Judge Denies Phaedra Parks’ Motion To Dismiss & Motion For Summary Judgment In Angela Stanton Case

Posted on Mar 23 2015 - 12:37pm by Stacy Slotnick, Esq.

Angela_Stanton_

Some legal pundits claim our legal system would suffer from disorder if judges made decisions without explanation. However, when judges exclude verbose legalese from their decisions, we have a quick understanding of a case’s disposition. “Plaintiff’s Motion For Summary Judgment As To Counterclaims is Denied,” tells me a legal dispute is likely headed to trial. While such simplicity provides zippo insight into the legal basis for a judge’s decision and consequently, which arguments have been accepted and which have been rejected, the purpose of litigation is to resolve disputes, and a clear directive from the court accomplishes that goal.

The above context is necessary to grasp the latest legal rulings in the defamation lawsuit Phaedra Parks filed against Angela Stanton. In the matter of Phaedra C. Parks v. Angela Stanton, 12-C-06313-3, the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star sued Angela Stanton, alleging that the latter’s memoir, Lies of a Real Housewife: Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil, was defamatory. 

According to Stanton’s attorney, James Radford, Stanton filed counterclaims for tortious interference with contract, defamation, and bad faith litigation, contending Parks’ lawsuit was frivolous and was designed to shut down the publication of truthful information. In Georgia, in order to prove tortious interference with contract, Stanton would have to show (1) a valid contractual relationship; (2) that the defendant (Parks) acted improperly and without privilege; (3) purposely and maliciously with the intent to injure; (4) that the defendant (Parks) induced a third party to not enter into or continue a business relationship with the plaintiff (Stanton); and (5) that the defendant’s (Parks’) conduct caused the plaintiff (Stanton) to suffer financial harm. 

A counterclaim is a way for the defendant to turn the tables on the plaintiff and respond, “You owe me, too.” Parks filed motions to dismiss the counterclaims, and for summary judgment as to the counterclaims. In two new orders, the judge in this case found a dismissal of Defendant’s counterclaims to be inappropriate.

As to Plaintiff’s Motion To Dismiss Counterclaims and Plaintiff’s Motion For Summary Judgment As To Counterclaims, Judge Carla E. Brown was not exploratory or protracted in denying Parks’ motions.  In fewer than 50 words, the judge ruled in favor of Angela Stanton and against Phaedra Parks. Judge Brown decided that the proper legal outcome here was to allow Defendant’s counterclaims against the Plaintiff to advance.

Motion to Dismiss - Angela Stanton

Angela Stanton -Counterclaims

The “disposition” of a case is the action the court took. Here, in an Order dated March 17, 2015, Judge Brown states, “Having considered the Plaintiff’s brief, Defendant’s response brief, the record before it and the applicable and controlling law, DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion To Dismiss Counterclaims.”

Then, in an Order dated March 18, 2015, the judge again sided with Defendant: “Having considered the Plaintiff’s brief, Defendant’s response brief, the record before it and the applicable and controlling law, DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion For Summary Judgment As To Counterclaims.”

Therefore, Stanton’s counterclaims – which are demands for relief made by a defendant in a civil case against a plaintiff – are still alive.

Pretrial motions, including a motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment, are extremely common in civil practice. They are also particularly important because they may impact the entire case before it gets to a jury. What are the differences between a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment?  Think of a motion to dismiss as what happens before you run a race and a motion for summary judgment as what happens when you are halfway to the finish line. 

A motion to dismiss asks the court to discharge either whole or part of a complaint, counterclaim, or crossclaim sometimes before the parties have conducted discovery.  Here, Parks is telling the court that the material presented as part of Stanton’s counterclaim action is legally invalid. A motion to dismiss could be based on a range of legal inadequacies, including failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or insufficient service of process. However, in deciding a motion to dismiss as to counterclaims, the court must view the facts set forth in the complaint in the light most favorable to Stanton. 

Meanwhile a motion for summary judgment asks the court for final judgment on at least part of the case because there are no genuine issues of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  If the facts are not in dispute, there is no need for a trial.  A motion for summary judgment essentially asks the court to consider undisputed facts and apply them to the law.  To avoid summary judgment here on her counterclaims, Stanton provided the court with evidence that would be permitted at trial indicating how key facts are disputable.

Predicting how a court will rule is about as precise as reading tea leaves.  But there are hints set forth in the March 17 and March 18 Orders that we should follow to their logical conclusions now that Stanton’s motion for summary judgment as to Parks’ original lawsuit will be heard on April 20, 2015 in the Gwinnett County State Court.  It is fair to assume the court cannot enter judgment and must instead send the case to trial.  A court can only enter summary judgment if the evidence demonstrates that there are no disputed issues of material fact to be tried.  In denying Parks’ motions to dismiss and motion for summary judgment as to Defendant’s counterclaims, the Court is saying that there are issues of fact that should be resolved by the trier of fact.

To understand the law, we need to study the actual decisions judges have written. The Orders here are relatively short in length. There isn’t much elaboration.  However, a reader following the arc of the decisions in this case knows that there are just too many factual disputes regarding the truth and validity of Stanton’s claims in her book that form the basis of Parks’ defamation lawsuit, thus precluding a finding of summary judgment for either party.  In short, the parties are headed to trial. 

Less can be more. Judge Carla E. Brown’s decision may provide comfort to those who side with Angela Stanton. If Stanton’s counterclaims were insufficient or legally unsupported, the judge in one fell swoop could have rejected them. 

Motion practice has a strange way of backfiring for some parties because filing motions informs your opponent of your theory of the case, as well as your strategy. If you lose the motion, your opponent enjoys the advantage of knowing what your theories are, and how you intend to corroborate them. 

Grab your gavel, join the conversation, and tell us what you think about these latest legal developments in Parks v. Stanton.

