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Thomas: Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 331, I’m Thomas Smith that over there is Andrew Torrez. How ya doin’ Andrew?
Andrew: I am doing fantastic. I am really, really excited about this episode. I feel like we saved the best for last coming out of our live show.
Thomas: Absolutely, me too! This is another one of those if you take the red pill versus the blue pill but not in an MRA way just in a fun healthy way. [Laughs] If you take the patron pill you’re gonna be getting a little bonus from Andrew Torrez because you deserve it and because you already heard all the live show. But if you take the normie pill, which, hey, that’s fine. We love all our listeners, but you guys are getting – I think you’re right, Andrew, probably my favorite part from the Opening Arguments live show in L.A. and that was with Carrie Poppy and Matthew Strugar.
Carrie, of course, from Oh No Ross & Carrie and Matthew has been their attorney which is the subject of the bit that we did with them which was really, really good. I mean, you and I do this kind of stuff. I had plenty of healthy expectations for how it would be because I know Carrie, we talked to them, I knew it would be good stuff. They exceeded my expectations by like a million.
Thomas: It was so fun, it was an absolute blast so I’m so excited to finally give that to all of the listeners. So that’s what’s on the agenda for today. Anything you need to add or do we need to just let our listeners finally hear the thrilling conclusion of the L.A. live show?
Andrew: Yeah, let’s get to it.
Thomas: Alright. Brian, punch it!
Oh No Ross & Carrie! Game & Interview
Thomas: Let’s have some fun, let’s invite our special guests up. What do you think?
Andrew: Woo! I’m really, really excited about this.
Andrew: Is everybody familiar with the Oh No Ross & Carrie podcast?
Thomas: Come on up!
Carrie: No, this works out great because I only speak through my lawyer.
Thomas: Yeah, yeah.
Matthew: I’m not Ross.
Thomas: It’s Carrie and definitely Ross, right? From Oh No Ross & Carrie.
Carrie: [Laughs] No, this is my lawyer and very good friend Matthew Strugar.
Matthew: Just here to make sure Carrie doesn’t libel who she shouldn’t libel and that she does libel who she should libel.
Andrew: I love that there’s another lawyer willing to say “I want you to libel who you should libel.”
Carrie: This is true, Matthew texted me earlier “just do the crimes, Carrie” earlier today!
Thomas: Well we all signed an Open Libels treaty backstage so we’re actually good to libel each other as long as we have notice, so cool.
Thomas: So I’d like to ask you, for anyone who isn’t familiar, though. Would you mind giving the mini version of what you do on Oh No Ross & Carrie?
Carrie: Yeah, so we’re an investigative podcast where we look at fringe spirituality, claims of the paranormal, and fringe science. So anything that has an unusual claim to it we’ll try out ourselves. Sometimes that means that we’ll get ear-candled or fire cupped or have our chakras aligned and then look at what the science actually says about those things and then sometimes it means we’re going undercover in fringe groups, like we spent two months in Scientology, we spent five months becoming Mormons. Did you just gasp like that was news to you?
Matthew: Trying to play along for our-
Carrie: Okay! [Laughs] Yeah, that’s what we do.
Thomas: That’s awesome, we’re big fans. Also I would like to ask you, Matthew, how did you get – so you guys go way back and that’s how you became involved? Do you wanna talk about taking on the role of Oh No Ross & Carrie lawyer?
Matthew: Sure! Carrie and I worked together at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a number of years and became friends at-
Matthew: [Laughs] Yeah, hell yeah! On person! [Clownhorn]
Matthew: Love it. And then I went out on my own after a while and Carrie started to get sued so she said-
Thomas: Way before the show! Left and right!
Matthew: She said help me out, I said what the hell!
Thomas: Well that’s awesome. We’ve got a fun little game planned, I’m excited. Andrew, what do you think we pick some folks from the audience to participate, what do you think?
Andrew: I think we should, and I know we have 4 VIP guests who unfortunately were in the third row, so if you four can stand up.
Thomas: If you would like to-
Andrew: If you wanna play, you do not have to.
Thomas: If you would like to.
Andrew: Third row, yes.
Audience Member: What are we getting into?
Andrew: You must agree in advance, I’m sorry! Those are the rules of the game.
