Sunday, October 06, 2013

Redistricting Board's Attorney's Health Problems Delay Court Date Until December 9 - 16

Michael White, the Alaska Redistricting Board's attorney, had significant surgery in September, according to a motion filed before the Superior Court, and so the Board has asked for any trial date to be delayed beyond the scheduled November 7 - 15 dates the judge reserved.  Judge McConahy originally set these dates should a trial be necessary. 

He made it very clear in that September 19 order he hadn't decided if a trial was needed:
“The Court expresses no opinion at this time whether such an evidentiary hearing will be necessary or that any such hearing would require all the allotted time.”
 The new order, dated October 3,  responding to the Board's motion (with no objections from the plaintiffs), sets the potential court time for Dec. 9 - 16.   Compared to the "no opinion at this time" language above, this time the judge hints that there will be a hearing.
‘The need for a hearing and on what specific issues will be addressed in the omnibus order on the summary judgment.”
I'm not an attorney so I can only use the rules of standard English to evaluate whether that sentence means the judge has decided there will be a hearing.  He doesn't say "If" in that sentence, but I guess when he addresses "the need for a hearing" he could say there is no need.  But this language is significantly closer to there being a hearing than the language in the previous memo.

The motion to continue the trial went into far more graphic detail about White's health issues than I thought needed to be public.  Again, I don't know what's normal for this sort of thing in court, but I don't think an attorney should have to reveal that level of detail about his health to the public.  If I were running things I'd allow the ill attorney to share the information with the plaintiffs and the judge and then have the those details kept out of the public records.  For those with a legitimate medical interest in those details, they are in the motion.  For others who are just nosy, I've rigged the link to destroy your computer if you click on it.  

Weather Note:  It's a good idea to take serious cold weather gear if you go to Fairbanks for the trial in mid-December. Weather Spark gives a lot of weather information; from what I can tell from their graphs, the weather is very likely to be 'frigid' (below 15˚F
[-9 ˚C]) most likely in the range of 0˚F [-17˚C] and -15˚F [-26˚C].  And so close to the solstice, sunrise to sunset in Fairbanks will be less than four hours. In the past, the Fairbanks hearing was available online or by phone.  I better check with the Board's staff to make sure they'll do that again in December.  I'm not headed to Fairbanks in the middle of the Anchorage International Film Festival

Blogging Note:  This procedural stuff is much easier to write about than the substantive issues in the motions.  On those I'm falling behind, but I'm hoping to catch up and get something posted before the judge writes his omnibus order.  I was hoping, now that the motions and the objections to the motions are in, to write something that compares them.  Maybe that's too ambitious.  I need to print them all out.  My laptop screen is just too small to compare them.  Plus, most of these are pdfs that I can't cut and paste text from.  Plus I'm in LA spending being with my mom, taking care of paper work and other household repairs for her. Fortunately, she has a great caregiver and they get along well. 

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