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August 13, 2006: Court Hearing

On August 11, 2006, the Court held a hearing to decide the motions. (Transcript) The day before, the Court had issued a tentative ruling that indicated the questions that were to be addressed in the hearing, and said that the Court was tentatively planning to grant all the motions (basically giving Katzer, KAM and Russell all that they had requested).

The hearing lasted about 90 minutes, during which the Judge asked thoughtful questions of both sides. Clearly, he was trying to understand the issues raised in the large legal briefs. In the end, however, he adopted the tentative order, and issued a "minute order" to that effect.

We don't have the Court's full reasoning, but we believe that - because of California's anti-SLAPP procedure - the Court decided it could not hear evidence that would contradict Katzer's false statements. As a result, Katzer prevailed. And as a result, California's anti-SLAPP law requires that the defendants (Katzer and Russell) be reimbursed for their legal fees. The next step is the Court ruling on Katzer and Russell's attorneys fee requests. We have filed objections with the Court, and demand more detail of the bills than the sketchy outlines that have been provided so far. But if the requests are found to be reasonable, the Court will then order them paid.

The important thing is that the main parts of the case are still intact. However, certain claims in the original complaint have been removed. The Court will no longer consider libel or anti-trust charges against Katzer, nor any charges against Russell.

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