Tag Archives: Yodel Mountain

OA207: Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings

Today’s Rapid Response Friday tackles the ongoing Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings for Brett Kavanaugh — including an analysis of documents that broke literally after we recorded the show!  Find out if any of this can slow down Kavanaugh’s presumed path the SCOTUS.

We begin, however, with listener feedback on our rather controversial Episode 205 (with Andrew Seidel) as well as follow-up emails regarding 3-D guns and our contributions to SwingLeft.

After that, we break down the critical documents leaked today by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) that show 1) Kavanaugh’s nakedly partisan approach to the court; 2) Kavanaugh’s nonexistent view of the value of precedent when it comes to Roe v. Wade; and 3) possible perjury.  Is this a big deal?  YES.  Will it move the needle?  We’ll see.

After that, we return to Yodel Mountain to discuss Paul Manafort’s impending DC trial and the somewhat-overlooked plea by W. Samuel Patten.  Who’s that?  Listen and find out!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #92 regarding impeaching the testimony of a gang member at trial.  If you’d like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Thomas was recently the guest masochist on this week’s God Awful Movies, reviewing “New World Order.”  It’s hilarious — don’t miss it!  And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here are the Kavanaugh email and Kavanaugh email 2 documents discussed during the main segment.  For more Kavanaugh document fun, check out this comprehensive New York Times article.
  2. This is W. Samuel Patten’s Criminal Information, to which he pled guilty, and here is the Statement of the Offense, which explains the connection to the Trump campaign and White House.
  3. Finally, this is the late-breaking document showing possible perjury.

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OA206: Will This ONE WEIRD TRICK Unravel the Mueller Investigation?

Today’s episode takes us back to Yodel Mountain, where we take a look at a popular article making the rounds suggesting that (you guessed it) this ONE WEIRD TRICK might unravel the entire Mueller investigation.  Should you be worried? (No.)

We begin, however, with the rare (but delightful!) Thomas Was Right segment revisiting 3-D guns and the Arms Export Control Act.  What’s going on?  Listen and find out!

In the main segment, we take apart this Politico story suggesting that McKeever v. Sessions hold the key to Yodel Mountain.

After that, we tour what’s left of Yodel Mountain to discuss the latest developments with our buddy Paulie M.  Did he really try to plead out in advance of his next trial?  What’s next on the horizon for everyone’s favorite ostrich-vest-wearing money launderer?

Then, we end with Thomas (and Andrew!) Take the Bar Exam Question #91 regarding the separation of church and state and graduation prayers.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here’s the injunction granted in the 3-D guns case.
  2. This is the Politico story regarding McKeever v. Sessions.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA203: Paul Manafort Convicted, Michael Cohen Pleads

Today’s extra-long, extra-early Rapid Response episode tackles the two biggest stories in the news right now:  Paul Manafort’s conviction, and Michael Cohen’s plea deal.  We tell you exactly what these two big stories actually mean.

We begin with Paul Manafort.  What did the jury decide?  Why did they fail to reach a verdict on 10 counts?  What were those counts?  How long is Paulie M going to stay in prison and what’s next?  And, most importantly:  what does this mean for Yodel Mountain?  How likely is Paulie M to flip on Donald Trump?  We answer all of these questions and more!

After that, we turn to everyone’s favorite weasel, Michael “I Would Take A Bullet For Donald Trump” Cohen, who… has not taken a bullet for Donald Trump but has in fact pled guilty to eight separate crimes.  What are they, what does it mean, and what comes next?  Listen and find out!

And if all that wasn’t enough, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #90 involving  foreseeability, cross-motions for summary judgment, and tortious conduct.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

None!  If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. You’ll want to start with the Manafort indictment, and you can also read the Manafort verdict.  Of the eight guilty counts, Manafort was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 134426 U.S.C. § 7206(1), and 31 U.S.C. § 5322.
  2. We first discussed the Federal Sentencing Guidelines back in Episode 162; you can check out the full manual (long!) and also the FSG Sentencing table to figure out how long Paulie M is going away.
  3. And don’t forget Manafort still has another trial pending in DC!  We gave you a primer on that back in Episode 194, and you can check out the pending indictment in that case.
  4. If Paulie M flips, it will be to take advantage of Rule 35(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
  5. Of course, we first covered how Stormy Daniels is a Legal Genius back in Episode 154, and then the Karen McDougal story in Episode 158.
  6. Here’s Cohen’s plea deal; here are the conditions of his release; and here’s the article quoting his allocution.
  7. Sneak preview of the bonus episode:  here’s the DOJ manual on prosecuting campaign finance violations that proves Alan Dershowitz is lying.  Again.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

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OA195: Lordy, There Are Tapes!

