Federal Lawsuit {Satire}

Federal Lawsuit {Satire - definitely not legal advice}

You are working at a law firm in the heart of the most conservative part of the United States, and the senior partners just handed you an unwinnable case.  You are the Defense Attorney.  What do you do?  Here is your answer in 3 easy steps…



Step 1: Case Selection and General Strategy

The partners in your law firm are not stupid.  They KNOW your case is unwinnable, and they don’t care.  What they are looking for is for you to: (1) maximize your billings, (2) bring back information that they can exploit on other more lucrative cases against other parties, and (3) further their conservative political agenda.

To bring back information they can exploit on other more lucrative cases, they obviously must select a case for you that is somehow related to an existing case at the law firm.  You must identify what that existing case is, so that you know what kind of information they are hoping you will bring back to them from your unwinnable case.

Next, if your client (the Defendant) is in a segment of the population that the partners are strongly against, it maximizes the probability of opportunities coming up that can further their conservative political agenda.  For example, if they are anti-LGBT, your unwinnable case might be LGBT related in some way.  You need to identify what the political agenda of your partners is, so you can seize opportunities to further it.

Remember, this is a test to see how well you will do in an unwinnable situation, as they gather information on you.  Think of it as an extended job interview that the partners are conducting on you.

And they cannot tell you any of this directly.  They are hoping you figure it out on your own.  That is part of the test.

To succeed, the best tools in handling your unwinnable case and impressing the partners are: (1) torpedo any settlement offers of the Plaintiff, (2) delay, and (3) Chewbacca.


You don’t want a settlement.  You already know the case is unwinnable, but that is not why the partners gave you the case.  Settling will not bring any of the goals of the case, which are (again):

  1. Maximize your billings
  2. Bring back information that your partners can exploit in other unrelated cases
  3. Further the conservative political agenda of the partners

So you must torpedo any settlement offer. 

You can get the Defendant to reject a settlement by telling them they did nothing wrong, or by convincing them that it was their First Amendment right to act as they did.  Or you might convince the Defendant that you think you can get them money because the Plaintiff launched a “wrongful lawsuit”, when it is actually a strong case against the Defendant.

An especially dangerous settlement offer is one where the Plaintiff offers to drop everything, with no cash settlement and no money, if the Defendant will  just delete everything and leave the Plaintiff alone.  You don’t want the Defendant to accept that offer. It gets you nowhere in your goals of the law suit, so you must torpedo it in some way.

If such a settlement offer came with “teeth” that guarantees to the Plaintiff that the Defendant will delete everything and walk away, a good way to torpedo the offer is to malign the “teeth” clause of the offer, and convince the Defendant that it is unreasonable.  Focus on the “teeth”, and emotionally stir your client up against it.  Make them think it was their First Amendment right to do what they did.  The Defendant then won’t accept the settlement.  And you don’t want the Defendant to accept it.  So you win.


The purpose of delay is to stall the case as long as you can, hoping for two things: (1) increasing accrued revenue via billings to the Defendant, and (2) hoping that during the delays the Plaintiff will become impatient and make an error that you can subsequently exploit. 

Your law firm’s accounting is on the Accrual Basis, not the Cash Basis.  That means that your bills to the Defendant are booked when accrued, regardless of whether the bills ever get paid.  If they never get paid, that can be dealt with in the future, possibly via some sort of Good Will write off.  You can also get a judgement for asset seizure if the Defendant ever gets any assets, so you can keep them on the hook indefinitely, sort of like modern day slavery.  So for now get as much booked as you can.  Your partners are watching.  And to do so, you must not anger your client.  After all, if they fire you, you have no case.  So push it as far as you dare, but no further.


The purpose of Chewbacca is to introduce things to the case that are unrelated to the Complaint filed by the Plaintiff.  In doing so, you are hoping to confuse the court with intentional obfuscations, as you try to distract and mislead.  The following 30 second clip from South Park perfectly illustrates the Chewbacca Defense:


The partners will be watching to see how skillfully you apply this technique.  Apply it well and you will be advanced in the law firm.  Apply it poorly and you will forever be given grunge cases that don’t matter.

