Freshwater: Will a quick settlement be reached?

| 54 Comments

I pose that as a genuine question; I have no inside information. But I got to thinking this morning about the legal representation situation in Doe v. Mount Vernon Board of Education, et al in which Freshwater is the sole remaining defendant. Recall that in late April the two insurance company lawyers representing Freshwater in that case, Jason Deschler and Robert Stoffers, petitioned the court to withdraw from representing him. (Freshwater claimed that he fired them.) Two new lawyers, Steven C. Findley and Sandra R. McIntosh, were retained by the insurance company to replace them. Now this billing records mess gets dropped in their laps. One wonders how they’re thinking now that there’s documentary evidence of the shenanigans Hamilton and Freshwater have been pulling on the federal court in that case and how long the insurance company will hold out in settlement talks under these circumstances. Recall that the case is to go to trial July 26.

As I understand the process, Freshwater and Hamilton have to respond to the memorandum in opposition very soon–I think this week–and the judge will make a decision based on the documents submitted. (I was hoping for an oral hearing: I’d be willing to drive 1.5 hours in rush hour traffic to see that!) But this has to put pressure on Freshwater’s insurance company lawyers to reach a settlement before the judge rules, since if the judge grants either of the Dennises’ requests for sanctions (default judgment in their favor or an adverse evidentiary inference against Freshwater regarding the missing material), it will result in the crippling of any defense they might try to put on, and they have to know that. This is speculative, but it now would not surprise me to see a sudden settlement of Doe v. Mount Vernon Board of Education, possibly even this week.

54 Comments

If there is a “settlement,” does that mean there is no “decision”?

As in the Dover case, I’ve been hoping for some quotable quotes from the judge’s decision on this case where the creationists will (again!) lose big time for their despicable behavior.

Paul Burnett said:

If there is a “settlement,” does that mean there is no “decision”?

Yup, that’s what it means.

As in the Dover case, I’ve been hoping for some quotable quotes from the judge’s decision on this case where the creationists will (again!) lose big time for their despicable behavior.

Frost would be capable of Jones-level writing, or so I hear.

…for their despicable behavior.

Oh, come on! Can we lower the level of vitriol here? F&H’s behavior really does not rise to the “despicable” level. Stupid? Yeah. Despicable? Well, at least not them…

Hamilton seems to be pretty much incompetent and has gotten himself into some pretty hot water with a federal court. I think he is just completely out of his league here. He should stick to wills and the occasional lease dispute.

Freshwater is an idiot for trying to teach ID in a public school. Reality is that he could have taught a completely ID-based, Christian-centric curriculum if he was teaching at a private school. I surmise that he was teaching at a public school because Christian schools pay so poorly. Freshwater wants it both ways.

F&H made the mistake of telling a little fib so they could get some affidavits entered into evidence. They got caught. They compounded their problems by continuing to lie and make stuff up. When trapped in a hole, first rule: stop digging.

This is not despicable, this is human nature. These people are not evil, they are just misguided and a little ignorant.

Despicable does describe those that created and nurtured Freshwater - the fundy “Christian” preachers that dumb down the Word and sell it to the masses. They make billions of dollars preaching a gospel of fear, ignorance, and prejudice. These bastards have corrupted the subtle, complex, and loving message of Jesus into a crappy “just-so” story.

Freshwater and Hamilton are just pawns in this game, being pushed around by the big-name preachers who use them to make a fat buck. The preachers are the ones that have created Scopes, Dover, Freshwater and the rest to give their flock something to fight. As long as there is a “war” going on, as long as people are told that they are “threatened” by secular culture, they will continue to ante up big dollars to their preachers to “fight” for them.

We stop this crap by not looking like an enemy. We do our cause very little good with hostile rhetoric. Every time Dawkins opens his mouth about people of faith being foolish or simple, he just puts more money into the pockets of the preachers. Soften the rhetoric. Copy a page from the preacher’s playbooks and speak in the language of faith like they speak in the language of science.