Thomas: Carrie did you bring the electroshock that we’re gonna put on?
Andrew: I have a short 137-page waiver that I want you to sign, it’s right back stage.
Thomas: You just have first right of refusal, you can by all means decline.
Audience Member: [Inaudible]
Thomas: Yeah, would you like to play? Okay, how about we … how about we…
Thomas: Alright we need two folks from the audience, somebody-
Carrie: This is truly brave, you’ve told them nothing.
Andrew: Yeah yeah yeah.
Thomas: No, we’ve told ‘em nothing.
Carrie: Cool, cool.
Thomas: We’re gonna do – let’s do all four.
Andrew: Our listeners are very trusting.
Thomas: We’re gonna do two – let’s do, okay we’ll do four. You guys can strategize. Alright, okay, we’re gonna pick teams like in PE. No, I’m just kidding. Okay, you two on the left, here why don’t I – who’s got the long cable, it might be Carrie.
Carrie: Um, I’m purple.
Thomas: I’ll take – why don’t you come over here if you don’t mind and I will travel with my mic, this’ll work perfectly and we will get your names. Hello, thank you for playing.
Daniel: Hi, I’m Daniel.
Thomas: Daniel. What’s your name?
Jacob: I’m Jacob.
Thomas: Nice to meet you Tommy.
Thomas: Jan or Jen?
Jen: Like Jennifer.
Thomas: Okay, Jen. Alright well are you excited to play? Here’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna not stand in front of the screen, sorry about that everybody. So here’s what we have. On Oh No Ross & Carrie from time to time they have received some legal threats.
Thomas: They’ve maybe even received a few Cease and Desists.
Thomas: We’ve got a game where we are going to be able to talk about that and talk about a little bit of 1st Amendment stuff and also talk about some of the funny experiences that they’ve gone through, so the game is this, let’s change the slide. Round 1, Who Has Threatened to Sue Oh No Ross & Carrie! You ready?
Thomas: Alright, here’s the first one. Carrie, can you pronounce that ‘cuz I still don’t get it.
Carrie: Yes, that’s the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Thomas: Okay, so after they guess we’ll get the story, we don’t wanna give it away, but after they guess. So we’ll get your guess first and then we’ll get the story behind these. The Raëlians, right, I think I pronounced that.
Thomas: Center of Excellence Online and the Bosnick Center for Lyme Disease.
Thomas: So okay, you two are on my team, you two are on Andrew’s team, okay?
Andrew: Should I come over?
Thomas: Naw it’s okay.
Andrew: Alright. You’ll be my long distance teammates.
Thomas: You get to guess first on question 1, so why don’t you guys – you two get one answer. We were gonna do two people but four of you came down, so. Your first chance, you pick an answer, A, B, C, or D and you have like 3 seconds.
Jacob: I mean I wanna vote A because it sounds so ridiculous.
Thomas: They’re going with A, alright. What is your answer then?
Jen: I think we’re gonna go with C, Center of Excellence Online.
Thomas: Alright, let’s find out!
Matthew: Are any of y’all familiar with any of them?
Thomas: It’s the Raëlians! Alright, why don’t you tell us the story of actually some of these. Three of them are pseudo real because they at least have a story and then one of them, of course, is provided by me. Carrie, take it away.
Carrie: Okay, so the Ordo Templi Orientis is an occult group that follows Aleister Crowley’s teachings, so Ross and I joined them for a few months. We did get kicked out. [Laughs] Their whole mantra is “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” This was five years ago, but I still so wish that as I was kicked out I had said “I was only doing what I wilt!”
Carrie: The Center of Excellence Online is a “school” online where you can get certified in various things like fairy magic-
Carrie: And, well, naturopathy, that’s what I got certified in.
Thomas: So it’s not just excellence, you don’t get certified as excellent?
Carrie: And it’s headquartered in the U.K., it took me 8 hours to get certified as a naturopath.
Thomas: Can you naturopath us, or I don’t know what that means.
Carrie: Oh, totally. Actually, you played my patient when I was doing that.
Matthew: I did, I forgot what I was – [Laughs] I forgot what you diagnosed me as, but-
Carrie: Yeah, I think I told Matthew you had to wear more green or something to be healthier.
