Wednesday, September 18, 2013

3766 Failure of Justice

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The past is not dead.  In fact, it's not even past.
--William Faulkner--


The Paula Deen thing is still pissing me off.  People are acting like the lawsuit was completely bogus, everything was just fine, all is forgiven, welcome back.

It wasn't, and it isn't, and you aren't!

The suit had nothing whatsoever to do with Ms. Deen's use of the n-word twenty years ago.   That's just what the news media happened to pick up on.  They completely ignored the actual meat of the complaint.  I suspect it was because that's all Ms. Deen admitted to, and the reporters were perhaps afraid of being sued for defamation if they used material from the complaint before it was "proven".

The suit was about sexual and racial discrimination in the workplace.  (I read the complete filing.)  The court ruled that the complainant did not have standing in the racial discrimination part of the suit, so that part was dropped.  That doesn't mean it didn't happen!  What it means is that because the woman was white, and the suit involved discrimination against black employees of the restaurant, she could not sue for that because she suffered no loss because of it, and that's all it means.  You have to have "standing" to sue.  Her sexual discrimination portion was allowed to progress. The black employees would have to sue for the racial discrimination, but they would have to prove injury beyond insult, and that might be difficult (read "expensive") so that's not likely to happen.

Now the entire suit has been "dropped".  That doesn't mean it had no merit! What it means is that the parties reached an agreement and settled outside of court. 

From an article on the case,
Chapman University law professor Lawrence Rosenthal said that the attorneys in the case employed a common, and nonetheless shrewd, legal tactic when they agreed Friday to drop the case "without any award of costs or fees to any party," according to a court document.
Note the use of the word "award".  That doesn't mean no monies were paid.  It simply means that the court did not award money to anyone.  Naturally, because it was settled outside of court and the suit was dropped.  This also means that it is not a matter of public record, and we will never know how much it cost Ms. Deen to make it all go away.

No, Ms. Deen.  In my mind at least, the lawsuit was NOT completely bogus, everything was NOT just fine, and all is NOT forgiven!  In my mind at least, the very wording chosen by your attorneys shows that.

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