Transcript of OA377: Trump’s Pyramid Schemes and Arbitration (feat. AG!)

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

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[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 377!  I’m Thomas Smith, that’s Andrew Torrez.  How’re you doing, Andrew?

Andrew:         I am fantastic, Thomas, and I sincerely mean that!  Comnin’ off of a great interview with Andrew Seidel last week, we’ve got AG from Mueller She Wrote this week, I couldn’t be happier!

Thomas:         Not only that, we’ve got a rare two-guest show because Andrew, of course, is going to be back with us for the thrilling conclusion of T3BE, but also as you mentioned, AG from Mueller She Wrote is on for the main segment, so wow, how fun!  You know, we’re trying to keep our – we’re all quarantined but we’re keeping our interactions up!

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OA377: Trump’s Pyramid Schemes and Arbitration (feat. AG!)

Today’s episode features one of our most-requested return guests, AG of the Mueller She Wrote and Daily Beans podcasts. AG joins us for “Below the Radar,” stories that you might have missed while your eyes glazed over during the 11th consecutive coronavirus press conference.

We begin, however, with a nice grab-bag of Andrew Was Rights (and Wrongs, sadly) from the Carolinas to Illinois to the CARES Act to the sad and perhaps inevitable ascension of 37-year-old Federalist Society hack Justin Walker, Andrew Was… Something.

After that it’s time to welcome on AG to discuss a recent ruling requiring the Trump crime syndicate in both their individual and corporate capacities to actually litigate claims rather than shunt them off into arbitration. Andrew and AG break down the significance of last week’s ruling, which may have flown… Under The Radar (TM).

Then, it’s time for the answer to #T3BE 173 involving an auto accident, contributory negligence, and one of our favorite lawyers. Did Thomas and Andrew get it right? Listen and find out!

Patreon Bonuses

We just did an amazing SIO crossover with an Australian lawyer on the Cardinal Pell decision, and don’t forget you can also participate in the Transformers coloring book challenge! And, if you missed it, don’t forget to listen to the audio from March’s LIVE Q&A and Andrew’s Lecture, “We’re All Gonna Die!” and the accompanying slides! PHEW!


Andrew was just a guest host on the Talk Heathen live call-in show, so you can see how he handles religious apologists. If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, event, or in front of your group, please drop us an email at

Show Notes & Links

  1. We broke down the CARES Act in Episode 372, and you can check out the final “no offset” provision here, on p. 154.
  2. For more on Justin Walker, check out his debate with Andrew on Episode 224 and our breakdown of his lack of qualifications to serve on the federal bench in Episode 289.

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-Remember to check out our YouTube Channel  for Opening Arguments: The Briefs and other specials!

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OA177: Neil Gorsuch’s Epic Decision & the NFL (feat. Chris Kristofco)

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into the recent Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, a Gorsuch opinion that is exactly what we told you to expect back when he was nominated to the Court.  Oh, and we also tackle the latest policy issued by the NFL with our four-time guest, Chris Kristofco.

And that’s where we begin:  with a detailed breakdown of the legal implications of the NFL’s just-announced policy prohibiting on-field peaceful protests during the national anthem.  You won’t want to miss it!

During the main segment, we break down the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding the use of mandatory arbitration clauses that waive the right to class action lawsuits in take-it-or-leave-it contracts of adhesion.  But — because this is a Gorsuch opinion — you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s so very much worse than you thought.

After that, we move into a listener comment on plea bargaining that foreshadows an upcoming episode….

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #77 about the constitutional requirements (if any) to a 12-person jury and/or a unanimous one.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on the Dumb All Over Podcast, episode 70.  Go check it out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. If you liked Chris and want to hear more, you can check out his excellent sportsball podcast, Titletown Sound Off, or you can check out his  previous appearances on the show:  Episode 6 (on the NFL), Episode 32 (on Phil Ivey’s gambling), and Episode 68 (on Aaron Hernandez).
  2. Also, our guest Chris Kluwe predicted something like this back in Episode 115.
  3. Click here to read the Supreme Court’s opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.  If you want to check out the data cited in Ginsburg’s dissent; that’s here.

Support us on Patreon at:

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs


Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at


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OA155: Corporations Are People, My Friend… (and More Stormy)

Today’s episode tackles a popular article in The Atlantic which implies that, but for the machinations of one dude in the 1880s, corporations might not be “people,” today.  Is it true?  Listen and find out!

First, though, we continue to examine the legal genius of Stormy Daniels by answering some of the most common questions raised in response to our episode.  This begins (sadly) with a brief “Andrew Was Wrong” clarification about the operative campaign disclosure requirements as well as an analysis of the arbitration order that came to light just after we went to press with Episode 154, and more!

In the main segment, Andrew takes a trip through the history of corporate personhood.  After that, we answer a delightful question about hearsay from listener Dr. Jeff Otjen.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas (and David) Take the Bar Exam Question #66 about murderous political candidates appearing on an “Iron Chef” knockoff… look, you’ll just have to listen for yourself.  Don’t forget to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

None!  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed the Stormy Daniels lawsuit (and linked her complaint) back in Episode 154.  Since then, Susan Simpson has done some pretty top-notch investigative work as to where the Trump campaign may have hid the payoff to Stormy.
  2. The case referred to in the “A” segment is Amendariz v. Foundation Health, 6 P.3d 669 (Cal. 2000).
  3. Our main segment discusses Adam Winker’s article in The Atlantic, focusing on Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific R.R. Co., 118 U.S. 394 (1886).
  4. Finally, the answer to Dr. Jeff’s question references two different provisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence:  Rule 801 (defining hearsay) and Rule 803 (listing the exceptions).

Support us on Patreon at:

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs


Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at


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