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treeswarper
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 5:46 am 
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I'm not expecting anything from this,  and many of you will moan about the very thought of it, but it does have facts on lawsuits in it.

http://www.cdapress.com/article/20170917/ARTICLE/170919812

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DIYSteve
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 6:05 am 
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Spun facts. Baseball arbitration for ESA citizen suits is absurd. Proposing the bill looks like nothing more than a stunt to further the sponsors' wedge politics strategy.
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Ski
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 7:41 am 
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kind of sounds like a good idea... but then, I'm not a lawyer.

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drm
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 8:37 am 
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The article doesn't mention how the arbitration will work. Arbitration panels can be stacked to favor one interest or the other.
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Ski
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 8:46 am 
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 6:27 pm 
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It does give some figures on how many lawsuits have been filed over the years and costs to us.

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MtnGoat
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Quote:
“We’re extremely opposed to the Westerman bill,” Spivak said Friday. “Forcing us to arbitration rather than going through the court system is denying us a fundamental right. Everyone should have access to the legal system, and binding abitration eliminates that.

“Why shouldn’t we have our day in court? Why should the forestry industry get this special exemption? The answer is obvious: This administration is catering to timber interests.”

Yeah, as they should because you're nothing but harassment looking for a sue and settle buck.

You've still got access to the legal system, it's just not going to pay out the same and you'll need actual merit to win, instead of waging lawfare just to get in people's way.

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RandyHiker
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 7:51 pm 
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The idea that lawsuits are excessive and a drag on the economy is myth that corporations have spread to further their interests and increase their profits.
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Sep 21, 2017 10:44 pm 
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There are already provisions to counter frivolous lawsuits in the rules of civil procedure and many statutes. Many defendants claim that the suit is frivolous when they are sued. Arbitration usually is required by a contract or by agreement of the parties. Several courts require an attempt at mediation before a lawsuit can go to trial. Requiring " baseball arbitration" in a particular class of lawsuits is probably a violation of the bill of rights.

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostFri Sep 22, 2017 5:37 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
The idea that lawsuits are excessive and a drag on the economy is myth that corporations have spread to further their interests and increase their profits.

Got any citations on that?

I've been to a few talks on it given by the Forest Service.  Then didn't mention a drag on "the economy"  they mentioned it being a drag on their budget.  I'll have to ask my neighbor, who used to buy timber sales, how his "corporation" is doing.  embarassedlaugh.gif  Many of those timber buying "corporations" consist of one or two guys and a skidder.

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drm
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PostFri Sep 22, 2017 6:58 am 
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I have no doubt that lawsuits are sometimes filed by those who know they can't win, but have ulterior motives. SLAPP lawsuits (look it up if you're not familiar with the term) by corporations are pretty well established and I know that at least some environmental lawsuits are designed primarily to delay, even if they believe they morally are in the right. I also have no doubt that some targets of these lawsuits would like to stem not only tactical lawsuits, but anything that prevents them from doing whatever they want.

It seems to me that any strategy to limit tactical lawsuits is going to have a hard time only stopping them without ever affecting valid litigation. This is one place where the dividing line is very narrow. So I think it comes down to the question: is it okay to prevent some valid litigation in order to limit litigation that has no chance of success? In principle it is the same as general criminal civil rights: robust rights for the accused will occasionally allow the guilty to go free, and it seems that in the US at least, that is the direction that the Founders preferred and that most people prefer, based on the principle that it is better for the guilty to go free than the innocent to go to prison.

I'm open to hearing suggestions for a good policy but am wary of treading over that narrow line.
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Ski
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PostFri Sep 22, 2017 9:29 am 
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The number of lawsuits filed against State and Federal lands management agencies by various "environmental" activist groups has brought about a change in the way public lands are managed; they are now, in many cases, not managed.
Moreover, the result has been that some agencies won't even consider performing some actions that might have any possibility of causing some "environmental" activist group to file a lawsuit.

Think about that the next time several thousand acres of forest land goes up in flames because the pre-commercial (or commercial) thinning operation that had been proposed was held up by litigation, or the proposal for the pre-commercial (or commercial) thinning operation was never made in the first place because of the perceived threat of litigation.

I know... all you know-it-alls here are going to tell me this isn't happening. You need to get engaged in a candid off-the-record one-on-one conversation with somebody employed at one of the agencies and get a good dose of reality.

Anything that thwarts the efforts of Wilderness Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, or any of the other crackpot organizations is a good thing in my book. up.gif

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostFri Sep 22, 2017 9:37 am 
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I'd start with requiring more than the price of a stamp to appeal projects.  Appeals have to be considered, which takes an employee to do so, which takes additional time, which affects the budget.

I cannot confirm it by google, but around 1990, it was said that a class at Wellesley College had been assigned to appeal a timber sale.  There was no reason, it was a class assignment.  Each appeal had to be addressed, in writing by an FS employee.
I have seen appeals for reasons like, "The area has good vibrations."

Perhaps a $100 bond might slow this down.  If the appeal was legit, it would be refunded, if not, the fee goes into the budget.

And yes, salvage sales from insect infestation and fires are pretty much impossible to do.  That's because that timber has to be cut and milled quickly, because it deteriorates quickly.  Enviro groups know that they only have to cause delays--they don't have to be right, and the sale will be worthless.  Which, if along a road or recreation area, the snags will be left to fall on you, or cut using a pay the cutter contract instead of a cutter pays to cut contract.  Or the heavy concentration of snags eventually topples and burns again sometime.  Jackstrawed snags might not burn easily, but when they do, they burn hot and fry the soils.  But as long as it is natural it doesn't hurt anything as we just found out this year...cough cough.

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Ski
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PostFri Sep 22, 2017 9:55 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Or the heavy concentration of snags eventually topples and burns again sometime.

Biscuit fire. Great example. Salvage was delayed by litigation to the point that what was left was no longer usable timber.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
Alleged Sockpuppet!



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treeswarper
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PostFri Sep 22, 2017 10:37 am 
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Ski wrote:
treeswarper wrote:
Or the heavy concentration of snags eventually topples and burns again sometime.

Biscuit fire. Great example. Salvage was delayed by litigation to the point that what was left was no longer usable timber.

And part of what was left, along with that of the Silver Fire, reburned this year as part of the Chetco Bar fire.

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