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Irony alert: One of the partners of the Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm, Leslie Devaney, has been a board member of CALA, Californians Against Lawsuit Abuse, an organization that criticizes unnecessary litigation!
The only good thing that Solana Beach School District did for the taxpayers with its excessive spending on the Ka. D. v. Solana Beach case was to cause trustee Art Palkowitz to decide not to run for reelection. The District didn't intend to do this, of course. It probably thought no one would notice what it was up to.
After a justice on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal expressed astonishment that Solana Beach had already wasted so much taxpayer money on the case, Solana Beach School District paid even more public money to the firm to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Ninth Circuit seemed to be wondering what the school board members were thinking when they decided to pursue the case.
Here's what the justice said on Feb. 17, 2012 in Pasadena:
"I am curious.
"This whole dispute is about counsel [attorney] fees, I assume.
"Nobody in their right economic mind would be carrying this case to the Ninth Circuit that seems to me to involve something like $67,000 [in attorney fees]....
"What's really at stake here in terms of the lawsuit itself is whether you should reimburse somewhere between 6 and 7 thousand dollars [to the parents].
"For this amount of money you've gone through a hearing before a hearing officer, a proceeding in the District Court, and now you're appealing to the Ninth Circuit.
"It seems to me, and I don't blame you necessarily, I just want to be clear. This whole dispute is about counsel fees, isn't it?"
On Nov. 26, 2012 the Supreme Court denied the appeal.