A Letter to Julia

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Chapter 18

Waiting Again

May 24, 2013:It was almost immediately apparent that we needed to see the transcript from the 30th April hearing.That way Mary could better prepare for the hearing on May 28th.Unfortunately the transcript has not been available on PACER to view.Mary called the court recorder, but it turns out that the transcript will be unavailable until sometime in late summer.This is to give the lawyers for both sides time to remove any information that should not be made public, like social security numbers---or---embarrassing gaffs.

The court recorder in Minneapolis thought that it would be possible to view the transcript locally at the Seattle Courthouse., but they do not seem to be able to pull that off for us.Time is running out so today we broke down and paid $119.70 to have all the 133 pages of the transcript emailed to Mary.I’ll read it when I get home tonight from working at the flower shop.I’m emailing a copy to my son-in-law Mark so we can discuss it.

May 25, 2013: I finished reading the transcript last night.Apparently the defendant’s lawyers thought that Mary had been ordered to appear at the April 30th hearing but failed to do so.Remember this is the hearing that Mary tried to attend by phone, but could never get properly connected.Mary had never received a direct order from the court (from Judge Noel) as far as we knew.That was correct.Judge Noel had intended to give Mary such an order, but never officially issued it.That is why he then scheduled another hearing on May 28th where he did issue an order for Mary and her husband Joe to attend.Is this a break for us?I’ve learned that in this legal mess nothing is a break for us.

The only other noteworthy story in the transcript was the attempt by the defendant’s lawyers to get the other plaintiff to admit that at the first and so far only settlement conference, H. Lee Thompson was totally in charge in setting the amounts to offer.At least in Mary’s case this was completely untrue.At that settlement conference in Minneapolis Mary and Joe decided what amount to offer and Judge Noel transmitted that offer to the defendants.That must have been true for the other plaintiff as well since he strongly denied that Lee was in charge.The defendant’s lawyers were hoping that by showing Lee was totally in charge at the settlement and this de facto and hidden delegation of settlement authority to Lee was never revoked.Then according to their twisted reasoning Lee had the authority to offer any settlement he wanted in the future without consulting his clients.

Mary called the Federal Courthouse in Seattle and they assured her that all the arrangements for attending the hearing in Minneapolis by video link were made.All we had to do was come to the courthouse in the morning on May 28th.

May 28, 2013:The hearing has ended.Only Mary and Joe and Helen and I attended at the Seattle Courthouse.We are relieved and happy with how it went.Mary and Joe did an excellent job of testifying both on direct questioning and on cross-examination from both sides.Of course, there was absolutely no evidence that the defendants could use to show that Mary had given the authority to Lee to make the $xxxxx offer.This was because she had never given that authority to her lawyer.

After the questioning was over by Lee and the defendant’s lawyers the Judge surprised us by asking questions directly to Mary.In evidence were: one email from Lee to the defendants stating that he had the authority to settle Mary’s case and another that a demand of $xxxxx dollars would suffice to do so.Judge Noel first read the first email in its entirety.Then he asked Mary if she had any idea how this was possible when she had never given Lee the authority to put that offer forward.Mary replied that she did not know and that she was shocked when she found out.Judge Noel then read the second email to Mary and asked the same question.Mary again replied that she had no idea and reiterated that she was shocked when she found out about the demand of $xxxxx for a full and final settlement.

He then asked Lee how this happened.Lee argued that even though he had presented the offer of $xxxxx for a full and final demand, from his perspective and the understanding with his clients, the settlement wasn’t final until he had a chance to discuss the offer with them.Then his clients would finalize the offer by signing a release absolving the defendants of all future claims. We couldn’t see the Judge’s face clearly on the video screen so I couldn’t tell how he reacted to Lee’s explanation.It didn’t really matter as the hearing was to see if there was any evidence that Mary had authorized the demand that Lee made.

