Judge Robert Broadbelt III, of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California, has ordered Donald Trump to pay Stormy Daniels $44,100 to cover legal fees in the battle over her nondisclosure (NDA) agreement. This was reported by The Guardian, as well as several other news outlets.
Former Governor of California, Jerry Brown, appointed Judge Robert Broadbelt III to the Superior Court of Los Angeles in 2012. Judge Broadbelt III ran for re-election for judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in 2014. No one decided to run against him, so he was automatically re-elected.
In 2020, Judge Broadbelt III was the only candidate to file. He won the position by default when the election was canceled. His current term ends in 2027.
To put this in perspective, Donald Trump married his third wife, Melania Knauss, in January of 2005. Melania gave birth to Barron Trump (the only child of Donald and Melania) in March of 2006. Donald Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels reportedly started four months later, in July of 2006. She has claimed the affair continued into 2007. Donald Trump denies it.
This most recent court battle is, in part, about the non-disclosure agreement that Stormy Daniels signed in October of 2016. It was titled: “Confidential Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release; Assignment of Copyright and Non-Disparagement Agreement” in Judge Broadbelt III’s ruling.
Strangely, Stormy Daniels is referred to by the pseudonym “Peggy Peterson” in the NDA, but the person referred to by the pseudonym “David Dennison” is redacted in the copy the judge was given.
The ruling clarifies that Stormy Daniels alleges that “David Dennison” is Donald Trump. This appears to be backed up by Michael Cohen, who was Trump’s personal attorney at the time. Both Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen signed the NDA. But, “David Dennison” did not. Judge Broadbelt III wrote that there was a large amount of evidence showing that Michael Cohen chose “David Dennison” as a pseudonym for Trump.
This case has gone back and forth in court for a while. On August 14, 2020, the Superior Court of Los Angeles held a hearing on Stormy Daniels’ motion for an award of attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $64,440.65, pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1717 and 28 United States Code section 1447, subdivision (c). Defendant Donald Trump, and his lawyers, opposed that motion.
In short, Judge Broadbelt III reviewed the claims made by Stormy Daniels, and the claims made by Donald Trump, and came to a conclusion. He ruled that Plaintiff Stormy Daniels achieved her main litigation objective when Defendant Donald Trump (and presumably his lawyers) filed their Covenants Not to Sue.
Judge Broadbelt III noted that the District Court also stated that Plantiff Stormy Daniels “primarily sought declaratory relief stating that the Agreement should be declared unenforceable against her”. It also declared that “Because Plaintiff received this relief through Defendants’ Covenants, there is no further controversy for the Court to address.”
There is a lengthy explanation by Judge Broadbelt III that can be summarized in a few sentences. First, the judge stated that Defendant Donald Trump would have to be either a party to the Agreement, or a third party beneficiary of the Agreement.
Second, the judge determined that there is support that the parties to the agreement intended Defendant Donald Trump to be the person referred to as “David Dennison” in the agreement.
“Based on the evidence discussed above and the reasonable inferences the court has drawn from that evidence, the court finds that Defendant is the intended third-party beneficiary of the Agreement.”
On August 17, 2020, Judge Broadbelt III ruled that Plaintiff Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) would be granted her motion for attorney’s fees – but not for her request for costs. In addition, Judge Broadbelt III ordered that Plaintiff Stormy Daniels “shall recover $44,100 in attorney’s fees against defendant Donald J. Trump in this action.”
All of this could have been avoided if Donald Trump simply chose not to have an affair with Stormy Daniels. It is clear that Trump did not want that affair to become public knowledge. He brought this problem upon himself, and it makes sense that the court decided he is financially obligated to pay $44,100 to Stormy Daniels.
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