Chapter 40 – Owners & Executives & Managers are just normal people too

In spite of the finger pointing and the cache assertions of wrong doing, as owners and CEO’s we are not able to control the actions of everyone who works for us. We set policy, do our best to make sure everything is done to code, that quality is good, that the product is good and safe and the moral and ethical mandates of our companies are maintained. This is not an admission of anything Linda.

But we are just normal people, with spouses and children and chores and duties and responsibilities and fatigue. When you own a business and have started it from scratch, people like M & Sandra, like Linda Marshall and so many others who do not invest their time and savings to build a business but instead dedicate their efforts to trying to destroy yours, to these people who believe that our assets are simply there for the plucking, I can assure you that any attack on your business is personal.

To those of us who have held executive positions most of our lives, and who are or have been responsible for the day to day safety of hundreds of people, we ask of our judicial system for equitable treatment, an unbiased assessment and approach. Judges, we respect your position and your role, but if you ask us to fear you we will ask why?

When it is clear that there is an agenda to a judicial proceeding and that the facts of a case are simply incidental inconveniences, then our fundamental needs of equitable treatment are not being met, And when they are no longer being met, businesses shut down and move away. Business and Commerce does not just happen. Operating capital has to be deployed wisely and consistently. Litigation robs business of working capital.

I’m sure there are business owners that expect to be treated preferentially. I do not. And those business owners I know do not either. But treating us unfairly and conspiring with others in the legal community to redistribute our assets out of judicial activism is socialism. I would remind everyone that government retirement pensions is more than twice that of private sector colleagues. And further that it is the tax on the successful that fills the government coffers.

For contingent fee litigation to continue in an age when we have twice as many lawyers as our society needs, when 50% of a law school graduating class can’t even find jobs, there must be a profitable target. And that is a business. And more often than not an attorney attacks the shareholder as well as the business, as leverage.

Being an attorney is a privilege few share. But there’s not enough work to go around and now there has evolved a “lawyer tax” and attorneys are looking to judges to help them collect it. And some Judges do, out of friendship to counsel, out of empathy for the attorney, out of concern for their profession. Few Judges have actually been in business. Few practiced law very long before putting on a robe.

I recall reading an email Sandra Ware, M’s friend from New Jersey, wrote to Judge Egan in Albany, focusing on M’s case. Her points were not about the case but a personal attack on me, assessing me as the target. It was revealing.

So when I see that same immoral tactic used by opposing counsel during an arbitration and trial, I see how putrid litigation has become. But more than that, when there is no case its mostly about personal attacks and innuendo, all irrelevant. And I ask is this really going on right before me. We can easily prove we did nothing wrong or illegal. Every claim made by M and Sandra we proved to be wrong and dripping with fraudulent intent. The process affirmed that we did not engage in fraudulent activity but it failed from the start when Bill Crow did not step down as arbitrator. But it does not matter to us anymore. The damage is done. And repeated. Rinse and repeat. I am committed to revealing the threat to businesses involved in arbitration. Stay in court.

A former friend of mine, an attorney, told me recently you will lose in this U.S. District Court because you have more than most and you don’t act like a victim. Soon I realized that was his mantra. Then I realized it was more. No one resents the success of a business owner more than an attorney, in a town where there are too many attorneys. That fundamental disdain for business and business owners is misplaced.

Owners refuse to be victims. It does not mean we aren’t victims of crime and false statements. We are. We just don’t show up to court in pretending to be unsuccessful. That’s a game. It is not a game we play.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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