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Kyle Brennan vs Scientology: Oral arguments in Jacksonville September 14

Discussion in 'Kyle Brennan' started by Anonymous, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. YouSeeNothing Member

    I still don't see anything in the news regarding the appeal process. Can someone tell my why the judges wait until November now to reveal their findings and what process they will be going through in the interim?
  2. anon walker Moderator

    CLAW.jpg
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  3. Anonymous Member

    bump
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  4. Random guy Member

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  5. Eudae Member

    Do you have the group photos, before and after the court case?
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  6. Excuse me, let me deal with this. I know how to handle these situations (thanks, SuperNanny). We do not invite others to random acts of autoeroticism on this forum, Missy. Naughty step, now.

    There. Carry on :)
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  7. tigeratbay Member

    Pizza on me and nuts to you!:p Peanuts that is! :)
  8. anonymous612 Member

    Only Xander gets to call me missy.
  9. Darth Xander Member

    The three judge panel will take a vote on the case probably next week. Then it will be farmed out to one of the three judges to write the opinion. When that judge's clerk has a draft, it will be circulated to the other two judges' clerks for review. Also, you could have a dissent which means another clerk gets to draft something. All that writing and review takes time. November is a pretty quick turnaround if you ask me.
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  10. YouSeeNothing Member

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  11. Darth Xander Member

    With all due respect to a fellow member of the bar, once I get started talking about the law I can't stop.

    Incorrect. His argument is that the various legal conclusions the judge reached in making his decision dealt with questions that should of been left to a jury, not the judge. There is no argument about what a reasonable jury might decide; the question is what things does a jury get to decide.

    Incorrect. To uphold the trial judge's dismissal, the panel simply has to agree the judge was the right one to decide certain issues rather than a jury.

    Correct.

    Incorrect. On a motion for summary judgement the trial judge and the appellate judges will assume all facts alleged to be true. Any facts in dispute will be resolved to the benefit of the party that is not asking the judge to throw the case out. Really what an MSJ is is a request to a judge to throw a case out because, when you get right down to it, there's no basis for filing the lawsuit/no cause of action.

    Now, the appellate judges might reach different conclusions based on the facts of the case. But they will be reviewing those facts with the same standard as the trial judge (i.e., all facts alleged are true).

    I just point this out because a couple of folks have said things that don't really match up with possible outcomes. For purposes of the appeal, the facts are not in dispute. ML Muldrake.
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  12. Anonymous Member

    just shut the fuck up :D
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  13. muldrake Member

    Not yet licensed, though bar passed.

    Points well-taken. As if sometimes the case when talking off the cuff, I appear to have muddled the issue. I am not sure why I dumped the standard for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict into my description of the summary judgment standard. Why I did that, I'm not sure.
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  14. adhocrat Member

    I thought the bar was the bar, so to speak. What else is needed to get a license?
  15. YouSeeNothing Member

    Anyone know what he's up to these days. Speaks volumes that he couldn't be bothered to attend the appellate hearing, no?
  16. Darth Xander Member

    The swearing in.

    As for Tom Brennan, I believe he's still hanging around Clearwater. I'm not surprised he didn't show up because the guy, from the reports I've read, appeared to be completely unfazed by his son's death. He did everything he could to evade service of the lawsuit. I'm sure he's trying to sell copies of Dianetics somewhere hoping the appeals court affirms the dismissal.
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  17. YouSeeNothing Member

    Thank you. I checked Pinellas court records and there were a few civil cases, but I would need to know his middle name to verify.
    https://public.co.pinellas.fl.us/mainmenux.jsp
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  18. Darth Xander Member

    Don't have a middle name for you. Sorry. He's bad news.
  19. Anonymous Member

    I had to look up msj = motion for summary judgement...
    Even with muldrake and xander's explanations... and with how complicated the case is, I am still foggy as to what the results of the descision actually mean and what is going to happen next.

    Could someone just dumb he whole thing just way way way down so even Ken Moxon could understand?
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  20. Darth Xander Member

    For the appeal? They either affirm the lower court's decision and the lawsuit is over or they reverse and the lawsuit is a go again. That happens in November.
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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

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  22. muldrake Member

    There have to be enough facts in evidence that a jury could find them to prove the case alleged. To get to trial, you don't need enough to guarantee you'll win, but you do need more than a "scintilla." Essentially, if a judge decides not to put the case before a jury, it is because there just isn't enough that even if believed, would lead to a favorable verdict for the plaintiff (or less often the defendant).

    All evidence is to be considered in the light most favorable to the opposing party.

