Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Meet the Fockers, Part Deux

The charges between the Thomas More Law Center and the Discovery Institute over the Dover case continue to fly (though considering what each side is aiming at, the flights are dangerously close to negative altitude). Rounds one and two were previously discussed.

The latest round concerns the surprise attempt by one of the outgoing Board members, David Napierskie, to get the Board to drop the policy that brought on the lawsuit. The President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Center, Richard Thompson, is now claiming that Mr. Napierskie may have been pushed into the attempt by the Discovery Institute. Napierskie agreed that he had talked to representatives from the Institute but said they didn't influence his decision. Maybe Thompson’s extensive experience with the personal honesty of the outgoing board members is what leads him to doubt that.

In any case, Napierskie says he had a local attorney, Andrew Shaw, prepare a legal analysis that -- surprise, surprise! -- opined that there was "a substantial risk that the judge would rule against the board". Shaw apparently suggested that certain actions might make the case moot, ending the matter and freeing the board from the possibility of having to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees. For reasons I already addressed here and here, the likelihood is that virtually nothing short of an agreement to settle by the plaintiffs would moot the case.

Which brings us to this quote from Thompson:

The case was tried with the assumption that regardless of who won or lost an appellate court and maybe ultimately the (U.S.) Supreme Court would take a look at it and change the law. If they don't appeal, what they've done is short-circuit the entire legal strategy that was put in place by the Thomas More Law Center.
But if this is so important to Thompson and the TMLC, why did he already say:

The only issue that is out there is what happens if the case is lost and the ACLU says, 'OK, pay our attorney fees. We don't pay the ACLU's attorney fees.
Basically Thompson wants the board to keep its hands off his grand plan (never mind what any objective observer might have thought of it when the evidence was going in) but, should things turn out badly, the board is supposed to foot the bill. One thing I would expect of my lawyers is that they would be at least somewhat more concerned about my financial well-being than their "legal strategy". But, hey, maybe that’s just me.

Which brings me back to the title of one of my earlier posts. The school board, district and, ultimately, the taxpayers of Dover were seduced by the Thomas More Law Center. Then they were abandoned when their champions rode off to tilt with their own windmills.

But that doesn’t mean everybody in Dover won’t still get . . .

. Lucky me I came across your website by chance

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