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Monique reportedly fires her legal team.

Discussion in 'Monique Rathbun' started by George Layton, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. ILove2Lurk

    ILove2Lurk Lisbeth Salander

    . . .
    Since we're all in a figure-figure and trying to work things out,
    this thread should get one of my appropriately themed shoops.

    Just for the lulz!

    A true believer for decades, Marty left the fold to become a blinded apologist,
    flawed armchair philosopher and failed guru. Then the most hostile critic,
    carrying the banner for a legal Crusades of sorts. His life always twisting and
    turning, full of contradictions and enigma. Will we ever know the real Marty?

    More to the point . . . do we even want to? * :coolwink:



    * Give the devil his due, I gotta say I enjoyed his
    Book III a lot . . . Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.
  2. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    I considered that as a possibility, but like you doubt it. When that happens, the client normally does NOT fire the attorney. Precisely because the client has rejected the settlement offcer, the client still needs the attorney. The client forces the attorney to seek court permission to withdraw as counsel of record. (Also, perhaps depending on the court and/or judge, failure to follow the attorney's advice regarding settlement is not necessarily a "get out of jail free card" to get court permission to withdraw as counsel of record.)
  3. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Two observations.

    First, I believe your use of the word "absolutely" is too strong. Perhaps depending on the judge and/or jurisdiction, the client's failure to follow the attorney's advice regarding settlement is not necessarily a "get out of jail free card" to obtain the court's permission to withdraw as counsel of record. Crudely put, an attorney cannot manufacture or create a breach in the attorney - client relationship and then rely on that very breach to obtain leave to withdraw as counsel of record.

    Second, what you said may not fit the Rathbun scenario factually. According to the court documents, Monique Rathbun fired Jeffrey. Jeffrey did not seek permission from the court to withdraw as counsel of record.

    I guess it is possible that: (1) the COS made a settlement offer that Monique Rathbun decided to accept against her attorney's advice; (2) Jeffrey absolutely refused to sign-off on the settlement; and (3) Monique then fired Jeffrey (and perhaps signed the settlement after doing so).

    If that happened, it was a very gutsy move by Jeffrey both regarding his professional responsibility to his client, and his ability to subsequently enforce a lien against the recovery. Most (if perhaps not all) attorneys would: (a) conclude that getting fired really wouldn't accomplish anything; and (b) paper the file (document) that the client was accepting the offer against their advice, sign off on it, collect their share of the settlement, and be done with it. Seriously, what does being fired accomplish? Particularly if the attorney has fully informed the client, verbally and in writing, of each and every reason why agreeing to the settlement is a bad idea?

    The only exception I can think of to the above is if the proposed settlement contained provisions in which the ATTORNEY made contractual promises -- e.g., not to represent or help clients against the COS in the future. (I'm thinking of the Dandar case.) If that is the case, then the attorney would have every right to refuse to sign.


    Alternatively, perhaps the proposed settlement agreement had a signature line for Jeffrey under the statement, "APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT" -- and Jeffrey refused to sign that, and the COS insisted he do so if he remained counsel of record (as opposed, say, to removing such signature line or even having it say only "APPROVED AS TO FORM"). I could understand that causing the termination. Still, if so a gutsy,albeit honorable, move.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  4. prosecco

    prosecco Patron Meritorious

    I think you're on the right track as far as contractual obligations possibly being a sticking point.

    Here's a scenario. An offer was brought to the table, and perhaps the financial settlement was roughly the right ball park, this was being negotiated, but included a clause that would bind Marty, maybe something along the lines that he would not speak about scientology or maybe that he stopped blogging.

    The suggestion that it would bind Ray Jeffrey parallel to the Dandar situation is an interesting one. There are lots of similarities such as smallish legal firm fighting scientology perhaps to the exclusion of other clients, getting a reputation for dealing with scientology effectively. I can totally see scientology wanting to shut down Ray Jeffrey, but not sure how this would lead to the action of firing one's attorney.

    As far as the, 'approved as to form and content,' scenario, it seems to me that at this stage, if after negotiations, wouldn't he withdraw rather than being fired? If an attorney signed the form aspect, but not the content, wouldn't there be grounds for negligence?

    I'm not sure whether this has been mentioned, but along the same lines of a doctor being a dreadful patient, a former legal exec would be a very difficult client. Marty adhered to the Hubbard advice of, 'How to Handle an Attorney,' for years which essentially meant that one dictated to the attorney what to do demanding compliance which is a very unrealistic view of the legal process.
  5. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter


    (1) Monique wanted to proceed with the settlement in a timely fashion (i.e., right away) over her attorney's objections;

    (2) the attorney's signature was required (e.g., as a party to the contract making promises [e.g., not to take further anti-COS cases], as counsel approving as to "Form and Content," or just as an attorney approving as to "Form"); and

    (3) the attorney for whatever reason refused to sign; then,

    (4) Monique would have to fire the attorney to get the deal done. What if Monique waited for Jeffrey to ask the court for permission to withdraw, and he never did? In the above scenario firing Jeffrey is the only thing that makes sense.
    Not unless saying he had reviewed and approved its form fell below the standard of care for an attorney -- i.e., there was something in the form (e.g., a trap) that a reasonable attorney would not have approved of, or at least would have warned his client about. Attorney's can be sued for negligence for letting their clients sign bad deals, but only if the attorney fails to warn the client about problems a reasonable attorney would catch. If the attorney warns about all risks (or more precisely all reasonably foreseeable risks), and the client insists on going forward, the attorney can't be sued. The final decision re: settlement is up to the client.

    Finally, I'll note that there may not be much, if any, distinction between approval as to "Form and Content" and approval only as to "Form." It might depend on the state, jurisdiction, etc. In event, that distinction (if any) is not going to be the hang-up in this case.

    I'm really beginning to suspect the proposed settlement required Jeffrey and his firm to promise, as a party to the contract, not to take any more anti-COS cases, or represent ex-Scientologists, and Jeffrey refused. Just a guess.

    Then again, maybe the "Form and Content" alternative. Maybe Jeffrey REALLY objected to the form and/or content, fully warned and informed Monique, she insisted on going forward, and he just couldn't bring himself to say and sign, in writing, that he "APPROVED" of a settlement agreement that he believed truly sucked. If so, kudos to him. Most attorneys would fully warn their client, in writing, sign off, collect their fee and move on.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  6. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    How could a suit brought by Monique have a settlement clause binding Marty of anything? He wasn't a party to it. I understand rules have nothing to do with it, and Miscavage, could offer something - to turn it off (making faucet twisting motions with his hands) that would make her want to pressure her husband to accept settlement over the protests of her attorneys. Thus the firing of them.

    About the update 3. She has a new baby to raise. She probably didn't want to be a political football in the first place. All she wanted was to make Miscavage get out of her face.

    But Tony and others have turned her life into a cause célèbre. Tony has a daily shark to feed. She became grist for his mill, as are many others. How many of his stories are without merit or lasting value? How many are against the wishes of his subjects? Yes, many are important but many are bordering on tabloidism.

    Look at his head line: The particularly bad timing of Monique Rathbun’s decision to fire her attorneys. Is he libeling her with a headline like that? It's obviously sensationalism. There's no objectivity - it's an opinion piece. A tabloid story.

    So, if she is asserting herself to be a private person and unwilling collateral damage in this BS - I can see them making a case for libel.

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  7. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thank you BunnySkull Although we still do not have much information on all this, I do think you hit the nail on the head in the part of your post which I underlined. It is exactly what I was thinking but your very clear delineation far exceeds what I could have written.

    It seems to follow what 'apparently' happened in the Debbie Cook case also. The only thing I see missing is the yet to be done step of Mosey asking the court to drop the case 'ONCE the Settlement Funds are securely in her hands and not just promised on paper....which the COS would love to renege on because they are protected by the first amendment...blah blah blah..and therefor above the law...blah blah blah and ONCE.....because of how long it took Larry Wollersheim. to see the blah blah blah arguments summaries.

  8. BunnySkull

    BunnySkull Silver Meritorious Patron

    I can't really agree with the "libel" label. Stating that someone firing their legal team on the eve of some critical legal arguments and deadlines (deadlines twice extended and now warned any further extensions would be highly disfavored) is bad timing is not really sensationalism, it's just a fact. You don't throw out your entire legal team at critical junctures. Without a lawyer it would indicate that they would be self-representing in a highly complex case against a freaking TEAM of over a dozen plus high paid lawyers for the CoS - I'd would even call that sheer folly if it happens.

    As for Mosey being a private person, sure, but legal cases are public record and therefore anyone can expect to have their public legal actions being reported on. It's part of a democracy to have a transparent legal system open to the public. (The only exception usually being made for criminal proceedings whereas victims are minors or rape victims) It's not like she wasn't aware of this going into the case and she sure as hell knew the whirlwind that would follow due to the nature of the case. I can't believe for one moment that Mosey wasn't expecting public and media attention on this case. Marty and her have had more than a few international trips paid for and been compensated in return for conducting interviews with film makers and journalists reporting on the CoS. Obviously Marty has usually been the focus given his role in the CoS but she has been firmly in the passenger seat with him. None of this attention could possibly surprise Mosey, it was to be expected, and I would even say I've been surprised at how little attention it has gotten in the mainstream press. I was hoping at things were expected to heat up this year that the media coverage would widen outside of the bunker and a few other outlets that take a serious interest in the CoS.

    ETA: I think in many instances the media attention is very much wanted in cases against the CoS because it can afford a measure of protection from the some of the worst of their abuse (due to the fear of bad PR) and media attention is the primary reason the cult settles. If Debbie Cook's painful testimony hadn't gone national I doubt she would have got such a quick settlement, same for the PI's - they gave just one interview before the cult said mercy and settled. If these cases took place with no fanfare or attention in some obscure courtroom you can bet the cult would do their absolute worst to grind them into the ground without holding back a inch. The public spotlight and media plays a vital role in these cases - but you have to take the good with the bad. It's a double edged sword.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  9. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron


    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  10. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    As regards the underlined by me portion of the quotes below would not the following apply and has Ken Dandar every argued this point?

    Rules of Professional Conduct
    Rule 1-500 Agreements Restricting a Member's practice
    (A) A member shall not be a party to or participate in offering or making an agreement, whether in connection with the settlement of a lawsuit or otherwise, if the agreement restricts the right of a member to practice law, except that this rule shall not prohibit such an agreement which:
    (1) Is a part of an employment, shareholders', or partnership agreement among members provided the restrictive agreement does not survive the termination of the employment, shareholder, or partnership relationship; or
    (2) Requires payments to a member upon the member's retirement from the practice of law; or
    (3) Is authorized by Business and professions Code sections 6092.5 subdivision (i), or 6093.
    (B) A member shall not be a party to or participate in offering or making an agreement which precludes the reporting of a violation of these rules.
    Paragraph (A) makes it clear that the practice, in connection with settlement agreements, of proposing that a member refrain from representing other clients in similar litigation, is prohibited. Neither counsel may demand or suggest such provisions nor may opposing counsel accede or agree to such provisions.
    Paragraph (A) permits a restrictive covenant in a law corporation, partnership, or employment agreement. The law corporation shareholder, partner, or associate may agree not to have a separate practice during the existence of the relationship; however, upon termination of the relationship (whether voluntary or involuntary), the member is free to practice law without any contractual restriction except in the case of retirement from the active practice of law. (Amended by order of Supreme Court, operative September 14, 1992.)

  11. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    "Since I was raised by two lawyers I well understand the fee structure and how things work in the USA..."

    :omg: BunnySkull did you ever have carrots tossed across the dinner table at you for your winning and discerning arguments? :biggrin:
  12. Balthasar

    Balthasar Patron Meritorious

    I think Bunny Skull's post 97, page 10 depicts the most likely scenario. For me the only one which makes sense and here is why.