 

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About the Author

Stacy Slotnick, a.k.a. The Foxy Jurist, holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. Stacy is the recipient of the Honors Deans Award; Simon and Satenig Ermonian Memorial Scholarship; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Opportunity Scholarship; and College of Humanities and Fine Arts Scholarship. She is also a William F. Field Alumni Scholar, an honor bestowed upon the most academically distinguished students. In law school, Stacy won two CALI Excellence For The Future Awards® and received an Achievement Scholarship. She is a member of the New York Bar. As an entertainment lawyer, Stacy counsels clients on contracts, branding, and public relations strategy. She negotiates with agents, producers, production companies, and lawyers to secure rights to projects on behalf of high-profile clients. Her clever, spirited, no holds barred legal analysis can be found in articles for The Huffington Post. * Facebook   * LinkedIn   * Twitter

  • RonnieIsBack

    Great analysis Stacy!!! as always.
    Round 1 goes to Ms. Stanton…It’s On! Now there is no stopping her from going forward…..Yasss!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks RonnieIsBack! What do you think about the final outcome in this case? Will Angela’s motion for summary judgment be granted? If it is not, will the parties settle or move forward to trial?

      • RonnieIsBack

        I believe based on the orders entered to date, her summary judgment motion will be entered. If that is truly the case, Phaedra needs to brace herself for all the skeletons that will come tumbling out of the closet once the legal latch is released.
        Stanton has a good group of lawyers who rely on mandatory as well as presuasive law to win. We all know civil lit is preponderance of the evidence and they are well equipped. Her lawyers are not easily intimidated nor afraid to fight. A person just needs patience. I believe once Ms. Stanton wins, there will be a ton of punitive damages.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          What a great and well-thought out evaluation of the case and the main players. You also raise an interesting point about punitive damages, which Angela requested under Counterclaim Four in the Amended Answer and Counterclaims submitted on 7/12/13.

          Unlike most compensatory damages for civil suits, the purpose of punitive damages is not to make the plaintiff whole, but to punish the defendant. While punitive damages do serve an important purpose, some believe they can get out of control. As such, punitive damages are limited in many states to situations of gross negligence, intent, negligence caused by economic reasons, or negligence motivated by fraud. Many states will also cap the amount of punitive damages, if the law allows it.

          Under Georgia law, punitive damages may only be awarded when there is clear and convincing evidence that the at fault person demonstrates willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression or an entire want of care that raises a presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences. O.C.G.A. 51-12-5.1. If a person wishes to recover punitive damages at trial, a judge or jury must make a special finding from the evidence that punitive damages are appropriate and should be awarded. For many viewers and posters, an award of punitive damages would be a reflection of critical justice in this case.

          • RonnieIsBack

            Thanks Stacy! Phaedra has ruined Ms. Stanton’s reputation along with lucrative deals and possible endorsement she may have received if her book wasn’t blocked. This book is reality gold and if proven true,l reality platinum. When all this mess comes out, Shady Phae will pull a “twinkie defense” and blame Apollo….
            I hope Angela Stanton receives justice. She was manipulated for years by someone she was suppose to trust. It is similar to a pedophilia IMO.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            You are extremely welcome. I think you make excellent points. Check out my comment above regarding my PR advice for Angela Stanton. Namely, I think she should publish a second edition of her book and include facets about the defamation case along with her attorney’s commentary. If she is telling the truth, let her profit off facts.

  • Tami

    Great job Stacy! I applaud AATT for giving this case the attention it needs. The fact that the judge denied Phaedra’s motions and thereby forcing this case to trial says a lot for Angela. I doubt that Phaedra will withdraw at this point. I wonder if the Feds in Apollo’s case are aware of or following this case seeing they are related.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thank you, Tami. I am very honored to provide legal analysis to a website that is committed to excellence in reporting and provides in-depth legal analysis that becomes quite obligatory in these types of cases.

      I think authorities will be mindful of the fact that there is this civil action pending. Evidence may be introduced and entered into the record that demonstrates a key element they are looking to prove against Phaedra. But I still wonder why, if there was evidence separate and apart from the affidavits of witnesses, why Phaedra has not been charged yet. What do you think?

      • Tami

        Stacy I honestly believe that Apollo took the fall for Phaedra. Apollo gave an interview where he stated “I took this all on me so that others can remain free.” Would Apollo take the fall for anyone else but his wife? I seriously doubt it. Apollo also told Phaedra on RHOA that no one is coming to take her assets because he’s the fall guy. He also warned her to have what’s due him when he gets out of jail. I believe this is why Phaedra hasn’t filed for divorce yet. She doesn’t want Apollo testifying against her.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          It’s an entirely plausible explanation. Do you think Apollo might be saying these things, though, just to deflect blame?

          • Tami

            No I believe due to Phaedra’s lies before Apollo’s conviction (e.g. pregnancy due date, when she met Apollo, Apollo’s occupation) her credibility was shot with lots of viewers. My grandmother always said a liar will steal too.

  • Chloe

    Thanks Stacy for covering these complicated legal issues with clarity and brevity. So now that the judge has denied Phaedra’s motion(s) to dismiss Stanton’s counter claims, how likely is it that this case will go to trial? Also, does Phaedra have that much false pride to allow her bag of lies to be further exposed not to mention the cost involved in a trial. If she loses she’ll be responsible for damages and Stanton’s legal fees.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thank you so much, Chloe, for your generous compliments and beautiful articulation of the legal issues. I do believe that this case will go to trial unless the parties settle beforehand, which I think is a likely scenario. Phaedra is a lawyer, and she understands that if her lies are exposed and there is a scintilla (ounce) of truth to Angela’s statements, her problems will go behind mere sanctions. I think the only way this case doesn’t settle is if Phaedra is telling the truth, i.e. she did not engage in criminal activity. What do you think?