The truth will set us free; it just may take a bit longer than expected to get there.

-*Zortag*-

I’m assuming the preceding comment was to have been made on a different thread. :)

A quick settlement?! Is this some strange definition of quick I’ve never heard of before? I’d think after two years, Freshwater would have been fired, banned from teaching for life, and sentenced to prison for several years. In a rational society, that would have happened for sure.

Can the insurance company settle independently of F&H? Can they pay off the original case and bail, leaving F&H to pay for their shenangans? Or are they liable for the compounding of the problems that F&H keep heaping on themselves?

If I recall correctly, the lawyers will still appear in court to tell the court that they have reached a settlement. The court will ask the plaintiff if they understand, and accept the proposed settlement.

The point is that the court will have a chance to address Freshwater, and Hamilton. A “no decision” is not a “get out of jail free.”

Zortag: “We stop this crap by not looking like an enemy.”

Surely you realize that all who believe other than the fundamentalists do is by definition their enemy? They rail against nonbelievers even if the latter sit quietly and do nothing but exist. “This crap” will absolutely not stop unless we oppose it, ridicule it, expose it and educate the constituency of the fundies.

This sad, stupid show of Freshwater and Hamilton, costly though it is to all involved, is another step in that process. People like RBH are doing good work in simply airing the facts and letting the stink speak for itself.

Lying under oath isn’t despicable? Abusing one’s authority as a teacher isn’t despicable? These people are adults; their behavior may not be “evil”, but it goes beyond ignorance and misguidance.

MememicBottleneck said:

Can the insurance company settle independently of F&H? Can they pay off the original case and bail, leaving F&H to pay for their shenangans? Or are they liable for the compounding of the problems that F&H keep heaping on themselves?

I”m not sure. It depends on the exact nature of the attorney-client relationships among Freshwater, the insurance company, the school district (it’s their insurance that’s paying for the attorneys) and the attorneys. It’s not clear to me whether Freshwater or the insurance company is the client and therefore which has to sign off on a settlement. Hamilton is not officially in that picture any more. At most he is Freshwater’s personal attorney and adviser, but he’s not in the loop otherwise in this case. He is the attorney of record for Freshwater in Freshwater’s federal suit against the family, the district, and sundry others, though.

Gary Hurd said:

If I recall correctly, the lawyers will still appear in court to tell the court that they have reached a settlement. The court will ask the plaintiff if they understand, and accept the proposed settlement.

The point is that the court will have a chance to address Freshwater, and Hamilton. A “no decision” is not a “get out of jail free.”

True, but since Hamilton isn’t Freshwater’s attorney of record in Doe v. Mount Vernon BOE, et al. he can avoid that scene. Whether he’ll have to appear before that judge on other grounds–say, contempt of court for his billing records gaming–is not clear to me.

F&H made the mistake of telling a little fib so they could get some affidavits entered into evidence.

A “fib” like this is a very bad thing in Federal Court (as certain people learned at Dover). Even if you don’t wind up behind bars, you can become famous for it. It can even become grounds for the insurance company to disclaim coverage and leave you to be harassed for the rest of your life by the plaintiffs (who have every good motive to do so if you’re the type of turd who thinks “fibbing” in Federal Court is okay).

As to the insurance company’s willingness to settle, it may depend on the kind of policy it is. Some “professional malpractice” policies give the insured the right to refuse a settlement (to protect the insured’s “professional” reputation). Usually, however, in such a policy, there is a provision that the insurer can limit its liability to the amount it could have settled the case for before trial. If the professional insists on trying the case and is nailed for more than it could have been settled for, s/he is liable for the excess. I seriously doubt that there is such a policy provision in this case, but that is an example of what sort of considerations might be holding up the carrier’s attempts to settle this matter.

