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*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker campaign lawyer hints at defamation suit, claims campaign was never served

Friday, Oct 19, 2018

* WCIA TV’s Mark Maxwell

The campaign for Democrat J.B. Pritzker is threatening to file a countersuit for defamation after 10 current and former campaign staffers accused the campaign of racial discrimination.

The campaign is eager to file a motion to dismiss, but has no way to pursue that path until the other party serves them with the lawsuit, which officially allows the case to proceed. […]

At the time of this publishing, plaintiff attorneys Shay Allen and Jeanette Samuels have not served the Pritzker campaign with the complaint. The case cannot begin until the defendant has been served. […]

Meanwhile, Allen and his co-counsel have conducted roughly a dozen media interviews and have scheduled a press conference for Monday, October 22nd, which is 15 days before the upcoming election.

Allen even drove more than three hours each way to be interviewed by Mark Maxwell, and they haven’t served the Pritzker campaign?

* From the Pritzker lawyer’s letter to opposing counsel

Likewise, it has come to the Campaign’s attention that at least one of your clients left work early one day asserting that she was feeling unwell when, in fact, she then made at least one press appearance.

Sheesh.

Go read Maxwell’s full report.

By the way, during Maxwell’s interview of Shay Allen, the lawyer said one of the reasons his clients sued was because job openings were not made publicly available to campaign workers. That’s kinda bizarre.

* Meanwhile

Democratic attorney general candidate Kwame Raoul on Friday said he wouldn’t judge a federal civil rights lawsuit recently filed against governor candidate J.B. Pritzker’s campaign, but also called it “shoddily drafted.” […]

Jeanette Samuels, an attorney representing the staffers, said in an email, “We respectfully disagree with State Senator Raoul’s characterization and wish him the best of luck on his campaign.”

Sen. Raoul is right. The lawsuit is without a doubt shoddily written.

* From March

Shay T. Allen (5th subcircuit): A solo practitioner, Allen was found not qualified by all three bar groups mainly for his short career and lack of experience. The Chicago Bar Association also mentioned problems with punctuality. Allen declined to comment on his evaluations through his attorney, Jim Doppke.

Allen also has a beef against him at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

*** UPDATE *** I’m told two of these staffers were let go after the primary, and the third is the one who quit after Pritzker’s “least offensive” quote came out during the primary…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

66 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    ==Allen also has a beef against him at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.==

    A beef alleging false statements, right?


  2. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    Is that the Benny Hill theme I hear playing in the background?


  3. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    Show them the money.

    I’m convinced they saw a cash cow and thought they’d milk it.


  4. - Retired Educator - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:13 pm:

    This is quickly turning into a clown show. I think the whole thing is a fabrication, to gain notoriety, and some cash.


  5. - njt16 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    “Candidates who took part in the evaluation process and received negative ratings from all three bar groups:”

    Says a lot that all three orgs gave a negative rating.


  6. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==Allen even drove more than three hours each way to be interviewed by Mark Maxwell, and they haven’t served the Pritzker campaign?==

    I assume they hired a process server to serve the Complaint, in which case the attorney’s schedule isn’t really an issue.


  7. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    When interviews and press coverage are more important than the alleged ‘justice’ sought, it’s reasonable to suspect nefarious motivations.


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===A beef alleging false statements, right? ===

    To a judge, I think.


  9. - Nick - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    On the one hand you still have 10 (now more?) people with previous campaign experience and involvement in Democratic politics signing their name to a lawsuit.

    On the other hand, every time we hear more about this lawsuit, the less credibility it has.

    It’s hard to rectify.


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    ===I assume they hired a process server==

    They were apparently too busy to do so.


  11. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    ==To a judge, I think.==

    …and obviously we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions before the ARDC conducts its hearing, but that certainly makes me itchy.


  12. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    What, I wonder, would Samuel’s law professors think of the lawsuit??? Is that something she would have turned in as a completed assignment and expected a passing grade??? If she drafted a portion of it, and Allen did another, I hope she looked at the final product before it was filed. If she did, and still feels that it was OK to submit, then it is a poor reflection of her work standard.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    I said this Wednesday… it coulda set a table nicely today.