      • honeybunny

        If phaedra offers Stanton a settlement deal, I hope Stanton denies it and sends this case to trial because I’m sure any settlement will mean that there will be a confidentiality clause and Stanton won’t be able to discuss or write a book about the case

        • Stacy Slotnick

          That’s an excellent point and one worth debating. James Radford will speak to Angela about all her options and make a recommendation based on his view of the evidence. Agreements to keep settlement results confidential are common in the resolution of civil litigation disputes. It may be in the best interests of one or more parties to keep terms or aspects of the dispute from becoming public. Confidentiality is a substantive limitation on the free speech rights of the parties, and it must be bargained for. Is Phaedra going to bargain with her nemesis Angela? I doubt it.

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            That was one quality that I found admirable about Angela. I felt that she claimed & truly owned her part, her role, in all this mess & I believe she apologized for her actions & the harm she caused.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            That was beautifully stated. I agree, and think that people deserve a shot at redemption and new start if they are remorseful, own their mistakes, and have learned from their transgressions. She has been very transparent with the court based on her filings. She isn’t the person she was when she engaged in illegal activity.

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            Thanks Stacy. I totally agree. Always willing to give a second chance to someone who has shown true contrition & has genuinely put in the work & effort to change their ways. Someone who not only talks the talk but walks the walk.
            For some people it’s a pebble to the head that wakes them up. For others it takes a boulder, but as long as they are sincere & making a heart-felt & honest effort to change? It’s all good.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Your writing is pure poetry. I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. Thanks for always offering superb commentary and thoughtful prose.

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            Thanks so much Stacy. I am truly humbled. My former English teachers might disagree with you. LOL! But I sincerely appreciate the compliment. Especially coming from someone so poised & articulate as yourself.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            I would gladly issue a strongly worded retort to your former English teacher. You are a succinct and melodic writer. No question. Case closed. 🙂 Thank you very much for your kind words. In all seriousness, this case underscores who looks like a winner — at least in the court of public opinion. The messaging of James Radford and Angela Stanton trumps the claims Phaedra has made thus far. It also helps that no one has proven Angela is not telling the truth. In fact, the opposite is true as the four affidavits and declarations show (which support Angela’s motion for summary judgment).

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            Not too sure Sister Mary Dawn of the Grey Nuns of the Scared Heart would willing to set down her ruler & agree with your opinion Stacy. Eeep! J/K!

            Great point about truth & facts where Angela & Phaedra are concerned & one I’ve followed closely too. There has yet to be one thing that has proven Angela is being untruthful about her dealings with Phaedra. Just the opposite as a matter of fact. Angela has proven Phaedra to be an out & out liar. Time & time again. Seems Phadera might have picked the wrong girl to throw to the wolves. This girl has teeth & she sure knows how to use them when necessary.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Thanks Tigerlily. The fact that the Court determined in an October Order that Phaedra provided “evasive or incomplete” answers in her deposition demonstrates a propensity to be untruthful.

            Here is a point of law worth discussing: It has been observed that “[a] court may draw an adverse inference against a party who asserts his Fifth Amendment privilege in a civil matter, because the invocation of the privilege results in a disadvantage to opposing parties by keeping them from obtaining information they could otherwise get” and that an adverse inference may “be given significant weight because silence when one would be expected to speak is a powerful persuader.” In essence, if Phaedra refuses to answer questions, not only does it appear that Angela is telling the truth because she answered those same questions but that the case law says a jury may negatively infer that the answer to those questions would have adversely affected the deponent, i.e. Phaedra.

            The result bodes well for a defendant who would be substantially deprived of a defense against a plaintiff who is willing to use the privilege as a way to avoid discovery, deposition testimony or dismissal.

          • honeybunny

            I believe she will. She really has no ground to stand on. Her motions getting denied is very telling, and hte next step would be a trial where Radford will dig more into her past, including bringing witnesses. If Phaedra threw in the towel with Kenya…so it appears on the next episode, I am sure she will try to settle this quietly with Stanton, and pray that none of her castmates will come for her….and that none her clients will run (wait, she has not clients! lol)

          • Stacy Slotnick

            I think the interesting item to note about settling is that Phaedra filed the lawsuit to either make money from Angela or have Angela print a retraction, or both. Angela retracting her statements is unlikely since she has evidence that her statements were factual in nature, and I think its a long-shot for Angela to hand over money for damages (due to the alleged harm caused by Phaedra’s reputation). I think the window of options for Phaedra is narrowing. Unless she has a claim, withdrawing the case with prejudice is her only legally justifiable move from what has been published in this case.

          • honeybunny

            if Phaedra withdraws, Angela can still pursue her counterclaim…right?

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Yes. Angela’s counterclaims sounding in defamation, tortious interference with contract, and bad faith litigation are not immediately dismissed if the underlying claim is withdrawn or dismissed. Hope that helps!

  • WestCoastFeed

    Thank you Stacy for staying on top of this story. I am puzzled by Phaedra’s continuing with this. It looks to me like a lose/lose situation for her. How can any publicity surrounding this trial do anything but harm her?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I agree. Her only saving grace will be if Judge Brown denies Angela’s motion for summary judgment on 4/20. Then she will be able to say, at least superficially, there are questions of fact for a jury to decide. But based on the motion for summary judgment filed by Angela and these two orders, it doesn’t look great for Phaedra.

      The publicity from this case is obviously mostly negative towards Phaedra. Moreover, I think it is telling that Angela’s attorney continues to publish his client’s proof and motions, while Phaedra is keeping mum on the topic. This is not typically how a PL and defendant behave. Usually it is the PL who is shouting from the rooftops why they should prevail and the defendant who elects not to comment. Angela has turned Phaedra into a defensive PL. That is a BIG deal.

