Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quash 'Em

Subpoenas targeting Uptown bloggers and anonymous commentators continue to linger even after a resident group’s lawsuit to block the embattled Wilson Yard development was dismissed by a judge in May.

Attorneys representing the six venture companies of the project’s sole developer, Holsten Real Estate Development, subpoenaed Google in January, asking for account holders’ information for two neighborhood blogs, Uptown Update and the defunct What the Helen.

The subpoenas were in response to a lawsuit filed last December by the Uptown community group Fix Wilson Yard against the developer and city. The residents’ lawsuit charged that significant abuses took place in the planning and funding of the Wilson Yard TIF District and corresponded Wilson Yard development. The lawsuit was tossed May 19 by Cook County Judge Mary Katherine Rochford, on the grounds that residents waited too long to file it.
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  1. Shades of Iran! The supreme authority Mullah kDALEYamani is probably smiling

  2. They're still concerned with the amended complaint, obviously.


    Still - if anyone had doubts that Helen Shiller actually lacks a soul and any sense of decency ... feel free to put those doubts to rest after reading that article.

    There's bad. There's worse. And then there's Helen.

  3. Isn't there a common belief that many obnoxious and controversial Uptown Update posts actually come from Helen's office? Couldn't this subpoena possibly backfire on the defendants if in fact many "adding fuel to the fire" posts were shown to come from representatives of our publicly elected officials? Just looking at this from a different angle.

  4. "The internet is the strongest force for individual self-expression ever invented. Governments around the world, even democratically elected, have difficulty with [the flow of] information online. Dictatorships and closed communities one after the other will try and shut down communication from inside. Strategies governments use trying to shut down people's speech are terrible strategies and will not succeed," - Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

  5. Bad Brad,

    I'm not licensed to practice law, but I did once play Patrick Henry in a school play.

    I feel well qualified to comment based on that.

    My understanding is that there is not a whole lotta legal basis for the argument Holsten's attorney made for the subpoena. The plaintiffs basically admitted they were aware of Wilson Yard and the TIF for years. That allowed Holsten's attorney to win his "statute of limitation/laches" argument which "da Judge" upheld.

    I don't see any valid reason for the subpoenas to "hang out" there. Of course with having to extend the subpoenas on a monthly basis there might be some legal fees involved somewhere.

    Now being that most attorneys are loathe to ever "back off" it may simply be that Holsten's attorney doesn't want to be seen as "giving in" and the subpoenas continue simply because of that.

    If the case continues based on the amended complaint the Judge would likely toss the subpoenas as being irrelevant because the plaintiffs have already admitted they knew about Wilson Yard for years.

    Now Holsten clearly won't be happy if the amended complaint is upheld, but I suspect he would be happy to see the subpoenas quashed and schwashed and pummeled into the ground. It was a horribly silly PR move.

    Personally, my best case scenario for this is "da Judge" finds for the plaintiffs, da good guys, in the amended complaint. Then the Judge upholds the subpoenas.......
    and the fun and publicity really begin.

    I am going to say a prayer now:

    Dear Jesus,

    It's me the IrishPirate. I know it's been a few decades since we've spoken. Yes, I've been busy working on the seven deadly sins and violating those silly ten rules your dad liked to talk about.

    However, if you could see that the Fix Wilson Yard lawsuit would continue and the subpoenas would be upheld I promise to give up trolling Craigslist for hookers until a new alderman takes office in the 46th Ward.

    Yes, Jesus that includes the occasional street hooker that still trolls our lovely streets.
    (don't tell Jesus that's easy to avoid as most of them are heavier and uglier than me)