There is one joker still in the deck, however. For what are to me opaque reasons, the Dennis family’s original attorney opted for a jury trial in what is essentially an Establishment Clause case. I think that was singularly ill-advised; juries of lay people are not a good venue for deciding Constitutional questions.

There is probably a liability limit in the insurance policy, regardless of other clauses. If so, Freshwater would be on the hook for any judgment above the limit. Which brings up an interesting question…can the insurance company agree to a settlement that exceeds their liability?

Given the facts that are coming out, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that the insurance company can escape any payment if they can show that their client violated court rules (e.g. the current discovery violations). I also wouldn’t be surprised if the insurance company could refuse to pay any penalties Freshwater incurs through his own shenanigans.

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

wright1 said: Surely you realize that all who believe other than the fundamentalists do is by definition their enemy? They rail against nonbelievers even if the latter sit quietly and do nothing but exist.

Or, as Monique Davis, Illinois state legislator put it: “[Atheism is] dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!” (April 2008, link).

Zortag said:

…for their despicable behavior.

Oh, come on! Can we lower the level of vitriol here? F&H’s behavior really does not rise to the “despicable” level. Stupid? Yeah. Despicable? Well, at least not them…

.….

F&H made the mistake of telling a little fib so they could get some affidavits entered into evidence. They got caught. They compounded their problems by continuing to lie and make stuff up. When trapped in a hole, first rule: stop digging.

No, despicable they are. FReshwater appears to be a bully:

- He zaps a special needs student for the amusement of his class and to set himself up as a cool teacher who’s club you sould join

- When told to remove the bible from his desk holds a public rally to put pressure on the administration to back down

- When that back fires, and he is investigated for insubbordination, sits on his ass until the investigators recommend he be terminated, then in the defense phase of his hearing introduces The Affidavits that he claims he never had the opportunity present to the investigators, and therefor the investigators incompitent.

- Forces the annonymity to be striped from the Dennis family and then calls Zachary a liar. And he doesn’t have the balls to do this directly, but leads a group of kids through a mis-leading staging of events, that the kids agree didn’t happen (In fact it seems everyone says it didn’t happen that way). And then goes on broadcast radio to proclaim that those kids call Zach a liar, therefor he shouldn’t be believed.

- Says he can’t produce evidence for the trial because he doesn’t have it, even though in testimony for the hearing he implied that he should have it.

- He and his attorney then turn into the police material that matches what he couldn’t produce, but claim it was turned over to them by a mole in the school. And the school has been the one withholding material, and perhaps tampering with it.

I mean how can you say this man is not acting despicably. The christianity he believes in focuses on the Authority of god, not the Compassion of god. He chose his church and followed its tenents because he felt it empowered him. He seems to have felt it empowered him to ignore his responsibilities as a teacher, ignore what his bosses told him to do, and hide the fact that he was ignoring their directives and lie to his students. When this entire house of cards came tumbling down on him, he avoided taking responsibility for it and called all his accusers liars.

How is he not despictable? Because he’s not a gangbanging crackhead?

Zortag said:We do our cause very little good with hostile rhetoric. Every time Dawkins opens his mouth about people of faith being foolish or simple, he just puts more money into the pockets of the preachers.

So the framing aficionados and accommodation fans keep saying. Unfortunately just saying something doesn’t make it so. Not even if you say it over and over and over and over and over…

Zortag said: Oh, come on! Can we lower the level of vitriol here? F&H’s behavior really does not rise to the “despicable” level. Stupid? Yeah. Despicable? Well, at least not them…

I’m going to guess you haven’t followed this very closely as events unfolded (and RBH did an amazing job of documenting.) There are a lot of things those two have done that are just gut wrenching. I agree that people have gotten a little bit hyperbolic, but if you don’t think Hamilton and Freshwater’s actions have risen to the level of “despicable” on a regular basis, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention.

RBH said:

There is one joker still in the deck, however. For what are to me opaque reasons, the Dennis family’s original attorney opted for a jury trial in what is essentially an Establishment Clause case. I think that was singularly ill-advised; juries of lay people are not a good venue for deciding Constitutional questions.

