Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Clarifying: Summary Judgment, Babec

Allow me to clarify my post of July 16, "Republican Hypocrisy: Up Close and Personal," regarding summary judgment in my case.

I stated that Shelby County circuit judges J. Michael Joiner and G. Dan Reeves both denied motions for summary judgment (MSJ) that, by law, had to be granted because the opposing party did not respond.

I need to add a bit more specific information. I was the moving party, and my MSJs were properly supported. That is what shifted the burden to the nonmoving party to present substantial evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact (a reason to go to trial). When the opposing party failed to respond three times to a properly supported MSJ, that is what required the judges to find that the evidence of the movant (me) was uncontroverted and summary judgment must be granted. (Note: On my first MSJ, the opposing party did file a response and an affidavit as evidence. But the affidavit made no statement to controvert the evidence I presented. The affidavit also was filed well past the deadline for filing [it had to be filed two days prior to the hearing and was filed some eight days after the hearing], so it was invalid anyway.)

We are in the very early stages with Legal Schnauzer, and my goal is to present a general view of the issues at hand before going into specifics of procedure, statutory law, case law, etc.

I soon will provide details showing that my MSJs were properly supported. I encourage readers not to fear being swamped with legal jargon. There will be some of that. But showing that my MSJs were properly supported will be very easy. And showing the wrongdoing in this case also will be quite easy. Some law might be complicated, but this case is hardly the legal equivalent of neuroscience.

I took some comedic license with my July 16 post. But I was not stretching things a lot when I stated that Chucky the ground squirrel and Babec the lowland gorilla could have gotten this case right.

One other note: My first two MSJs were prepared by attorneys from a major Birmingham firm, and they charged a combined $350 an hour. If they could not prepare a properly supported MSJ on a case this simple, I had a heckuva case for legal malpractice. (Actually I did have a heckuva case for legal malpractice, but for reasons other than my lawyers' abilities to prepare an MSJ; more on that later.)

One other clarification, and this is much more important than the legal specifics noted above. It has come to my attention that Babec, the lowland gorilla at the Birmingham Zoo, is a guy. I referred to him as she. Check out this picture of Babec (along with an interesting story about his heart condition), and you will see why I offer my deepest apologies to this extremely manly dude. Sorry, big guy. Very, very, very sorry.

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