Letter by Carol Spooner
The pins & needles waiting for the Judge's rulings after the
hearing on May 15th were removed today! At last week's hearing Judge
Sabraw took matters under submission. Today he issued his rulings.
1) On Pacifica's demurrer (motion to dismiss) to our case
Pacifica was overruled on all issues except a technicality. The
Judge wants ANOTHER letter from the Attorney General approving the
complaint we filed. We anticipate no difficulty with that, as the
AG's office has already said they would supply it if needed. The
Judge also doesn't like our "quo warranto" legal theory, but as he
pointed out, we can get all the legal remedies we seek without it,
so that is of little consequence (although I liked it a lot, myself,
and am disappointed).
2) On our motion for preliminary injunction prohibiting
Pacifica from taking significant actions until the case is resolved
the Judge said he will make a "Case Management Order" if the parties
do not stipulate to some restrictions on Pacifica's actions. It
looks like the Judge will require Pacifica to give 30 days notice to
all parties before they do anything significant, so that we will
have time to get to court to stop it, if necessary. We're very
pleased, we never would have gotten this without our motion, so this
is a BIG victory. This should be a big help over the coming months,
as Pacifica has been calling telephone conference board meetings on
48 hours notice, and without notice to all directors, and refusing
to tell the minority "dissident" directors what they were voting on
at the meetings!
3) The Judge Granted our motion to prohibit Pacifica from
paying attorney's fees for its directors (unless they put up a bond
to repay Pacifica if they lose). At the hearing last week Mr.
Temchine (from director John Murdock's law firm -- Epstein Becker
& Green) and Mr. Rapaport (from Pacifica's insurance defense law
firm Wendel Rosen Black & Dean) "unintentionally" gave the judge
the false impression that Epstein Becker & Green was being paid
by Pacifica's insurance carrier. (The law permits and encourages
insurance defense, but prohibits the corporation from using its own
funds to defend its directors, without adequate security that they
will repay the money if they lose the case.) When we clarified that
for the judge today that Pacifica is paying Epstein Becker &
Green the Judge was quite surprised! Anyway the directors will have
to come up with a bond if they want Pacifica to pay for their legal
4) However, the judge would not disqualify Epstein Becker
& Green for conflicts of interests, saying the directors have
the right to counsel of their choice. I was quite disappointed with
that ruling. The trial date was set for January 7th.
The 3 lawsuits, LAB suit, Directors' suit, and our Listeners'
suit were consolidated for trial, as expected. What does that mean?
There will still be three suits, but they will move through the
court together. We will all have a full opportunity to present our
cases and our listeners' claims that the bylaws must be revised to
grant listeners' voting rights and legal "membership" status, as
well as other claims we have that are distinguised from the
directors' and LAB suits, will remain separate and each of the
plaintiffs' groups will continue to have separate counsel to
represent our separate points of view and interests as listeners,
LAB members, and directors.
All in all it went well. You rarely get everything you ask for
from a judge, so we're happy with the Judge's rulings.
My impression of both of Pacifica's lawyers in court was that
they are VERY slick but negative on their legal ethics. And I hope
they used up some of their "benefit of the doubt" points with the
Judge. Judge's do take note when they have been misled. They'll only
chalk it up to "unintentional" so many times before an attorney
loses credibility. Besides the issue of who is paying EB&G, Mr.
Rapaport made a direct false statement to the Court about what is on
my webpage. Intentional direct false statements of facts by lawyers
to the court, in my experience, are not all that common. Usually, if
an attorney wants to mislead the court, they do it more subtly -- by
innuendo or implication or failure to clear up a misunderstanding by
the judge (like they did about who was paying Epstein Becker &
But Pacifica is very upset about Juan Gonzalies' Pacifica
Campaign and Micheal Palmer's resignation from the board of
directors last week. Mr. Temchine told the judge that MY "MINIONS"
are responsible for harassing and threatening the directors, and Mr.
Rapaport told the judge that my webpage is encouraging to do it
(which of course is not the case at all). However, Pacifica is
taking the tactic that I am personally the embodiment of all evil,
have "unclean hands", etc., etc., etc., and that I control all the
protesters around the country who are expressing their outrage over
Pacifica's actions. Quite a comical thought, that is!
There is an old lawyers' rubric: "If the law is against you,
argue the facts; if the facts are against you, argue the law." In
Pacifica's case, where they have neither, their tactic is to try to
prejudice the Judge by creating a "stench".
Again, your moral support and encouragement are what keep us
strong. Over the past week of anxiety waiting for the Judge's
ruling, I knew you were all there waiting, too.
Thanks for everything,
Committee to Remove the Pacifica
(sponsors of the "Listeners' lawsuit")