Today’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down all of a busy week’s developments in the Trump Administration’s trip up Yodel Mountain, including the surprising revelation that Michael Cohen has audio tapes of his conversations with Donald Trump.  What does it all mean?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a challenging listener question regarding legal ethics and summer associates that hearkens back to our last episode.

The main segment tackles an entire week’s worth of yodeling, including the Cohen tapes, the emoluments lawsuit, and the Manafort trial.  Phew!

After that, we check in with our buddy Andrew Seidel from the FFRF about a recent victory in the 9th Circuit regarding prayers at public school board meetings.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #86 involving the questionable sale of a used car.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

None!  If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Don’t forget to tune in to our live Q&A this Tuesday, 7/31, at 7 pm Eastern / 4 Pacific.  And, of course, participate in the questions thread!
  2. Here’s the Reuters report that there are 12 Cohen-Trump tapes; we’ve heard just part of the first one regarding Karen McDougal, whom we first discussed back in Episode 158.
  3. You can read the Emoluments ruling for yourself; we covered this most recently back in Episodes 160 and 162.  For our original two-part interview with Seth Barrett Tillman, check out Episodes 35 and 36.
  4. Some documents from the Manafort trial:  2018.07.22 Yanukovich govt response2018.07.20 Yanukovich motion in limine2018.07.25 orders on motions in limine; and 2018.07.26 government jury response.  And, of course, you should take a look at the government’s Exhibit List.
  5. We discussed the “Bernie Sanders” lawsuit against the DNC back in Episode 106.
  6. Finally, for some good news, check out the 9th Circuit’s opinion in FFRF v. Chino Valley Unified School District; we discussed Town of Greece v. Galloway in Episode 85.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA194: Paul Manafort is Going to Trial! (& McDonald’s!)

Today’s episode tells you everything you need to know before Paul Manafort’s trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, which begins Wednesday, July 25, 2018.  Oh, and we break down the recent lawsuit against McDonald’s to boot!

We begin, however, with a very good listener question from “Judicial Noir” regarding ethics, science, and a summer internship!

After that, it’s time to discuss an actual lawsuit over actual cheese.   Yes, there’s a class action lawsuit against Thomas’s favorite restaurant (McDonald’s) — and we’re here to help you separate fact from fiction!  Oh, and along the way, you might learn something about Microsoft, illegal tying arrangements, and antitrust law!

Then, it’s back to Yodel Mountain to explain in depth exactly what’s going on with our buddy Paulie M, and what you can expect over the next two weeks.

Finally, we end the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #85 regarding real property.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

If you didn’t see Andrew’s live appearance on Left-Right Radio with Chuck Morse, you can check out the YouTube archive of it.  And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Before we get to McDonald’s, you’ll need to read all about US v. Microsoft, 253 F.3d 34 (2001).  While you’re at it, you might as well brush up on the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.
  2. After that, you can read the class action lawsuit against McDonald’s regarding the Quarter Pounder and Double Quarter Pounder.
  3. Andrew first broke down Judge Ellis in Episode 172.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA193: This Is Worse Than Watergate – PLUS Mandalay Bay Suing Victims?

Today’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down the recent lawsuit filed by the Mandalay Bay casino regarding the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.  Is it true that the casino is suing the victims?  What’s that all about??  Listen and find out!  Also, we check in with Yodel Mountain and figure out, once and for all, if this is really worse than Watergate.  (Hint:  yes.)

We begin, however, with everybody’s favorite segment, Andrew Was Wrong, in which we revisit the Supreme Court with a few corrections.

