Posted by: nevadansagainstgarbage | June 17, 2011

IN SPITE OF VOTING FOR NO SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATION, A SETTLEMENT SEEMS TO BE STILL ON THE TABLE AND OVERSEEN BY NON OTHER THAN FORMER FRANKOVICH LAW PARTNER VALERIE COOKE

A recent search of legal documents has some interesting revelations. 14. SETTLEMENT: The parties have participated in court-assisted settlement efforts and continue to engage in settlement discussions between their counsel. The parties believe that an additional settlement conference before the Court may be useful to resolve this matter. (Read the Second Joint Case Management Report.)

(Read the Minutes of Proceedings filed June 8, 2011 in which former Frankovich law partner Valerie Cooke orders this:)

The parties shall file a joint or separate status report by no later than the close of business on Monday, June 27, 2011, advising the Court whether the parties are interested in conducting another settlement conference, proposed dates for another settlement conference, and whether counsel believe it helpful for the court to conduct a telephonic hearing with all the parties prior to the settlement conference.

The issue of a settlement negotiation was voted on by the Humboldt County Commission back on December 22, 2010 and the vote was not to accept the proposed settlement. Later it was found out that Judge Valerie Cooke was a former law partner of Jungo attorney John Frankovich. This fact was not disclosed at the time the negotiations were in progress. There has never been any disclosure of this fact other than what we have been able to find out, and recusal of this judge doesn’t seem likely.

So why is negotiation still being discussed? Who authorized this on behalf of Humboldt County? Are the Commissioners aware this is going on? Did the presiding judge, Judge Jones, request this? Did Judge Valerie Cooke order this in spite of the commission vote on December 22? Did Jungo attorney Frankovich request this?  What role do Humboldt County’s insurance pool lawyers have in all this? Is Recology worried and wants to avoid a trial at all costs? Do they want to sweeten the pot and make the commissioners an offer they can’t refuse? Is this some kind of Kangaroo Court business where the wishes of the residents of Humboldt County and their elected representatives aren’t all that important?

We have lots of questions and the people of this county probably have a lot more. It’s about time we got some answers!

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Responses

  1. Greetings!

    Maybe there’s just another settlement proposal coming in from Recology, as there was in December. Nothing negotiated with the commissioners (as was noted in the minutes of the 12/20 meeting). Could be all between lawyers.

    Interesting to reread those HCC 12/20/10 minutes where the Recology proposed settlement was voted down. Sheds some perspective on the ‘Settlement Judge’ (involved here again-Cooke) and the effort the commissioners went to in order to keep settlement discussions public at that time. Here’s the link to those minutes at the HCC web site:
    http://www.hcnv.us/clerk/ccminutes/20101220commissionminutes.pdf

    Please remember….the above referenced documents are PUBLIC. You can find them yourself at http://www.pacer.gov. The case number is 3:10-01-00257-RCJ-VPC. You will need to create a log in. There may be a nominal fee on document access.

    I’d suggest to all, that if you have questions on what these documents mean, that you either go to the 6/20 HCC meeting and bring up your questions during the public discussion time, and/or, email your questions to the commissioners (that’s what I did). HCC meeting agenda for 6/20: http://www.hcnv.us:1403/cgi-bin/caw101?Date=20110620

    email addresses for the commissioners:

    Dan Cassinelli: commissionerdc@hcnv.us
    Tom Fransway: commissionertf@hcnv.us
    Jim French: commissionerjf@hcnv.us
    Garley Amos:commissionerga@hcnv.us
    Mike Bell:commissionermb@hcnv.us
    Administrator, Bill Diest: administrator@hcnv.us

    And yes, you may hear that your questions can’t be answered. But, let’s remember the documents you are referencing are public, that in the past, the commissioners ignored the ‘Settlement Judge’ recommendation to NOT discuss any settlement with the public (see the 12/20 minutes referenced above) because they wanted to keep things open, and that the commissioners did not perceive they were part of any settlement negotiation…just a recipient of a Recology proposal (again, referencing the 12/20 HCC minutes).

    t’s always important to ask for the facts. Don’t rely on any one but yourself to do so.


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