    ===“Being wealthy, I can have these type of issues far more than others. Money, and a want for it, makes people do things they might not normally do. That’s all I’ll say to this”===

    The narrative from Jump Street woulda been the cash… there woulda been a marker to circle back to as well.

    “I reference you to my statement on Wednesday… Being wealthy, I can have these type of issues far more than others. Money, and a want for it, makes people do things they might not normally do. That’s all I’ll say to this”

    We’ll see how the Pritzker Crew decides to “close this loop” or keep this a day to day update “thingy”


  14. - Henry Francis - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    Is the primary purpose of this lawsuit to remedy civil rights violations of the plaintiffs?

    Or something else?

    So far the actions of the Shayster support the theory that the primary purpose of the complaint is to inflict maximum damage to JB’s election chances.

    Why rush to the courthouse?
    Why not file it after the election when you would have a better chance of reaching a settlement?
    Why file a complaint before it has been proofread?
    Why file a lawsuit with weak claims?
    Why not take some time to investigate the claims and see if they lead to bigger claims, or additional plaintiffs, each of which would strengthen the complaint?
    Why not file under the more advantageous Title VII instead Section 1981 which has the higher burden of proving intent (something Shayster failed to mention in his interview)?
    Why not serve the complaint upon the defendant so the wheels of justice can begin to turn for your clients?
    Why go on a media blitz to say you will only discuss specifics (evidence) in the court room?

    I know the conclusion I draw from those facts.


  15. - burbanite - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    “I assume they hired a process server to serve the Complaint,”

    They didn’t have to, the attorney just wants them to send it to him if you read the letter. In fact, it is common practice to agree to accept service and even accept it by email. You don’t need to be formally served to voluntarily appear in a case.


  16. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    ===I assume they hired a process server===

    From Maxwell’s piece:

    “We sent it to them. We gave it to them when we filed,” (Allen) claimed, though he swiftly backtracked and blamed his partner for the error when he was informed the Pritzker campaign had not yet been served.”

    This isn’t going to end well for the plaintiffs.


  17. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    ==They were apparently too busy to do so.==

    Well, I was about to say that it’s not uncommon for a process server to need a few days to serve a Complaint, but that’s not the excuse Allen is giving to Maxwell.

    Boy oh boy, is Maxwell suspicious of this…


  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    –“We respectfully disagree with State Senator Raoul’s characterization and wish him the best of luck on his campaign.”–

    It’s really not a matter of opinion. If you’re not embarrassed, that’s very revealing.


  19. - JB13 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    I’m not a lawyer, but even I know you can’t sue for defamation if the only statements against you are contained in a filed complaint. But sure, go for it.


  20. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    @OW

    If the Pritzker campaign files a defamation suit, wouldn’t that effectively ‘close the loop’?


  21. - Flynn's Mom - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    This smells of Rauner with Shay Allen in the Ken Dunkin role.


  22. - RNUG - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    == They were apparently too busy to do so. ==

    Come on already with the too busy excuse. My ex-wife was a legal secretary for a number of years. She often delivered the paperwork or summons in person.

    There is zero excuse for this level of sloppiness.


  23. - Duopoly - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    “racial epitaphs” (Complaint at 6)

    Does that mean slurs on your tombstone?


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===If the Pritzker campaign files a defamation suit, wouldn’t that effectively ‘close the loop’?===

    Now you’re suing your own staff.

    Now we’ll see how that suit goes.

    It’s now a “…or keep this a day to day update “thingy”

    There’s 18 days left in this race.


  25. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    ==In fact, it is common practice to agree to accept service and even accept it by email.==

    Sure, when a Defendant volunteers to waive proper service (as I think it did here). But in that case, the delay is pretty confusing. At least when you hire a process server, service is at the mercy of their schedule. When all you have to do is send an e-mail, I don’t understand the hold up.


  26. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    My take on the complaint was that it was written to get them in a newsroom not in a courtroom. The events of the last few days only seem to reinforce that.


  27. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==Come on already with the too busy excuse.==

    Rich will correct me if I’m wrong, but I read a lot of sarcasm in that line…


  28. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    I could actually see some Plaintiffs asking to be removed from this thing at this point.


