Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Commentary: JACC "Old Majority" TRO Denied
It's kind of like I used to say to my ex-wife when we were still married:
"How I love it when you say those three little words: You Were Right."
Everybody predicted the obvious EXCEPT the members of the Old Majority who brought this dead, stinky cart of fish into the legal fish market. Everybody predicted...
...the request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) would be denied. Everything would stay pretty much as it was except the lawyers (not including Ben Myers) would make money.
I wrote in a previous commentary how Old Majority attorney Jill Clark made a grave tactical error when she sued everybody and their kitchen sink, including the City Attorney's Office. (Stomp, stomp) Among judges, there is a strong tendency to "split the baby" and let both sides feel like they won.
Yes, I know, the expression "split the baby" isn't really accurate considering the original Old Testament story on which the expression is based, because the baby in that story was never actually split. Instead, the true mother threw herself before King Solomon and pleaded for the life of the child, even if she couldn't raise it, and Solomon said...
Well, in any case, BE THAT AS IT MAY there is a strong "baby splitting" tendency among judges. But what happens when there's one set of plaintiffs and like, approximately half a dozen attorneys for the defense? Approximately one-seventh of a baby isn't a very satisfying share.
So it came to pass: a legal massacre, "Jill Clark versus the world" and who is going to win THAT kind of match? The world, of course.
The smart thing for the "Old Majority" to do at this point would be DROP ALL THE LAWSUITS, apologize, and try to win things in the political arena which can't be won in the legal arena. Is the Old Majority going to be SMART like that? Obviously not, or they'd have turned over a bunch of documents and computers by now. (Of course, hiding as many documents as possible is "smart" in its own way, admittedly)
My guess is Jill Clark will try to bring this sad sack loser of a case to court YET AGAIN, seeking a permanent rather than temporary injunction. Even the unrealistic "Old Majority" knows they won't win such a case, but they might be staking their (mad, unrealistic) hopes on the appeal process. Also, it's easy to see from the careful-yet-expressive ruling by Judge Porter that he is writing with an inevitable appeal in mind.
A few more interesting things about the ruling: the judge took the time to deal with not only the conflict at hand, but to try to head off future conflict by pointing out the terms of the newly-elected board members should end when scheduled, not be extended because elections were extended. This is probably the only part of the case where the "Old Majority" might feel like they "won" something, or at least didn't lose anything.
There was one aspect of the ruling where I found myself respectfully disagreeing with His Honor. Judge Porter mentioned how the positions of the board members were uncompensated, and there were no opportunities for "enrichment."
Well, it has been consistently argued that board positions abound with indirect opportunities for "enrichment," and that's why this is such a furious battle. Those who don't want to let go of power aren't hanging on to NOTHING, they are clearly hanging on to SOMETHING, and--indeed--hanging on for dear life. But until the forensic audit is completed, much will be suspected and relatively little will be proven about such "opportunities for enrichment."