The judge wouldn’t write a decision in this case, right?

Ryan Cunningham said:The judge wouldn’t write a decision in this case, right?

Unfortunately, I think that’s right. I say “unfortunately” because I’d love to read Judge Frost’s account of the shenanigans.

With Hamilton’s luck, if there’s an oral hearing, he’ll be struck by a meteorite on his way to court.

jswise said:

With Hamilton’s luck, if there’s an oral hearing, he’ll be struck by a meteorite on his way to court.

I’ve neglected to mention that in his request to reconsider sanctions, Hamilton said that a reason he didn’t respond in a timely manner on one day was because he was held up for several hours by a fatal accident on the freeway. In that same pleading he said something to the effect that he doesn’t believe in either good luck or bad luck. It appears that in Hamilton’s world, everything is under the control of something–God, I presume, though he didn’t say that in the pleading–and there are no chance events.

Maybe god is telling hamilton to STFU!

My “intelligent designed” prediction is that Freshwater will get burned for some serious cash, but declare bankruptcy. Could his future earnings be garnisheed?

If the verdict comes out against Freshers, hopefully the plaintiffs will be able to impose an infinite gag on Freshwater from talking about, preaching about, writing about or otherwise profiting from his misdeeds.

One can only hope.

A standard lawyer’s trick is to wait until the last minute to offer a settlement. Sometimes they offer it on the courthouse steps 15 minutes before the hearing.

This is to put pressure on the plaintiff’s to accept it.

This would be on or around July 26, the court date. Lawyers with weak cases don’t want to have them tried in court. The court is a wild card and they could lose a lot of money.

Zortag:

Oh, come on! Can we lower the level of vitriol here? F&H’s behavior really does not rise to the “despicable” level. Stupid? Yeah. Despicable? Well, at least not them…

You are stating an opinion without any facts to back it up and appear astoundingly ignorant.

1. Freshwater has lied repeatedly and under oath, perjury, a felony.

2. The crosses burnt on kids.

3. A long standing pattern of lying to kids in his science classes and knowingly breaking US First Amendment law.

4. Costing his employer a huge amount of money by refusing to act like a normal, competent teacher.

5. Revealing the names of a minor victim, the Dennis’s child, which is illegal. They were subsequently harassed to the point by fundie xian death cultists that they had to move out of the district.

So what is your defintition of despicable, a serial killer? Freshwater fits mine quite nicely.

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent.” So tough cookies, we are speaking up and you can whine all you want about it.

Doc Bill said:

Maybe god is telling hamilton to STFU!

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about a short post listing the messages God has been sending Hamilton.

raven said:

A standard lawyer’s trick is to wait until the last minute to offer a settlement. Sometimes they offer it on the courthouse steps 15 minutes before the hearing.

This is to put pressure on the plaintiff’s to accept it.

This would be on or around July 26, the court date. Lawyers with weak cases don’t want to have them tried in court. The court is a wild card and they could lose a lot of money.

Knowing the Dennises’ lawyer, Doug Mansfield, I strongly doubt that he’s trick-able. He’ll know exactly what he and the Dennises want out of a settlement, and won’t be stampeded. He’s a genuinely tough cookie, as distinguished from Hamilton’s faux toughness.

jswise said:

With Hamilton’s luck, if there’s an oral hearing, he’ll be struck by a meteorite on his way to court.

Or get hit in the head with a broken water pipe and suffer amnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a flying pig and suffer hamnesia.

I’d like to second Doc Bill’s question about a permanent gag order being part of the judgement if it comes to court? And, RBH you state that the Denisses’ lawyer Mr Mansfield is a ‘tough cookie.’ Great! In accepting a settlement I suppose he also could make demands as to what the settlement would include? A permanent gag order perhaps? Could a god-fearing man like Freshy handle being told to shut-up pemranently about how the world has treated him so poorly? I think not, ergo court case, ergo repeat Dover. Yaaay!

jackstraw said: With Hamilton’s luck, if there’s an oral hearing, he’ll be struck by a meteorite on his way to court.

jswise said:

Or get hit in the head with a broken water pipe and suffer amnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a flying pig and suffer hamnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a truckload of sweet potatoes and suffer yamnesia.