    Often an affidavit by the plaintiff or a potential witness alleging material facts known to that witness, to which they could testify, is sufficient.

    "Material" facts are those which would meet the party's burden of proof. Arguments about nonmaterial facts are not sufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion.

    The appeals court could do anything from completely reverse the grant of summary judgment, reverse it as to just one party (such as Thomas Brennan), or affirm the opinion in its entirety.

    If the appeals panel reverses the grant of summary judgment as to one or more parties, the case is remanded to (in all likelihood) Judge Merryday for further proceedings consistent with the remand of the appeals panel. If not, the case is done, unless the Supreme Court takes it up, which is highly unlikely.

    EDIT: to follow up briefly on a previous post, the language about a "reasonable jury" as relevant to summary judgment is often something like this: "A genuine issue of material fact exists if a reasonable jury could enter a verdict for the non-moving party. Crawford v. Formosa Plastics Corp., 234 F.3d 899, 902 (5th Cir. 2000)." This is just a cite from an otherwise undistinguished Fifth Circuit case.

    This is, however, as Darth Xander pointed out, not an issue of the judge weighing the credibility of the evidence and deciding, for instance, that he thinks the witness is lying or he doesn't agree with the expert report. It is deciding that there is essentially no substantial evidence of record. The reason no reasonable jury could find for the plaintiff is that there is simply nothing backing it up, not that the trial court does not find it credible, since that is the jury's job.

    Despite the use of the same language in the judgment notwithstanding the verdict standard, the standard is substantially different, and the JNOV occurs after the jury has reached a verdict. Summary judgment precludes having a trial at all, at least as to the issue or issues resolved by summary judgment. Summary judgment can be partial, as to a claim or defense, or complete (as in this case), disposing of the entire case.
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  23. YouSeeNothing Member

    It would go back to Merryday? Basically saying to him, you need to reopen/continue this trial as the summary judgement was invalid and a jury needs to decide on the evidence originally provided? Can new evidence be admitted?
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  24. Darth Xander Member

    Yes, yes and yes, assuming the parties did not settle beforehand. At trial the plaintiff could present whatever evidence they wanted to.
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  25. muldrake Member

    Yes. At this time, assuming the trial court does not dispose of the case on some alternate grounds before trial, which can happen, trial is when the full evidentiary record is generated. That's when you get testimony about facts and expert opinion testimony, and the jury gets presented with whatever the parties decide to use.

    That material is what the fact-finder actually uses to make a decision.

    Summary judgment motions usually occur at the close of discovery, so much of the evidence is already available, but to the extent it is possible to get more evidence, that is generally not prohibited, although trying to pull out "gotcha" witnesses and evidence at the last minute is disfavored even in the cases where it is not actually against the rules.
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  26. YouSeeNothing Member

    Excellent. Thank you, guise.
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  27. Anonymous Member

    Sorry, that was not dumbed down enough for me ... Ken Moxen
  28. Anonymous Member

    As well as the summary of the appeal briefs I posted on Friday,
    a few hours before the oral arguments actually started, I wrote
    a summary of the facts of the facts of the case -- and the tortuous
    litigation surrounding it, earlier this year. You can find it here:

    http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com/2012/03/brennan-case-goes-to-appeal.html

    I'm a journalist, not an attorney: that dumb enough for you? :)
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  29. Albion Member


    As well as the summary of the appeal briefs I posted on Friday,
    a few hours before the oral arguments actually started, I wrote
    a summary of the facts of the facts of the case -- and the tortuous
    litigation surrounding it, earlier this year. You can find it here:

    http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com/2012/03/brennan-case-goes-to-appeal.html

    I'm a journalist, not an attorney: that dumb enough for you? :)

    (Okay, that was really dumb: wasn't meant to be anonymous.)

    Jonny Jacobsen
    Infinite Complacency
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  30. muldrake Member

    I recommend all these posts, which are very useful even if you actually have read the appeals briefs.
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  31. YouSeeNothing Member

    In regards to Duty of Care, I understand both lawyers claimed there's nothing on the books and I wanted to understand it more fully. I started with Wikipedia, which states:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_of_care

    Could someone elaborate on this "simple" statement? For example, who/what parties does Duty of Care apply? Can the Good Samaritan Act be applied to this case? I understand that the law protects good samaritans, but I found this"
    http://www.cprinstructor.com/FL-GS.htm

    EDIT:
    In regards to parent-child, does the law specify age, or whether or not the child is an adult?
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  32. YouSeeNothing Member

    So nauseating, knowing what we do about the case, that we have to move forward with the assumption that Kyle took his own life.

