Money, truth and the legal battle
Political class wealth redistribution (Part 8)
In “Truth and the legal battle”, Hirschleifer and Osborne analyze the two main factors that determine relative litigation success….. (1) The truth and (2) resources expended by each litigant. (Source: Jack Hirschleifer and Evan Osborne, Truth and the legal battle, Working Paper Number 790, July, 1999) The authors’ statistical analysis concludes, “Systems of law that attach a relatively high weight to the effort factor (litigation costs) relative to the fault factor (the truth) are associated with high litigation costs and failures of ‘justice’ (in the sense of proportionality).” Stated another way, we can conclude that we have the best system of justice money can buy, which of course is not justice at all. Whether an attorney or otherwise, on balance you would be a fool to disagree. And if you add ‘influence’ to the dark side of the equation, the injustice factor goes off the charts. The citizens’ case against Greene County and the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) regarding the 2003 BRAC Initiative Agreement provides an excellent example that validates Hirschleifer’s and Osborne’s conclusion. Here’s how the political class cheated justice.
It works like a SLAPP suit in reverse. In SLAPP suits or “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,” plaintiffs never intend to win their case. Their only objective is to silence their detractors who may very well be squarely on the same side as the law. SLAPP suit plaintiffs pay high-powered attorneys big bucks to intimidate, frighten and threaten defendants with financial ruin if they pursue their constitutional right to petition the courts for a redress of grievances.
SLAPP suits are a walk in the park compared to political class tactics used to fend off citizens pursuing justice through due process and the rule of law. At least big corporations use private money to hire attack dog corporate attorneys. In contrast, the political class uses citizen class tax dollars to put the full weight of the judicial system and law enforcement to bear on law abiding citizens who relentlessly expose corruption and seek to hold government bureaucrats and elected officials accountable. Part of our case against Greene County and the DDC is the irrefutable claim that Greene County Commissioners never appropriated the $1.9 million for the BRAC Initiative Agreement in their 2003 budget. The irony here is that Greene County Commissioners later appropriated $50,000 from the general fund to defend against a good faith public records lawsuit that County Prosecutor Steve Haller weakly defended in Greene County Common Pleas Court. Haller botched the case so badly that Greene County officials had to re-boot the case, bring in another judge and hire a private attorney at taxpayer expense to pick up the pieces.
Prosecutor Haller, who defended himself in Case No. 2009-CV-0305, and Surdyk, Dowd and Turner who defended Haller and Commissioners Perales and Reid in Case No. 2011CV0114 both used familiar tactics to wear down outspoken detractors. We can divide the practice of law into two broad categories…..substantive law and procedural law. Substantive law involves applying factual evidence and truth to the written law where procedural law relates to process. Cunning attorneys like Steve Haller and corporate lawyers in SLAPP suits focus on procedural law to confuse, misdirect and delay that in effect runs out the clock on plaintiffs and defendants without deep pockets like big corporations and government that use our tax dollars to defend the indefensible. The judges, who are the other half of the “brotherhood of lawyers” more often than not, are all too happy to oblige to hang on to the salary, benefits and prestige.
Knee-deep in the conspiracy are corrupt judges like Sumner Walters who dismissed Case No. 2009-CV-0305 on a procedural technicality that the Plaintiff omitted “State of Ohio” from the caption in the original filing. In doing so Judge Walters overlooked serious felony allegations including money laundering, tampering with evidence and violating the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, not to mention misappropriation of funds by the Greene County Commission.
Whistleblower protection statutes have helped, but normally whistleblowers have to establish some sort of reprisal before an attorney would take the case, which takes us back full circle to Osborne and Hirschleifer. At the end of the day the facts, the truth and the written law don’t matter to the legal profession…..only the magnitude of the payday.