Proper selection of a good Chewbacca Defense can be determined by analyzing the political agenda of your partners, and contrasting it with the actual Complaint (law suit) filed by the Plaintiff.  You must look for opportunities to inject Chewbacca into the case.  Specific strategies for this will be discussed in STEP THREE: CHEWBACCA.  But first…

Step 2: Tactics for DELAY

Is the venue of your unwinnable case in a fast-moving court?  If so, get it moved.  State courts are known to move much faster than Federal courts, so if your case is in State court, the next thing to do is try to get it moved to Federal Court.  Federal Courts are notoriously slow to rule on anything, sometimes taking as long as a year to rule on one simple motion.

If the Plaintiff objects to your attempt to move the case, it might lead to an exploitable strategic error on their part.  You need to goad the Plaintiff into making strategic mistakes anywhere you can.  That will be good for you and bad for them.

If you have decided to try to get the case moved from State court to Federal court, you should first wait the FULL time period allowed by law for Answering the Complaint, and then instead of Answering, file a motion to have the case moved.  Whether the court grants the request or not, you will achieve delay.

Estimated delay achieved so far: 14 days

If your client (the Defendant) has not yet Answered the Plaintiff’s Complaint, the next step is to simply ask the Plaintiff’s attorney to stipulate for a couple days more time.  If (s)he objects, you can later take that to the court to argue that the Plaintiff’s attorney is being unreasonable.  That would be good for you and bad for them, and it will always cause delay.  To keep from looking bad to the court, the Plaintiff Attorney likely will stipulate to at least a couple of days delay.

Estimated delay achieved so far: 16 days

The next step is to file a motion asking for a stay of the case.  The motion probably won’t be granted, but it will delay the case by at least a month, because the court will allow time for the Plaintiff to object, plus you to file a response to the objection, plus time for the court to rule on the motion.

Estimated delay achieved so far: 45 days

You need to be looking for some good Chewbacca material to inject into the case.  You must select Chewbacca that promotes the political agenda of your partners, and that also has the hope of bringing back information from the Plaintiff during the law suit that your partners can exploit in their other more lucrative lawsuits against other parties.  To have maximal effect, you must choose Chewbacca that can convince the Defendant that it is what the case is about, when it isn’t at all what the case is about. 

Remember, your Chewbacca is your attempt to divert, mislead, and misdirect the case into something totally unrelated to the Plaintiff’s (Amended) Complaint.  And it must be believable to the uneducated.

Now is also the time to formally Answer the Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint.  Do so on a weekend if possible, then immediately email the Plaintiff’s Attorney that you intend to amend your filing.  The law allows a timely amendment, and this will give you more delay. 

Estimated delay achieved so far: 60 days

After all of the preceding delays are accomplished, it is now time to file an Amended Answer.  Include in your Amended Answer a Countersuit, with Counterclaims against the Plaintiff that the Plaintiff must now take time to Answer.  It does not matter if the Counterclaims have merit.  Creating Counterclaims will add delay, and increase your billable hours.  Filing Counterclaims is also an excellent time to reinforce your chosen Chewbacca- this is especially important in your attempt to convince the Defendant, the future jury, and the court, that your Chewbacca is valid, when it in fact has nothing to do with the original law suit.

Estimated delay achieved so far: 75 days

Next, ask for an extension for time to engage in “Settlement Discussions”.  Judges love it if the case can be decided out of court, and any opposition to a request for an extension for this discussion will be met poorly by the court.  You will likely win this motion. 

Estimated delay achieved so far: 100 days

Since your Counterclaim likely had claims that had no merit, expect the Plaintiff to file a “MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTERCLAIMS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM”, or something similar.  That’s OK, because it will introduce more delays while motions ping-pong back and forth over this issue. 

This is also a good time to take advantage of any local issues that would make the court amenable to a motion to a temporary stay of the case.  One example: due to Covid, in early 2020 the Utah Supreme Court issued an Administrative Order that orders judges to be lenient on granting motions to stay cases. That is perfect.  File the motion.  It will be granted, and you will get a stay.  And if the other side opposes your motion, it will make them look bad and you look good in the eyes of the court.  You win again.