Matthew: Oh yeah.
Carrie: And they were like “pass!”
Thomas: Which I see he hasn’t followed.
Carrie: And then, yes, the [Laughing] Bosnick Center for Lyme Disease, maybe you should tell us about, Thomas.
Thomas: That’s okay, my joke answers speak for themselves.
Thomas: So we see the correct answer is the Raëlians, what happened? Give us the story.
Carrie: So have people heard of the Raëlians?
Carrie: Okay, a few.
Thomas: You’d better explain it because I think a lot of people won’t know.
Carrie: Yeah, I love that these people are just guessing based on the title of the groups.
Carrie: No other information.
Thomas: You have no idea how much-
Carrie: It has to do with aliens! Wow!
Thomas: You have no idea how much money Andrew and I have on this game, this is more for us.
Thomas: We’re tied.
Carrie: You’re right, the Raëlians are a UFO-centered religion. Claude Vorilhon is their leader, he goes by Ra-ël or Raël and he says that in 1976 I believe? He went up on a mountaintop in France and aliens came down and spoke to him and told him that they had created humanity. Their names were the Elohim and they fly over our planet twice a year to check on us.
Thomas: Is it related to Superman? Like is Ra-ël his stepdad or?
Carrie: Actually, now that I think of it, it’s very similar to the treaty you described.
Thomas: Okay, okay.
Thomas: Matthew, did you wanna tell us the legal story?
Matthew: Yeah, maybe just a little bit more context about the Raëlians. Their symbol is the swastika inside the Star of David.
Matthew: Edgy, edgy. They have a swastika rehabilitation day where they fly airplanes with swastikas and write rehabilitate the swastika!
Carrie: I know this is such a small detail, but are you saying “shwastika?”
Matthew: Swastika, sorry! Sorry, sorry! So why don’t you tell them a little bit about your investigation and what you found and then I can talk a little bit about the legal threats.
Carrie: Okay, sure. So Ross and I joined this religion. When you do join they make you disavow any other religion you’ve ever held, you have to sign a paper that says “I am no longer a Christian” or whatever your background is.
Andrew: Alright, sign me up.
Carrie: Yeah, we were like no problem! Then they asked us, well what’s your prior religion? And we were like, oh, okay, umm [Laughs] and we had to name all the religions we had joined. Okay, scientology, mormons, uh…
Carrie: We were Christians for real, uh-
Thomas: Well you take out your punch-card and you’re like, well, we’re only a few religions away from a free sandwich actually!
Thomas: A couple more!
Carrie: So one of the Raëlians signature moves is that they love sex, especially like robot-sentric sex? Anyway.
Thomas: Andrew’s a Raëlian.
Andrew: I mean, there’s a reason that you have Optimist Prime placards out there.
Carrie: So a lot of things about the Raëlians are very fun, a couple things are real downers like the “shwastika” and also that early in their lifespan they seemed to have been encouraging pedophilia, or at least there is some documentation that suggests that. We talked about that on the show I’d say very carefully.
Matthew: I’d say very carefully as well.
Carrie: And then got a great letter that Matthew can tell you about.
Matthew: I got a letter from a British law firm called Brimstone and Solicitors, which is just-
Matthew: I mean if you’re gonna be a [Clownhorn] lawyer who’s gonna shake people down for their speech, Brimstone and Barristers is the perfect name. And, uh, this guy was just like you have, you know, false and defamatory and we have causes of action against you in Britain and these claims have been proven false in a case in the Eastern District of California and there’s no way that you could take anything that we’ve ever said to encourage pedophilia or group sex or whatever. You know, do a little bit of research, you find out on their own webpage they have something about “children naturally feel all around their parents including the father’s genitals.”
Matthew: “Parents should be unafraid to do the same to the children.”
Matthew: So it’s kind of fun to get that letter and just be like oh yeah? Okay. Bring this in front of a jury in California mother-[Clownhorn].
Matthew: Also with your swastika rehabilitation day and-
Thomas: I never thought I’d say this but swastika, not the worst part.
Matthew: Not the worst part, no!
Thomas: I think it might be second worst.
