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NOW COME Defendants James Hoft, Lee Stranahan, R. Scott Creighton, Derrick

Wilburn, Michele Hickford and Words-N-Ideas, LLC (hereinafter the “Undersigned Defendants”)

by their counsel Aaron J. Walker, Esq., in the above-styled case for the sole purpose of filing this

Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Defer Consideration of Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. 105). They

state the following:

1. On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the Undersigned Defendants filed a Motion for

Sanctions (Dkt. 101). The Plaintiff now seeks to delay consideration of that motion claiming 1)

the grounds of the Motion for Sanctions are allegedly exactly the same as a prior motion to dismiss,

and 2) that it would be more “efficient” to delay consideration until after the November 13, 2018,

hearing. There are three mistakes in that logic.

2. Most basically, the Plaintiff forgets that the Undersigned Defendants did not solely

file a motion to dismiss. Rather, the Undersigned Defendants filed a “Motion to Dismiss and

Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs” (Dkt. 46) (emphasis added), and the brief accompanying that

motion asked this Court to exercise its discretion by providing such attorneys fees and costs under

VA. CODE § 8.01-223.2 as follows:

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That discretion should be exercised in this case. The utter frivolousness of this
lawsuit suggests that it is a classic SLAPP suit, not filed in order to win but filed
simply to harass the Undersigned Defendants and impose legal costs upon them.
The evidence of that intent to harass will be outlined in more detail in an anticipated
motion for sanctions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(c).

Dkt. 47, pp. 93-94. In short, just as a one might incorporate by reference arguments made in a

previously-filed brief, the Undersigned Defendants in essence incorporated by reference

arguments made in the then-anticipated Motion for Sanctions that was eventually filed. Therefore,

consideration of the Undersigned Defendants’ original motion is not complete without

consideration of the Motion for Sanctions.

3. Second, the new Motion for Sanctions does not simply “rehash[] the same

arguments that [the Undersigned] Defendants made in their motion to dismiss.” (Dkt. 105, p. 1).

As evidenced above, the Motion for Sanctions is designed to build an argument that the

deficiencies in the First Amended Complaint (Dkt. 29) and the deficiencies of evidence in support

of that complaint,1 were motivated by an inappropriate intent to harass the Undersigned

Defendants with frivolous litigation. That is a different question than whether or not the case

should be dismissed, and, to the extent that arguments are made that apply both to the issue of

sanctions and whether the Undersigned Defendants are entitled to attorneys fees and costs under

VA. CODE § 8.01-223.2, this Court can see that the Undersigned Defendants specifically avoided

repetition to the extent possible, if only to avoid wasting this Court’s time.

4. Third, it is not more efficient to delay consideration. There are twenty lawyers in

this case. Only two of them have an office in Charlottesville itself. Undersigned counsel anticipates

that it will take about an hour and a half to drive from his home in Manassas to the hearing on

Arguments related to the deficiencies of the Plaintiff’s evidence could not, as a matter of logic,
be raised in the Undersigned Defendants’ motion to dismiss, because the time for the Plaintiff to
present his evidence did not come until he filed his opposition to that motion to dismiss. Dkt. 70.

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November 13, 2018, and one suspects the attorneys who work in D.C. will travel further, not to

mention the attorneys hailing from Michigan.

5. Further, the Defendants hail from (Northern) Virginia, Texas, Florida, Colorado,

and Missouri. With respect to the Undersigned Defendants, all but Mr. Stranahan have presented

an evidentiary challenge to the Plaintiff’s claim of personal jurisdiction over them. In response,

the Plaintiff has presented no evidence that personal jurisdiction is appropriate. If any of the out-

of-state Defendants wish to attend these hearings, deferring consideration of the Motion for

Sanctions will double their costs—when there is no evidentiary basis that would allow this Court

to exercise jurisdiction over them at all. Given the state of the evidence, it is an outrage that they

are being sued in this Court at all, and the case against them should be disposed of with the utmost

efficiency. To be blunt, the Plaintiff should be moving for voluntary dismissal. Outside of that, the

most efficient outcome for the Undersigned Defendants is to have the entirety of this case disposed

of in one hearing.

6. Therefore, this Court should deny the Plaintiff’s motion to defer for three reasons.

First, it is necessary to fully consider the Undersigned Defendants’ “Motion to Dismiss and Motion

for Attorney Fees and Costs.” Second, the Motion for Sanctions does not simply rehash arguments

made in prior motions—as evidenced by simply reading it. Third, it is not efficient to have multiple

hearings on the matter where the attorneys are generally from far away, and the Defendants live

even further from the courthouse. Getting everything wrapped up in one hearing is the more

efficient route.


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Wednesday, October 24, 2018 Respectfully submitted,

s/ Aaron J. Walker
Aaron J. Walker, Esq.
Attorney for Defendants Hoft, Stranahan, Creighton,
Wilburn, Hickford and WNI
Va. Bar# 48882
7537 Remington Road
Manassas, Virginia 20109
(703) 216-0455

I hereby certify that I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court for the United
States District Court for the Western District of Virginia on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. All
participants in the case will be served automatically.

s/ Aaron J. Walker


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