Lawyer for Alex Jones’ InfoWars parent company cites ‘heated exchange’ and nonpayment in bid to abandon bankruptcy case

Law and Crime/March 5, 2024

By Brandi Buchman

There’s yet more trouble in bankruptcy court for famed far-right bloviator Alex Jones: The lead attorney for Jones’ company Free Speech Systems — the parent company of Jones’ conspiracy-theory-espousing show InfoWars — has filed an emergency motion to withdraw as counsel.

The 7-page motion from attorney Robert Battaglia was filed in the Texas Bankruptcy Court Southern District on Feb. 29. Battaglia did not respond for a request for comment. The motion comes as Jones barrels toward another chapter in his Chapter 11 bankruptcy saga: a week before Battaglia requested to withdraw, families of the victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School voted to liquidate all of Jones’ assets in order to collect on the $1.5 billion in defamation judgments he owes them.

Judge slams Eagles rocker for misleading prosecutors as ‘Hotel California’ lyrics trial abruptly ends when charges are dropped against 3 men accused of stealing famed manuscripts
As to why Battaglia backed out of representing Free Speech Systems, the lawyer notes a persistent conflict between himself and J. Patrick Magill, the accountant appointed to serve as the Free Speech Systems chief restructuring officer in 2022 when bankruptcy proceedings were underway.

Battaglia and Magill had “no relationship prior” to Magill taking over as chief restructuring officer, the motion notes, and while there was, “for the most part,” a constructive working relationship, “over time the relationship has deteriorated,” Battagalia wrote.

Notably, the motion points out that the court had denied an attempt by Free Speech Systems and Jones to appoint two others to the top spot during bankruptcy proceedings. That had left Battagalia “solely responsible” and that was something the attorney said he had expressed reservations about less than three months after Free Speech Systems first declared bankruptcy.

The lawyer was somewhat vague about what might have finally broken the relationship but it seems the issue of nonpayment drove the request.

Battaglia writes in the emergency motion that after Jan. 25, when he and Magill “discussed pursuit of a specific litigation” and Battagalia had counseled that the pursuit was “ill advised,” Magill instructed him to file the lawsuit anyway. Battaglia said he refused to do it “on the basis that pursuit of the claim was not in the debtor’s best interest at the time.”

But since that “heated exchange,” the attorney alleges Magill has withheld payment of his fees and expenses from January and February of this year while he has had no issue paying others working on this case, or himself.

The withholding of the funds has been deliberate, the attorney wrote.

Battaglia also claims that he emailed Magill on Feb. 20 warning him he would withdraw from the case if he was not made whole. Magill never replied.

“The lack of communications following the argument with the CRO [Magill] and his blatant retaliation by withholding payment to movant is evidence that the lawyer client relationship is fundamentally broken, and the trust required between client and lawyer irreparably damaged,” Battaglia wrote.

Magill did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to a review of the bankruptcy court docket, a hearing on Battaglia’s motion is set for March 11.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here