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After listening to lawyers for Harvey Whittemore and his former partners trade attacks, including claims of death threats, broken legs, thugs and lying to FBI agents, a federal judge shut down Whittemore's federal case against the Seenos to avoid duplication with their case in Las Vegas. District Judge Larry Hicks issued late Wednesday a temporary stay putting Whittemore's case on hold. He said a written order will Converse Red Low
Whittemore's lawyer, Dan Bowen, objected to that comment, saying nothing had been proved.
Thomas and Albert Seeno Jr. sued Whittemore in January, claiming he misappropriated funds from the Wingfield Nevada Group. The former lobbyist responded one week later with a federal suit accusing the Seenos of racketeering. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D Nev., in 2007 and lying to federal agents.
Kent Robison, representing the Seenos, praised the judge's decision.
Bowen said the claims made in the federal case cannot be made in the state action, but Hicks disagreed.
The judge said he did not necessarily accept the argument by Robison that Whittemore was "forum shopping" by filing the case in federal court. But he said the two cases were substantially similar and it would be a waste of court resources to keep them on parallel paths.
Whittemore has a problem telling the truth to the FBI," Robison said. "There's no reason to believe he would here."
Earlier in the day, Robison told the judge that Whittemore should have filed his complaints against the Seenos in the state court case but instead went "forum shopping" hoping for a better deal in federal court. Whittemore's state counter suit in the Seeno case duplicated his federal claims.
Whittemore has pleaded innocent to the four charges. His trial is set for Feb. 26, 2013. Whittemore sat in the courtroom with his wife, Annette, on Wednesday, but did not speak during the morning's arguments.
Harvey Whittemore's federal lawsuit delayed
Whittemore's federal case claims that the Seenos threatened him in order to make him give up his assets and property. But Robison said when Whittemore talked to the police, he told them there was no criminal activity and he did not want an investigation.
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Hicks stopped short of dismissing the federal case so that he could make sure no problems arose in the state case, being heard by Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. The trial for the state case has been set for May 20, 2013.
Bowen said the federal case was against the Seenos, not Wingfield, and it should be allowed to go forward.
Hicks said Whittemore's attempt to recover $60 million is directed at Wingfield, not the Seenos. Whittemore will need to fight that battle in state court, he said.
"It's certainly a victory for the Seenos but also is a victory for the public and taxpayers," Robison said. "Judge Hicks saved the judicial system hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was a well thought out, courageous, enlightened decision."
"Wingfield did not threaten to murder Mr. Whittemore and his entire family," Bowen said. The Wingfield company did not threaten to break Whittemore's legs and Converse New Shoes 2018
The state case involves about 200 witnesses and "hundreds of thousands of documents," he said. Repeating that work in federal court would be a waste, he said.
did not send a thug to the Whittemore Men Converse High Tops home to collect goods and jewelry, Bowen said. Members of the Seeno family did, he said.
Robison urged the judge to put Whittemore's case on hold until the state case is resolved. Staying the case will save the court money and time, he said.
"The state court action in this case concerns virtually the same damage claims as claimed in this case,'' Hicks said. "This is clearly the kind of extraordinary circumstances that warrant a stay by the federal court."
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