When it comes to the relationship between Anaheim gadfly group CATER and liberal litigator Cory Briggs Inland Oversight Group, it seems that one hand washes the other. Briggs’ IOC is CATER’s co-plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the council-approved expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center.
As it turns out, CATER has joined Brigg’s legal battle against the expansion of San Diego’s convention center, which was filed at the beginning of April of this year.
On May 12, CATER and IOC filed their lawsuit against the Anaheim Convention Center expansion. Two weeks later, on May 27, CATER jumped into the San Diego Convention Center legal fight, with Greg Diamond of Brea filing an answer to a Briggs “reverse-validation complaint.” I’m not a lawyer, but a lawyer tried to explain it to me. Even though CATER is clearly allied with Briggs, it is technically a defendant in the San Diego case but it’s “answer” to ask the court to find in Brigg’s favor:
WHEREFORE, Defendant CATER prays for the following relief against Defendants City of San Diego, City of San Diego as successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego, Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, and Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego (and any and all other parties who may oppose Defendant CATER or Plaintiff in this proceeding):
A. A judgment determining or declaring that the Bond Approvals do not comply with all applicable laws in at least some respect, rendering the Bond Approvals null and void, invalid, or otherwise without legal effect;
B. Injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants City of San Diego, City of San Diego as successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego, Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, and Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego (and any and all other parties who may oppose Defendant CATER or Plaintiff in this proceeding) from taking any of the action contemplated by the Bond Approvals unless and until said Defendants comply with all applicable legal requirements, as determined by the Court;
C. All legal fees and other expenses incurred in connection with this proceeding, including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees as authorized by the Code of Civil Procedure; and
D. Any and all further relief that this Court may deem appropriate.
The same day, CATER also filed a peremptory challenge to have Judge Judith Hayes removed from the case. The challenge was granted on May 29 and the case assigned to Judge John S. Meyer. Does it seem odd to anyone else that an Anaheim gadfly group CATER would enter a legal battle over a civic project in San Diego in order to have a case reassigned to a different judge?
Furthermore, why are a handful of Anaheim gadflies involving themselves in the issue of expanding San Diego‘s convention center? It’s true these are very similar cases, perhaps the CATER claque believes a win by Briggs in San Diego will help their joint lawsuit with Briggs in Anaheim (which assumes the San Diego case is decided first). But that doesn’t necessitate CATER’s intervention.
It could be CATER has a fee-splitting arrangement with Briggs, and is spreading the risk, so to speak, by being in a position to collect from both the cities of Anaheim and San Diego on the off-chance the two lawsuits prevail. It is a business model of sorts to acquire the means to finance future lawsuits – and according to founder Cynthia Ward, CATER was created as a litigation vehicle. Diamond has to earn a living somehow, and maybe part of CATER’s raison d’etre – beside “carrying on propaganda” — is putting him on the path to acquiring Briggsian wealth.
It would certainly be ironic (to put it charitably) if the same claque of gadflies who claim to oppose “special interests ripping off the taxpayers” fund the advancement of their political agenda with the taxpayers’ money.