The main segment tackles the Mandalay Bay lawsuit and explains the concept of a declaratory judgent as well as the 2002 SAFETY Act upon which Mandalay Bay is attempting to rely.

Next, we return to Yodel Mountain to discuss the recent Mueller indictments, Donald Trump’s Treason Summit with Russia, and ingenue Mariia Butina.  It’s as salacious as OA ever gets!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #85 involving (ugh) real property.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

If you didn’t see Andrew’s live appearance on Left-Right Radio with Chuck Morse, you can check out the YouTube archive of it.  And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the link to the 2011 Ethics Report authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.
  2. Here’s the Above The Law article we mentioned at the start of the main segment.
  3. We’ve uploaded a copy of the MGM/Mandalay Bay lawsuit so you can read it for yourself.
  4. The SAFETY Act can be found at 6 U.S.C. § 441 et seq., and the implementing regulations are at 6 CFR § 25.7.
  5. We discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report in Episode 190.
  6. Here’s the link to the Mother Jones article about Butina documenting the claims made in the C segment.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA190: Good News, Everyone! (On Abortion Rights & More)

Today’s episode — at long last — brings us some good news from two rather unlikely sources:  first, from the state of Iowa (regarding abortion rights), and second, from the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee.  You won’t believe your ears!

We begin, however, with a segment that’s good news for everyone except Andrew:  yes, it’s the ever-popular Andrew Was Wrong.  This time, Andrew owns up to a serious mistake regarding the fingerprinting regulations at the border, and an almost-as-serious mistake regarding the bustling metropolis of Olathe, Kansas.

In the main segment, Andrew breaks down Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds, a recent state supreme court opinion invalidating a 3-day waiting period (with other onerous restrictions on abortion) that provides optimism and a way forward for progressives as we prepare for decades of a right-wing federal judiciary.  Find out how states can protect reproductive freedom and abortion rights separate from the U.S. Supreme Court.

After that, it’s time for a return trip to Yodel Mountain, where we check in on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s endorsement of the joint agency report from January 2017 concluding that the Russian government deliberately interfered in the US elections with a strong preference for Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton.

Finally, we end the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #83 regarding the tort of assault and an unloaded firearm.  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 co-host on Episode 75 of the Skepticrat podcast; go check it out! And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds opinion.
  2. For future activism, click this link to determine whether your state has elected or appointed state supreme court judges.
  3. The Intelligence Community Assessment is here; you can also read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report validating that assessment here.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA182: Paul Manafort is Going to Prison

**Today’s episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus! Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/OA to start your free month!**

Today’s Rapid Response Friday spends a lot of time on Yodel Mountain, and in particular evaluating whether Paul Manafort is headed to prison for violating the terms of his pre-trial release as per 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(1)(A).  You’ll know soon enough, but we’re predicting that Paulie M is headed to prison.

Of course, no trip to Yodel Mountain has just a single stop, so we also discuss the late-breaking New York state lawsuit filed against Donald Trump, his kids, and the Trump Foundation; the status of the media’s efforts to unseal the Mueller documents, and much, much more!

After that lengthy trip to Yodel Mountain, we also update you on the recent court decision upholding the AT&T / Time Warner merger first discussed in Episode 128.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #80 which asks how a court would rule in a convoluted case involving car-washing, sudden deep freezes, and incompetent trial attorneys.  Have we piqued your interest yet?  Listen and find out!  And if you’d like to play along , just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was recently a guest on the David Pakman Show, with a two-part appearance discussing whether President Trump can be indicted and if so, whether he can pardon himself.  You can watch the video on YouTube.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the just-filed New York state lawsuit against Donald Trump, his kids, and the Trump Foundation.
  2. Here’s the government’s motion to revoke Paul Manafort’s pretrial release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(1)(A) ; here’s the superseding indictment; and here’s Manafort’s response to the government’s motion.  Witness tampering is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1512.
  3. You can read the primary case relied upon by Manafort’s lawyers, U.S. v. Edlind, 887 F.3d 166 (4th Cir. 2018) for yourself.
  4. A (federal) criminal motion for a “bill of particulars” is governed by Rule 7(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.  You can also check out Judge Jackson’s Order denying Manafort’s Motion for Bill of Particulars,
  5. We first discussed the press’s motion to unseal the Mueller investigation documents in Episode 168; now you can read the Media Coalition Response brief to the government and Manafort’s separate objections to unsealing the documents.
  6. We broke down the AT&T/Time Warner merger in Episode 128, and you can read Judge Leon’s Order Approving the Merger.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