June 10, 2013:Today, Monday, I hit a low point.No decision from judge Noel yet and Mary just told me that Lee had sent her another letter asking her to offer a demand for something between $xxxxx and $xxxxxx.I suppose that he is afraid that Mary will lose (maybe he knows something I don’t know) so he might be able to get a few more dollars this way.I had my 50th high school reunion on Saturday night, but had to work at the flower shop prior to going.Sunday Helen and I hoped to get some rest, but Mary and Joe were hoping to get the wiring inspected in part of their basement this week.Helen and I worked there on Sunday from 1 to 8:30 at night.I’m wearing out.Today I was trying to find time to fix a TV connection at the flower shop, but needed to stop to clean flowers, vases and flower buckets before delivering flowers.I knew I needed to get home early from the shop as we had more work to do to get the wiring ready for the inspector.I also felt under pressure to continue writing on this book.It was all too much for me. I just had to stand still while cleaning the flowers to regain my composure.

Helen and I got home at 7:30 tonight from Mary and Joe’s.All the wiring is ready for inspection except for a minor amount that Joe can finish tomorrow.I wasn’t going to watch the singing program called “The Voice” with Helen, but just concentrate on continuing the writing of this book.However, Helen thought it would help me relax so I sat down with her.My son Adam and his wife Sara were going in and out of our bedroom, but I thought that they were using our computer for something.Before our show ended they called me up and had me look out on our small deck outside of our bedroom.They had put up several pots and hanging baskets of flowers.They had also added an outside thermometer and a rain gage; a nice touch for a weatherman.This was my Father’s Day present from them and Helen.If there was ever a day where I needed a show of support and love this was the one.

This act of kindness has made me remember how grateful I am that our whole family has stuck together throughout this Mirapex ordeal.Other victims of Mirapex have suffered divorces and estrangements from their children.None of this has happened to us.Perhaps Helen and I sent the foundation for how our family responded by how we raised our four children.We always took them our all my scientific field trips.I was the only scientist to do so.Helen and I felt if we stayed together as a family we would be making memories together that we could share in the years to come, instead of memories of being apart.We never regretted the effort made to stay together and I appreciate it more than ever today.Tonight I’m heading to bed with gladness in my heart for I realize that no matter how this whole Mirapex mess turns out, they can never take away our strong family bonds.Now all we can do is wait for the Judge’s decision.

June 18, 2013:It’s a pleasure to write about something other than Mirapex, a topic that has consumed our life piece by piece until nothing is left but Mirapex, Mirapex, and Mirapex.I’m sick to death of it.Whoops!I forgot that I’m writing about another topic.Helen and the kids gave me some money for Father’s Day so I could put a small roof over the deck off of our bedroom that Adam and Sara fixed up for me.It felt like “old times” to be planning and building again.The roof is only 12 by 4 ft., but putting it in was a nice challenge and it got my mind off of the “topic I’m not writing about”.Yesterday Mary and Joe and Helen helped me lift the roof up to our deck and screw it in.

Helen wasn’t sure how she would like having a roof over our deck, but she really likes it.Somehow it makes the deck seem really cozy, especially when it is raining.Now we can leave the door to the deck open anytime for fresh air. I moved the string of white lights Adam and Sara had put over the eves onto the new roof.It’s very festive at night with the “cozy roof” and the pretty lights.Now Helen is all for putting a roof over the larger deck off of the main floor.I’ve wanted to do this for a long time so we could have “nicer furniture” out there; maybe in the future?

My McCleary Grandmother had a really small covered front porch. When I was little I played for hours with my cousin on that porch. We made houses out of blankets rain or shine.I’d like Georgia and the next generation of grandchildren to have the same experience I had.I was surprised when I revisited my Grandmother’s house and realized how small her porch actually was.But, it was made big enough with her great love for all of her grandchildren.

Georgia doesn’t know anything about Mirapex and the trials we have been going through.I doubt that the outcome is will make much of an effect on her life.It’s the love of our family that really matters.We’ll be OK no matters what happens if we keep our strong family bonds and love for each other.

July 12, 2013:The wait is over and it is shocking and depressing.Magistrate Judge Noel has ruled that the defendant’s motion to enforce Mary’s non-authorized settlement offer of $xxxxx be granted.The whole hearing was a total farce!I feel like I’ve fallen down the “rabbit hole”.All the testimony from Mary that she never granted H. Lee Thompson either actual or apparent authority to put forward the offer of $xxxxx fell on deaf ears. District Judge Davis’s contention that in addition to a client’s attorney saying he had authority, the client had to actually have given him that authority, was for nothing.

Judge Noel fell back to his original argument that “an attorney’s statement to opposing counsel regarding his authority his authority to settle his client’s claim is evidence that he was authorized to settle the/his client’s claims.”

