NY AG James asks Trump-appointed judge for delay in lawsuit by former businessman she shut down in New York

 May 7, 2024

Former President Donald Trump is frequently criticized for his long-held legal strategy of seeking delays to stall cases in hopes that the proceedings will prove more advantageous to him at a later date.

Now one of Trump's top legal and political enemies, New York Attorney General Letitia James, appears to have employed that same much-maligned tactic in a case that doesn't involve Trump but rather a federal judge in Texas whom Trump appointed, Newsweek reported.

In a countersuit filed against James by a member of a business she barred from operating in New York, James has asked the Trump-appointed judge overseeing the suit to grant her more time to either negotiate a resolution or, failing that, to fully respond to the allegations that she mishandled the prior case against the company.

AG James shut down an equipment leasing business in 2020

In 2020, NY AG James won a lawsuit filed by a predecessor in 2016 against a business known as Northern Leasing Systems, which was accused of having "engaged in fraudulent and deceptive practices" to "trap" small businesses in costly long-term leases for credit card processing equipment.

The New York court essentially ruled that the company could no longer do business, put a halt to all ongoing collections for unpaid leases, and eventually ordered the business to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in monetary relief to the state and restitution to its victims.

James also filed similar lawsuits and won similar victories against so-called "spin-offs" of NLS that involved some of the same individuals allegedly doing the same things with new companies operating under different names.

Countersuit filed against AG James

Newsweek reported separately in April that Ariel Schachter, the former CFO of Northern Leasing Systems who now seeks to launch a similar new leasing business, filed a federal lawsuit in Texas against NY AG James that asks the court to hold that the New York ruling is unenforceable outside of that state.

Schachter's suit alleges that James' prior cases against NLS and its "spin-offs" employed state-specific "special proceedings" -- not typical litigation -- that denied him and others the opportunity to fully defend themselves or engage in the discovery process to find "evidence" in their defense.

The suit argues that the judgments won by James are "not entitled to full faith and credit or enforcement outside the state of New York because Schachter was denied any opportunity whatsoever to present evidence and testimony to rebut the Defendant's allegations in the summary proceeding."

Overseeing that lawsuit against James is Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk -- who has been specifically protested against by James over his 2023 ruling against the Food and Drug Administration's questionable approval of and lenient access policies for the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone.

After criticizing Trump's delay tactics, AG James is asking for filing extensions in separate suit

In Newsweek's current report about the case, it was revealed that NY AG James asked Judge Kacsmaryk to grant her a 45-day extension to a key filing deadline, primarily because the "Defendant believes that a resolution of this matter may be reached without need for additional litigation."

"Counsel for the parties are discussing a potential resolution," James' motion stated. "Defendant requests a 45-day extension of time to file a responsive pleading or motion, or otherwise respond to Plaintiffs' Complaint, so that the parties may continue these discussions and potentially reach a resolution of this dispute, resulting in dismissal of the litigation."

She further reiterated that the additional time was needed in case negotiations failed and she needed to file a "responsive pleading or motion, so that Defendant can fully analyze and brief these issues."

Given her targeted critiques of Kacsmaryk's ruling on the unrelated abortion poll matter, to say nothing of her complaints about former President Trump's delay tactics, it will be interesting to see what the judge has to say about James' request for a delay and more time to seek a more advantageous position for herself.

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