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Judge tosses Bielema brief

by Tom Murphy | August 1, 2020 at 2:01 a.m.

Judge P.K. Holmes III, the presiding judge in former Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema's $7 million lawsuit against the Razorback Foundation, rejected on Friday the latest brief in the case because it wasn't brief enough.

The 34-page brief was filed Wednesday by Tom Mars, the lead attorney for Bielema, arguing against the foundation's motion to dismiss the lawsuit for improper jurisdiction.

"The response brief exceeds the limit of 25 substantive pages set out in the ... initial scheduling order without leave of Court, and will not be considered as filed," Holmes wrote into the record.

Holmes also wrote an amended response may be filed by Aug. 5.

Marshall Ney of the Friday, Eldredge & Clark law firm, the Razorback Foundation's lead counsel, has written about the excessive length of Mars' briefs already during the wrangling process.

Ney wrote in his original motion to dismiss the lawsuit that the "64-page complaint is chock full of distorted facts, mischaracterizations, and baseless claims." He also noted the complaint "arguably violates Rule 8's requirement of a short and plain statement of the facts."

The two sides are at odds over whether legal disputes between Bielema and the foundation should be settled in U.S. District Court or Washington County Circuit Court. Mars filed the lawsuit in June in federal court for the Western District of Arkansas, while the foundation has argued the proper venue is Washington County Circuit Court.


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