[SCA-AE] Some general notes about lawsuits
taranach at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 17:21:56 EST 2012
Herein lies the rub... This list is not closed or restricted to known
entities through validation... do you know for certain that members or
agents of the opposing side are not even now viewing this list? Do you
know for certain that if the wrong information is released to the
list, and concurrently said parties, that it might not reignite the
fires of the lawsuit in new and perhaps even more devastating
Yes, it would be very nice to know more about the reasons why a
decision was made and if there were other, perhaps more palatable
options to the populace, available. However, such factors in the
current decision may need to be kept shrouded to prevent a worse
outcome then presently faced. Much of the discussions and
speculations on this list can be currently ascribed to "hearsay" or
unfounded rumors and most theories are borne only by facts that are
readily available via other readily accessible means. These are not
necessarily subject to further litigation or modification of current
outcomes however certain other facts, if released, could alter that
equation to the even further detriment of all.
I don't like it, you don't like it, but do you really want to open up
a potentially bigger and more dangerous can of worms?
Æthelmearc Siege Brigadier
Shadowclans Eastern Outpost
Creator of fantastic Sci-Fi and Medieval wonders
"Melior morior in nostrum pedis quam inservio in nostrum genua."
On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 11:53 AM, Michael Greenstein
<greenstein at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Greetings, all, from Michael Alewright. I am not a civil litigator and
> I don't play one on television, but I can offer some information, at
> least, that may help answer some of the questions that people have
> asked. I will not speculate as to what caused our stewards, the members
> of the Board, to choose as they did; and I discourage others from that
> sort of speculation, lest others mistake that speculation for
> documentable fact. All we have available to us is the FAQ and whatever
> we can glean from the Internet, which is utterly inadequate to allow us
> to know what the Board knew when it made the call... which, for me, is
> the real problem in this situation (you already know that "the Board
> proposes and the Society disposes" seems precisely backwards to me).
> There are times when lawyers believe in a particular case with a red-hot
> passion. There are times when lawyers know precisely enough about who
> did what, and when, to know that they are putting on the ten-gallon
> white hat. Most of the time, though, lawyers are in the business -- and
> it *is* a business -- of working to achieve their clients' goals by
> giving them the maximum benefit that the system offers. For lawyers
> working on a contingent fee (not getting paid except as a percentage of
> money actually awarded) and facing malpractice actions from their own
> clients if they leave potentially profitable stones unturned, that means
> taking a good hard look for anyone who can potentially be held liable
> for the injuries they will allege. The deeper the pocket, the better.
> If you ever want to see that change, incidentally, don't look to the
> lawyers, but instead to a change in the law itself; like water, lawyers
> will always take the path of least resistance. You won't solve the
> problem by damning lawyers, but by damming them.
> Cases settle for many reasons. Damage control is a big one, and the one
> mentioned by the Board. I have known of cases where the amount being
> fought over is less than the cost of the fight itself, with both sides
> fighting just to have a painful loss instead of a catastrophic one.
> After all, there is no point in fighting just to become lord of the rubble.
> Uncertainty is another reason. It is important to understand that
> although the system itself is designed in a one-size-fits-all effort to
> ensure fairness, within the framework of that system it's all about
> goals and leverage. Money drives it on both sides, and considerations
> of money -- not justice -- are the basis for what lawyers advise their
> clients. Litigating parties hope to win and fear to lose, and a
> settlement offer that creates an unpalatable certainty that is worse
> than hoped but better than feared can be an attractive alternative to
> playing "Let's Make a Deal" and risking greater lawyer fees for a worse
> judgment or (perhaps worse, still) a seemingly endless judicial
> money-eating machine worthy of Dickens.
> Advice of counsel is another factor. Even an experienced lawyer can't
> predict with any certainty what a judge (or scarier, a jury) will do,
> and will lay out for the client the pros and cons of each option so that
> together with the client, risks can be evaluated and chosen.
> Cases also often have "nuisance value." It goes like this: I sue you
> for $10,000. You think you can win, but it will cost you $3,000 in
> lawyer fees just to get to the point where you get a shot at it. It
> might be worth paying me $2,000 just to make me go away, and you still
> come out less behind than you might, otherwise. Sometimes, emerging
> with your skin intact enough to heal counts as a win.
> When insurance companies get involved, depending on what the policy
> contract says, it gets even messier by allowing the insurance company to
> have a say in strategic and settlement decisions if they are to
> indemnify you as they agreed (think of it as, 'if they have to pay, they
> get a say').
> Of course, there are also factors that a litigating party must consider,
> that are not directly related to the litigation; such as a desire for
> closure, fear that a settlement will open the door to further
> opportunistic lawsuits compared to a reputation for litigating to the
> end, fear of what negative publicity or other consequences an adverse
> judgment will bring, and fear that a litigated judgment would be
> uncollectable due to bankruptcy or other protective measures.
> We don't know what influenced the Board to decide as it did. We only
> know that we are the ones holding the bag. That's part of why I
> maintain that we deserve to know more, as the minimum ticket price of
> our cooperation.
> In service,
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