Thursday, January 14, 2010

What would Judge Williams say about this

The latest gas article by Daniel Gilbert says that the General Assembly might not act to rationalize the gas royalty escrow problem because of the pending lawsuit filed by Shea Cook, which makes me think of the similar argument made against the Guarantee Clause litigation before Judge Williams, where the Funds argued that the litigation would stop Congress from fixing the problem. Judge Williams famously wrote:

"If Congress is so wimpish and weak that it is swayed by a lowly district court's judgment which may give temporary relief to a few elderly and widows, and fails to act on a long term solution to the problem then, in the court's view, Congress never intended to act in the first place. The court would encourage Congress to continue its search for a solution. If the government can bail out New York City, the savings and loan industry, and Chrysler Corporation, whose losses were due to their own neglect, surely it can find a solution to the ills of a few health care beneficiaries in the hills of Virginia, whose plight is not of their own making."

Doe v. Connors, 796 F. Supp. 214, 224 (W.D. Va. 1992).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On the late George Warren

George Warren died yesterday, as the Bristol paper reports here.

When I was a young lawyer, I took court-appointed criminal cases because that was the thing to do, and the prosecutor here was George Warren. And, whenever I got some cases, I would go see Mr. Warren before plea day, and he would explain to me in colorful terms how my client was a scoundrel and nothing but a scroundrel, and tell me a few stories, and I never kept score but the odds are that we laughed out loud at every such meeting. He was a good man and a good lawyer and good friend to thousands, including me.