Home Criminal Defense Alex Jones’s Lawyers Are Waking Up With Fleas. Also Sanctions. – Above...

Alex Jones’s Lawyers Are Waking Up With Fleas. Also Sanctions. – Above the Law

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(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Pour one out for Alex Jones’s lawyers, who are having a bad stretch.

Last week, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis suspended attorney Norm Pattis from the practice of law for six months after he failed to safeguard the Sandy Hook plaintiffs’ protected medical and psychological records. Pattis set in motion the spectacular series of cockups that led to Jones being confronted on the witness stand in Texas by a plaintiffs’ attorney in possession of the entire contents of his cellphone. Pattis has since won a temporary stay from the Superior Court if he can manage to file a writ of error in timely fashion. We’re pulling for ya, Norm!

Meanwhile in Texas, Jones’s attorney Andino Reynal is facing substantial financial penalties for his part in “a bad faith scheme to disrupt this litigation with an abusive and frivolous bankruptcy and groundless removal.”

In April 2022, on the eve of the Texas Sandy Hook trial, Alex Jones placed three worthless LLCs in bankruptcy. Because the LLCs were named defendants in the tort suits, the move had the effect of staying the state proceedings. The US Trustee characterized the bankruptcies as “classic bad faith filings” deploying “a novel and dangerous tactic that is abusive and undermines the integrity of the bankruptcy system.” Indeed, Pattis explicitly admitted this to the Wall Street Journal, blustering that his client was “turning to the bankruptcy courts to compel the plaintiffs to estimate the value of their claims in open court by discernible evidentiary standards.”

Jones hoped to use the delay to fob the plaintiffs off with a pittance of $10 million in a Litigation Settlement Trust. Instead, the plaintiffs simply nonsuited the LLCs, and got remanded for trial.  Jones eventually slunk out of bankruptcy court with his tail between his knees — although not for long. But in that first short foray, Reynal appears to have made one or two tiny oopsies.

According to Travis County District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, Reynal initiated the removal to federal court after the LLC had been dismissed, making “knowingly groundless statements, insofar that they stated that InfoWars, LLC was a defendant in the underlying action.” Similarly, he played fast and loose with his obligation to disclose the ownership structure of the LLC by refusing to accept service, failing to update discovery, and misleading the plaintiffs. In sum, he facilitated the removal to bankruptcy court “as part of a scheme that was pursued for the purposes of harassment and/or delay and to prevent this Court from proceeding with a scheduled hearing.”

After considering “the credibility of his representations,” Judge Gamble awarded “reasonable attorney’s fees in connection with [the plaintiffs’] Motion, attorney’s fees incurred in April trial preparation, attorney’s fees incurred in the bankruptcy courts relating to InfoWars, LLC, and any non-refundable fees for April trial accommodations.” She reserved the right to “award an additional punitive monetary sanction if the Court concludes that an additional sanction is necessary for sufficient deterrent effect.” And for good measure, she promised in advance to make him pay the plaintiffs’ costs if he appeals and loses.

And not for nothing, but that’s only the pre-trial sanctions — there are still sanctions motions pending for Reynal’s conduct in court.

But it wasn’t all bad news for the Texas attorney, who escaped further punishment in Connecticut, after Judge Bellis declined to sanction him, citing his cooperation with the disciplinary hearing, for which he made the trip from Texas to appear in person, and the difficulty of managing discovery when you are the tenth lawyer entering an appearance on a complicated case.

So, it’s not all bad news.


Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

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