Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sherwin Williams: Denied Due Process In RI

The state of Rhode Island is holding Sherwin Williams (SHW) and it shareholders hostage. Isn't there something called "due process"? Isn't it supposed to guarantee "fundamental fairness"? Does Rhode Island recognize it?

In perusing my Lead Paint information site, Jane Genova's Law and More, I cam across this stunning post.

"I had a hunch that the defendants' and the plaintiff's [the state is appealing the ARCO acquittal] appeal to the Rhode Island Supreme Court in the RI Lead Paint Trial II would be slow. One reason is that when I spoke to Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein's clerk about the official transcript around April 2006, she indicated that some afternoon sessions were not available. Therefore, I could not purchase from the Court a complete official transcript.

Well, here it is October 25, 2007, and my sources inform me that as of a week or so ago, that transcript had not been completed. That is the first necessary step in processing the appeal. Therefore, no dates or anything - briefs or arguments - have been set."

What is the problem? How can it possibly take over a year to type up a transcript? Send me the tapes guys, I'll get it done next week for you. Here is where is gets really outrageous and unconscionable. Despite the fact that his office cannot get their act together, Silverstein is forcing both the State and the companies including Sherwin and NL Industries (NL) to go ahead and argue the abatement plan. This action is costing RI taxpayers and Sherwin Williams shareholders hundred of thousand of dollars for legal proceedings, that will not even be necessary if as expected the RI Supreme Court tosses the prior verdict due to Silverstein's essentially directed verdict and a host of other trial issues.

How can this be acceptable? Silverstein is essentially denying Sherwin shareholders, as owners of the company their due process rights. We cannot begin our appeal until his office actually does its job and because we cannot get an appeal and a ruling, we must spend thousands in legal fees!! Sherwin asked for the abatement proceeding to be out off until after the Supreme Court ruled but of course Silverstein denied the motion. At least he got to that one right away.

What is the time limit for a transcript of court proceeding? I am guessing over a year would not be considered acceptable to most reasonable people. Can't Sherwin file for an injunction barring any more action from Silverstein until the appeal is heard?

Silverstein is on a one man crusade to attempt to get Sherwin and other to pay for the RI plan. His actions or lack there of are morally unacceptable and I cannot believe for a minute the RI Bar could find them "legally ethical".

This is "judicial tyranny" at its best...

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