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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

White Chalk

Things just keep getting stranger by the day with the White case. According to a post on the OPRI web site, the White trial has been cancelled. The White case is still on, but Judge Kantor has decided to use the submissions to make a ruling on the defendants' (PERS, State, etc) petition to for summary judgement and dismiss the case. Judge Kantor has reportedly told the PERS Coalition that they can wait until he issues his ruling in the summary judgement petition. At that point, if Judge Kantor rules against summary judgement, then the PERS Coalition can files its own petition for summary judgement (something I already thought they did). On the other hand, if the Judge rules in favor of the defendants, then the PERS Coalition can simply appeal the ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

This is about the strangest turn of events I've seen yet. I'm trying to get confirmation from Greg Hartman and the PERS Coalition that this preposterous (to me anyway) sequence of events has been accurately reported. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, you might want to hang tough a bit longer before jettisoning those plans to attend the hearings.

P.S. 1:40 pm. Greg Hartman just got back to me. He explains that Judge Kantor did cancel the hearing. He (Judge Kantor) noted that he believes that he has a sufficient record upon which to base a decision. This means that Judge Kantor doesn't believe that there are factual issues requiring resolution. According to Greg Hartman, Judge Kantor also stated that he had not determined how he would rule and therefore might invite the PERS Coalition to file a cross motion for summary judgment. Hartman noted "while this is unusual I think it reflects the fact that most of the dispute in this case is how to apply the legal principles to facts which are largely not in dispute."

Thanks to Greg Hartman for his quick reply to my query. Let's all hope that Judge Kantor shows some wisdom this time, unlike his ruling in Arken.

I guess those of you who had plans to come to the hearings can safely cancel them now. We'll wait for the chalk outline to appear on the court docket. Hopefully the outline will be of PERS, the State, and the employers, and NOT the Coalition.

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