That’s a slightly misleading headline, but you get the point.
Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will argue Friday morning in a Sherman courtroom that the federal civil fraud case against him should be dismissed, their latest effort to unwind the legal troubles that have dogged Paxton for more than a year.
In the SEC case, Paxton’s lawyers have argued the allegations represent a “dramatic overreach and lack any basis in law.” The SEC lawsuit, they also say, does not claim he made any false or misleading statements to potential investors in Servergy, a technology startup at the center of both cases.
“Mr. Paxton should not be left to labor under a cloud of suspicion while enduring years of costly discovery to refute claims that are meritless on their face,” Paxton’s lawyers wrote in their June motion to dismiss the SEC lawsuit.
They will get the chance to press that argument at 9 a.m. Friday in federal district court in Sherman before U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III. Paxton’s team is being led by Matthew Martens, a former top lawyer for the SEC.
James Spindler, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said he would not be surprised if the court dismisses at least some of the charges before trial. He said SEC lawyers “have their work cut out for them” in specifically proving the charges of fraud, which he called “factually dense inquiries” in the context of a case like this one.
“Overall, it seems a little questionable,” said Spindler, an expert in securities regulation. “It depends really on what the facts are, and they haven’t disclosed a lot of the facts of the case yet.”
See here for the background. Let’s wait and see what the government’s case is before we make any guesses about his odds of success.
In the meantime, this also happened.
The state’s highest criminal court Wednesday morning dismissed all three appeals filed on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s behalf, saying his lawyers neglected to include everything needed on the petitions.
The Court of Criminal Appeals gave Paxton 10 days to add what was missing — a copy of the concurring opinion from the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals, which in June rejected Paxton’s request to dismiss criminal charges related to private business deals from 2011 and 2012.
Defense lawyers corrected the mistake a little more than two hours after the court issued the unsigned order, which was opposed by Judges Barbara Hervey and Michael Keasler.
“We inadvertently left off attaching to our petition a copy of the concurring opinion from the court of appeals. We have cured the oversight and have refiled,” Paxton lawyer Philip Hilder said.
The error isn’t expected to significantly delay the handling of Paxton’s appeal.
A trial on the SEC’s accusations has been tentatively set for Sept. 11, 2017, and is expected to last about two weeks.
Lawyers have said a trial on Paxton’s criminal charges, if upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeals, could take place in the spring of 2017.
An oops, but not a big deal. The schedule information at the end of the story is more interesting. If Paxton isn’t successful in getting charges against him dropped, next year is going to be very busy for him. Judge Mazzant is not expected to rule today, so it will be awhile before we know this part of Paxton’s fate.