Yesterday I went to pre-trial conference scheduled in the Spokane Diocese v. Paine Hamblen case. All the lawyers were there. There, meaning Spokane’s most beautiful court room. The historic courtroom of the District Court for the Eastern District of Washington in the recently renovated United States Post Office. The courtroom is now the main courtroom for Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The courtroom is something to behold.
Three of the lawyers were taking pictures of the courtroom. I was not surprised, but it did seem a bit unusual. Something is up, I thought to myself.
Surprise, Ragan Powers (Davis Wright Tremaine), for the defense took the lead. Then, it dawned upon me, the case had settled. The settlement must have been completed during the seven day continuance of the originally scheduled pre-trial conference. No one from the press was there. (I informed the Spokesman Review and the Associated Press as soon I returned to my office. They too were caught off guard.)
Bankruptcy judge Frederick P. Corbit did a fine job of making the settlement an event all attorneys and clients could be proud of.
We won’t know the details of the settlement. It is not one which required approval a review of the judge in a Chapter 11 proceeding. The litigation was an adversary proceeding.
I talked with Greg Arpin, one of attorneys in the dock, a friend of mine, he was pleased. He and his wife were relieved. I am happy for them. I talked Bob Gould, a Spokane native and now the state’s premier attorney malpractice lawyer, the lawyer for the plaintiff. Bob is an acquaintance of mine and has been for over 39 years or so. He too was pleased with the settlement. He asked what my interest was. I had no hesitation “I have friends and acquaintance’s on both sides of the case. And, for them I am relieved” I said. I think Bob understood how I felt.
Here is the Spokesman-Review piece.
The law is a fine mystery.