  29. - Matts - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    Hopefully the plaintiffs will get what they have coming. That goes triple for their ‘lawyers’’


  30. - Squround - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    LOL @ Duopoly 3:30 pm


  31. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    Ow

    You seem to think JB is supposed to be silent and just pay the staff.. When you believe you are innocent then you take it to court which JB is doing.


  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    “racial epitaphs”

    This has nothing to do with the Roland Burris mausoleum. Move along!


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    ===You seem to think JB is supposed to be silent and just pay the staff.. ===

    No.

    If you let this fester to here… you state at jump street it’s a shakedown of cash, say nothing else, let the facts lead to that marker you laid down, repeat the open, refer to the marker, and as it collapses on itself, you reiterate the first point and remind folks that money makes people do odd things… until Election Day.

    Now you’re suing your staff.

    That’s one way to go, yes.


  34. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    If this lawyer has not served Pritzker but is doing multiple media interviews it seems he has other motivations as I thought. He is using Rauner talking points as well. He has lobbied in Springfield before. Seems like he has a deeper agenda to me.


  35. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===Now you’re suing your own staff.===

    Countersuing. Different connotation. The guy is defending himself against all the stuff you mention.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===…but is doing multiple media interviews it seems he has other motivations as I thought. He is using Rauner talking points as well. He has lobbied in Springfield before. Seems like he has a deeper agenda to me.===

    Yeah, and Mueller is a Democrat, and Rosenstein is a Democrat…

    The conspiracy is the premise of a shakedown.

    You aren’t helping.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===The guy is defending himself against all the stuff you mention.===

    … against his own staff.

    Good look?


  38. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    Who cares if its against the stagf? Who says the staff is all saints?


  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===Who cares if its against the staff? Who says the staff is all saints?===

    So now we want people to think Pritzker hired bad apples and is in court suing and countersuing the last 18 days of a campaign?

    Happy Hour come early for ya?


  40. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    The sued threatening to counter sue is a tactic as old as Kavanaugh’s beer. Most never do it and the rest have limited to no success. With Times v. Sullivan, JB couldn’t win a defamation suit. He’s a public figure who would have an almost impossible standard to prove.


  41. - Shytown - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:04 pm:

    This is all such a farce. I’m over it.


  42. - Henry Francis - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:05 pm:

    JB isn’t going to sue for defamation. As preciously mentioned, statements made in pleadings are privileged. His remedy is Rule 11 sanctions against the lawyers.


  43. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===Happy Hour come early for ya?===

    It’s possible that others have legitimate opinions about this too, isn’t it? You don’t need to respond to everything either. The sheer volume of your comments can tend to marginalize them, like so much background noise that people just don’t hear after a while.


  44. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===statements made in pleadings are privileged===

    But statements made to TV reporters are not.


  45. - JoanP - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    The ARDC complaint can be read here: https://www.iardc.org/rd_database/disc_decisions_detail.asp

    Yes, it alleges false statements to a judge.


  46. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    OW

    The president of the United State has been speaking against members of his staff and threats to fire sense he was elected and his supporters aren’t phased.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    ===It’s possible that others have legitimate opinions about this too, isn’t it?===

    Yep. It is.

    And?


  48. - Arsenal - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    ==So now we want people to think Pritzker hired bad apples and is in court suing and countersuing the last 18 days of a campaign?==

    This whole line of argument is silly. JB won’t be countersuing. In fact, he probably won’t even be waiting much longer for the Complaint.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    ===The president of the United State has been speaking against members of his staff and threats to fire sense he was elected and his supporters aren’t phased.===

    Now you think Pritzker being a Trump like character will help?

    Ok, go with that.


  50. - Henry Francis - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    ==But statements made to TV reporters are not==

    Ah yes, correct. Well then go to Norseman’s post re: the Sullivan case. Would have to prove malice.

    But at the end of the day, JB wants this to go away. He doesn’t want to enlarge its scope with a counterclaim.


  51. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    I just didn’t think your happy hour remark was appropriate or necessary. That’s all.

    And let’s face it, in two separate threads today, you’ve made about 20% of the comments. I think most of the regulars here know how you feel about this. Lol.

