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Act 134: OK, I Give Up

It's June of 2007, and I'm throwing in the towel. Unless there's a "next" link at the bottom of this page (which would indicate that, improbably, the TaubmanSucks saga has continued), I think it's safe to say that the course of events that began more than eight years ago when I registered ShopsAtWillowBend.com has finally staggered to its conclusion.

Actually, as I've documented on the preceding pages, the story really ended a few years ago, I just didn't know it at the time. I assumed that, if I submitted a complaint to the United States Court of Appeals, they would, at least, have had the courtesy to consider that complaint. I recognize that the courts have better things to do (and that they're understaffed), and I know that it's possible that I'm being impatient and that I might hear something back from the Court next year. But I'm not holding my breath.

I have to admit that the situation is discouraging. Oddly enough, I saw a TV interview with Rudy Giuliani just a few hours ago in which he said that he strongly supports a system in which, if you sue someone and lose, you would have to pay the winner if you can't prove that the suit was justified. (I understand that this kind of system already exists in England and in other places.) Of course, as a Republican, Rudy was probably talking about discouraging frivolous lawsuits against businesses by consumers – but once in place, I assume that such a law might also protect consumers against frivolous lawsuits by businesses.

But such a system is, most emphatically, not in place. As it stands, businesses have no reason not to push their weight around. This is hardly a startling revelation. But what has come as an unpleasant surprise to me is that, even though lawyers have created intricate rules by which they're supposed to operate, they really have no reason to follow those rules. If regaling judges with descriptions of fictitious conversations might help you win your case, why shouldn't you do it? Practically speaking, there simply doesn't appear to be a down-side.

Obviously, there are exceptions. If you're Bill Clinton, for example, and if you lie to a grand jury about an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with the case, you get disbarred and impeached. But if you're, say, Doug Sprinkle, and if you make false statements to the United States Court of Appeals about a critical issue in a case, nothing happens to you at all. The Attorney Grievance Commission in your state is so eager to dispose of a complaint against you that they reject a request for reconsideration of their dismissal before that request is even made. The state Supreme Court rejects an appeal of that dismissal without even explaining why. And the U.S. Court of Appeals, in front of whom you made your false statements, doesn't even bother to respond to a complaint. Make up whatever stories you want to make up. Say and do anything that will help you win your case. There are no negative repercussions. Nobody cares.

So, as I said, I give up. This hasn't exactly been eating at me, but it has been on my mind, and it's time to let it go. I won the case, which is tremendously gratifying. But if someone assaults you, you'd like to see them punished even if you manage to fight them off. The fact that they were, ultimately, unable to do any damage is not the issue. The issue is that they tried to mug you, and they should be held accountable – if for no other reason than it might make them think twice about doing it to someone else. Most of us would agree with that logic as it applies to an attempted mugging on the street. I don't see why it shouldn't apply to an attempted mugging in a courtroom as well.

OK, I'm getting preachy, and I'm starting to repeat myself. And I'm probably not saying anything that you don't know already. (Lawyers? Unscrupulous? I'm shocked!) So I'll just say: Thanks for following along, I've enjoyed your feedback, I've greatly appreciated your support. It certainly has been an interesting ride, but I have to admit that I'm glad it's finally over.

Next: It's All About Doug

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