Ira Kleiman and his attorneys have filed a motion for a new trial in their case against Dr. Craig Wright following their multi-billion dollar defeat back in December.
In the filing, Ira’s attorneys complain that the defendants violated an earlier court order during the trial which prohibited them from introducing evidence as to the relationship between Ira and his late brother. The court had made the ruling back in November 2020, agreeing with the plaintiffs that evidence about Ira and Dave Kleiman’s sibling relationship is of little relevance and should be excluded—except for the infamous Thanksgiving 2009 conversation.
They point to ‘at least 10’ instances where the defence allegedly violated the court order during trial. As evidence of the effect the violations had on trial, the motion also cites an interview with one of the jurors published by Law360 after the end of the trial in which the juror says that he did not warm to Ira Kleiman during trial in part due to his failure to visit his dying brother.
The argument works well for Ira. The totality of his estrangement from Dave was such that it’s very difficult to ask Ira anything substantive about his brother—the man Ira says invented Bitcoin—without it coming up, at least tangentially. The strict interpretation of the earlier court order being advocated for by Ira’s attorneys would have vastly reduce the defence’s ability to cross-examine the plaintiff to the point of absurdity.
For example, one of the exchanges being complained of is as simple as an instance where Andres Rivero, attorney for Dr. Wright, asks Ira Kleiman if the last time he spoke to his brother was 2009, or when he learned that Dave had passed away.
The award of a retrial demands a high threshold: generally, the motioning party must prove that the conduct complained of gravely impaired the ability of the jury to dispassionately consider the case. The shape a retrial might take can also vary between a complete do-over including the re-opening of discovery or be strictly limited to the ground covered in the first trial.
That the plaintiffs are now asking the court for a second try is a world away from the plaintiff’s projection of victory and satisfaction immediately following the verdict:
In light of this new attempt to have the verdict set aside, Freedman’s jubilation has been shown to be a cheap bluff at best and slander at worst. At trial, Dr. Wright wasn’t found to have stolen anything—in fact, the jury explicitly rejected the suggestion in refusing to find against him on the count of civil theft and to a lesser extent fraud. The jury was only able to find against Dr. Wright on the broad count of conversion (distinct from theft) and even then, only insofar as it relates to W&K (which itself appears to be at least part-owned by Dr. Wright’s ex-wife): they outright refused to award anything to the estate of Dave Kleiman. If we can say anything about the jury’s conclusion, it’s that they did not believe that Dr. Wright had stolen anything (Bitcoin or otherwise) from Dave Kleiman.
Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.
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