August 03, 2010

Redefining PETULANT

Well, someone certainly has their panties in a twist...

In a public rebuke, a federal judge Monday ordered all Austin City Council members to participate in any future lawsuit settlement talks with the family of a man fatally shot by a police officer last year.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks also wrote in a three-page document that he will no longer accept settlement announcements in any cases involving the city within 25 days of a scheduled trial. Judges "cannot rely on the City of Austin to support the recommendations of its lawyers," he wrote in the sharply worded order.

The case, filed by the family of Nathaniel Sanders II, had been set to go to trial this month, but Sparks struck it from his docket amid the tentative settlement.

"The court accepted the lawyers at their word and removed the case from the July 19, 2010 trial, a mistake (I) will not make again," Sparks wrote. He said the case has already resulted in "a substantial expense to the American taxpayer."

Judge Sparks, you're peeved that a bunch of civilians on Council didn't accept the learned advice of their counsel? That happens sometimes, especially when members are worried about future claims. However, throwing a fit about it and issuing a silly order ain't really a rational response, regardless of your irritation over rescheduling.

Now, with this order in place, it would appear that a settlement is all but out of the question. So, thanks a lot for that, Judge.

Posted by mcblogger at August 3, 2010 06:28 AM

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