Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Friday, November 11, 2005

Dismiss papers served

Motion finally arrives,

key info missing

By David Baker
Posted September 23, 2007

The motion to dismiss my lawsuit against Steve Coffey and his firm has finally been handed to me, more that a month after Coffey’s attorney said it would be served.

And if this document were to be given a title, an appropriate one might be: “If I Did It.”

Pamela Nichols is the O’Connell & Aronowitz attorney representing Coffey. In her affidavit with the motion Nichols says that even if Coffey and co-defendant Brendan Tully did everything that is alleged in my complaint, there is still no case. The motion asks the judge to dismiss the entire action before any discovery has taken place, before any of the participants have been placed under oath and questioned.

The motion comes after Nichols twice in the space of less than a week arranged for my deposition in the case, then canceled it at the last minute. It seems very unlikely that she had any intention of actually taking my deposition. Rather, the idea was probably to cause maximum disruption to my work schedule while she compiled the motion served this week.

And evidently that still wasn’t enough time to get it right. Part of the motion is copies of documents known as exhibits. One of these exhibits is a document listed in Nichols’ affidavit as being a copy of the complaint I filed in February of this year that started this lawsuit.

But instead what is included is a copy of my initial complaint filed in 2005 against Samaritan Hospital. Not something the judge will need or expect to see when considering this motion.

And there is another document that is curiously missing from the exhibits, a section of which is copies of correspondence between me and Coffey’s office. Back in October of 2006, Coffey’s associate Brendan Tully sent me a letter in which he stated that he had followed the instructions of the judge in the hospital case to send the court – with copies to the defending attorneys – a formal written request for an extension of a hold on the lawsuit then in place that was about to expire.

Upon receiving the letter, I immediately asked Tully for a copy of this letter to the court. It didn’t come. Over the next several weeks – during which the hold expired and the hospital’s lawyers, unaware of Coffey’s intervention, asked the court to throw out my case – I made repeated and increasingly urgent requests for a copy of the letter Tully said had been sent.

Finally, on November 14 – two weeks after I had prepared and filed papers that were successful in opposing the motion to dismiss – Coffey wrote to me and admitted that the letter Tully said had been sent to the court in October had in fact never gone out. He also said the letter had finally been written and sent to the court on November 3.

According to the judge in his order extending the hold, Coffey’s letter arrived on November 4 – two days after the deadline for a response to the motion to dismiss. If I had not disregarded Tully’s advice to me one day before the deadline not to file an opposition, my case against the hospital would almost certainly have been thrown out.

And it is Coffey’s written admission that this letter had not been sent when he had said it was that is strangely missing from the motion filed this week to throw out my case against Coffey and his firm.

Another set of exhibits in Nichols’ motion is copies of several items from this Web page. During the next week or so, I will be preparing a response to the motion. Maybe I’ll include as an exhibit some other items from this site.

Starting with this one.