Friday, November 23, 2007

Attoney Opines on RI Supreme Court & Sherwin Williams

Jane Genova has this tidbit from an attorney on the Rhode Island Supreme Court on Sherwin Williams (SHW) litigation.

The last paragraph is the most interesting:
"Our Midwest attorney lead-paint watcher who doesn't encourage the third gen in the family to enter law differs with my take on the Rhode Island Supreme Court. This attorney opines, off the record:

"I respectfully disagree with your perception that the Rhode Island Supreme Court will not overturn the lower court's decision. There are so issues which are under appeal. Surely, the Rhode Island Supreme Court will sense that it's called upon to address and correct some of what might have been errors from the original trial. At the top of that list are the instructions which were given to the jury.

"As I see it, it would be best for Rhode Island if the Supreme Court there corrects all or at least most of all that. Therefore, the damage of those rulings could be fixed in the eyes of those who reside outside of the state.

"If this winds up going to the U.S. Federal Court, it will take decades for Rhode Island to re-brand itself. That will only occur with a complete political overhaul. In addition, if this goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, it will be a major embarrassment for Motley Rice, the lower court and even the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Due process was never afforded to the defendants and legal interpretations were of one man's mind.

"Furthermore, I am not sure if everyone realizes that if nothing is overturned and if all goes forward, each property to be abated is technically a separate trial. Plus, the defendant bar is in a position to use the dysfunctional rulings used against them to sue each local city and landlord for contributing to the public nuisance. That is the strange thing: Rhode Island can collect their money as does Motley Rice and then each city can be sued for not enforcing laws already in the books. These cities have fewer resources and have a great chance of losing and/or depleting their resources fighting each case."

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