    Marty (or Monique) can't accept a settlement. Never. That's not something Marty can do without loosing his credibility. Not only that, it would mean loosing everything, his honour, his reputation, betraying his own words in the books and the videos he has spoken. Once you have positioned and established yourself as the opposing leader of an entity (which Marty arguably did) you cannot back down. You have got to fight to the end until the last man standing. You may be able to withdraw and let others continue the fight but you can't settle. This is a proxy war so so anything occurring here is perceived in Marty's interest.

    Jefferies would have forwarded the Church settlement figure, Monique (Marty) said no because his desire is revenge to the dwarf who he, Marty has helped to "undeserved" rise to the top (I am trying to assimilate Marty's thinking). Jefferies said there will be pain and expenses and nothing better will be coming as endless time will drag on. So that was it I guess.

    I don't believe that it's money which drives Marty.
  13. prosecco

    prosecco Patron Meritorious

    I think your theory makes sense and also explains why there wasn't a filing at the same time to change counsel, although think it would be impossible to secure a team of lawyers who would hit the ground running at this very late stage, also keeping in mind that finding anyone in the legal profession to take their case on a contingency basis after Ray Jeffrey's team has done all the work. The element of potentially being embarrassed professionally would fit into your category of an issue with the form and content.

    There is an air of John Grisham here with Southern small town lawyer taking on evil corporate organisation, winning legal arguments and in the process getting a reputation as an honest, incorruptible lawyer. It is also really interesting to note, as far as I'm aware, there hasn't been any trashing of Ray Jeffrey by the C of S. I am sure they had a PI on him, went through his trash, spoke to colleagues, and nothing. No web sites dedicated to his 'shocking' behaviour.

    The other possibility is that Ray Jeffrey was encouraging Monique to wait until the next legal hurdle, I can't remember off the top of my head what it is, in order to boost their bargaining position? Maybe he was advising a later settlement after the appeal process had been exhausted?

    The case cannot continue without legal counsel, unless Marty intends to represent Monique...

    I hope you're right though; that a settlement is imminent.
  14. BunnySkull

    BunnySkull Silver Meritorious Patron

    LOL, I think the opposite, I knew not to voice an opinion without being prepared to fully to defend it on vigorous cross examination. A weak defense of my position got carrots thrown my way - and my father remarking "we need to hear no more from the peanut gallery" and oh how that made me fume.
  15. BunnySkull

    BunnySkull Silver Meritorious Patron

    Nor do I, but his wife might be far more pragmatic. While Marty has high ideals, the case is Mosey's if she gave him an ultimatium - we either settle or this marriage is over because I can't stand the BS I think Marty would chose his marriage over revenge.

    This may be inaccurate, but from what I can gather it is likely that Mosey has been the financial provider for the family for awhile. In that case she would acutely feel the financial pressure whereas Marty might be oblivious to it.

    However, I agree that trying to make heads or tails of this decision your scenario does make sense. The thing in its disfavor is how rarely anything makes sense when it comes to legal fights with the CoS.
  16. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    This one makes the most sense in relation to firing her lawyers. As you said, to lawyers this is a business and they will always look to their bottom line rather than take on causes with little return.

  17. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    If Marty decided to sit down and write THE book, his financial situation would probably improve dramatically. A lot of people would buy THAT book if written well.
  18. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    'How I Infiltrated the Higher Echelons of Scientology' ? :whistling:
  19. He-man

    He-man Hero extraordinary

    You mean, "How I was part of the Higher Echelons of Scientology" I am shure. :bleh:
  20. elwood

    elwood Patron with Honors

    This just in from Marty's blog:

    Mark C. Rathbun | February 3, 2016 at 6:15 am | Reply
    Notice to Bunkeroos: I am trashing all further comments carrying over opinion and advocacy that zealous minds on that forum apparently automatically convert into fact.

    Marty's whole blog is a WTF moment. He's back to deleting posts from people who defend Tony and don't kiss Marty's ass. His house-his rules.

    I guess we need to reactivate MartyWorld.