying it’s not clear whether the warrant EXPIRES if it is not carried out by the state on the date certain of April 6. The Supreme Court did not explain its reasoning in the two Orders. (It is possible that there was some discussion about considering the Motion to Stay the warrant, and asking for a response from the State: the file name is titled “Briefing Order”.)“AZ Law” includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme
Continue Reading BREAKING UPDATE: Arizona Supreme Court this morning REFUSED to "stay" the execution warrant against Aaron Gunches

Republican Attorney General Candidate Abe Hamadeh pounced on the Arizona Supreme Court’s Order in the Kari Lake appeal, and told the trial judge he should give him another chance at fighting Maricopa County’s signature verification process.Hamadeh lost to Kris Mayes by less than 300 votes, and he lost his Election Contest trial in December. However, rather than appeal, Hamadeh filed a Motion for a New Trial on January 3. Despite the expedited timeline for Election Contest cases, Mohave County Judge Lee Jantzen has not yet ruled on the Motion, and is coming up on the (advisory) deadline for judges
Continue Reading BREAKING: Hamadeh Tries To Rejuvenate His Election Contest By Piggybacking On Lake's Supreme Court Order (READ Filing)

The Arizona Supreme Court sent one piece of Kari Lake’s Election Contest appeal back to Superior Court this evening. They refused to look at the rest of her appeal. Lake lost her effort to overturn the Arizona Governor’s race results after a 2-day trial, and the Court of Appeals affirmed that judge’s decision.The issue to be re-considered is whether Maricopa County followed signature verification policies in the 2022 election. Judge Peter Thompson had found that the doctrine of laches applied and refused to consider the issue.The Supreme Court Order states: “Contrary to the ruling of the trial court and the
Continue Reading BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court Sends Kari Lake Case Back To Trial Court To Look At Whether Maricopa County Followed Signature Verification Policies In 2022; Denies Review Of Rest Of Appeal

Seekins v. United States. Defendant, a convicted felon given a four year sentence for possessing two shotgun shells, appeals on the basis of the Commerce Clause. The 5th Circuit upheld his conviction based on the argument (which most other circuits have accepted) that there is a sufficient connection with interstate commerce if the shells were shown to ever have moved in such commerce in the past.

United States v. Rahimi. Also a 5th Circuit case. The circuit struck down the prohibition on arms possession by persons subject to a domestic violence restraining order. The government took this one
Continue Reading Supreme Court heating up: two petitions for cert.

Now-Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is asking the Court to hold defeated candidate Mark Finchem  responsible for more than $67,000 in sanctions for filing what the judge has determined to be a “bad faith” Election Contest.Judge Melissa Iyer Julian granted the Motion for Sanctions on March 1, and asked candidate Fontes and the Secretary of State’s Office to submit their attorneys’ fees incurred. The Secretary of State’s Office has until next Monday to file theirs.Finchem and McCauley have asked the Court to Reconsider its sanctions ruling, but that is not likely to succeed. They have also appealed Judge
Continue Reading BREAKING: Successful Candidate Fontes Asks For $67,000 In Sanctions Against Defeated Candidate Finchem, Attorney For "Bad Faith" Election Contest (READ Application)

The Salt River Project (“SRP”) is appealing the Arizona Corporation Commission’s refusal to allow a major expansion of its generating station near Coolidge, which it previously said is necessary to avoid the possibility of summertime outages as soon as next summer.Superior Court Judge Randall Warner upheld the ACC’s decision, and SRP initially said it would appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. However, after the ACC’s objection, the appeal is now landing with the intermediate level Court of Appeals.SRP is also opposing efforts by nearby residents from the historic Black community of Randolph to hold the utility responsible for attorneys’
Continue Reading BREAKING: SRP APPEALS Latest Rejection Of Major Coolidge Plant Expansion, Fights Randolph Residents' Attorneys' Fees

Former Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem and his attorney, Dan McCauley, have asked the Superior Court judge who dismissed the Election Contest in December to reconsider her decision to award sanctions to the defendants. The Motion for Reconsideration comes days before those defendants are to submit evidence of the attorneys’ fees incurred in responding to the challenge.Finchem focuses on his disproven claims that tabulation machines used throughout the state in the 2022 election were not properly certified, and claims that more than 500,000 ballots must therefore be thrown out. Judge Melissa Iyer Julian has repeatedly found that the
Continue Reading UPDATE: Finchem Asks Judge To Reconsider Election Contest Sanctions, Just Before Defendants Are To Submit Their Bills (READ Motion)