The Superior Court of California has thrown out documents submitted by Mike Postle ahead of his June 16 hearing. The hearing will determine what he owes Veronica Brill for her successful anti-SLAPP filing against him. Judge Shama Mesiwala rejected the document in question for incorrect formatting.
That Postle’s submission failed in something as basic as correct formatting seems pretty representative of his entire strategy in this saga. He seems reactive, rarely applying much thought beyond his next move. The result has been that he cut corners every step of the way. Each time he has done so, it has hurt him.
Here he doesn’t seem to have done even the basic research before diving in. The result is that he screwed up a job he should have paid a lawyer to do for him.
The ultimate corner he cut, if true, would be the alleged cheating that kicked this whole mess off in the first place. But after he was accused of cheating, he ran into trouble repeatedly with court procedures. These gaffes became farcical during his defamation suit. He filed this suit against Veronica Brill, Daniel Negreanu, and a slew of other public figures in the poker world. After filing, he ghosted his council and ultimately withdrew his filing on — of all days — April 1, 2021.
Brill tweeted about the latest developments with the simple commentary: “Interesting.”
Dan Zeigler replied to Brill’s message, “This whole thing is one big slow-motion train wreck. I can’t think of any single better case study in reasons not to be a s***ty human being. I hope Mike Postle finds a quiet corner to meltdown in (or a therapist) and leaves the rest of the poker community in peace.”
Unpacking Postle’s anti-strategy
Veronica Brill’s recent interview with Sabina Johnson went some way to explaining the strange state of Postle’s legal defence. Johnson is Postle’s ex-wife and claims to privy to some juicy behind-the-scenes details. Most relevant was Johnson’s statement that Postle’s mother was helping him out with legal matters. Momma-Postle was allegedly using her courthouse connections to get free legal advice for her son.
This may explain one of the problems Postle ran into. For a time, Postle claimed to represent himself. But when the court found he got his legal advice on the sly, it sanctioned him. A professional lawyer appeared to have provided legal boilerplate for his filings that time. That’s a tidbit Postle failed to declare.
When Postle did have a lawyer, he worked hard to fire them. Trying multiple times. It was unclear if that was an effort to avoid paying the lawyers. He may just have been playing for time.
His testimony during the Witteles anti-SLAPP hearing made it sound as if Postle had never intended to act on his lawsuit. If true, the purpose was probably to set up the right optics. He was in talks with a documentary crew. A suit looks good for the cameras.
Overall, Todd Witteles’ lawyer, Marc J. Randazza had a scathing review of Postle’s legal acumen. “I do not think that Mike Postle understands how the Anti-SLAPP law works,” Randazza wrote.
Postle’s most recent filing mishap may be the result of getting his legal counsel from out of town. If his lawyer isn’t used to the local formatting requirements, then that might explain the error. Just as likely is the possibility that Postle wrote the document himself in an attempt to save a few bucks.
Saving money on representation may well prove a false economy. Postle already owes Todd Witteles just shy of $27k in legal fees.
The hearing Brill has brought against Postle is likely to go her way. If it does, Postle will owe her between $67,677.50 and $77,677.50 in attorney’s fees. There is also an additional charge of $961.61 on the docket for “costs.”
That last number feels calculated to add just a little insult to the injury.