Matthew: So then, you know, they say these claims have been proven false in the Eastern District of California so you look that up. Oh, you got a default judgment against somebody who never even probably got served, you know. So anyway we wrote back and were like go ahead, we’re not gonna take them down.
Carrie: Yeah, please sue us.
Carrie: And then they didn’t.
Matthew: I said something like I’m not really too concerned about what happened in Britain because it’s a distinct legal system and he writes back “it should not matter that it is a distant place because blah blah blah we have causes of action everywhere.” I was like, I didn’t say distant. It’s distant but it’s also distinct, and-
Thomas: Please tell me you pulled the “per my email.” That office power move.
Matthew: I didn’t, but I put it in italics and said, I do think I used the line please read more carefully.
Carrie: [Laughs] Oh I didn’t remember that!
Thomas: Which, among lawyers, I think that’s officially you can kill each other with pistols at that point?
Andrew: Yeah, no, that is legalese for [Clownhorn] you and everyone you’ve ever know.
Thomas: Alright well-
Matthew: So after a bunch of back and forth, a bunch of shitty letters which were a lot of fun to write – I mean the letters I get to write for Carrie she just lets me kind of do whatever, be as shitty as I want which is the perfect client, and after a bunch of back and forth and after Carrie and Ross’s invitation to have them on the podcast to clear up any misinformation or any misunderstandings, they declined that invitation and didn’t file suit.
Thomas: Alright, happy ending! Well congrats, good lawyering.
Carrie: Thank you!
[Commercial – forhims.com/oa for $5 hair loss kit]
Thomas: So just to be clear, no one won.
Thomas: I thought with the one joke answer we’d have pretty good odds that someone would, but sorry, I should have done two joke answers. Okay, let’s go for round two. The Rythmia Life Advancement Center-
Carrie: Do you want me to at least just give a one line description of what these things are?
Thomas: Good idea, go ahead.
Carrie: Okay. So the Rythmia Life Advancement Center is a place in Costa Rica where you can take Ayahuasca trips to cure whatever ails you, depression, cancer, whatever.
Audience Member: [Inaudible]
Thomas: No, this is not a Q&A sessions.
Andrew: There’s no follow up here!
Thomas: The game is, she says one sentence so you at least have some idea. Okay, televangelist Melissa Scott.
Carrie: Televangelist Melissa Scott, she’s actually here in Glendale just up the road.
Thomas: Ooh, should’ve had her on.
Carrie: I should’ve called her! She used to be a pornography actress though she denies that but it’s very well documented. She was. She claims to speak-
Thomas: Some might say the documentation is critical to the pornography career. I think it’s a key ingredient, actually.
Carrie: You can – Barbie Bridges.
Matthew: I billed for it.
Thomas: [Laughs] Nice!
Andrew: Oh no, I’m not following that line.
Thomas: Okay, are we ready for – G. Zachary Terwilliger, that’s the free space.
Carrie: Oh, I thought you were gonna make me make something up about that.
Thomas: [Laughs] We could have, you probably would have pulled it off. The Church of Scientology. I think that probably needs no explanation.
Carrie: The Church of Scientology is – no, you know.
Thomas: Okay, now we switched so you folks have to go first. Okay, what’ve you got.
Jen: I think we’re gonna go with B.
Thomas: Okay, they go with B and, alright, powerful. Pornography is a strong draw. Okay, here we go, what’s your answer?
Thomas: You can’t, sorry, those are the rules.
Daniel: I guess we’re gonna go with D because they sue everybody.
Thomas: That’s a good choice there, let’s see. Big money big money!
Matthew: Sorry everybody!
Thomas: The plus side is that means if someone gets question 3 right at least we have a winner. Alright, tell us the story.
Carrie: Yeah, so actually these are the only people who have actually sued us.
Matthew: In two countries.
Carrie: In two countries! Costa Rica and these United States. So this was a really unusual circumstance, they reached out to us and said hey, we saw that you have a really popular show and that you do weird spiritual stuff, wanna come out? Clearly had not listened.
Carrie: So we said sure? Yes, we’re happy to come out and we’re happy to take you up on your free trip, but just to be very clear we will be reporting on it, we will not be making an advertisement for you so we’re gonna be completely honest, and they were like cool, cool, yeah, you’ll love it. So we went, I ended up not doing the Ayahuasca because I take an antidepressant, wut wut! You can’t-
Carrie: Yeah, who else? SSRI’s?