  • Shelly Jones

    Stacy…thank you for breaking it down for the laymen aka me. I heard an interview where Angela said she had proof that she and Phaedra knew each other…I don’t know about proof of their alleged illegal activities. I hope so. Either way, based on the Judge’s decision to dismiss Phae’s motions, we know she can at least provide some proof of her counter claims I cant wait to see what’s next.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      You are very welcome. I’m extremely glad the blog was easy to understand and accessible. All of us can have better discussions with each other if we are on the same page. That was one of the things I hoped to accomplish with this piece. Trust me, things like claims, counterclaims, and the differences between summary judgment motions and motions to dismiss aren’t obvious even to law students. 🙂 You are absolutely correct that based on the judge’s decisions to dismiss the msj and motion to dismiss counterclaims that there is some justification for Angela’s counterclaims. In other words, Angela has a leg to stand on in this case.

      Thanks for the notes, Shelly. You are indeed correct that Angela claims her and Phaedra knew each other. The proof is found in Angela’s summary judgment motion in which four different people submit affidavits and declarations attesting to the specifics of Phaedra and Angela’s relationship. Moreover, Angela’s deposition testimony is proof that her and Phaedra engaged in illegal activity. If Phaedra is deposed, Phaedra can refute said statements or she can take the stand. You can read more about the proof here: http://allaboutthetea.com/2015/03/16/angela-stantons-summary-judgment-motion/

      • Shelly Jones

        Thanks for the link Stacy. I forgot about the affidavits that were submitted.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          You are indeed welcome, Shelly. Hope the information was helpful in meaningfully and fully piecing together the case.

      • honeybunny

        Phaedra admitted to knowing AS in her deposition. Also in the first deposition AS attorney showed phaedra a picture where Sge is holding AS baby. Phaedra also admitted to visiting Stantons family and going to the funeral for Stantons mom. No question they knew each other

  • Chloe

    I’m very curious why Bravo didn’t cover any of this legal battle on this season on the RHOA. The proceedings in this case were a relevant part of Phaedra’s life during the filming of season 7 yet Bravo chose not to cover any of it.

    • MidwestMiddie

      LOL
      Is it possible Bravo is just a wee bit embarrassed by the number of legal cases involving the cast members on their shows?

      • Chloe

        Embarrassment is not a concern nor a priority for Bravo/NBC. Just look at how the covered Teresa from RHONJ and Apollo’s legal dramas. Profit / high ratings are their bottom line.

        • MidwestMiddie

          My sarcasm was a miss instead of a hit.
          : (

    • Stacy Slotnick

      There is the possibility that Phaedra told Bravo under the guidance of her counsel that she would be unable to discuss these legal matters. Bravo then would have decided whether or not to contract with her to appear on this season’s RHOA. If they covered it and she had “no comment,” I’m not sure it would have made for riveting television. But you are 100% right that she initiated litigation and she is a cast member of the show, so it seems disingenuous not to tell the story about this lawsuit.

      Why do you think Bravo isn’t showing it and/or having the ladies comment?

      • Shelly Jones

        I’ve always thought that because of the pending litigation, she some how had this topic banned from discussion (I would put it in legal terms is I could). Can she (Phaedra) do that Stacy?

        • Stacy Slotnick

          That would be my guess, and Bravo yielded to Phaedra in the same way Ramona Singer refused to discuss her pending divorce with Mario Singer. We give networks a lot of credit for having savvy in-house legal counsel to inform and help their client (network) get the most advantageous deal, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

  • Yolie

    Great job, Stacy. I’m glad the judge ruled in Angela’s favor. Phaedra is dragging this case out to wear down the defense but they don’t seem to be backing down. Phaedra’s plan to backfired. Why on earth would she continue the charade and allow this case to go to trial?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks Yolie! So many posters feel the same way. Did Phaedra initiate the lawsuit to have Angela issue a retraction? Did she do it to harass Angela? Did filing a defamation claim serve to take the heat off of her when the allegations surfaced? She and her lawyer will have to inspect the record and see whether there is merit to her claim, and if there is not, it should be withdrawn.

      • Norrth

        Even if phaedra withdraws her suit, Angela can continue forward, can’t she? I don’t see her backing down, at this point. I wrote reviews of Angela’s book. The condition in which she found her children when she came home is enough, I think, to give her the steam to move forward. From Stanton’s POV, she expected Phaedra to take care of her children if she was ever caught working in what she alleges was Phaedra’s scheme to defraud and steal.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thank you so much for highlighting this key facet of the “agreement” Phaedra and Angela had as to taking care of Angela’s children should she ever be caught in a scheme that originated — allegedly — with Phaedra.

          In what way do you think Angela would continue if Phaedra dismisses her defamation lawsuit? Angela could conceivably renew her motion for sanctions and attorney’s fees. Angela likewise has these counterclaims sounding in defamation, tortious interference with contractual and business relationships and bad faith litigation.

          • Norrth

            I think Stanton may feel that she treated as a liar and may want her name cleared (as Kenya did). Stanton stated in her book that she was motivated, in part, by seeing the way E (Apollo’s “brother”) was embraced and even appeared on the show with them and she was treated as if she was useless. I think she wants the world to know what she alleges that Phaedra did to her.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            In an ironic way, Angela has already cleared her name, especially if you consider the comments posted here. The way her lawyer has vigorously attacked the complaint lodged against his client and her willingness to participate — unlike Phaedra — in the legal process is evidence of truth-telling. But I agree there is no forum like a court of law in order to clear one’s name.

  • Thanks for the update, Stacy.

    I am so happy that Angela’s defense team has a ton of proof to back up her claim….phone records, a paper trial and sworn testimony.

