Friday, October 09, 2009

No Apologies

A commenter named Local Gal suggested I should “retract your personal attack and apologize” for my latest post on the lawsuits filed by Paul Kendall and his merry band of plaintiffs.

Sorry. I won’t be doing that.

Another commenter, Bob O, observed that I “seem a bit emotional about this.”

Since I do respect the readership of Tales of Two Cities, I feel somewhat obligated to explain why I won’t be apologizing and why I will continue to proffer acerbic commentary on these plaintiffs and their attorney, Susan Baker Gray.

It’s simple. I’m angry.

I am angry about the reckless abuse of our judicial system. I believe these litigants know full well that the odds of them prevailing in these actions are formidable yet they continue, forcing the county to expend taxpayer money responding to them.

Worse, since the judicial process can be unpredictable, there is always the outside chance that some judge may rule their way. If that occurs it would have a devastating impact on the economic health and quality of life in our county. The fallout from reversing fifteen years of zoning and land use decisions would spawn countless other lawsuits engulfing the county in a litigation tsunami that could bankrupt the county; great for the lawyers, very bad for the rest of us.

I think the county’s attorneys captured my view perfectly when they described these lawsuits as “vexatious, frivolous litigation designed to harass and intimidate public officials and to simply delay and obstruct any development with which they personally disagree.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Anonymous said...

My my, aren't you the prolific poster these days. It's amusing when people express contempt toward the fears of others and then take the overstate their own fears. It's the conspiracy debunkers who are the biggest proponents of conspiracy theory, depending on the topic at hand.

Eric Scott said...

Since you're on a rant about the "wreckless abuse of our judicial system", how do you feel about the numerous developer appeals of County land use decisions? These are perfect examples of well funded developers going to court and and wasting our county's taxpayer resources.

Let's not forget the 2005 Comp Lite referendum petition that developers repeatedly attacked and challenged until they could find an Appeals Court judge who would side with them and declare that 8,000 people did not understand what they were signing because, even though the 75 page Bill was available for everyone to review before signing, it wasn't attached to each signature page.

Dennis... you're entitled to be a shill for the developers. It's probably because you've grown up in the industry and they're your bread & butter.

However, that doesn't give your soap box any more credibility than those who oppose the excesses of your clients and the officials they've bought with campaign contributions.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's just get some scientific data behind abuses of the legal system. We can start with the good buddy, Dave Carney who has 28 lawsuits as plaintiff and defendant on the md judiciary case search site. 28 listed for David Carney. Who among us has 28? But let's not stop there. Don Reuwer has 11 as plaintiff and 25 as defendant. Who among us can boast those numbers? But the crowning glory of lawsuit King goes to Mangione with 99 as plaintiff and 133 as defendant. Goodness! These developers are taking lawsuit abuse to new levels.

John said...

Who's to say that the Kendall/Gray lawsuit is frivolous and without merit. I've been raised to believe that everyone is entitled to a fair hearing in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.

Isn't it obvious that the developers' primary legal strategy is to obstruct access to the legal system by questioning "standing" (ie. WCI Tower)? When that fails, the next hue and cry is that it will overturn life as we know it.

Hey.... if Kendall/Gray can prove that our government officials have been violating the law for the past 15 years, the offenders should be brought to justice.

Tom said...

Everyone, remember this is Dennis' blog. He is entitled to write whatever he feels like writing. It is the rest of us who he can edit (which he doesn't do very often). We all have the opportunity to start our own blogs and see if anyone participates. And, as always if you don't like the content you can always change the channel.

Tom said...

Everyone, remember this is Dennis' blog. He is entitled to write whatever he feels like writing. It is the rest of us who he can edit (which he doesn't do very often). We all have the opportunity to start our own blogs and see if anyone participates. And, as always if you don't like the content you can always change the channel.

Anonymous said...

Tom, lighten up. The discussion on this blog is what keeps people coming back, not WBs' two yes-men.

wordbones said...

I have yes men?

I'd prefer a yes woman of course but they're pretty rare.


Tom said...

I thought I was lightening it up.
Who knew??

Sara from Elkridge said...

You don't have to be a developer to know that Wegmans's on Snowden River would be VERY VERY good for Columbia and Howard County! The main reason I started reading this blog was because of all the insider information on what great places were coming to Howard County. ...and EVERYONE I know (regardless of political persuasion) are in wrapt anticipation on Wegman's arrival. The litigious plaintiff's in this case represent a prime example of "tyranny of the minority" and that is bad for us all.

Anonymous said...

Reckless abuse? Imperfect organizations and institutions behaving too imperfectly necessitate those affected free access to and sometimes liberal use of litigation. And sometimes a little litigation early on can save all parties from a whole lot more damage and litigation later on.

Sara, is there really all that much insider info to be found here? To me, it seems most items here are obtained the same way Nick Fehn uses.

Anonymous said...

Anytime someone invokes the 'everyone I know' statement in an attempt to add weight, you can bet their argument is feather lite.

Reasons would be a better argument because we all know people who are on both sides of these issues.

Bob O said...

Wow! This is fun! Let me go get another martini before I write a substantial comment. It might be tomorrow.

WB, thanks for the shout out! Do you have a facebook account? I'll send you a friends invite.

Welcome to democracy, people. Darn! It's messy! Google "The Monkeywrench Gang." Good book.

And, just as a general comment, Howard County has been contoled, and developed, by an ingrown elite for several decades...dare I say, centuries.... Now, so many outsiders have moved in, to fill up all of those houses that have been built on farms, that they want to have a say. It's not a conspiracy, it's just that HoCo has reached a tipping point: smart people from outside the traditional power structure (Rouse, farm owners, familial political dynasties) have arrived, and they have numbers, and they care. It's what's called a "sea change."

So, change is in the wind. Can we do it? Yes, we can.

Where have we heard that before?

More later.

Bob O said...

Oh, and I prefer, the term "Yes People." I differentiates me from David Letterman.

Buffalo Guy said...

I believe everyone is entitled to their due process, but where is the line drawn. Each case is obviously different, and I think opinions can start to form based on the number of un-successful appeals. At some point harassment certainly could be the issue. Not saying that it is definitely the case here, but at some point the appeals starts to seem wasteful and excessive.