Carrie: Los Angeles! Yes!
Thomas: It’s like 80% of our audience. It’s most of our audience, it’s fine.
Carrie: So, but my cohost Ross is a perennially happy person so he could take it and so he did the Ayahuasca four times in a row and seems to have gotten like in a very bad situation on trip number four where his muscles were spasming without him, he hit his head on a rock, he asked to be taken to the hospital and they refused, so we reported on all this honestly and then they came back and were like, oh, we had always assumed you were gonna do advertising for us so now we’re going to claim-
Thomas: Per my last email…
Carrie: Right. So now you’re in breach of oral implied contract.
Matthew: While there was a written contract that said for having two podcast episodes about Rythmia Life Advancement Center you can come to our place and stay for free and take all the Ayahuasca you want for a week, which is what they did, and then after they aired – more than two podcasts. Thirteen?
Matthew: Thirteen podcasts about Rythmia Life Advancement Center they sent this letter that said, you know, we own the copyright to everything you experienced at Rythmia Life Advancement Center.
Matthew: You can’t talk about it, we own your thoughts.
Andrew: Matthew, I just wanna jump in for a sec. Can you copyright experience?
Matthew: [Laughs] No. You cannot. And this guy was a former copyright lawyer at some big firm which just means that there’s so many of these [Clownhorn] lawyers who just know they’re full of shit?
Matthew: Whatever, when I worked at PETA I sued for a monkey and said he owned a copyright to a photograph and I said whales were slaves under the 13th Amendment. I know what it’s like to file a bullshit lawsuit, but it’s like in pursuit of a greater thing, and-
Matthew: And these people will just [Clownhorn] lie to shake people down. They said, oh, it’s defamation, it’s all these other things, and they said if you don’t take down all the episodes and – didn’t you also have to file, I think you had to have a written apology or an audio apology on your show or something like that.
Carrie: They might’ve wanted a retraction or, I don’t know.
Matthew: They said if we don’t reach an amicable solution in 10 days we will file suit. I mean, this was the most fun letter I ever wrote. Within an hour of him writing it I said “Ross and Carrie will be neither ceasing more desisting, there’s no need to wait 10 days.”
Matthew: That was the end of the letter! He filed 15 days later and I wanted to argue estoppel for the lawyers in here, but they wouldn’t. I didn’t. But they filed against Carrie and Ross in Costa Rica and in California, we anti-SLAPPed them here in California and then they dismissed in the face of an anti-SLAPP. For lawyers, for anybody who’s not a lawyer, an anti-SLAPP in California basically means if you get sued for your speech rights, if you get sued for exercising your first amendment by some rich [Clownhorn] who’s just trying to shut you up you can both get the lawsuit dismissed and get paid from the [Clownhorn] who sued you. So we filed one of those, they dismissed, and then we said okay you’ve gotta pay us $20,000 and they said “okay.” So…
[Laughter & Applause]
Matthew: Then we decided to not really [Clownhorn] worry about the Costa Rica lawsuit ‘cuz you can’t enforce it here and then they eventually dismissed it.
Andrew: Did you just take a default judgment in Costa Rica?
Matthew: No, uh we expected to take a default judgment in Costa Rica, it would have been unenforceable here in the United States under what’s called the Speech Act which protects against basically libel tourism, going to places with less restrictive 1st Amendment rights-
Carrie: Thanks, Obama. Literally.
Matthew: Yeah. Prevents them from just getting a default judgment against your speech somewhere else and then trying to enforce it here so we just weren’t worried about it. The Speech Act also gives you your attorney fees in defeating their attempt to enforce the judgment, so we were just like, alright, we will make them pay us more if they come in here and try to enforce it. But we had a lawyer – or were you pulling it up? Somebody was pulling it up and found out they just dismissed it after a while.
Carrie: Well they had to do some sort of follow-up that they just never did so the court was like this is a dead suit.
Thomas: Ah. I thought this was gonna end with you guys being fugitives if you ever go to Costa Rica.
