Legal Citation of the Decade: Madison the City, an Old Scandal and FOUL language…

A recent decision ended the litigation between the Estate of Mark Mayfield vs. The City of Madison. It was a sordid affair involving the Cochran nursing home scandal, a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, a tragic death and multiple twists that prove time and again that truth is stranger than fiction.

You can read the full Order here and see a myriad of comments from legal scholars that post to the Blog; Jackson Jambalaya

Today’s post just focuses on one quote from Federal Judge, Carlton Reeves’s Opinion.

At the third and final step, the Mayfields must come forward with evidence that a jury could use to conclude that the City’s probable cause was, for lack of a better term, bullshit. See generally HARRYG. FRANKFURT, ON BULLSHIT (2005) (attempting to define the term). The questions at step three are supposed to be tailored to the particular circumstances of the case…”

“…In this case, the framework suggests that we should ask a series of questions. Did the investigation follow the evidence to its targets, or did the police “round up the usual suspects? ”Was there anything unusual about the timing or the manner of the City’s investigation? Is there any other case where the City Attorney met with the District Attorney and the investigators everyday to discuss charges and be involved in how those charges would proceed? Were persons who engaged in similar conduct also arrested, or were they let off the hook because of more agreeable political beliefs? See Nieves, 139 S. Ct. at 1727.An examination of the evidence adduced in this case satisfactorily answers these questions. Instead of rounding up the most vocal McDaniel supporters, City investigators followed the evidence from Kelly to Mary to Mayfield. The police were given free rein to conduct their investigation as they saw fit, without direction from the Mayor, a Cochran supporter. There is no evidence that before the Rose Cochran incident, the City of Madison was itching for an excuse to go after McDaniel supporters. And there is no evidence of differential treatment of McDaniel and Cochran supporters. As an example, there is no evidence that Cochran supporters entered a McDaniel relative’s home in Madison, after which the City refused to prosecute them.”

It’s not often you see Bullsh*t attempt to be defined in a judicial opinion.

Matthew Thompson is a civil litigation/family law attorney and “LOL-ed” when reading this Opinion.

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