Friday, January 09, 2009

Wendy The Disqualifier!

First she tried to disqualify the arbitrator. Now Wendy McCaw has disqualified the judge who was to rule on whether she can disqualify the arbitrator in her case against former Santa Barbara News-Press editor Jerry Roberts.

Earlier this week, McCaw's Ampersand Publications filed papers in Santa Barbara Superior Court to have Judge William McLafferty, to whom the case had been assigned, peremptorily disqualified from hearing the matter.

Although no reason for the disqualification was stated (California law allows each side in a lawsuit to disqualify a judge without giving any reason) it's not hard to guess why McCaw wouldn't want McLafferty on the case.

McLafferty is the judge that ruled some years back that a lawsuit brought against McCaw by her ex-lover and former attorney, Greg Parker, would have to be arbitrated, but by a single arbitrator.

That ruling would ultimately redound to McCaw's benefit when an appellate court ruled that McCaw was entitled to have the case heard by a panel of three arbitrators. McCaw prevailed after the rehearing before the triumvirate.

In all likelihood, the reassignment of the case to a new judge will mean that the original date set for hearing of Ampersand's motion, currently January 26, will have to be changed.

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The news that News-Press gossip columnist Richard Mineards had been laid off was a surprise because it was widely believed that he was (and very well still may be) a personal friend of McCaw and her co-publisher/boyfriend Arthur von Wiesenberger.

According to a former newsroom employee whom I spoke to, Mineards was being paid between $80,000 and $90,000 per year "to attend parties and write a once-a-week column." (Sounds like nice work, if you can get it.)

I guess even McCaw could no longer afford that luxury.

In case you're feeling nostalgic, you can look at my original post that reported Mineard's hiring back in April of 2007.

* * *

Over at von Wiesenberger's "Nippers" website, the-best-kept-man in Santa Barbara has had his hands full defending against critics of the paper.

* * *

Citing budget concerns, UCSB's student run newspaper, the Daily Nexus, will cease publishing a Friday edition. This is according to a front-page item that appeared in the print edition of Thursday's paper.

That actually makes sense when you consider the fact that the hardest thing to find on the UCSB campus is a class that meets on Fridays.

If the Governator wants to find a way to trim the state budget, perhaps he should have the entire UC system shut down on Fridays.

The "never-on-Friday" schedule at the Daily Nexus, takes effect today.