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OA181: Michael Avenatti is Never Going To Come On Our Show (#NotAllLawyers)

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into allegations of attorney misconduct.  We begin with following investigative reporting concerning the involuntary bankruptcy of the Eagan Avenatti firm, and discover some potentially disturbing facts about the lawyer who’s currently outfoxing the bad guys at every turn, Michael Avenatti.

After that, we discuss the Supreme Court’s recent unanimous per curiam decision in Azar v. Garza, the tragic case of the young woman denied her constitutional right to an abortion and subjected to harassment and “crisis pregnancy center” anti-abortion counseling until the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal stepped in.  So… why did the Supreme Court just vacate that opinion?  It (potentially) has to do with attorney misconduct.  Oh, and this story also tells you everything you needed to know about price ceilings on underwear in the 1940s.  (Really!)

Then, we examine the biggest example of attorney misconduct at the moment — Donald Trump’s ever-fluctuating team of lawyers defending the indefensible.  Specifically, we take a look at the recently-leaked Dowd memorandum and its central claim that the President cannot obstruct justice with otherwise-legal behavior.  (That’s false.)

Finally, we end the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #79 regarding the conveyance of property to a church with conditions attached.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

If you can’t get enough of our analysis of the Masterpiece Cakeshop opinion, you can get even more on Episode 142 of Serious Inquiries Only (with more Andrew Seidel) and Episode 277 of The Scathing Atheist (with way more profanity).

And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the investigative piece on the Eagan Avenatti bankruptcy published by the Los Angeles Times.
  2. We last discussed Garza v. Hargan on Episode 165.  You can read the Supreme Court’s opinion (now captioned Azar v. Garza) here.  And if you want to read United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 304 U.S. 36 (1950), you can do that too!
  3. Finally, if you can stomach it, here’s a link to the Dowd memo.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

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OA180: Masterpiece Cakeshop

Join us for an early Rapid Response Friday, in which we break down the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  To tackle a topic this big, we needed a little extra help, so we brought back our favorite guest, Andrew Seidel, attorney with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  But that’s not all!  We recorded so much information that we decided to do a crossover episode with Serious Inquiries Only, so you can have over two hours of Andrew-on-Andrew (and Thomas!) action.

We begin, however, on Yodel Mountain, with two pieces of news arising out of Paul Manafort’s criminal trial.  Is Paulie M going to jail?  Did he engage in illegal witness tampering?  Did he back up his encrypted WhatsApp messages on an unencrypted iCloud?  Listen and find out!  We also delve into Manafort’s response to the press’s motion to unseal the Mueller investigation documents first discussed in Episode 168.  And, as long as we’re yodeling, we might as well catch up on what’s going on in the Summer Zervos lawsuit first discussed in Episode 176.

After that, it’s time to figure out exactly what’s going on in Masterpiece Cakeshop.  Is this a narrow decision?  Is it a win for anti-LGBTQ forces?  Is it a nothing-burger?  Listen and find out!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #79 about the real property conveyance to a church.  Yes, it’s more 13th-Century Saxony law!  And if you’d like to play along , just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew and Andrew continued to talk Masterpiece Cakeshop on Serious Inquiries Only, and Andrew was a guest talking the same thing on Episode 177 of The Scathing Atheist.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here’s the government’s motion to revoke Paul Manafort’s pretrial release.  Witness tampering is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1512.
  2. We first discussed the press’s motion to unseal the Mueller investigation documents in Episode 168, and the Summer Zervos lawsuit back in Episode 176.
  3. We’ve uploaded Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission so you can read it for yourself.
  4. If you love Andrew Seidel, you might want to go back to his  FIVE previous appearances on the show, Episode 82 (on Trinity Lutheran), Episode 85 (which was originally a Patreon-only exclusive),Episode 111Episode 131, and most recently, Episode 171.
  5. Finally, please consider supporting the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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