scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: BSA v. Dale
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@BELLATLANTIC.NET
Mon Apr 10 2000 - 00:39:41 CDT
I would agree with John Pershing that BSA most likely does not want anyone
to represent its position in the ongoing litigation. As a former trial
lawyer, I can understand why this would be so. Any party in litigation
wants to have one story, one set of arguments, and one strategy. At the
same time any party to litigation also wants to find the other side to have
divergent stories, conflicting carguments, multiple stragegies that collide,
etc. These can always be used to discredit testimony and weaken the other
side's case. It is a nasty business.
That said, debate on the case, the issues, and the like in a public forum by
members is not appropriate.
If you were employed by a corporation that was involved in litigation and
the CEO sent out a memo stating that employees were not to comment on the
litigation and anyone breaching this obligation would be fired, you would
understand clearly that the corporation was serious about not having you
comment. Most would understand that it is within the such a corporation's
rights to ask employees not to comment publically about litigation.
Although we are not employees of BSA in the same sense, we are members of
the organization. As members we ought to respect the organizations
decisions about when, where, and how pubic information is released related
to the litigation.
Yes the outcome of the litigation is important, interesting, significant,
and more. And yes there is much that could be discussed. However, during
the course of the litigation, we shouldn't be discussing the case.
John also opined that nothing we do at the unit level can have sway on the
thinking in Irving. I would take some issue on that point. Comments from
the frontline to the folks in Irving are taken seriously and do sometimes
result in change. I can think of several instances where things discussed
here on this list ended up in letters to Irving where changes followed.