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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#334229 05/19/2021 1:15 PM
by logtroll
Lying is a major problem for humans. I might tend to think of lying superficially as a clear and well defined act, but the real range and complexity of lying is infinite and ubiquitous - even extending into the contrary realms of good and bad.

Lying is even defended by some interpretations of Constitutionally protected free speech.

What stimulated this post was the anticipation of lies to follow the AZ election ’audit’, but the reason for starting a fresh topic has to do with a construction contract legal dispute that I have been enjoying for three years now. The essence of the dispute has to do with a progress payment application that the owner refused to allow based upon her “feeling that the contractor had not done enough work to justify the payment”.

As it happens, the process stipulated by the bank for disbursements of loan funds requires that a 3rd party professional be engaged to do an inspection to correlate and certify that the goods and/or services for which payment is requested had actually been delivered - the “feelings” of the client are not in the contract anywhere. Oddly, neither the client, nor the bank, have chosen to follow that simple (and pre-funded) contractual requirement.

In a bizarre dance that has now involved four judges and eight learned barristers on the opposing side, and (fortunately) one retired, and highly experienced attorney working for us pro bono, we are three years into a mess wherein the substance of the dispute (the failure to have a competent 3rd party inspection and certification) has never been presented in court. The reason for this is the absolute avalanche of lies and fraudulent speculation about why we didn’t deserve to be paid have so befuddled the not-so-competent judges into thinking that this may be the most complex case ever to come before them, that they prefer to punt, and grant any motion to delay that is put before them. (One of the more amusing ones was a motion to dismiss by the bank on the grounds that the payment protocol imposed by them, that they refuse to implement, is not a contractual agreement with us, therefore they are free to ignore it).

I should throw in here that I have no good idea of why the bank has refused to follow their own progress payment protocol - they took $3750 from the client’s loan funds up front at closing to pay for 3rd party progress payment inspections - are they simply trying to skim that amount from their client? If so, they have now spent an estimated $50,000 on lawyers to protect $3750 in ill-gotten booty. Incidentally, we did finally hire a 3rd party inspector (a retired architect) to certify our pay app, which he did - but the bank and our former client are trying to dismiss his evidence as biased - because we paid him...

To the point (the topic is lying and the law), we finally got the parties to agree to binding arbitration (which as stipulated in our contract to be the first recourse in case of any contract dispute, in order to avoid the courts...). For arbitration, the same discovery process is followed as for a lawsuit, so we have been in the process of corralling our former client, collecting evidence debunking her amazing string of frauds and lies. For the most part, her attorneys have not done any due diligence in ascertaining which of her facts are true, and have merely repeated them to the court. A couple of years ago, she engaged her insurance company, who is now defending her, but not prosecuting any claims against us. She attempted to represent her companies (two are involved, an LLC and a corporation) but as she is not an attorney, that is not allowed by law. She is representing herself as an individual, however.

The discovery process is gradually awakening her insurance provided counsel to the fact that she has been lying to them (no prior due diligence into their client’s statements, either) which puts them in a difficult situation - they can’t ethically represent lies, and could be sanctioned if they do.

In a strategy review conversation with our counsel yesterday, he said that given the now well-documented pattern and practice of lying by our (primary) opponent, he plans to file a motion to prevent her from testifying on the basis of having put a fraud upon the court. If the motion is granted, she (and her irrational and dishonest “feelings”) will have to sit in a soundproof booth while we present our case and the arbitrator decides how much she owes us. The insurance attorneys are not going to be able to mount much of a defense because they will have no assurance that what she told them was the truth.

Perhaps the moral of this post is that, even though lying is pervasive and disgusting, it is possible to navigate our cumbersome ‘rule of law’ to find a cure in the end, even though it is an ugly process.

A real cure would be a healing of the human mind to not be devious, dishonest, and destructive. But I think our extinction will come sooner than that cure!
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#334840 Jul 24th a 06:09 PM
by logtroll
Originally Posted by logtroll
What stimulated this post was the anticipation of lies to follow the AZ election ’audit’, but the reason for starting a fresh topic has to do with a construction contract legal dispute that I have been enjoying for three years now.
We had the arbitration hearing a week and a half ago and should get a decision in a few more weeks. I'm optimistic that we will prevail, but we've all seen too much in recent decades of clear justice that never gets served to call it a slam dunk. The lies can be very confusing to people who didn't experience the reality to judge.

