Becket Woods Prudential Committee Refuses Settlement Offers
Ringleaders Amato and Mansbach would rather spend District owners' money
Yes, there is a federal lawsuit pending against the Becket Woods Prudential Committee filed by District owner and plaintiff - Michael Elbery. Elbery made 2 offers to settle the case before it barely started back in the summer of 2009. True, Elbery is the plaintiff and usually it is the defendants that make the settlement offers but in this case it made sense, due to the excessive costs of litigation, that Elbery offer to settle if they paid him an amount that would be substantially below the legal costs they would incur. You should understand that defense attorneys have no interest in settling a case up front because they won't make anywhere as much money (the longer the case lingers into discovery and trial preparation the more they make)! That's why most civil cases that result in settlement are settled just before the trial is scheduled. Elbery, who represents himself, does not have such customary obstacles.
Here is the first offer made to the defendants (a few days after the lawsuit was filed) through Attorney Aaronson. Aaronson originally represented the Prudential Committee defendants until he discovered he didn't understand the substantive law surrounding Elbery's lawsuit. Nonetheless, Aaronson and his clients decided to play hardball and passed on Elbery's settlement offer. Aaronson quit 2 weeks later and the Prudential Committee put up a $25, 000.00 retainer that they illegally hijacked from the District Treasury in order to pay for their new attorney to represent/defend them. It is 8 months later (February '10)- who knows how much in attorneys' fees the Prudential Committee has paid to defend against Elbery's Lawsuit and the case has not even started (not even a preliminary hearing yet). The best estimate is that the Prudential Committee defendants have spent well over $50,000.00 in defense of the case and it is just starting.
Through trial, which will probably take a few years to happen, the legal fees will likely run $150,000.00. Like most expenses in the District, which are public record and should be known to the District owners, the estimated costs for the legal defense is kept silent from the District owners by the Prudential Committee.
Here is the second offer which was made in July of '09 before all the defendants were even served in the case.
Prudential front-man, John Amato, exclaimed that he didn't care how much the District owners have to spend to defend him and his fellow District Prudential Committee members. Amato has stated repeatedly, "we will run the District our way - we don't care what the law is".