Too many people are terrified of being sued. Being sued is really not so bad. I should know; I'm being sued for defamation by Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz.
What is terrible is when people are silent about wrongdoing for fear of being sued. It seems to me that people like the partners at Stutz law firm are trying to turn every neighborhood into the kind where criminals rule the roost and witnesses are afraid to testify.
Elly Dotseth wrote a letter to Voice of San Diego on April 16, 2008 saying:
"...people in our supposedly free country have begun to keep quiet from fear of being sued or blackballed in some other way. I have recently spoken out in criticism of the way the NTC Foundation is handling leases with nonprofit arts groups, and despite the reply from the director, I stand by my criticism. If he were to sue me, though, that would really be horrific."
Here is my response to Elly:
Kudos for standing up to the McMillin/NTC Foundation, and please be assured that it is not so bad getting sued when you have nothing to hide and the big guys that are suing you have plenty to hide. You simply file an answer, then go down to the courthouse and get a deposition subpoena that has been signed by the Clerk of the Court. Make some copies, fill them out, and serve them on the people who are suing you. They filed the lawsuit, so they had better be prepared to testify under oath and produce documents. If they fail to do so, you file a motion to compel that looks something like THIS.
Interestingly enough, Developer Corky McMillin, who must have done some fancy behind-the-scenes work to get the City of San Diego to turn over NTC to him, is a great friend of Patrick Judd, Pamela Smith, Larry Cunningham and the rest of the Chula Vista Elementary School District board. Of course, a lot of developers are good friends with these board members--but they don't all get a school named after them. Corky did. Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm represents CVESD board members, and it also got a big office at NTC. (They call it Liberty Station.) Something tells me that Stutz law firm got a very good deal.