It looks like Ryan Braun’s former friend isn’t giving up in his litigious quest against the Milwaukee Brewers slugger and the attorneys who represented him. To me, though, it’s just another quirky part of a rare example of jail being imposed in a contempt proceeding.
This time, Ralph Sasson is suing Steven Kravit and Aaron Aizenberg of Kravit Hovel & Krawczyk SC, Timothy Hansen and James Barton of Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC, and California entertainment lawyers Howard Weitzman and Jeremiah Reynolds for an unnamed amount of damages. The lawsuit claims that the attorneys, as well as Creative Artists Agency LLC and 50 unnamed parties, conspired against Sasson to file a contempt motion against him that would lead Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Van Grunsven to refer contempt charges to prosecutors.
Sasson, if you recall, sued the Brewers’ right fielder last year following the collapse of their friendship. The lawsuit against Braun was dismissed, though Sasson is appealing that decision.
The majority of the lawsuit centers around a motion for contempt the attorneys filed in July after Sasson posted videos on YouTube of his deposition in the case. Van Grunsven ordered Sasson to be arrested, though the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Sasson. And even though the judge was the one who actually ordered Sasson’s arrest, Sasson is not going after Van Grunsven, just the attorneys he says conspired against him.
Sasson’s lawsuit claims that the motion for contempt was “improper, perverted, illegitimate and malicious” and that the motion — and Van Grunsven’s decision — caused him to suffer the “loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, mental and emotional anguish, false imprisonment, unlawful arrest, and pain and suffering.”
I guess this is interesting because the contempt motion and Van Grunsven’s decision was highlighted in a story I did last week saying how rare it is for a judge to actually send someone to jail in a civil case.
In that story, several attorneys — including Kravit — said they could not recall a case in Wisconsin where a party to a civil case had been sent to jail over contempt. It happens in family court, sure, but not in civil litigation.
And while I am in no way judging the merits of the case, it seems like Sasson and I are interested in contempt, even if it’s for different reasons. For me, it’s just another example. For him, it means the loss of a reputation that he has invariably lost in suing Braun.