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Judge: Latest Bielema filing too long

by Tom Murphy | July 31, 2020 at 12:32 p.m.
Bret Bielema is shown in this file photo. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

— 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 filing in the case because it wasn’t brief enough.

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

“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.

Mars re-filed the brief on Friday afternoon to make it compatible with Holmes’ scheduling order.

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.

On June 26, 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 disputes between Bielema and the foundation should be settled in the 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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