I did have several fun moments with the opposing counsel, who had a very annoying strategy of asking compound leading questions, repeated time after time, apparently hoping to get me to say something that he could spin into the opposite of the truth. At one point after an especially verbose effort to put words in my mouth, he asked me, "Does that accurately represent your position?"


"What is it about what I have said that you don't agree with?"

"Everything... you just made all that up. I never said any of it."

Another time he was trying to get me to speculate on some what-iffery entwined with a questionable analogy, finishing with something like, "Don't you agree?"

"I don't agree."

"Feigning surprise, "What don't you agree with?"

"It's speculation. You had me take an oath swearing I had to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There is no truth in your speculation. Yet you are now asking me to violate that oath."

In another incident where he was trying to to cast doubt on the validity of our building contractor's license, the moron shifted his tone and demeanor to that of a state trooper who had just pulled me over for driving 100 mph in a school zone.

"In your deposition you stated thus and such and now you have changed your story... I must point out that perjury is a very serious offense!"

"Can you read me what I said in the deposition?" He read it. "Can you read me what your question was in the deposition?" He read it. "That's not the same question you just asked me, now is it?"

"Uhhhh... let's move on..."

Last one, and maybe the most fun. There is a section of the contract that describes the projected monthly progress of the job with an estimate of the amount of payment that would be due. It was in there because the bank asked for it to get an idea of the size and spacing of the draws so they would have sufficient cash on hand. It was possible to read it as conditions that had to be met before payment could be made, though due to many changes asked for by the client, using it as a real schedule would have been counterproductive to making progress on the job. But the opposition was desperate to spin it as a contract default (because we had done work that was listed in later phases 'out of order' as a way to keep progressing while waiting for the change orders to work through the process). So, to that purpose, the opposition was calling the phases "payment milestones" and "benchmarks for payment".

I had refused to allow Perry Mason to use those terms with objections perhaps 30 times during the depositions and the hearing, but he was determined to have one last go at it. He asked me why milestones and benchmarks weren't appropriate words. I said because they don't appear in the contract. He started to argue with me, so I stopped him and said, "Let's get out the contract and look at the actual words." There was a mountain of paper and it took him a full two minutes, in awkward silence, to find his copy. When I saw that he had it I asked him, "Do you have it in front of you?" (Lawyers do that over and over to the witnesses).

He said, "Yes."

"Can you look at page 2 and find the sentence prefacing the list of phases?"

"I see it."

"Are the words 'benchmarks' or 'milestones' written there?"

"No. But..."

The arbitrator, barely hiding a smirk, said, "I'm ready to move on."
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#334804 Jul 18th a 11:46 AM
by logtroll
Originally Posted by pondering_it_all
There really is a level of competence for everybody, and finding yours may be the key to a happy life.
IQ is only one possible (not necessarily required) attribute of competence. And the usefulness of education is not only in relation to employment. And education is not the sole test of employability.

I see a glitch in the system that correlates getting degrees with the opportunity to make more money. What logic is there in a system that assumes a person’s happiness in life should be determined by how much ‘education’ they got while in school? Or that it is locked in to making money?

Having just finished an arbitration hearing where I was grilled for hours by a dishonest lawyer, who I suspect had a middling IQ, and who was fond of asking speculative compound questions while insisting that my answers be yes or no, I am very sensitized to the need parse out concepts that contain a mixture of facts and unexamined, sometimes biased, assumptions.

The topic of the relationships between free education, employability, competence, money, happiness, and status is complex, to say the least. And don’t forget to factor in personality disorders, religion, and politics!

My two cents on education are these - education shouldn’t be regarded as a thing you complete before you reach the age of 25, that serves for the rest of your life as your train ticket to happiness. The rather strong tendency that we have to accept that paradigm without question is a serious flaw in our cultural programming.

(In my opinion)
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#334806 Jul 18th a 01:09 PM
by logtroll
I think your video metaphor might be considered to be 'hyperbolic'... not judging, though.

1 member likes this
#334851 Jul 25th a 10:48 PM
by pondering_it_all
That is not true. Freedom of Speech has always had costs. If your speech harms people, you are free to say it, but you can be held civilly or criminally liable for that harm. It's the old "Shouting FIRE in a crowded theater" legal doctrine. I think speech that costs you money or your freedom can't really be called "free". Inciting riots is "free speech", but all the courts have upheld laws punishing people for doing that.

Claiming the First Amendment allows any speech is like saying it's a free country, so swinging your fist is protected. But only until it hits me in the face: Then it's a prosecutable crime.
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