Thomas: Can never accidentally take a vacation there, otherwise you’re gonna be-
Carrie: Not entirely impossible…
Matthew: I mean, there was a concern. It was like, well, you know, you can just let it go to default but don’t ever own anything in Costa Rica.
Carrie: Jerry, the guy who ran this place, also sent me like hundreds of texts freaking out about our coverage. I’ve still got his number in my phone, should we text him?
Andrew: I think the winner should get to text Jerry.
Matthew: This guy’s texts would go from just, like, calm and collected to just out of his [Clownhorn] mind. All at three in the morning-
Thomas: Like he was on drugs or something!
[Commercial – cashcallmortgage.com/oa]
Thomas: Alright, okay round three, the only round that may future a point scored? I dunno, let’s see. Round three, final round.
[Slide reads “30-50 Feral Hogs]
Thomas: Had to get that in there at some point.
Carrie: Those are wild pigs.
Thomas: Thank you. Okay, how about this one? Also wild pigs?
Carrie: Tony Alamo Christian Ministries is a group that was founded in Alabama – Alabama or Arkansas? Ooh? In a State…
Carrie: And also has a satellite church here in canyon country, it’s named after Tony Alamo, as you can see. Tony Alamo was a pastor who ended up in prison for transporting minors across state lines for sex. He had as many as eight underage wives – well, obviously “wives” not being the correct term – but some as young as six, so he went to prison for the rest of his life but continued to lead his group while he was in prison.
Thomas: Wow. How about this guy? Not quite as bad, I think.
Carrie: Tony Robbins? Another Tony. Yeah, you guys know who Tony Robbins is, right?
Carrie: He’s like a motivational speaker who’s big on tough love.
Thomas: Hmm. And final answer D, here? Right Brian Therapy, Inc.
Carrie: Right Brain Therapy, Inc. is run by Jerry Mungadze in Dallas, Texas and they believe that when you come into their clinic they can give you this coloring sheet of your own brain and a box of crayons and you intuitively color it in and the way you color it indicates very important things about you including whether you’re gay – which they can fix!
Carrie: And whether you have demons or multiple personalities.
Thomas: Alright well my team gets to go first. Here we go.
Daniel: Do you have any thoughts?
Jacob: I don’t know which one I hate more, B or D.
Jacob: I’m gonna say remember the Alamo because [Clownhorn] that guy.
Daniel: Which one’s that? I guess we’re going B.
Thomas: Going answer B, here we go! Will we get a correct answer?
Andrew: Come on! Don’t choke on this one, I’m counting on you!
Jen: We’ll go with the San Diego Tony, C.
Thomas: They are going with answer C! Let’s reveal the answer.
Thomas: And not a single correct answer was had all night! That’s incredible. Hey, we’ve got a lot of math geniuses who listen? Someone calculate the odds on two teams getting to try and getting a 1 out of 3 question wrong three times in a row. Just email me. Okay, well thanks for playing.
Andrew: I think it is only fitting on this show that there are no winners!
Thomas: Yeah, yeah. I am so tired of making you guys stand up, so-
Carrie: Well wait!
Thomas: We’ll get the story on this.
Carrie: But wait!
Thomas: No, we’re gonna get the story.
Carrie: Oh, okay.
Thomas: But I was just gonna let them sit down.
Carrie: No, don’t let them sit down! But wait! I was gonna give a shirt to the winner, but we have four shirts, it’s fine. Hey Drew, would you bring my bag? This is my fiancé, Drew!
Thomas: Recently engaged, contratulations!
Carrie: Oh, thank you! Thank you so much.
Audience Member: So when do you spring the podcast on him?
Carrie: When do I spring the podcast on Drew?
Audience Member: Are you researching him?
Carrie: Oh! Five years in he passes the text. So, yeah, just paw through this.
Thomas: Since we’re all losers here-
Carrie: Since you’re all clearly big fans.
Thomas: But nobody gets it because you lost, so-
Thomas: No, I’m just kidding. Let’s – I’m so glad you brought the shirts for the prize for the-
Carrie: Especially since these are all clearly huge fans of the show who know all about it!
Thomas: Let’s go ahead and feel free to go back to your seats and let’s get the story behind this last question here. So, 30-50 feral hogs, what was that investigation like?
