“A&E ‘Wars’: Network trashes Hester’s ‘Storage’ suit”

Oh what sharp eyes I have! And aren’t you glad? After my initial report on the trash guy Dave Hester’s claims against A&E’s “Storage Wars,” I’ve picked up this piece on the next stage of Hester’s lawsuit:

In a lengthy denial to a lawsuit filed by former “Storage Wars” star Dave Hester—who in a breach-of-contract lawsuit alleges that producers fraudulently stashed valuable items among the junk in storage lockers…A&S is asking a court to toss out the suit but never addresses his accusation that the show is rigged.

Well, the Daily News’s Don Kaplan is being just a tad disingenuous there. (Or has no background in law.) When a defendant to a possibly frivolous lawsuit—a lawsuit that has no legitimate causes of action (doesn’t name and present actual laws that have been broken)—files, as A&E apparently has done, a summary judgment motion asking that the whole case be tossed out, the defendant doesn’t answer charges that have no legitimacy. What’s the point? The defendant is challenging a court-filed complaint, not a public relations declaration.

According to this piece, A&E “has previously defended the show, arguing that it is entirely real and not staged.” That was presumably a PR statement which, also presumably, A&E’s lawyers determined was precisely how such a statement should properly be made, i.e., not in court papers.

Indeed, here, as quoted in the Daily News, is a paragraph from A&E’s filing:

In a transparent attempt to distract from the issues—and maximize any potential recovery—[Hester’s] complaint tries to convert a garden-variety breach-of-contract claim into a tabloid-worthy drama, in which Hester portrays himself as a crusading whistleblower. But setting aside the notable inconsistencies in his exaggerated self-portrait, the law does not permit such sophistry.

And that’s the kind of thing you will have to read about yourself in a summary judgment motion, if you too file a frivolous lawsuit, or a counterclaim in a legitimate lawsuit. You can name-call like crazy but even if your accusations are true and provable, they may not be actionable. Indeed, it’s possible that the only action you’ll see in such publicly made claims is an action against you, for defamation.

I’ve often repeated the mantra given to me by a great lawyer: “Anybody can sue anybody for anything at any time.” But “anybody,” in this case Dave Hester, can also have his case immediately thrown out by the court. Which, if I’ve interpreted this Daily News piece accurately, may very well happen. At least on some of the issues.

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