Kuraitis Joins Stones Motion to Dismiss in Postle Case

Kuraitis Joins Stones Motion to Dismiss in Postle Case

The poker cheating case against Mike Postle is about to kick into a higher gear, at least temporarily.

Of course, the process of a civil case working its way through the US District Court can be long and filled with seemingly insignificant motions and points of order. However, the latest developments in this case show one of the defendants filing a motion to dismiss the case and the judge setting a pretrial conference for July 2020.

This is all happening as Postle hits the deadline to submit his response to the charges.

Defendant Kuraitis Joins Motion to Dismiss

Earlier this month, King’s Casino – better known as Stones Gambling Hall – filed its response to charges against it in the US District Court of the Eastern District of California.

The two primary reasons behind the motion to dismiss were that the Veronica Brill and the other 24 plaintiffs in the case failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and failed to allege the claims of fraud and misrepresentation with the required specificity.

Essentially, Stones claimed that there are no credible allegations of wrongdoing by Stones. Further, the motion stated that the lawsuit reflected the “oldest complaint of gamblers – that their lack of success means they were cheated” and because “Michael Postle won too many hands of poker from them.”

Defendant and former Stones Live Poker Director Justin Kuraitis filed a motion with the court on March 13 to dismiss the complaint filed by the plaintiffs for the same reasons stated by Stones. He “expressly relies upon and joins in the motion to dismiss filed by Stones.”

Court Sets Status Conference

On March 18, Senior US District Judge William Shubb issued an order to set a Status Conference for pretrial scheduling for July 20, 2020 at 1:30pm.

Further, all parties are required to confer prior to that conference and “attempt to agree upon a discovery plan. And they must jointly submit that plan to the court 14 calendar days prior to the hearing date. IT must contain the following:

–brief summary of claims

–status of service upon all defendants and cross-defendants

–statement regarding the possible joinder of any additional parties

–contemplated amendments to pleadings

–written report outlining the proposed discovery plan

–proposed end date for all discovery

–proposed deadline for all motions to be filed and heard

–proposed modification of pretrial proceedings

–estimated length of trial

–statement if case is related to any other, including bankruptcy

–statement identifying all relationships to companies and publicly-held listings

Plaintiff Attorney Speaks of Next Steps

Lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Mac VerStandig, appeared on Jonathan Little’s Poker Coaching podcast. The entire interview, published on March 19, touched on a wide range of subjects but started with the Postle cast.

VerStandig noted that he was not surprised that Stones and Kuraitis filed motions to dismiss, as it is a typical move for lawyers in civil litigation. He is currently reviewing Stones’ motion with his team in order to construct opposition to it on behalf of the plaintiffs. He said most of Stones’ arguments are buried “deep in the legal weeds.”

He added, “I will say I was surprised they chose to characterize my clients as sore losers. I thought that was unfortunate. I was sort of taken aback that a casino would do that to its own patrons.”

At this point, VerStandig and his team must decide if they should file an amended complaint as a way of preemptively addressing Stones’ challenges or file a rebuttal to the motion and address each issue individually. A new complaint will likely prompt another motion to dismiss.

As far as a timeline, VerStandig said it will likely take months to get a ruling on the motion to dismiss. And while he understands that litigation of this type can seem like a very long process, he said that it is good to have a deliberative process when issues of this magnitude are on the table.

He noted that Stones hired good law firms for representation, and Kuraitis chose representation from a reputable Sacramento attorney. VerStandig said they’ve been professional so far, and he feels the case will be decided on its merits in due time.

 

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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