Saturday, March 22, 2014

It's over: Verdict


They came from Princeton

It’s over. Walking up Amsterdam, I see RL in the Gate and decide to stop in and share the news. The lawyers made their summary arguments. That took all morning. The judge declared a lunch recess. After lunch, the judge charged the jury and then sent them out to deliberate. They had five question to decide, the first of which was were we negligent or not. Even at this point, they were still offering deals, like Hi-low. That is, if they win, here’s the upper limit. If they lose, they'd still get a limited payoff. Problem was, their minimum was our maximum. The judge said, So you’re rolling the dice. And our attorney said, yes. So a minimum of 350 thousand was on the line.And for us , it was about right and wrong, not rolling the dice. 

The jury was out only 45 minutes. That told me they only answered one question. Still my heart was pounding while we waited. The jury came back. And their verdict? Not negligent.
A unanimous decision. The plaintiff’s attorney asks to poll the jury. And each juror responds,not negligent.  The jury is then dismissed. The plaintiff attorney then moves to have the verdict set aside as not consistent with the facts. And the judge says, Negligence and fact is a jury decision. And they have decided. Not negligent. Motion denied.

The plaintiff’s attorney is visibly  shaken. She has a reputation of  not losing. Of winning  seven figure payoffs for her clients. And she walks away with nothing. Our attorney is elated. Says that the other attorney was the hardest he’s ever been up against.He’s also a man of faith, God is good, he says.

I tell this story to RL and then hustle back to the church. A class from Princeton is here to interview me, They’re looking at faith institutions and social responsibility. I tell them the story of West-Park historically and to the present. Earlier today, they were on my block in Harlem. They listen closely and engage in a good q and a.

After they leave, Jeremy G from the Workcenter stops to talk, Mario is coming back. We need to talk, How does their ongoing work fit in to what we're  trying to do congregation wise? What can we do to build community?

The Dzieci people are arriving.I stop in the chapel to tell them how glad I am that they are here.. Matt M and I talk about continuing the Passion Play from Palm Sunday to Good Friday and I think we have an agreement. The Workcenter choir is arriving and heading upstairs to the gym.

Finally, Martin and I talk. He’so deep into Antigone, it’s hard to draw him out. But it’s time to talk about an ongoing relationship. It’s time to see if they could be an anchor. I tell Martin our story. He shakes his head. Where do we go from here?

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