The intervening attorneys claim the settlement reached between the two parties to the accident is a “shakedown” because the plaintiff had not yet exhausted all possible legal remedies when the agreement was finalized, and because the agreement was executed in the presence of the plaintiff’s brother, a well-known local attorney.
They hope Judge Bryan will decline to approve the settlement in today’s hearing, and that he will order the parties to move forward to trial.
“What we have is government transferring property from one party, an admittedly unattractive one, to others, not based on preexisting laws but on decisions by one man, a car czar”, said Crush Mimbaugh, attorney for the RSG, “and we are here today to protect all Americans from this legally sanctioned rape of an innocent driver.”
The facts of the case are as follows: Ms. Maya Normousbutt, a resident of Brighton, was taking her kids to the corn maze and haunted house at Murray Farms, also located in Brighton, when her parked vehicle was struck by another car driven by a Mr. Dick Timoneous, of nearby Northglenn.
Mr. Timoneous was placing a note on Ms. Normousbutt’s car when she returned to the parking lot and discovered that the accident had occurred.
Over the course of the next several weeks, she obtained several estimates for the damage, her insurance company paid for the repairs, and, during a meeting at her brother’s law office that he helped to arrange, she, the defendant, and all insurance companies involved made an agreement to resolve all remaining issues in the lawsuit that had been filed on her behalf to effect recovery of damages.
Republican Study Group attorney Moe Barten presented this argument to the Judge during the hearing:
“We have a system in America built up based on the British tradition over 200 years of due process and fairness, where people that -- that do bad things or, in this case, a person that's responsible for a bad accident, we want to hold them responsible, do what we can to make the liable parties pay for the damages.
I'm speaking now totally for myself. I'm not speaking for the Republican Party. I'm not speaking for anybody in the America but myself, but I'm ashamed of what happened in that attorney’s office yesterday.
I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private individual can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $2000 shakedown, with an attorney, who is legitimately conducting a investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of his client, participating in what amounts to a $2000 slush fund that's unprecedented in our nation's history, that's got no legal standing, and which sets, I think, a terrible precedent for the future.”
Barten continued for several more minutes; unfortunately, the official transcript only records him as saying: “Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph” the entire time.
Near the end of the morning’s presentations Barten’s co-counsel, Bon Joehner, introduced a novel legal concept:
“I think the people responsible in the car accident—Mr. Timoneous and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there…”
Ms. Normousbutt’s attorney, Harry Paratestes, Esq., offered a statement during the lunch recess:
“We are very disappointed at the RSG’s efforts to become involved in this case.
My client, and her insurance company, were hoping to create a simple way to avoid litigation so that all claims might be promptly settled; if the RSG prevails we will have years of legal battles ahead of us before anything can be resolved and the plaintiffs in this case can be made whole for the damage done to them by the responsible party.
You know, folks, all we’re trying to do is get paid back for getting her bumper fixed, and I have no idea why the RSG has a problem with that.
We also cannot understand why the taxpayer should be stuck with even one penny of the bill for fixing my client’s car, and we surely can’t figure out why Republicans would want the taxpayer to bail out Mr. Timoneous, or his insurer, for his bad driving. I mean, talk about moral hazard…
…After all, it’s not like Uncle Sam was behind the wheel that afternoon; it was Dick Timoneous.”
So, guess what, Gentle Reader: once again we’re using satire to make a larger point, and once again all the speeches were slightly modified from the actual words of Rush Limbaugh, Joe Barton, and John Boehner—and I figured I’d better bring this to your attention now because I know I did such a good job of “obfuscating” the names in the story that no one would probably ever figure it out if I didn’t.
And just for the record, there really is a Judge John T Bryan, and his Court was added to provide a very real location for this very fake story—and I hope he has a sense of humor about that—and even more importantly, I hope he realizes that nothing was said about him here, defamatory or otherwise, except to acknowledge his existence.
Finally: I just can not, for the life of me, figure out how Republican consultants gather around a conference table and say: “Hey, why don’t we try to stick this one on the taxpayer—and then make sure we tell the public how much we support that idea…loudly.”
But then again, I guess that’s why I’m a fake consultant, and they’re real ones.