    Phaedra thought she could sue Angela and she fold like Vibe Magazine. Most would but Phaedra didn’t bank on Angela getting top Atlanta attorney, James Radford to represent her. Radford has won big cases. He just won a recent civil rights case that resulted in a $4.5 million dollar judgement.

    Ms. Stanton’s legal team have been working this case for a couple of years now and have not given up on Angela. Phaedra didn’t bank on Angela getting a powerhouse defense team. If Angela’s proof was not legit, James Radford would have dropped her long ago, like Phaedra’s legal team dropped her.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I am beyond elated with the commentary you provided us, Seusseroo, and I think you are dead on in your analysis of James Radford. I continue to believe that his client may be telling the truth because he provided key legal documents, which were unsolicited, to support his client’s case. He makes Phaedra look like a defensive plaintiff, and that is not a good thing for a jury to see.

      If Angela’s motion for summary judgment is denied on 4/20 because Judge Brown believes there are genuine issues of material fact, will Phaedra settle the case? Do you see her taking it all the way to a jury?

      • Shelly Jones

        That’s a good question. I want this to go to trial. I want to see What Angela has to prove the claims she made in her book about Phaedra. Tell the truth and shame the devil Angela.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          It would be a more lively and fact-specific legal finale should the case go to trial and Phaedra is forced to produce evidence that what Angela said in her book was false and defamatory. As such, a trial would require Phaedra to prove she was not part of a criminal circle involving Apollo and Angela.

          Defamation lawsuits are very hard to win. Only about 13% are successful. As a matter of general defamation law, it is almost never worth the time, trouble, expense, and potential embarrassment to sue for defamation, as this case has shown thus far.

          • Shelly Jones

            I think Phaedra underestimated Angela. Phaedra wanted to intimidate Angela and hoped that Angela would run away with her tail between her legs.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Most definitely that strategy failed based on the fact that the motion for summary judgment as to counterclaims and motion to dismiss counterclaims were denied. Will Phaedra give up the fight and when?

      • Thank you for the response, Stacy. “Defensive plaintiff” <—BINGO! That's exactly what Radford has accomplished and it's looking REALLY bad for Phaedra right now. I can see her taking this case to trial because she operates from a place of arrogance and false pride. The southern belle really thinks her "good name" in Atlanta will get her off the hook.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          You are very welcome. Anytime! I think your feelings about Phaedra are shared by many. You make excellent points based upon the decisions and legal documents available to us.

  • RealitytvJunkie

    Well one thing is for sure, Phaedra tried everything in her power to halt the release of Angels Stanton’s book. Phaedra made multiple failed attempts failed yet the book was allowed on the market which leads me to believe the authors claims are true. This is a very interesting case with many revealing things about the Southern Belle. I wonder will the Georgia bar use any of the proven allegations as cause to disbar Parks.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      A complaint would have to be made against Phaedra to set the disbarment wheels in motion. However, lying under oath might not qualify a counselor for disbarment proceedings. The professional codes of conduct that attorneys must obey require attorneys to be diligent and honest in their dealings with the
      courts and clients. The combination of repeated misdeeds, failure to cooperate with the disciplinary proceedings, failure to
      show remorse or acknowledge mistakes, can lead to disbarment. Bill Clinton was famously disbarred for lying under oath to a grand jury. Lying is neither a crime nor a disciplinary infraction unless it’s done under oath; otherwise it’s simply free speech. Feel free to peruse the State of Georgia’s guidelines here: http://www.gabar.org/barrules/ethicsandprofessionalism/index.cfm

      • RonnieIsBack

        I hope they rake her over the coals regarding ethics…..

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Do you think her alleged misconduct and handling of the case rises to the level of a complaint, suspension, etc. by the ethics committee?

          • RonnieIsBack

            I think so in the way of filing sham pleadings and as stated tortorious and vicious litigation wrapped up in a big ole slanderous bow. I hope they get her for fees and costs also.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Thanks for your thoughts. You have clearly been following the case closely.

      • CNN

        I hope the complaint is made against Phaedra because it’s certainly warranted in this case. Phaedra’s unethical behavior is egregious.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          What do you think is the chief unethical act she committed? Or, is it the number of unethical dealings that you think will result in some action being taken by the Bar Association? Let us know your thoughts. If you think of examples unrelated to this case, feel free to post them here too.

          • CNN

            Mainly the illegal activities, Stanton alleges Parks participated in. If Angela wins her lawsuit that would indicate, the allegations noted in Stanton’s book are true. Also, the fact Parks perjured herself throughout the deposition process, basically making a mockery of the justice system. I wish someone of authority would connect all the dots. The justice system provides the cloak that allows a thug criminal to parade around as an attorney. She slipped through the ethical cracks.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Thank you for providing your viewpoint and specifics of the case! One would think that with the publicity and “star power” of the plaintiff in this case that connecting the dots would be rather easy.

          • say_no_go

            Hi @stacyslotnick:disqus
            In an earlier season, Phadrea was representing a young gentlemen. I think he was in court for illegally tinted windows. The judge asked him has he removed the tint and he said yes. Pan to the outside, the young thug still had the tint on the car (clearly lying to the judge) and Phadrea saw this and did nothing but say, “boy, you are crazy” (not sure if those were the exact words) than proceeds to take cash from him and stuffed it in her pockets. She is such a shiesty individual.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Thank you for relaying the story of this legal case to AATT posters. Sometimes a lie can constitute an ethical violation. Lawyers must be honest and truthful. The profession does not need those who feel they must resort to deception to conduct their practice. In the scenario you describe above, Phaedra would defend her actions by saying she never made any statements or affirmations to the court that was untrue. Instead, she would probably claim that she simply made no assertion that was false.

          • Bad Barbie

            In a brown paper bag too.

  • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

    Great blog Stacy. Thanks for all the insight & info. Thanks AAtT.

    Aww for shame Phaedra. From all appearances, this is not gonna go away quietly. Looks like the court is a little too savvy to fall for all the distraction techniques you are attempting. Seems you are not the great prestidigitator you think you are. Distraction & deflection is not gonna help this time.

    & considering how many times I have witnessed you attempt to be a lawyer & fail?
    It would seem that was not your best career choice.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Phaedra may have had a vision and a roadmap for this lawsuit, but its execution was perhaps ill-conceived, as you note. Do you think people judge her more harshly for bringing this lawsuit because she is a lawyer? I think your point about Phaedra distracting the process and throwing obstacles in the way of the truth (by not appearing and answering all deposition questions) is well taken.

      We are happy to continue to cover this case and allow it to see the light of day. There are important legal issues to be discussed and decided here, and we are happy to breathe life into the matter by evaluating the decisions and legal filings in Parks v. Stanton for AATT readers! Thanks so much, Tigerlily, for taking the time to comment and we appreciate your tremendous support!

      • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

        Hmmm. I think that would have to say yes to that question Stacy. Phaedra is most likely judged somewhat more harshly not just for being an attorney but because of her holier-than-thou attitude as an attorney.
        But, I think it may be more so because of her so-called Southern “virtues”.
        I mean that nasty, snide comment to Demetra showed exactly what kind of ‘lady’ Phaedra really is. A shady bish. Who in their right mind would ask someone they hardly know, a woman who invited them into her place of work, whether she was had done crack or whether she was a crackhead-ho like the character she plays on TV?
        That was beyond uncalled for. Phaedra is a mini-me version of Ne-Ne when it comes to hypocrisy. She can talk smack & throw shade but if you dare to question her actions, She bolts. As far as I’m concerned… she can stay gone!

        • Rochelle Barozzi

          I agree with everything you have said!

          • Stacy Slotnick

            I second that, Rochelle. If you can’t take the heat, get out of reality TV and don’t sue on a whim.

          • Rochelle Barozzi

            Exactly. You signed up for it? No deal with it.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            That is correct. Although cast members cannot always forecast the future or predict how footage will be used, reality TV showcases your reality. Period.

          • Bad Barbie

            Yet, according to all the ones not being praised for their foolery, it is “scripted”.

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            Thanks Rochelle. It’s just that I have zero tolerance left for Ne-Ne, Phaedra & Porsha. They all say one thing & then do another.

            At least. (most times that is.), the rest of the cast will own their part in the mess that goes down every week. & they honestly seem to mean it when they apologize. I also feel that most of the other other ladies are usually willing to move on & dead the issue once they feel they have been heard.
            That never happens with those three.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Agree! Isn’t it ironic how people complain about attributes they deplore in others that are really just character traits they find deplorable in themselves?

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            So very true Stacy. I dislike it when grown people are bold enough to choose to act out or behave in a certain way, but then they’re not bold enough to own the consequences that might come their way because they chose to conduct themselves in that manner.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            #truestory and well said!

          • Rochelle Barozzi

            No they don’t! And they know how to bring it up when it suits their needs.

          • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

            I did clarify it by saying once they felt they have been heard. LOL!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and providing these examples concerning Phaedra’s demeanor to support your claim/opinion.

    • Very well stated.

      • ♥♥♥ Tigerlily ·.¸¸.·*¨·.·.¸¸.

        Thanks Seussie! Happy Monday. Hope ll is well. Still freezing my butt of here. What? It’s the fourth day of Spring & 38 degrees. Accccccckkkkkk!

        • Hi love! Oh nooo, the bad weather is back again? Now, that’s just criminal. Hang in there it’ll warm up very soon.

  • CNN

    Great blog Stacy. After all is said and done, I hope Angela Stanton’s book is a best seller. There is no reason that Phaedra should be the only one benefiting from the crimes they BOTH committed. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks so much, CNN! We appreciate your remarks and analysis in this case. If I were advising Angela on public relations matters, I would suggest that a second edition of the book is published after the defamation issue is resolved by the court, and do a media blitz and huge book tour to promote the new edition. The new edition would include legal documents and James Radford’s commentary on the case.

  • Dave

    It’s so crazy to me that Phaedra and Apollo got on national TV with such major skeletons in their closet. I know people that hide out for misdemeanors. I hope Phaedra has Teresa Guidice’s prison address. They may need to lean on one another or at least share a cell.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      It is truly incredible that these people with significant legal issues and criminal backgrounds find their way into mainstream media and reality TV. But maybe what is shown on reality TV is representative of American life in general. I know that is a pessimistic view of the world, but pessimism can be accurate. In the same way reality TV demonstrates supreme wealth (Lisa Vanderpump) because there are people who are extremely rich, it also illustrates those who display criminal intent.

      I think what bothers viewers is that the lawsuit has not been discussed or underlined on RHOA this season. It is the elephant in the room, so to speak. If the show is going to follow these women and their lives, why not film the major milestones, good and bad?

      • Mustang

        “Both optimists & pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.”
        – George Bernard Shaw

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Excellent, relevant quote, Mustang. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂 Tell us, what do you make of this lawsuit and what do you think of the way Bravo is handling the coverage of the case (or lack thereof as it may be)?

          • Mustang

            I’m not versed in this case as some are, but I will say that in general, I don’t trust PP to be truthful. She is a shady character IMO.

    • Narcissists at their finest. Criminals that suffer from Narcissism never think they’ll get caught or exposed.

    • Norrth

      I wonder how Andy feels about their friend “E” on the show. (Angela and Apollo’s co-conspirator, I believe). Did Bravo know who he was?

    • Bad Barbie

      Phaedra thought that she is too smart for TV.

