A very expensive argument for moving a Rose Bowl game – Pasadena Star News
If we’ve learned anything from the legal dust debacle between Pasadena City Hall and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses association, I hope it’s more than just the fact that our mothers were right when they were right. said we should be lawyers.
Because now that the dust has been shaken off when a judge refused to hear the tournament trial regarding potential future moves from the Rose Bowl Game to a location other than the current Rose Bowl, the city is seeking reimbursement for its legal fees. . of TofR.
As the people of Crown City have muttered within earshot for the past 36 years: Wait! Unlike your podunk townships, the City of Pasadena has its own full-time municipal attorney – several attorneys, in fact. Very chic and expensive Pasadena doesn’t just have a hired lawyer who shows up to city council meetings and sends an invoice as an independent contractor. We’re already a lawyer!
But, almost invariably, just like in tiny places in the San Gabriel Valley, from the Sierra Madre to La Verne, when a legal specialist rather than a municipal generalist is needed for complex litigation, Pasadena comes out of its lawyers. interns and hire an expensive private lawyer. solidify.
In this case, it’s Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, the mega-white shoe firm in downtown Los Angeles that started out in Los Angeles nearly a century ago and now has more than 900 lawyers around the world.
The tournament had turned to Mayer Brown LLP, apparently an equally shoddy Chicago outfit.
You get what you pay for, I guess. Victory, or at least non-loss, i.e. a lawsuit against you dismissed by a judge will cost Pasadena taxpayers $ 442,000 in billable time from Sheppard, Mullin, on top of how you would calculate the time estimated by municipal lawyer Michele Bagneris. and his staff went on to coordinate the legal circus.
Prolonging the litigation, the city will seek to recover this large sum of money from the Tournament of Roses in order to make the said taxpayers whole.
But the TofR, although it hosts a series of massive, world-class fiestas, from the Rose Parade to the Rose Bowl Game with many horse and brass band events in the weeks surrounding each New Year’s Day, is an organization almost entirely. volunteer.
Those 900 White Suiters that you see doing everything from picking up road apples on Colorado Boulevard to driving up and down the road in open passenger cars are broken down for fun, not for any compensation. They work together about 80,000 free hours a year to bring you the flower show and college football game.
It shouldn’t and doesn’t matter that if the city recovers its scratch, most of the gains could come from insurance.
The point for these two parts of demolition is the one I did several months ago in this space. It should never have come to this. There was no reason for costly litigation. The tournament brass and the town hall brass were to sit in front of a pitcher of beer outside the bar at the Brookside Golf Course and resolve this dispute over who to contact whom when there is a situation of force majeure requiring that the game be moved elsewhere than Arroyo Seco.
A deadly global pandemic, let’s say.
Oh, and there was also an argument over who owns certain brands. Clearly, the name Rose Bowl Game belongs to the tournament. But it didn’t take a costume to find out.
The judge in the case agrees with me.
Lauren Berg of Law 360 quotes Federal District Judge André Birotte Jr.: “Sometimes these civil cases look like two millionaires standing outside a McDonald’s fighting over the price of a cheeseburger.”
Berg then writes of Sheppard Mullin’s attorney: “Raygor said the lawsuit should be dismissed as it focuses on an Instagram post and a statement the mayor of Pasadena made in a news article, the rest being based on future assumptions.
“He said the trial was unnecessary and the parties should talk to each other outside of court.”
Indeed, they should have been. Because City Hall shouldn’t have been concerned that the TofR would move the Rose Bowl game to Texas again, except in an emergency, and the TofR shouldn’t have gone to court to prove that this won’t.
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