Time to testify: Judge orders evidentiary hearing for controverial serial suers

Members of a controversial group that flooded the Valley with disability lawsuits will have to testify under oath as part of an ongoing legal battle with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Talamante made the ruling Tuesday.

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Earlier this year, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office asked a judge to grant evidentiary hearings and discovery against Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) in order to sanction the group for its conduct.

“Plaintiffs and their counsel perpetrated a fraud on this Court through the mass-mechanical filing of over 1,700 copy-and-paste complaint containing false claims and false statements, all as part of a fraudulent scheme to make money,” state attorneys wrote in motions.

A date for the evidentiary hearing has not been set. It’s likely the hearings will be held several months from now.

The decision to hold hearings is the latest in the battle between AID and the attorney general’s office, which successfully intervened and shut down the group’s operation in Arizona.

In mid-February, Talamante dismissed more than 1,000 lawsuits filed by AID.

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The decision came after a months-long legal battle between the group and the attorney general’s office, which consolidated and intervened in the cases after an ABC15 investigation.

After the ruling, the state said it planned to file for sanctions in order to hold AID accountable and re-cover legal fees.

AID is now represented by former Attorney General Tom Horne. Horne is the second outside attorney hired by AID.

The first ended up suing AID for more than $70,000 in unpaid legal bills.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at dbiscobing@abc15.com.

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