Carrie: [Laughs] Well Right Brain Therapy is, yeah, it is what I described. It’s in Dallas, we found out about it because it’s loosely connected to an exorcist we were investigating. Whole other thing! But we found out about this guy who does this crazy therapy and we showed up and got it and asked him like, hey, is it cool if we take pictures and record this and stuff? And he was like yeah, whatever! So we did, he told Ross my co-host that he was gay which he divined because Ross had colored the center of it pink.
Matthew: A brain.
Carrie: The center of his own brain, right. Ross had actually found a piece of the drawing that looked sort of like a dick and colored that pink.
Carrie: Little baity, Ross! Oh yeah, and I said – sort of a test I said one of us experiences same sex attraction, can you see who? And he looked at it and he was like, oh, Ross. Not accurate. But he said if you, Carrie did, it would be brown. So brown’s the lesbian color.
Matthew: It tracks.
Thomas: No comments on that.
Carrie: So we did an episode about this quirky therapy, “quirky” being the polite way to say it, and then got a message from his wife who’s also the secretary at this place saying he’s gonna sue you, you need to take this all down and we never gave you permission to take these photos and I was like oh, do you wanna hear the audio where I asked him and he said yes?
Carrie: So they, I gave them Matthew’s email and that’s the last we heard from them.
Matthew: I’ve got no story there, I was just like yeah, you don’t give a [Clownhorn] about these people suing you, there’s no problem.
Thomas: Any compelling stories on Tony Robbins and/or Tony Alamo Christian Ministries?
Carrie: Yeah, I mean we did go under cover at Tony Alamo and we were genuinely scared. That’s the most scared I’ve ever been because we had to get in their unmarked van and drive into the desert-
Carrie: -and watch our cell phone bars disappear.
Thomas: Zero unmarked vans policy for me, personally.
Carrie: Yeah, so that was genuinely scary and we kind of thought we would hear from them, just like with Scientology we though, like, well this is one where we’ll have to call Matthew, but I think actually they were sort of luddites where technology is concerned, so I think they might still not know about our coverage.
Carrie: Even though if you google Tony Alamo Christian Ministries you’ll probably get our show in your, like, second or third result, but they don’t google themselves. They’re busy.
Thomas: Wow. Alright. Well I wanna thank our participants for losing with such dignity and grace.
Thomas: And also, how about it, Carrie and Matthew! That was so much fun!
Carrie: Thank you! Thanks for having us!
Thomas: Alright we’d like to thank our top patrons, our hall of famers, our all time greats over at patreon.com/law who, by the way, already heard the full live show years ago and just think of how much longer they’ve gotten to enjoy the delightful Carrie and Matthew segment of that show! But anyway we’ve gotta thank, on Top Patron Tuesday, our top patrons. And go ahead, Andrew!
[Patron Shout Outs]
Thomas: Alright and now it’s time for the thrilling conclusion of T3BE, really no idea how I did on this one, let’s hear it!
T3BE – Answer
Andrew: T3BE, T harder, right? I’m running out- have you seen the new Terminator sequel yet? Because I have not.
Thomas: Heard it bombed.
Thomas: And I just wanna say Thomas was right, Andrew was wrong because you were for some reason excited about a piece of a crap old sequel that was directed by James Cameron or whatever?
Andrew: I was and still am, so we’ll find out.
Thomas: Well, enjoy.
Andrew: Anyway, but this is not that. This is a carpenter contracted with a homeowner to remodel the home for $10,000, then crazy series of events happen that, like two days before he signs an agreement to buy a car where he can either pay $10,000 in cash on June 1 or $12,000 if after that. Then June 1 comes around and the homeowner, without justification, without any excuse, refused to pay. As a result, not only – it’s not stated, but not only does the carpenter lose out on the deal but he suffers a minor heart attack, incurs $4,000 worth of medical expenses and, by the way, the reasonable value of the carpenter’s services in remodeling the homeowner’s home was $13,0000. And so in an action for breach of contract what is the appropriate measure of damages to the carpenter? You, Thomas, immediately eliminated B, $14,000 which is the contract price plus the medical expenses and that’s a good elimination.
Thomas: Whoo! Alright, thanks.
