Anaheim Insider here.
The word in legal circles is that CATER’s lawsuit against the Angels MOU isn’t going well. There was a court hearing last week, I’m told Superior Court Judge James J. Di Cesare’s attitude toward the verbalizations of Greg Diamond, blogger and CATER general counsel, was impatience with ground already covered, while giving CATER the opportunity to amend and cure the deficiencies in its allegations that the Anaheim City Council violated the Brown Act when it approved the now-expired negotiation framework MOU with the Angels.
More interesting and less surprising are reports of Doug Pettibone’s involvement with CATER’s lawsuit. Pettibone has reportedly been at the last two court hearings, sitting with Diamond and CATER leader Cynthia Ward at last week’s hearing. Pettibone lives down the street from Mayor Tom Tait, who recruited him to run for City Council last year on a slate with now-Councilmember James Vanderbilt. Pettibone abruptly ended his candidacy six weeks before the election when information surfaced about a 1998 domestic incident.
Pettibone markets himself as a “Last Minute Trial Attorney“, which is “an attorney known to be called upon at the last minute to assist or replace other attorneys just before trial commences.”
Perhaps is lending his expertise to Diamond, who seems to need it judging from a September 2014 filing asking the judge to postpone a hearing date “due to the fact that Plaintiff’s attorney was running ragged” and was unprepared. CATER’s combined litigation against Anaheim had created “a sufficiently great burden on CATER’s solo practitioner Counsel to defend them that they put him in danger of being unable to provide [CATER] with adequate representation. This is particularly disturbing because Plaintiff CATER is an independent nonprofit government watchdog group, operating on a low budget and primarily on volunteer research and deferred and uncertain compensation for its Counsel…” Diamond cited his “limited resources and relative inexperience in trial procedure” and lamented that CATER lacked “experienced trial counsel” to handle the lawsuit “given the inability of CATER to raise funds for a suitable retainer.” He tells the judge that postponing the hearing will “help CATER fulfill its role without completely destroying themselves.”
Is “Last Minute Attorney” Pettibone supplying the “experienced trial counsel” that CATER has been lacking?