Thursday, December 13, 2007

So Many Courtrooms, So Little Time

It was bound to happen sooner or later. News-Press owner Wendy McCaw, arguably the most litigious woman in Santa Barbara, was bound to find herself double-booked in the court appearance department.

On January 29th, McCaw's lawyers will be appearing in two different courts about 40 miles apart.

On Tuesday, the judge before whom the News-Press' copyright infringement case against the Independent is pending, denied the News-Press motion to postpone the trial in that case. That means that unless the case is settled before then the jury trial will begin on January 29th in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.

On that same day at 1 p.m. in a courtroom in Santa Ana, McCaw's lawyers will have an opportunity to argue before a three judge panel of the California Court of Appeal why an Orange County trial court judge should not be required to vacate his order granting the News-Press permission to conduct limited discovery (in other words be allowed to try to assemble evidence) in order to oppose Susan Paterno's anti-SLAPP motion and enter a new order denying the paper's discovery request altogether.

An order to the trial judge to deny the motion for discovery will effectively mean the end of McCaw's case against Paterno alleging that she libeled the News-Press.

And yes, in case you were wondering, the same lawyer, Stanton Stein, represents the News-Press in both lawsuits.

Rest assured though that Stein has enough law partners and associates to make covering both courtrooms a non-issue on the 29th.

* * *

The News-Press employee holiday party is this Friday.

Less than half of the paper's 200 employees are expected to attend the gathering which will be held at Q's Sushi A Go Go on lower State Street.

Well, at least we know the martinis there won't cost 15 bucks a pop.

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