SteveS said:

jswise said:

Or get hit in the head with a broken water pipe and suffer amnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a flying pig and suffer hamnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a truckload of sweet potatoes and suffer yamnesia.

Or a passing truckload of Spam…never mind. G’night, all.

Zortag said: F&H made the mistake of telling a little fib so they could get some affidavits entered into evidence. 

F&H did not fib to get the affidavits into evidence. The affidavits concerned only Freshwater’s side of the story.  He could have signed and submitted those before before the hearing started or between his testimony as a prosecution witness and a defense witness and all would have been fine. He could have just given his testimony under oath. All good. They chose to say these affidavits were done during the investigation to argue the administration was acting out of malice and railroading him. Pure and utter BS. 

Zortag said: Freshwater and Hamilton are just pawns in this game, being pushed around by the big-name preachers who use them to make a fat buck. The preachers are the ones that have created Scopes, Dover, Freshwater and the rest to give their flock something to fight. As long as there is a “war” going on, as long as people are told that they are “threatened” by secular culture, they will continue to ante up big dollars to their preachers to “fight” for them.

B Fracking S.  In America you get to chose your church, you get to chose your preacher, you get to chose how fat of a buck to give your big name preacher, and if you chose to give that fat buck to some preacher with a dogma that tells you to close your eyes and ignore reality, that does not absolve you of closing your eyes. These preachers exist as much due to the need of the congregation, as to their own desire for a fat buck: if the preacher leads where they don’t want to follow, he’s no longer getting the fat bucks. And a Pawn is just a minor piece, often sacrificed, but not a powerless one and they can be promoted. I mean WTF, the argument he’s not despicable because he’s jumping into someones hand to be their tool, makes him more despicable than anything he’s done in court. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t also despise these “big name preachers” and the stupefying, wheel spinning feedback loop they represent,  or that Freshwater’s behavior represents majority of Christianity and religious folk, but that he’s despicable despite his religion, not because of it, though his religion got him in this mess.  It’s his willingness to split a community, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, that makes him despicable. And being despicable doesn’t make one inhuman or unworthy of sympathy, just pathetic. 

My question is about Hamilton. Does the judge decide to prosecute him for perjury? The District Attorney? Or does one of the defendants have to ask that Hamilton be prosecuted? Just wondering as a point of law.

techreseller said: My question is about Hamilton. Does the judge decide to prosecute him for perjury? The District Attorney? Or does one of the defendants have to ask that Hamilton be prosecuted? Just wondering as a point of law.

In the Dover case, I think the Judge forwarded a summary of the evidence to the DA and let them decide whether to prosecute or not (they didn’t). So I would just guess that the same procedure would apply here.

AFAIK what this judge could do would be to hold Hamilton in contempt until he provides an explanation for his actions. For example, hold him in contempt until he explains why he did not submit his billing records to the court on March 17, 2009, when he submitted them to BOE’s counsel.

Zortag said:

…for their despicable behavior.

Oh, come on! Can we lower the level of vitriol here? F&H’s behavior really does not rise to the “despicable” level. Stupid? Yeah. Despicable? Well, at least not them…

He taught lies in a public school classroom, knowing full well that it was against the law to do so, and taking elaborate and shamelessly dishonest precautions to avoid the consequences of his actions. He lied about the nature of the accusations against him to garner public sympathy. He committed perjury. He induced a minor child entrusted to his care to commit perjury on his behalf. He stole tax money. He sought to expose a child to death threats so that said child would be too intimidated to testify against him. The child in question was eventually forced to move away to avoid the psychotic mob of Freshwater’s sick supporters. He exposed special-needs children to ridicule for his own self-aggrandizement. He branded children with the symbol of his cult!

