Cowardly "Quackbusters" DISMISS Case to Avoid Being DEPOSED?...
February 23, 2002
Opinion by consumer advocate Tim Bolen
The self-styled "quackbusters" have LOST ANOTHER court case in California... This time, before they even went to trial. And, it looks to me, that they lost it INTENTIONALLY to avoid having their leadership legally "deposed."
Last year, to hear the "quackbusters" talk, you'd have thought they'd found, and activated, the perfect plan to rid the world of what THEY define as "quackery."
Using their "front" organization, the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), they decided to sue 39 Defendants under California's "Private Attorney General Law." In those separate suits they basically claimed that all 39 Defendants were committing "fraud" because, according to them, Alternative Medicine proponents "Don't have scientific proof of their claims."
This was the first legal test of the basic "quackbuster" claims against Alternative Medicine. So far, TWICE NOW, they've been laughed out of court for their STUPID arguments, and ARROGANT presumptions... Two down, thirty-seven to go...
The North American Health Freedom Movement, tired of "quackbuster" crap, has decided to take them on, right here, and right now - nose-to-nose. And, the "quackbusters" are no match.
Now, faced with the fruits of their actions, you can't find a "quackbuster" anywhere in sight. We've even looked under the bed. The "quackpot menace" has fled the field. They simply don't have ANYONE willing to stand up, and face, the Health Freedom Movement.
WE JUST MADE A SIMPLE REQUEST...
All we're asking them to do, in all those 39 court cases they filed in California, is three simple things: (1) provide scientific proof of their ludicrous claims, (2) provide "evidence based" testimony, from (3) experts and witnesses with real credentials, and REAL RESUMES.
They cannot, in any of the cases we've gone nose-to-nose with them in California, provide ANY of the three items we've asked them to provide. And now, we've gone WAY beyond just asking for their proof. We're demanding to know the details of their reasoning in their decision to become the Plaintiff in those 39 cases. And, it's here, at this point, that Barrett and Baratz (their leadership), have decided to cut, and run...
I think it is realistic to expect that both Barrett, and Baratz, may soon flee the country (leave US soil for a foreign country), where they can't be subpoenaed. It is getting that bad for them.
Top "quackbusters," Stephen Barrett and Bobbie Baratz, will apparently do ANYTHING to avoid being DEPOSED.
A "deposition" is a form of legal discovery. It is an out-of-court recording of a witness's sworn testimony, which can be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit, or a criminal trial (or both).
HERE IS WHAT JUST HAPPENED...
On Wednesday, January 29, 2002, in case # BC246920, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle granted a Defense Motion ORDERING the depositions of Barrett and Baratz. The NCAHF had earlier REFUSED TO PROVIDE Baratz and Barrett for deposition. The NCAHF also demanded that, if they were to be deposed, the defense "pay them expert witness fees, air fare, hotel bills, meals, etc.). Baratz had demanded fees including $350 per hour for his testimony.
$350 per hour? Did I mention the word "Megalomania?"
Only a few hours after the Judge's decision ordering the depositions in the case, the NCAHF DISMISSED the case.
The case was due to go to trial February 13, 2002. California Civil Litigator Carlos Negrete had assembled a stable of world-renowned Defense witnesses - and was also calling (as Defense witnesses) the ENTIRE Board of Directors of the NCAHF.
(Insert laugh-track here) It has become strongly apparent that the "quackbusters" don't want their personal affairs examined under a bright light. Gee, I wonder why?
Judge Berle agreed with Negrete's claim that Baratz, and Barrett, were, in fact, "the Plaintiff," and that the Defense team had the right to depose them, and to depose them without cost to the Defendant. The Judge also SANCTIONED the NCAHF and their attorney (fined them $1000), for failing to provide Barrett, and Baratz, at first demand.
Earlier in the case, the Plaintiff's attorney Morse Mehrban, had tried to block deposition of any NCAHF leadership, claiming that he, Mehrban, was the one to be deposed. The Judge, in that earlier action, disagreed with Mehrban, sided with Negrete, and ordered the NCAHF to provide a representative to answer Negrete's questions in deposition. The NCAHF first provided William Jarvis, co-founder with Barrett, of the NCAHF. Jarvis, in deposition, admitted to having NO KNOWLEDGE of the case, or of how the NCAHF might have decided to become a Plaintiff. He indicated that all decisions were made by Stephen Barrett, and Bobbie Baratz. Hence, Negrete DEMANDED deposition of Barrett, and Baratz. The Judge agreed.
SO WHY ARE THE "QUACKPOTS" AFRAID OF DEPOSITION?
Several reasons: (1) Because they know now, from experience, that Health Freedom teams across North America, are exchanging information about them, (2) Because they've had that information used against them in courtrooms, and public meetings, RECENTLY, to their detriment, (3) Because they are very afraid of what we're going to do NEXT with the information we already have, (4) Because they are very afraid of having to answer the kind of questions we are asking, (5) Because they can see where we are heading, with the kind of questions we are asking, (6) Because they know we are using every opportunity to gather information to bolster the "racketeering" (RICO) complaint filed against them... (7) Because they know that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been sniffing around the Oakland (RICO) case, wanting to see our files... (8) Because - they can run, but they can't hide... and we are relentless.
I love it when a plan comes together...