  • Anne Green

    I read Angela Stanton’s book and I believe that she was speaking the truth. IMO, Angela was deeply hurt by Phaedra’s betrayal. I have always believed that IF all the stars aligned for Angela that she would take the case to trial and expose Phaedra for who she is. That being said, I have two questions for Stacy: 1) If Phaedra withdraws her complaint, where does that leave Angela in terms of her counterclaim? and 2) Angela would never be forced to settle would she? I can’t help but think that this is a case of “it’s not about the money”, it about the betrayal. Thank you, Stacy.

    • say_no_go

      The fact that Angela was in jail and Phakdra attend her mother’s funeral and then lied and stated she didn’t know Angela,, is so trifling in my book. That is the straw that broke the camel’s back for Angela amongst other things

      • Hey hon. It’s Seuss. Phaedra is definitely lying. Two people have come forward via sworn deposition to back up Angela’s claims and spoke specifically of Phaedra’s involvement. One of them is a notorious Atlanta hit man. That alone gives you an idea of the people Phaedra surrounded herself with.

        • Bad Barbie

          But you have to love her fans… they want to preach that bs that if you are a felon you can’t never tell the truth. Yet, most people sitting on the stand telling the truth are felons. SMH

      • Bad Barbie

        How about she is the Godmother of Angela’s kid?!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Excellent questions. First, Angela can continue with her claims sounding in defamation, bad faith litigation, and tortious interference with contract and business relationships. The counterclaims should not be dismissed solely because the complaint is withdrawn or dismissed.

      If Angela and Phaedra settle the matter, I would expect the counterclaims to be dealt with fully in the settlement agreement.

      Second, an attorney cannot force a client to do anything. He or she should make recommendations to their client but they cannot force a settlement.

      I hope this helps and thanks for the questions!

    • Bad Barbie

      It is about exposing someone for who they really. People have twisted logic and say that because Angela is a felon, she can’t be telling the truth. Apollo was a 2 TIME felon when Phaedra married him.

  • say_no_go

    Things are getting to spicy for the peppers…..
    I 100% believe Angela Stanton. Phadrea was doing too damn much. Spending money like it was growing on her peach trees in her backyard. She said she was conned by Apollo? I do not believe that for one minute. She comes off as trifling and sneaky too me.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I like your phrase, “Phaedra was doing too damn much.” In essence, what you are saying is that where there’s smoke there’s fire. And there is plenty of smoke in the deposition testimony and affidavits/declarations connecting Angela to a crime ring.

    • Bad Barbie

      WORD! I agree with this.

  • honeybunny

    If phaedra offers Stanton a settlement deal, I hope Stanton rejects it and sends this case to trial because I’m sure any settlement will mean that there will be a confidentiality clause and Stanton won’t be able to discuss or write a book about the case

    • Anne Green

      I totally agree with you!!!

  • honeybunny

    Apollo did an interview Some time ago and it was very telling. He said he Infanger had discussed Angela and he asked if a dress if they should just go and try to talk to her but Phaedra wasn’t entertsining it

  • Tami

    Stacy would it be possible for the judge in the defamation case to request the Feds to take another look at Phaedra to pursue possible criminal charges?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      That is very unlikely. The judge in a civil case doesn’t work with authorities investigating criminal wrongdoing, and it would be very unusual for the judge to make such a bold and unorthodox move. Do you think authorities are actively investigating Phaedra?

      • Tami

        I really think the Feds are following this case because it relates to Apollo’s case.

      • Bad Barbie

        Don;t you think it the outcome of this case can raise a red flag of acting in concert?

        • Stacy Slotnick

          One would hope, but different federal agencies do not have the level of transparency with one another to the degree you might think. It takes tremendous effort to coordinate a joint task force, as I have seen with intellectual property issues, which take a village to bring violators to justice even if a luxury brand obtains a civil judgment against a counterfeiter. The same would be true here.

          As far as “acting in concert” with regard to Phaedra, Apollo, and Angela, the affidavits/declarations set forth in Angela’s motion for summary judgment make that case convincingly.

  • RoundAbout

    Great blog and wonderful read! Thank you for explaining in detail to us. Your willingness to do that is why I love your blogs so much. You keep my brain going and growing.

    Any chance you might do something on the suit against Kim Richards & Evolution? I read what the attorney for the plaintiff filed and it has my curiosity piqued!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I am so delighted you enjoyed the blog and explanation. It brings me serious joy to relay legal stories and provide a digestible analysis so that everyone can debate, learn, and reflect on these cases.

      On February 13, I penned a blog about whether the Bravo producers should be held liable for the Kim Richards dog bite attack. Absolutely check out the blog here http://allaboutthetea.com/2015/02/13/bravo-producers-be-held-liable-for-kim-richards-dog-bite-attack/ and let me know if you have any further questions or comments. What did you find surprising or interesting about plaintiff’s complaint and/or plaintiff’s attorney’s statements? (It seems like lawsuits are being lodged left and right, and they all emanate from the Bravo family.)

      • RoundAbout

        I had read the earlier blog and at that time, I dismissed any chance Ms Rozario might have of winning. What I read today is her attorney’s response to Evolution’s motion to dismiss. Long story short, there was a taped interview with the dog trainer who appeared last season to work with Kingsley. During this interview, he said he was working for and paid by Evolution, not Ms Richards. He further stated that he was edited out in places so that Kim & Evolution could continue to portray Kingsley as a misbehaving puppy who liked to chew expensive shoes and purses.

        That is when it began to get interesting for me. I forgot all the Phaedra stuff, even though I’d set up until the wee hours this morning, poring over the Atlanta blogs to catch any news on Bobbi Kristina and/or Phaedra. There was nothing on Bobbi Kristina, but it seems like the odds makers are leaning towards Phaedra having to spend some time up river.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thank you a million for bringing this development to our attention. I will absorb the details you speak about as well as some new issues with the Bravo contracts in that case, and get back to you either here or in a new blog.

