A Colorado court ruled Wednesday that pro-Donald Trump lawyers not only lost their class-action lawsuit, but they are also now going to be sanctioned to pay for all of the legal fees for Facebook, Dominion Voting Systems, the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin, and the non-profit Center for Tech and Civic Life.
Speaking about the case on MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell smirked as he explained how amazingly the 68-page legal decision was written. O'Donnell particularly enjoyed the point at which the judge shamed the Trump-loving lawyers for claiming something was a "fact" because the former president tweeted it.
But as the legal experts explained, the reason these Trumpy lawyers, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker, are being forced to pay for the legal fees is due to a Republican-backed bill that was an attempt to end what they called "frivolous lawsuits."
The documentary "Hot Coffee" explores the story of a woman that got a cup of coffee at McDonald's that was so hot that when it spilled on her she sustained third-degree burns that sent her to the hospital. The woman sued the company for medical bills and related fees, but the court awarded her $3 million. It became the story for pro-corporate Republicans who mocked her injuries. Ultimately, she ensured the temperature of coffee at the chain across the country was changed.
There's a political issue in cases like this as well. Corporations tend to support Republicans and trial lawyers, who bring cases against corporations for wrongdoing, tend to give money to Democrats.
"Yet powerful special interests are determined to diminish the rights of individual citizens and the access those citizens have to the court system. By promoting the myth of "frivolous lawsuits," they work to distort our civil justice system and intimidate individuals from exercising their constitutional rights and seeking justice when they are injured or a loved one is killed due to negligence," the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association explained.
Many Republican-led states began passing laws against the so called "frivolous lawsuits." What that looked like was that if any lawsuit is deemed "frivolous" by a judge, the defendant can petition the court to demand their legal fees be paid for by the petitioner.
What is happening now, however, is that Republicans are the ones behind such lawsuits. As O'Donnell explained, the right-wing lawyers who went after billions of dollars in "damages," now must pay hefty legal fees for massive corporations like Facebook, as well as states involved in the lawsuits.
A similar case was brought by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who sued two Twitter accounts that mocked him on the platform. One of the accounts purports to be a cow that belongs to the Nunes family dairy. Nunes is now suing NBC Universal for an MSNBC report from Rachel Maddow that is causing him to suffer "insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering and injury to his reputation." Despite Nunes living in California and working in Washington, D.C. and Maddow's show being done out of NBC's New York offices, it's being tried in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.
Virginia, however, doesn't have the kind of laws that Colorado does. But since the Nunes lawsuit, Democrats in the state are pushing an anti-SLAPP law. SLAPP stands for "strategic lawsuits against public participation." They're essentially laws that would protect news organizations, bloggers, and even fake Twitter cows, from being targeted by a thin-skinned California Congressman.
Watch the full discussion from legal experts below:
Stupid stupid Trumpy lawyers www.youtube.com