Andrew: The medical expenses, not remotely foreseeable, very difficult to show that, you know the breach of contract caused the heart attack. You’re not getting that. You also eliminated C, $12,000 which is the contract price plus the benefit of the bargain of the other contract that he signed into. That, again, was what the law calls a special circumstance of which the other contracting party had no notice. So in other words, you can occasionally get some related damage under a breach of contract if they are related to the contract and the other party has notice of that.
Andrew: So for example, suppose I say to you, hey, I’ll remodel your home, the first payment is due by April 1 and by the way if my supplier doesn’t get the money by April 1 the cost is gonna go up.
Thomas: Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say. So if it’s related to the work kind of then you could get some losses related to that, that makes sense.
Andrew: But this is just-
Thomas: But this, yeah. So did you like my logic there that this would seem to justify lots of really extraneous damages?
Andrew: Yup! Absolutely!
Thomas: Okay, as long as I was on the right – I wasn’t just lucky I got some of the logic. Alright, cool. I’m happy, so far so good.
Andrew: You logic’d this up perfectly. So you chose between the two reasonable answers which is either A, the contract price, $10,000 or D, the value of the services, $13,000 which is what you get under unjust enrichment. Sadly, though-
Andrew: You chose D.
Andrew: And let me say, this is just a pretty simple rule that in a breach of contract action you can recover – if there’s no contract you can still recover for unjust enrichment for the value of the work performed, but you can’t recover more than the value of the contract itself.
Thomas: [Groans] man, I was so close!
Andrew: If you think about that, that makes a lot of sense. Look, your logic is not of, well once you breach the contract now I should be able to get everything.
Andrew: It’s hard to argue with that as a logical proposition, it just happens not to be the law.
Thomas: Yeah, that’s fair. It sucks, I was close. I almost had this.
Andrew: You were super close.
Thomas: I was like I think it’s just A, but it just seemed unfair. What I was remembering was that unjust enrichment rule kind of thing but sadly I wish I hadn’t remembered it because – the language looked really good, you know, picking what looks right and sadly I was wrong, doesn’t apply here.
Andrew: If you think about it in practice, establishing what you’ve actually done is almost always less than the contract price.
Andrew: I’ve never seen a real life fact pattern that matches this, so you know, sorry, but-
Andrew: You analyzed it correctly.
Thomas: That was a tough one and I did so much work-
Andrew: Yeah, it was.
Thomas: -only to just fumble at the last moment.
Andrew: Yeah, that was a Leon Lett, there.
Thomas: Yeah. [Sighs] Yeah, now I’m just thinking back to hockey, all the hard work plays I’ve made and then I like mess up a pass to somebody and it’s all for nothing. It’s kinda like that.
Andrew: I’m sure it is!
Thomas: [Laughs] Well let’s find out who was smarter than me this week, who got this one right? Why doesn’t future Andrew tell us?
Andrew: Hey this is future Andrew, back from vacation. I wanna thank all of you for the love you showed to Brian in handling this segment while I was overseas. Anyway, in our back from Italy edition, this week’s winner is Rob, @PencilBloke on Twitter who says “A; the carpenter’s in the ‘Contractors Stiffed by Donald Trump’ bind; is it worth going to the expense of suing to win the same amount you would have been paid anyway?”
Exactly right and really good topical analysis of the difference between contract law and tort law, and yeah, in the American system, you know, one of our problems is that you’ve gotta pay your own way and so under a theory of efficient breach the idea that we want people to be able to break a contract if a better deal comes along, a really, really good counterargument to that is sort of what I am now gonna call the Donald Trump example, which is if you’re in such a disproportionate position that legal costs are no object there is no disincentive under strictly tort law – excuse me, under strict contract law, built in to prevent you from doing that.
Your remedy has got to be in tort, so might be a discussion on a future show. Anyway, really, really great. Everyone, give @PencilBloke, that’s Rob, a follow on Twitter and congratulations for winning T3BE!
Thomas: And a big thanks to Carrie and Matthew, again, that was just such a great segment, so much fun.
Thomas: Really glad they were able to do it and again, it was even better than I was hoping, it was so fun. So big thanks to them and to our listeners and patrons and we will see you on Friday!
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