    I’ll wait for your reply and update my comment count.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===I’ll wait for your reply and update my comment count.===

    I’ll help. Hopefully it updated quickly, lol

    :)


  53. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:17 pm:

    Now you think Pritzker being a Trump like character will help?

    Ok, go with that.

    -Not at all. Just pointing out that going against staff has not affected Trump at all.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    ===Not at all. Just pointing out that going against staff has not affected Trump at all.===

    Pritzker ain’t Trump.

    Thankfully so.


  55. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    32 out of about 160 so far. Not your record, but a good day nonetheless.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===32 out of about 160 so far.===

    Used all your fingers and toes did ya?

    Happy Friday.


  57. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    33. Lol.


  58. - Centennial - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    Shoddily drafted is an understatement. Litigators don’t misspell the Defendant’s name. Especially when we all see said Plaintiff’s name 100s of times a day.

    Did I miss how this Legal Eagle came to know the main plaintiff?


  59. - Black Ivy - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    Rich, are you there?!? The racial over/undertones permeating through these comments tax are appalling! It is clear that a number of your loyal following wish to see Governor Rauner unseated, big the premise of the discrimination lawsuit is being completely ignored. These campaign workers were treated “shoddily” and, at times, with disdain. They have put themselves out there. Mistreating workers because of race is unlawful and should be taken seriously, just as you call for women subject to sexual harassment per the #metoo and #timesup movements to be believed. There is now clear evidence through wiretaps and written complaints that J.B. Pritzker does not know how to treat Black people. He lacks character and is unfit to be Governor. Your coverage of these allegations angers me. I will be voting to re-elect Governor Rauner.


  60. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    Black Ivy

    Good for you. I’m black and the evidence in the complaint lacks. Big holes already poked through it. Vote for Rauner. I will vote for JB but wish those people there day in court.


  61. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    Black Ivy

    Also, no one is forcing this lawyer to go on a media tour but he is even though JB says they were never served a complaint. Kinda funny to go on a media tour without serving a complaint, with big holes poked through the complaint, and refusing to answer basic questions on your media tour. He could choose to not try this in media and do his work in the court but it seems he is more interested in media appearances seeing as he has not even served the campaign allegedly.


  62. - Henry Francis - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    Black Ivy, to quote a great man, as a white male I don’t have anything to say on this topic.

    But I would listen to the Guv’s former point person on black economic development, Jimmy Odom. From his resignation letter:

    “Prior to accepting this position, I always stated I would step down in my role if I believed the Illinois’ leadership towards helping the community was no longer a genuine priority. Unfortunately, that day has come.”


  63. - Real - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    Black Ivy, to quote a great man, as a white male I don’t have anything to say on this topic.

    But I would listen to the Guv’s former point person on black economic development, Jimmy Odom. From his resignation letter:

    “Prior to accepting this position, I always stated I would step down in my role if I believed the Illinois’ leadership towards helping the community was no longer a genuine priority. Unfortunately, that day has come.”

    If Black Ivy can come here speaking on race in voting for a candidate without already knowing these comments then it stands to believe Black Ivy has not paid attention the past 4 years.. And most Rauner supporters are low information voters as we see today.


  64. - Anon0091 - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    With respect Black Ivy, other than one person and their offensive comment, most everyone else is commenting on the poor writing of the complaint, lack of substance and now factually refuted nature of the allegations and poor lawyering. And with respect, there’s zero evidence in this complaint that JB “does not know how to treat Black people.” Even taking this complaint as true, which most people who’ve been following this don’t, the complaint was with some campaign staffers, not the candidate himself.


  65. - Downstate Dem - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 5:06 pm:

    First, the complaint doesn’t need to be grammatically correct to be factually accurate. Second, service isn’t immediately required under Rule 4(m).

    But of course Mr. Pritzker knows this because he indicated his occupation as “Attorney” on his released tax returns.

    The defenses offered are a public image nightmare. Bracing for Monday.


  66. - Dublin - Friday, Oct 19, 18 @ 5:07 pm:

    Black Ivy,

    If you were truly worried about racial discrimination, Rauner would not be your pick. Nice try.


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