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Democracy Now! court hearing report 8-22-01

From: Carol Spooner

August 22, 2001 Dear All, At the emergency hearing this afternoon regarding the Democracy Now! situation Judge Sabraw said he would take the matter "under submission" and that he hoped to have a ruling out by 10 a.m. tomorrow.

I attended the hearing and I do not have much hope that the Judge will rule our way, based on the questions he asked and the responses. I'm afraid he saw this as a "labor-management" dispute that didn't belong before him. Our lawyer, Terry Gross, was arguing on behalf of the Attorney General, the listeners, LABs and the directors (in a joint motion) that the issue was preserving the foundation from waste of resources and from liabilities -- risks of lawsuits if someone is injured, if the affiliate stations sue for breach of contract, if valuable employees are lost, and if the valuable "intellectual property" of the Foundation -- Democracy Now! -- is destroyed. I don't know if the judge got it or not.

I'll let you know as soon as I know what he rules. We knew when we decided to do this that it was a long shot. But, even if the judge doesn't rule our way on this, we felt it would help set up our motions we are filing tomorrow: (1) for appointment of a "limited receiver" to take over the functions of the Executive Director, (2) to prohibit the election or removal of any directors at the board meeting now set for September 19th & until trial, (3) to require the Foundation to have separate legal counsel from the 5 directors they now jointly represent (Murdock, Johns, Ford, Lee & Chambers), and (4) to require that the individual defendant directors' legal expenses NOT be paid by the foundation, but by the foundation's officers and directors insurance.

These motions will all be heard and decided on September 13th. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks for all your wonderful support -- moral & financial.

Carol Spooner
Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board
(sponsoring the "listeners' lawsuit")

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