Estimated delay achieved so far: years and years

Step 3: Tactics for CHEWBACCA

Imagine, for example, that the original complaint was primarily about Breach of Contract, or for Defamation for the Defendant publicly calling the Plaintiff a “liar, cheater, scammer”, or for falsely and publicly stating that the Plaintiff has a criminal record, or by saying that the Plaintiff is complicit in criminal acts of other people.  

That last point especially makes good Chewbacca, because you can now employ the Guilt by Association fallacy in a way that the average person is incapable of discerning.  You should convince the Defendant that the Plaintiff sued them as a retaliation for “revealing associations” when that has nothing to do with the Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint.  This is your opportunity to convince the Defendant that the Plaintiff is somehow guilty, by association, of crimes committed by other people, and uneducated people (including the Defendant) should easily be swayed into being convinced that it is really about “revealing associations”, when it is not.

That is excellent Chewbacca.  Especially if it simultaneously promotes the political agenda of your partners, as well as moves the case in a direction to possibly allow the partners to gain information that they can exploit in other unrelated cases.  You can’t find better Chewbacca than that, so you should make it the central issue of your defense strategy. 

And you score extra points if you can draw the opposing counsel into responding to your Chewbacca in their own filings, because that will help flood the court with motions full of irrelevant Chewbacca. 

Judges read very little of the filed motions, but if every time they choose to read something, and it contains Chewbacca, the judge might not realize it is Chewbacca.  You win again.  So flood the case with Chewbacca, and try to push the opposing attorney to include arguments against your Chewbacca in their own filings.




You can’t completely ignore the Chewbacca, and the Defense knows that and is counting on you addressing it, because addressing it helps to propagate it.  So keep all of your responses to the Chewbacca very simple, with generic statements like “These paragraphs contain irrelevant, harassing, defamatory statements about the Plaintiff and a response to these allegations is not necessary. To the extent that a response is necessary, Plaintiff denies the allegations of this paragraph.”  You need to stick to arguing the case that you filed, and not arguing against the Chewbacca that the defense keeps filing. 

If the Defense is using Chewbacca, take the wind out of the sails of the Chewbacca.  For example, if the Defense is using a Guilt By Association argument, plainly admit to the judge of the association, while asserting that it is irrelevant to the case.  Assert the irrelevance by repeating something like “These paragraphs contain irrelevant, harassing, defamatory statements about the Plaintiff and a response to these allegations is not necessary”. 

Judges are smart-- they didn’t get to where they are by being stupid.  But they are severely time limited, so keep your responses to the Chewbacca very short.  And remember, the portion of the motions filed that they actually read is very small.  They simply don't have time to read everything.

How can you tell if the Judge is beginning to see through the CHEWBACA

Judges are skilled at hiding their thoughts, so it is hard to say.  But here are some clues:

Is the Judge writing things like: “Defendants do not address Plaintiffs’ arguments, and instead, seek to further assert what is already alleged—to wit… "[various Chewbacca nonsense]

Or this: “…these do little to refute Plaintiffs’ arguments… instead, the bulk of the opposition contains texts regarding…” [more Chewbacca nonsense].

Or this: “These simply fail to establish a prima facie case for the majority of counterclaims brought by Defendants…

Or this: “Defendants filed a response titled “Motion to Dismiss Final Counterclaim” asking that the court “recognizes and identifies the treachery in this lawsuit.” (ECF No. 69 p. 1.) The court declines to consider Defendants’ arguments

None of this is proof, but it is definitely evidence that the judge is beginning to see through the Chewbacca.  Take note of that and keep your filings on target with your actual Claims.

Stay the course, deflect or ignore the Chewbacca.  Have patience, and you will be fine.  Judges aren’t stupid.

And feel sorry for any Defendant that ends up with a Defense Attorney that follows anything even close to what has been said here.  They have become tools in somebody else's political machine, and they are on the losing end.  Be happy it is not you.

And none of this is legal advice.  It is pure satire, as stated at the beginning.  Follow it at your own peril.

Nevin Pratt, CEO
Bountiful Baby