          • RoundAbout

            You’re most welcome! With all the Bravo legal scandals and your excellent dissection of them all, I feel like I’m taking a law school class. I’m loving it for all you are so willingly teaching us using these real life cases. You are the bomb diggity in my book!!!

          • Stacy Slotnick
  • Bad Barbie

    This is getting saucy! I have zero sympathy for Phaedra to be quite honest. She is not someone that needed the quick “come up” because they had no education. She has several degrees and wants to preach the gospel to be caught in this type of mess. Something in the buttermilk ain’t right.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I think your opinion “something in the buttermilk ain’t right” is buttressed by the fact that Phaedra’s deposition testimony has been labeled by the court “evasive” and “incomplete.”

      • Bad Barbie

        It is actually one of Phaedra’s favorite line. She loves to accuse others of being shady.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          What do you make of this statement on Sunday night’s episode: “For the first time in years, I have peace,” Phaedra asserted. “I can go to sleep knowing he’s not going to hurt himself or anyone around him.” Are those lines smartly crafted to deflect from her own alleged role in the check fraud scheme?

          • colleen

            Phadrea’s Holy-e-er than thou, Ms Southern Belle act is enjoyable to watch, but its just that. An Act. http://Www.allaboutthetra.com wrote the “” Reverened ” who exorcised her home has a police record!

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Thanks Colleen! There is certainly an “air of indiscretions” surrounding Phaedra. The ironic part is, she could probably quash the accusations by answering fully the deposition questions that were posed to her. Sometimes silence isn’t golden, or persuasive in a court of law or the court of public opinion.

  • colleen

    Hi Stacy. So, in other words, Angela HAS to have contracts signed by Phadrea stating their joint business deals?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Hi Colleen! Angela has provided the court with affidavits and declarations, as well as her own deposition testimony, in order to establish Phaedra’s direct relationship to a crime ring. Does that answer your question?

      • colleen

        Yes, thank you. But how stupid of Phadrea to sue Angela if Phadrea is involved. I would think “Silence is Golden” in this case

        • Stacy Slotnick

          OK great! Could this be a case in which Phaedra didn’t think through the potential implications of a lawsuit that didn’t immediately settle? Discovery is a tool available to BOTH parties in litigation. 🙂

  • misstc

    Speaking of shady….In last episode, Phakrea sat down with daughter of a preacher for clearing her conscience of the impending divorce, looking so innocent, etc. Meanwhile, I kept getting flash backs of this same Phakrea bragging about her representing the guy with a foot long dong; relishing her connections to people who are crooks. She has so many irons in so many fires, I wonder how she can keep any of her stories straight.

  • misstc

    Dear Stacy, now in light of Shahs of Sunset, is the accusations GG made of Mike equate to slander? I mean, how can two people who were probably drunk to the gills including popping a few pills & playing rough with no clear memory, to have one exaggerate a story? that could well destroy a possible marriage/business reputation? Or do you think this whole thing is made up just for a storyline?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Hi misstc! My DVR is a bit backed up. I have been arguing cases left and right as well as handling several major PR campaigns for my entertainment clients, which leaves the DVR pretty full this week. However, please fill me in on the episode you referenced above.

      As a general rule, drunkenness is not a defense to a defamation claim. Do not make personal comments or character attacks, and avoid repeating gossip is a good rule of thumb to follow. The claim “I was drunk when I made a defamatory comment” will probably not be a successful defense to a defamation lawsuit.

      In most states, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:

      1. A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
      2. The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
      3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and
      4. Damage to the plaintiff.

      While it is sometimes said that the person making the defamatory statement must have been intentional (meaning, drunkenness can inhibit intent and thereby allow a defendant to avoid liability in a defamation suit) and malicious, actually it need only be obvious that the statement would do harm and is untrue. In the vast majority of cases — which are civil lawsuits seeking a remedy for harmful false statements — the plaintiff does not need to prove actual malice, or prove any kind of specific intent on the part of the defendant. Hope this helps!

      • misstc

        On Shahs of Sunset, GG is spreading news that a year ago, Mike Shahoud, another cast mate, while both were drinking/etc. made a sexual advance on her – so this season, she is accusing him of not being honest to his future fiancé because he made this advance on her (GG) & future previews show her taking a lie detector test. Meanwhile Mike is ready to propose and said on Andy’s WWHL last night that GG was just jealous & has secret crush on him. I don’t know, so nutty, but if these accusations are lies, it could mess up Mike’s future both with girlfriend & reputation?

  • MidwestMiddie

    Hold On, Stacy!!! – There’s One More Case/Question …….
    UPDATE:
    Ms. Rozario, the 80 year old victim of Kim Richard’s dog, has filed a Dismissal Request to
    Dismiss Bravo’s Dismissal. Whew!!

    An interesting tidbit – David Utter, a professional dog trainer, was hired by Bravo to change Kim’s dog from violent to domesticated. According to him, Bravo never showed how super aggressive Kingsley was to David – unprovoked full on attacks. Instead Bravo made it appear that David was hired to help Kingsley refrain from eating Kim’s shoes and sunglasses…..puppy-like issues.

    With Mr. Utter’s testimony does Ms. Rozario’s case against Bravo have more merit than was
    previously thought?

    Thanks, Stacy!!
    : )

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks for the update, MidwestMiddie. We will be covering in-depth the latest legal developments in this RHOBH story soon!

      • MidwestMiddie

        Looking forward to reading your post. Thanks!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thanks Midwest Middie! Follow us on Twitter and/or keep checking back on AATT as you’ll see legal analysis on this story in the very near future. Can’t wait to discuss it and get your perspective too!