CATER’s lawyer, blogger Greg Diamond, is infamous for his rambling, palaverous style of writing. Superior Court Judge James Di Cesare issued a stinging ruling today against CATER’s lawsuit against the Angels negotiations MOU, and it’s clear he has had his fill of Diamond’s windy, tortuous argumentation, calling him out for “long-winded, meandering obscuring the legal substance of the claims” and chastising him (and CATER) for not really knowing what they’re talking about:
The operative pleading herein, continues its predilection for long-winded, meandering obscuring the legal substance of the claims. What rises to the surface first is the fact that nobody seems to have a clear grasp of just what violations may have occurred, and how they were ultimately remedied if at all. Rather than guessing at just what plaintiff intends to claim, this Court upon further reflection has concluded the duty to separate the chaff from the wheat ought to rest with plaintiffs, not defendants or this Court.
Further in, Judge Di Cesare admonishes CATER that pleading alleged Brown Act violations requires being clear and to the point with facts and recommends “leaving out the rhetoric”:
The Brown Act is intended to facilitate public participation in the local legislative process, and to curb misuse of the democratic process through secret legislation. To accomplish these goals, the Brown Act requires public agencies to deliberate and act “openly.” Govt. Code §54950. When an agency fails to do so, an aggrieved party may seek judicial intervention. A party alleging Brown Act violations must plead with particularity (1) which statutory requirement was implicated, (2) the precise manner in which it was violated (in light of the governing ‘substantial compliance’ standard), and (3) if the party requests an order setting aside the agency’s action, facts demonstrating actual prejudice.
Rather than accuse the opponent of “frequently misconstruing” (Opp. Brief pg. 24-25) the Brown Act claims, it is for plaintiffs to do a far better job leaving out the rhetoric and pleading with surgical precision the essential elements of the claim.
The judge gives CATER a few more days to file a third amended complaint but orders Diamond to keep it under 12 pages!:
Plaintiffs shall have 15 days leave to file a Third Amended Complaint not to exceed 12 pages in length. CCP §128(a). This is the order of the Court. Plaintiff give notice.
This matter has already been argued. No further argument of appearance is invited or necessary.
I’m not lawyer, but I have a feeling this still isn’t going to go CATER’s way. Apparently, even the late-inning assistance of “Last Minute Attorney” Doug Pettibone couldn’t not turn the tide in CATER’s favor.
The CATERites have convinced themselves they are the true voice of the people of Anaheim, and will doubtless somehow spin this waste of the city’s time and taxpayers’ money as some kind of victory. It’s not. It’s a loss for CATER, coming on the heels of the defeat of their Anaheim Convention Center expansion lawsuit. All CATER accomplished was to help poison the city’s relationship with the Angels.