If these crimes do not qualify as “despicable”, what does?

RBH said:

I’ve neglected to mention that in his request to reconsider sanctions, Hamilton said that a reason he didn’t respond in a timely manner on one day was because he was held up for several hours by a fatal accident on the freeway. In that same pleading he said something to the effect that he doesn’t believe in either good luck or bad luck. It appears that in Hamilton’s world, everything is under the control of something–God, I presume, though he didn’t say that in the pleading–and there are no chance events.

Is this different than the day with the two flat tires? Was there a fatal accident that day?

Thanks RBH. This is so interesting. I cant wait to see how this plays out. Thanks for the great reporting.

Helena Constantine said:

Is this different than the day with the two flat tires? Was there a fatal accident that day?

Different day, IIRC.

Slight side track, but wasn’t there a plummer who testified that he fixed this big flooded pipe mess of Hamilton’s? Wouldn’t he also potentially be in a tight spot based on the revelation from the billing records?

Paul Burnett said:

SteveS said:

jswise said:

Or get hit in the head with a broken water pipe and suffer amnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a flying pig and suffer hamnesia.

Or get hit in the head by a truckload of sweet potatoes and suffer yamnesia.

Or a passing truckload of Spam…never mind. G’night, all.

or an ACME brand anvil

JGB said:

Slight side track, but wasn’t there a plummer who testified that he fixed this big flooded pipe mess of Hamilton’s? Wouldn’t he also potentially be in a tight spot based on the revelation from the billing records?

Not necessarily. I think there probably was a Flood. What seems clear is that Hamilton lied about the destruction of the billing records in the supposed loss of his laptop, since two months later he provided those same records in electronic form to the Board’s attorney in the federal suit.

raven said:

A standard lawyer’s trick is to wait until the last minute to offer a settlement. Sometimes they offer it on the courthouse steps 15 minutes before the hearing.

This is to put pressure on the plaintiff’s to accept it.

This would be on or around July 26, the court date. Lawyers with weak cases don’t want to have them tried in court. The court is a wild card and they could lose a lot of money.

I’m not sure that trick will work. I think it is pretty clear the BOE and the Dennis family have Fresh and Hamilton by the balls. If a very generous settlement isn’t offered, it goes to court. In which case Fresh risks summary judgment, and given the shenanigans pulled, the Judge will likely empty his pockets for good measure.

No, I think that trick works when there is at least a chance the Judge would find in your favor. I don’t think the Dennis family has anything to worry about. Going to trial means at worst a longer wait for them, but ultimately it means the Fresh and Co., will have to pony up even more.

IANAL, but it seems to me the time for that kind of thing has long since past. It would ring very hollow now.

Personalities aside, the tactic (violate the law, then make the school system spend itself bankrupt firing you) is troubling.

Fundamentalists don’t want the public schools to have money, anyway. So win, lose or draw, simply bleeding money from the schools is a victory for them.

It’s the same tactic Reagan used: spend the country into poverty on useless weapons, etc. so you can cry poor and defund the public sector.

Marion Delgado said:

Personalities aside, the tactic (violate the law, then make the school system spend itself bankrupt firing you) is troubling.

Fundamentalists don’t want the public schools to have money, anyway. So win, lose or draw, simply bleeding money from the schools is a victory for them.

I don’t know how small Mount Vernon is, but if the dynamic of its school system is at all like some of the small towns near where I live, the most troubling aspect would be that he is just the visible part of the iceberg.

Around here, some of the school district superintendents and principals would fully support Freshwater, and at least passively seek to hire someone who would teach just like he did – except for the tesla coil episodes. I heard one principal relating how he tried to convince a home school family to enroll by bragging “our [high school] biology teacher doesn’t believe in evolution either”.