Judge Noel, way back in November of 2011, ordered that “Plaintiff’s counsel must meet in person or by telephone with each client whose case is to be addressed, to fully discuss the settlement value of each case in light of the nature and extent of his client’s damages, the strength of that clients on the merits, as well as the strength of Defendants’ defended specific to that client’s claim.No later than 10 days before any such meeting, Plaintiff’s counsel must make a written settlement demand with respect to each case discussed at that meeting”,To add insult to injury Judge Noel is also arguing in his ruling that that order actually gave Mary’s attorney authority to not only put forward the demand of $475,000 to the defendant’s, but to continue to put forward demands without consulting Mary at all in what those demands would be.Apparently Mary would have to have actually contacted the defendants by letter to inform them that any authority he attorney had was being revoked!This is hard to swallow in light of the fact that it is and was against court protocol for Mary to contact the defendants directly!

If any “authority” was granted Mary’s attorney by the November 2011 order it was limited in time and included the stipulation that her attorney “fully discuss” the demand before transmitting it to the defendants.Judge Noel, in his rush and apparent intention to justify his original ruling, seems to have “conveniently” forgotten that part of his order.Thanks heaven’s Mary’s attorney has an opportunity to appeal the recommendation of Judge Noel to the District Judge Davis.Being trained as a scientist I’m used to arguing positions based on facts.Any scientist that would have made a decision like Judge Noel made based, as it was on non-supported facts, would have a very short career.All of our family was incensed.My son-in-law Mark always likes to argue the opposite side to mine in all our discussions.However, even Mark could not find any way to argue Judge Noel’s side.Helen, Mary and I are preparing affidavits to send in to support her attorney H. Lee Thompson’s arguments against Judge Noel’s ruling.

What I’m going to write in my affidavit is a gamble because it should not be construed to be attacking Judge Noel’s integrity along with his poor judgment, but might be, never the less, exploited that way by the defendants.I know that members of the same profession a loath to attack their fellow members so this tactic is a risk.

July 14, 2013: Another nice break away from Mirapex.Today we had a family work party at Mary and Joe’s house to start putting plasterboard on the walls.The electrical inspector passed the wiring so it is “full steam ahead”.Helen and I were tossed into severe financial distress by our heed to help Mary and Joe get a foundation under their cabin (that was precariously perched on wood cribbing).Neither Mary and Joe, or Helen and I had any additional funds left over from the building of the foundation to do further work on their house.Remember that the partial fixing of their leaking roof was made possible from the work of Mother Nature (the ice storm), insurance payout and our hard, hard work.

Now, through the kindness of another family that believes in “tithing” and the good money management of their forbearers, Mary and Joe are getting the funds to at least complete some of their basement.The work party consisted of my oldest daughter Amy, her husband Mark, their two children Luke and Annelies, Mary, Joe and Julia, our youngest daughter Megan, and Adam and Sara. Georgia did her part by being cute.We got a lot accomplished today.I was able to get old wiring rerouted away from where we needed to put up plasterboard.The only small hitch was when I cut a wire that was still live that produced a nice display of fireworks and thankfully no dead body.At least from all my electrical work I knew to use insulated electrician’s pliers to cut the wire.I should known better than to trust the old mains (electrical shutoffs for the whole house) to actually turn off all the current to every wire.We also got about half of the plasterboard up on the ceiling.Now Helen, Joe, Mary and I will continue the work in the coming weeks.

July 16, 2013: I sent off my affidavit today.It was four full pages that concluded in part:“That Judge Noel completely ignored Minnesota case law, his original intentions of the order given in Document 34, the directive form District Judge Davis and prior testimony and affidavits from Mary D. Magalahes and Joe R. Magalhaes when he concluded that ‘an attorney’s statements to opposing counsel regarding his authority to settle his clients’ claims is evidence of that attorney’s actual or apparent authority”.I added further “that as a consequence of the rulings and orders by the Court, the Plaintiffs, my daughter Mary D. Magalhaes and her husband Joe R. Magalhaes, have suffered irreparable harm to their claim against the Defendants.”Now all we had to do was wait and see what would happen when District Judge Davis reviews H. Lee Thompson’s objections to the report and our affidavits.

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