Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Settling for Defeat (Update)

Judge David Flinn rejected the tentative settlement re. Contra Costa county pedestrian access rights. Apparently he received a lot of comments against the settlement and not too much support for it. He pretty much had made up his mind, even before he began the hearing.

In fact, it was so one sided that neither Plaintiff attorney Morse Mehrban, nor anyone from his Los Angeles law office, showed up. The plaintiffs attorney seemed to be lost. Morse did send a "messenger" with three pages of notes; literally a messenger. Judge Flinn cautioned the messenger that this class action matter was a very serious law case and he should be careful as to how he is employed in such situations. The Judge was not very happy about the counsel's absence and that pretty much sealed his decision to overturn his initial ruling in favor of the settlement.

The judge will schedule another hearing in about sixty days. This hearing will be for the purpose of the possibility of coming up with a different settlement. The attorney for the cities will still be involved as well as anyone from the much expanded members of the class; or those who commented on the suit, including Terry Kilpatrick, the attorney who appeared on Pushing Limits.

Presumably, the original three plaintiffs and their "lost" attorney Mehrban would still be free to try to fashion a new settlement. This turn of events was very unusual in Judge Flinn's courtroom. In most cases, there are few objections once settlements of this kind are initially approved. But losing the counsel for the temporarily victorious three plaintiffs is an almost unheard of situation. Well, Attorney Mehrban got his little butt spanked pretty good this time by aware and knowledgeable members of the disability class.