I don’t know Freshwater, but from what I’ve read, his classroom display and attitudes probably more reflect a decade of administrative blind-eyes than any personal courage and defiance.

But another troubling aspect, is the disregard of the contractual rules the administrators were to follow. Freshwater and Hamilton appear to have diverted a lot of money to lawyers and the courts, but – as has been written about earlier – they appear to have been assisted by the principal/superintendent/board not carefully mapping out their contractual obligations before acting.

As Ed points out [and who’s comments I would quote if this place would only let me do it!] this whole fiasco was enabled by the school district, and they are paying dearly for that.

The more interesting question is how will the school district operate in the future? What lessons will they take from this experience? Will they say (correctly!) “Well, had we drawn the line at burning students, we could have avoided all this”, and so impliment policies that only prevent a repeat of that? Or will they recognize that the root of the problem was their permissiveness in allowing many teachers (besides Freshwater) to display inappropriate religious material in their classrooms?

It’s not as if *all* of the things that Freshwater is accused of were furtive acts. I mean, for Christ’s sakes(!), he had the 10 commandments posted on the window of his classroom door!

[BTW, is it just me, or is this web site messed up: I can’t quote other people’s text, and clicking “preview” takes me to screen that shows my post as if I am supposed to do something else, but not way to do it.]

Divalent said: [BTW, is it just me, or is this web site messed up: I can’t quote other people’s text, and clicking “preview” takes me to screen that shows my post as if I am supposed to do something else, but not way to do it.]

Click on “reply” to quote a post in your own.

As for “preview”…scroll bars are your friend. Look for the “submit” button.

Thus ends my metadiscussion.

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

Divalent said:

[BTW, is it just me, or is this web site messed up: I can’t quote other people’s text, and clicking “preview” takes me to screen that shows my post as if I am supposed to do something else, but not way to do it.]

Testing the Reply and edit the quote and Preview functions.

All seems to work.

Divalent:

BTW, is it just me, or is this web site messed up: I can’t quote other people’s text,

Use the [blockquote] html tag.

The more interesting question is how will the school district operate in the future? What lessons will they take from this experience?

My local school district has a strict policy of no school sponsored religious displays. They don’t even have a Xmas tree even though secular holiday trees are legal.

There is a group of people who watch them closely and object often if anything even seems religious. Last year it was Xmas carols in music class.

Not sure what happened. It looks like there were some lawsuits a few decades ago and that was the result. Or maybe the administrators are educated, adults who can read the laws.

The Mt. Vernon school district really shouldn’t keep on violating the laws. There are plenty of people who pay taxes, have kids, and aren’t creationists or fundie xian cultists. There will always be someone, sooner or later who cares enough to sue them again. And like Dover and all the rest of the court cases, they will lose again.

RBH said:

There is one joker still in the deck, however. For what are to me opaque reasons, the Dennis family’s original attorney opted for a jury trial in what is essentially an Establishment Clause case. I think that was singularly ill-advised; juries of lay people are not a good venue for deciding Constitutional questions.

Generally a plaintiff in a civil suit needs to request a jury trial at the start of the case, or he or she waives the right to a jury trial. The plaintiff can always request to have the judge hear case.

regarding the choice of a jury trial, its really a moot point: Freshwater’s attorney would have asked for one if the plaintiffs didn’t, in which case it he would have gotten it.

[BTW, with EI v8 on a Vista machine, still no functionality]

I’ve pinged our webmaster about it.

We use AJAX techniques to do quoting and previewing. Perhaps something on your system is affecting it.

I’ll check IE8 on my laptop later tonight.

Divalent said: [BTW, with EI v8 on a Vista machine, still no functionality]

The fundies have a mole in the MS coding team, clearly. Kinda serves you right though ;)

[BTW, with EI v8 on a Vista machine, still no functionality]

IE8 with W7 works for me.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 7, 2010 11:49 AM.

Freshwater: Tightening the vise was the previous entry in this blog.

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