Saturday, October 9, 2021

Harry Dunn Case Update: The Settlement Becomes Unsettled (Money for Lawyers)

The laborer is worthy of his hire, it says in the Good Book. That even applies to highly political Washington law firms. 

Yesterday, Friday October 8, 2021, the first firm of attorneys to represent the Dunn family in its suit against the American driver filed a sealed motion for attorney's fees in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as a sealed memo and eight sealed exhibits in support of the motion. 

The legal firm of Cohen Milstein first met with the Dunn family way back in December 2019, filed the suit in September 2020, and worked for them up until May 2021. That's a lot of billable hours for three partners at about $1,000 each per hour, plus one lesser-paid associate. 

In May, there was a mysterious falling out between Cohen Milstein and their clients which caused the firm to withdraw from the case. A second law firm took over and got the case to settlement - reportedly - one month ago. 

I say reportedly, because I notice that the Dunn family's spokesman / Svengali has referred to it only as a "resolution" whenever he has done media work, which he does a lot of for someone who insists he is 'not allowed to discuss the case.' 

Surely the Dunn family understood they would have to pay their lawyers, even the ones who had separated themselves from the case. The insurance company (and presumably it was the insurance company who covered her and not the driver personally who paid) agreed to a payout a month ago, the amount of which is undisclosed. Now, it seems the matter of how to divvy up the insurance company's payout between the Dunn family and the many lawyers who have represented them is not quite settled. Otherwise, why would Cohen Milstein see a need to file a claim for its fees?  

As best I understand the rules of these things, attorney fees are paid before client claims for damages, and the fees will be determined according to the agreement which the firm and its clients reached back when they signed a contract. Maybe they work on a contingency basis and get a percentage of the settlement payment, usually a third. 

So the old lawyers will get a slice of the settlement, the new lawyers get another one, and the family gets what's left over. I don't know how UK tax laws work, but usually money from damages is not taxed as income, so let's assume the taxman doesn't take yet another bite. 

The millions of dollars that their blowhard advisor promised the family from a U.S. lawsuit McDonalds-coffee-spill-style are melting away. There probably wasn't much of a settlement in the first place, although we don't know that since those details are confidential and have not yet been spilled.

Visions of Ibiza and Marbella may have to give way to more sensibly priced UK holiday destinations.   

Friday, October 8, 2021

Hillary Co-Wrote a Novel, Sort Of

Her first foray into fiction. 

Why does she lead with her chin like that? After 60 years in politics has she really never developed better instincts?

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Unaware Biden

You have probably seen clips of this interview by now. 

The phrase "Joe Biden was unaware" is just about exactly the worst soundbite that could be stuck to him at this point, as he flails about trying to recoup something from the budget bill fiasco while his approval / disapproval numbers head underwater.

C'mon Man!©, stop this malarkey before the midterm elections stop it for you. 

That said, John Kerry does quite the Gallic shrug, n'est-cafe

Monday, September 27, 2021

Sad Outcome For a Former OBO Employee

It has happened before, but one does not get used to seeing the news that a colleague you've known for many years, even one you haven't worked with regularly, has pled guilty to a crime.

See the details behind the guilty plea at Diplopundit's post, here. The bottom line is that $60,000, which DOJ's press release described as "lucrative kickbacks," went from an OBO construction contractor to an OBO employee in exchange for insider information that gave the contractor an advantage in winning contract awards.

The guilty party in this case is someone I like and have high regard for. Her motive was financial desperation, apparently. Considered on a scale of culpability, her offense ought to be seen as somewhat less than that of the contractor who purposefully cultivated her as his inside source.

Now, as for the real villain in the piece, OBO's construction contractor Montage Inc and its CEO, I have always had as low an opinion as one could have, right from the start of its engagement with OBO and many other government clients. There was just an auru of sleeze around whatever I saw of the company.

Good riddence to that guy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Settlement Reached in Harry Dunn Civil Suit

While there is surely a non-disclosure agreement as to the amount involved, Sky News is reporting today:
The details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but Mr Seiger said a resolution in the civil claim means Harry's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, will now turn their focus to the pending criminal case.
So then, it appears that the family is able to put some things ahead of the emotional catharsis of a face-to-face meeting with the American driver, contrary to their U.S. attorney's representation last month to the judge hearing the case.

Well, it's just as easy to focus on a pending criminal case from Ibiza as from home, innit?

Is this the end of the matter, or will there be more to come? 

Oh, there will be lots more, at least if you credit the family's spokesman/advisor/lawyer/and all-around hustler, there certainly will be. But you shouldn't take him seriously, because he's obviously a grandiose malignant narcissist. 

Specifically, there are now three things on the agenda. First, a criminal trial of the driver, then an inquest, and then a parlimentary inquiry into all the ways the UK government has outraged the spokesman.
"The family feel they can now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry's death which will follow the criminal case ... There will also need to be a parliamentary inquiry into this scandal in due course."
The UK High Court has already ruled out a trial. A coroner's inquest following a trial seems out of sequence to me. But I'm all for a parlimentrary inquiry. All those UK officials who have for two years played to public sentiment and refused to talk hard truths to the family deserve to be hoist by their own petard now. Or rather, "in due course."

Sunday, September 5, 2021

You Shake My Nerves And You Rattle My Brain, Things Like This Drive the Voters Insane

AP has reported the disconcerting news that "U.S. officials at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin have identified numerous incidents in which Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the 'wives' of much older men" (see reports of child brides among Afghan refugees).

That will not come as news to those of you with access to official situation reports on the evacuation and resettlement of Afghans, but it does to your fellow citizens in places like Wisconsin. And they do not like it.

Even in 1957, the American public did not like it the least little bit when the very popular Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year-old third cousin, and the backlash sunk his career for at least a decade. 

Joe Biden doesn't have a decade to wait out the public's anger and the political hit that his administration will take over this outrage, and rightly so. That's an irresistible story for all points on the spectrum. Everyone can hate it that the administration did not screen out the perpetrators of child marriage, whether their interest is from a legal, moral, cultural, religious, nationalist, feminist, government-hating, left-wing, or right-wing basis. 

Just last week I thought the images of government contractor working dogs left behind in Kabul would become one of those ineradicable social media disasters for Biden, but now that seems to have dropped out of the news in favor of the child 'brides' story.

C'mon Man!© Stop the child sexual abuse and visa fraud malarkey before you lose both houses in the mid-term elections.


Friday, August 20, 2021

"Tho' All the World Betrays Thee"

Thinking of the ignominious end of our doomed national effort in Afghanistan, with all its enormous humanitarian costs, I've been listening to the mournful Joe Strummer version of The Minstrel Boy: