On Wednesday, the Western Arkansas federal district court rejected Gospel for Asia’s request for a stay of trial proceedings while an appeals court considers GFA’s motion to dismiss the case. This will allow the case to proceed to discovery and trial.
Read the judge’s order at the link below. Some best hits from the order:
The only foreseeable “harm” of discovery in this forum is that it might reveal that Defendants have, in fact, committed fraud against Plaintiffs and the purported class. This is not the kind of harm a stay is intended to prevent.
Because this Court has no control over appellate dockets or calendars, the risk of harm a stay poses to Plaintiffs and putative class members is substantial.
The public interest weighs heavily against staying this matter. It is certainly the case that the Federal Arbitration Act’s liberal preference for arbitration would favor a stay if Defendants were more likely to succeed on the merits of their appeal. However, the gravity of Plaintiffs’ allegations—that between 2003 and 2014, Defendants fraudulently solicited $700,000,000 in donations from putative class members, and that Defendants continue to fraudulently solicit such donations—and the publicity generated by those allegations give rise to a strong public interest in resolving the merits of this dispute.
In another development, another donor couple have requested to join the suit against GFA.
Motion to Intervene as Plaintiffs
Plaintiffs Matthew Dickson and Jennifer Dickson and proposed Plaintiffs-Intervenors Garland D. Murphy, III, M.D. and Phyllis A. Murphy (residents of this jurisdiction) respectfully request the Court to grant the Murphys permission to intervene as Plaintiffs and proposed class representatives, and to file the proposed amended complaint attached hereto as Exhibit A.