Darna Umayam Two Day Email Blitz Against Bander Ends Up in Court
“I Won’t Stop At Nothing. The War Has Just Begun”
By A. Gaerlan Aquino
Los Angeles, California…..The controversy involving the feisty Mrs. Dolores Banaria Umayam, better known in the Filipino community as Darna, versus the determined investigative reporter and senior columnist of the popular community newspaper PinoyWatchDog.com, Atty. Joel Bander, has taken a new turn, as the dispute has found its way into the courts. On August 13,2012, a libel complaint was filed by Joel Bander in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, representing himself as in propria persona, meaning without a lawyer representing him. The complaint was docketed as case number BC490088 and assigned to Honorable Judge Rolf M. Treu of Department 58. The complaint also asked the honorable court for exemplary damages and demanded a trial by jury.
As of this writing, Mrs. Umayam was known to be in receipt of a copy of the case and the summons but has not yet appeared in court. She refused comment for this article.
The lawsuit stemmed from the exchanges of emails of Bander pleading with Umayam to publicly call on her supporters to stop stealing PinoyWatchDog.com newspapers that had been critical of the ways Umayam conducted the search for the “100 Outstanding Filipino-Americans in the United States” fundraising event. What started as a well-meaning and ordinary series of questions by a reporter exercising the responsibilities of his trade, resulted in the exchanges getting out of hand, with Umayam resorting to personal, unfounded and defamatory attacks, including a racially sensitive anti-Semitic slur to slight the columnist. See related story http://www.pinoywatchdog.com/anti-semitic-rants-and-support-for-newspaper-thievery-from-darna-umayam/
I Won’t Stop At Nothing.
In the summary of the case, on July 22 and 23, 2012, Bander pled that Umayam’s email campaign was “a libel rampage, sending emails to the members of the press and community leaders that stated that she possessed documents on your (plaintiffs) rape victim that you paid. Your illegal recruitment activities????? Even the sum of money that you have laundered from your victims…..YOU YOURSELF IS A PROVEN THIEF…..YOU STOLE MILLIONS FROM YOUR LOAN MODIFICATION SCAM VICTIMIZING PEOPLE MAKING THEM BELIEVE YOU WILL HELP THEM NOT TO LOOSE THEIR HOMES. BUT IN THE END YOU DECEIVED THEM, TOOK THEIR MONEY AND LET THEM GO DOWN THE DRAIN AND LOOSE THEIR HOMES. YOU STOLE MILLIONS FROM helpless Filipinos and Koreans…..You are not qualified because you are a THIEF!….He is a ruthless man. He is convicted of act of lasciviousness and rape of a Filipina in the Philippines, who he paid to dismiss the case, he is an illegal recruiter.”
These are a few of the email exchanges considered to be libelous and constituted the case.
Earlier published undisputed reports found that some clients that sued Bander came up empty, dismissing their cases either before having to be deposed, or shortly thereafter. It has also been reported without dispute that the contrived criminal case against Bander was dismissed. See related story http://www.pinoywatchdog.com/atty-bander-set-up-in-fake-sex-case-%E2%80%A6and-how-he-acquitted-himself-with-honor-and-dignity
“I have never heard anyone before even state I was convicted, bring up a rape charge, or that I paid anyone to dismiss a case. Complete fabrications.” Bander said. Bander also stated he has never been a recruiter, legal or otherwise.
The lawsuit then ends with actual malice allegations of Umayam’s emails that states “I WON’T STOP AT NOTHING. THE WAR HAS JUST BEGUN” and “They must remember that Jew or Hudyo killed Jesus Christ???? Judas Iscariot the apostle who betrayed Jesus is a JEW like you!!!!!!!” One lawyer requesting anonymity said “usually when pleading malice many facts are required. But when someone says ‘I won’t stop at nothing’ and intense racial slurs, it is hard to imagine better malice facts.” The expert stated that malice is required to obtain punitive, or punishment, damages.
While the ‘war has just begun’ with the overloaded Los Angeles Superior Court it probably will go on for a long time. Stay tuned.