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  33. Anonymous Member

    Well after reading some of the writing it appears you had a 20yr old in a fragile emotional state on an SSRI Lexapro. Whom after having been involved in a traumatic incident while on vacation he went to visit his father.

    Rather than the father helping the child he only compounded the trauma using his authoritarian domination over the young man forcing him to move in with him.

    The parent with whom the 20yr old resided firmly stated that the young man should stay on medication and the young man had stated his wish to do the same. It is totally irresponsible to immediately stop taking this SSRI's without a withdrawal taper that should have been managed by a medical professional.

    Knowing that his child Kyle was going through an emotional episode and had suffered from previous mental health issues the father was fully aware of his son's state of mind. As well as his being on medication for treating a medically diagnosed issue. This coupled along with the fact that Kyle would have known of his fathers propensity to have firearms at his residence is quite troubling.

    I hope myself that a jury will be allowed to hear this case as I believe should have occurred in the first place.

    I firmly believe that YouSeeNothing wishes a jury would get the case to it's no slight upon you I just wised to jump in with this little rant:)
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  34. muldrake Member

    Editing nested quotes in this thing sucks, so I'm going to forego it.


    "Good Samaritan Acts" generally protect an otherwise innocent individual from liability if they intervene in an emergency and accidentally do something wrong that instead causes more damage. The purpose of these laws is that people don't just walk by an emergency and fail to act because they're afraid of getting sued. They usually do not require a bystander to act at their own peril to rescue someone.

    A very few such laws actually require someone to intervene to assist a person in distress. These are, IMO, improperly called Good Samaritan laws. Apparently, Wikipedia disagrees. Well, IMO, Wikipedia is wrong. Their definition is bad, and they should feel bad.

    Onto other things.

    At least from a legal standpoint, a "parent-child" relationship requires that the other party actually be a child. Kyle Brennan was technically an adult. Unless the adult is disabled and the parent has adopted a caretaker role, that kind of relationship generally terminates upon the child reaching adulthood.

    My personal belief, and it differs somewhat from the briefs, is that liability lies here because Thomas Brennan and Scientology are responsible for the existence of the injury, that is, the removal of necessary psychiatric medication. Therefore, they were responsible to remove from the premises items like handguns that resulted in the ultimate and fatal injury against Kyle Brennan.

    That someone on antidepressant medications who had expressed suicidal ideation and appeared to be a danger to himself might act on that ideation if the medications were removed is entirely foreseeable. By creating that situation, the defendants also shouldered the burden of a duty of care to the plaintiff.
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  35. YouSeeNothing Member

    I want a jury, but that wasn't my point. My point was that, with all of the evidence: lack of GSR, missing bullet, missing ammo, ad nauseum... I, personally, have a hard time even calling it a suicide and it bothers me every time I hear that word in regards to this case. I just picture his father smiling every time it's uttered.
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  36. YouSeeNothing Member

    OK. This may sound out there, and I apologize beforehand. Is the "suicidal ideation" already evidence in the original trial? If so, and as Potter stated, that Kyle and Tom "agreed" to withhold his medication, can this be construed as assisted suicide?
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  37. Anonymous Member

    ^ Just reading through some of the pleadings this young man was medically diagnosed as having suffered from schizophrenia as well as depression. The first mental health issue drives it up a notch as it is a much more serious problem. Any adult American I believe who participated or was a party to taking away this young man's medication is culpable in his subsequent death and that a jury would find said.

    I still would say even missing forensic evidence would not detract from the case as the autopsy would show a self-inflicted gunshot wound killed Kyle. However those are all after the fact, I think the meat is what drove him to commit the act which was the removal of his medication by his father under direction from the co$.
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  38. muldrake Member

    No, and you don't get to add causes of action to your original complaint at will at this stage of a lawsuit.
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  39. Darth Xander Member

    Just so people get a better understanding of the ruling, the trial judge said there are no facts that establish Tom Brennan or any other Scientologist had anything to do with taking Kyle's meds away. The only direct evidence in the record on this point comes from Tom Brennan himself, who testified Kyle voluntarily surrendered his meds to his father after telling him to take them away because they made him feel like crap.

    Here again, the judge said there's just nothing in the record demonstrating at what frequency Kyle was taking his meds or even if he had been taking them at all prior to surrendering them to his dad. So the judge argued the jury would have to infer whether Kyle was taking his meds prior to surrender, at what frequency and then infer what impact the cessation of the meds would have had on Kyle at that point. The judge felt there were just too many inferences for a jury to make in order to find for the plaintiff. In other words, there was no direct evidence to support the plaintiff's claim.
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  40. YouSeeNothing Member

    Thank you.

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