The first volley was fired back in November 3, when Van Flien files an "Ex Parte" motion to close the custody proceedings, institute a protective order, and to use pseudonym's to protect the anonymity of Levi, Bristol, and Tripp. This is followed quickly by a filing for full custody from Van Flein using Levi's lack of employment (Thanks Sarah Palin!), the fake tweets attributed to him, and Sherry Johnston's arrest to claim that Levi is unfit to share custody.
In these filings we see Levi's attorney, Rex Butler responding to the filings by Van Flein.
Van Flein attempts to make the case that by talking about his intent to file for custody Levi is in violation of a court order not to talk about a case that had already started and requests that he be found in contempt and fined. I have to disagree. By saying he was GOING TO file papers, Levi quite deftly deflected any question of whether anything had already been filed. (By the way the Palmer judge denied Van Flein's request.)
Rex quite intelligently makes the point that it is clear that neither Levi, nor his family, talked about the filings because NO news agency posted a story. (Hell I did not have a clue, and believe me I would have known if anybody was talking.)
On page 51 Rex says that he is NOT going to be the attorney to see this thing through, and that Levi is seeking other legal counsel. (Do you hear that Alaska attorney's? Levi might be in need of your services.)
In this series of filings, we can see Van Flein spending Palin's money by the fistful as he sits around reading blogs, citing Hollywood gossip rags, and photocopying legal papers, blog posts, and celebrity interviews, to slow down the process and dramatically increase his billable hours.
On page 62 Bristol provides an affidavit where she uses interviews given by Mercede in which she honestly expressed her feelings about her brother's ex-girlfriend, as an attack on her, and demonstrates the same bad girl vindictive streak that her mother is famous for. (Or is that really YOU, Sarah?)
Van Flein throws in everything but the kitchen sink in his desperation to convince the judge to keep this case closed to the public. He cuts and pastes whole pages from the Basinger/Baldwin custody battle, from the Spears/Federline custody battle, from the interviews that Sherry, Mercede, and Levi gave to Larry King, gossip blogs (complete with Google ads and reader comments), and yours truly (on page 58. And let me just point out, the post was absolutely accurate.)
Essentially Van Flein's goal seems to be to make the point that Levi Johnston is seeking to try this case in the media and does not care that the public scrutiny may prove harmful to little Tripp. (Hang on while I catch my breath, that overwhelming use of hypocrisy almost knocked the wind out of me!)
Having Sarah Palin's attorney make that argument is almost unbelievable in its stupidity. Sarah Palin is the one who dragged this family, along with the very reticent Levi Johnston, into the glare of public scrutiny. SHE is the one who invited all of this attention, and for Van Flein to argue that it is Levi's doing is completely ridiculous.
And Levi's contention that keeping the media involved will make Sarah behave may be a little naive on his part, but he is correct that without the public attention things will get even uglier, much uglier.
Here is Judge Kristiansen's denial of Van Flein's argument. It is so nice you should read it twice.
There is much, much more to be found in the legal filings I cited above, but I am not an attorney so I leave it up to those with more knowledge to sift through the jargon and tell us all what I have left out.
Here is the ADN article about the case. Which includes this GREAT Rex Butler quote: "He feels Sarah Palin, through her lawyer, under the guise of Bristol Palin's name, would run roughshod over his very bones," Butler wrote.
Here is a Politico article which identifies an attorney who is NOT Van Flein, by the name of Lisa Hamby, as Bristol's attorney in this case.