The Trials Of Covering A Trial: My Day In Court Part 1

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Earlier today the City of Glendale was brought to court by the Goldwater Institute . . . again. We do not have a final ruling on the case but the Judge ruled that the City of Glendale and the Goldwater Institute were going to work together to release a notice that clearly told the people of Glendale they were allowed to sign a petition which would put the lease agreement on the ballot. The GWI's thinking was anyone reading the document would become confused by the fact that the Emergency Clause is still in the ordinance/referendum even though it did not take effect because the council lacked the 5 "yes" votes. As of right now we are still waiting to hear back whether the City was allowed to vote without competitive bidding for the Phoenix Coyotes lease.

There are many people who are going to be presenting the facts of the case, what little there actually were, but I am hoping to present the experience of the case from my point of view.

more after the jump

Since I had the day off I decided to cover this story in person and tweet updates, so I woke up at 6:40 am, threw on my suit and tie, and drove to Tempe so I can take the train to Downtown Phoenix and the Old Courthouse. Lucky for me the train ride was enough time for my headache to clear, an unpleasant souvenir from drinking too much whiskey with my brother the night before.

The Old Courthouse is a beautiful building, and has its own atmosphere, a very imposing atmosphere. I had arrived to the Courthouse fairly early, and since I had little interest in any other cases I decided to wait outside in the hallway, reading my Hunter S. Thompson book and tweeting. Nobody is talking loudly and the walls are bare, and you feel like a kid waiting outside the principals office.

The hallway of the building was full of men in suits walking back and forth, and people in casual clothes sitting nervously waiting for their own cases. I was sitting alone in one of the chairs that line the hallway when an extremely old man scuffled down the hallway and sat right next to me. Little did I know that he was Ken Jones, one of the people responsible for the lawsuit. Up close you realize that the thing blocking a multi-million dollar deal is just a shaky old man with a cane, and you almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

A person came out of the room and spoke to the camera crews that had arrived and told them that they were going to take a quick breaks so they can set up their equipment. I took this as my cue to go in and I picked a seat in the back. To my right was the Goldwater lawyers, and their two clients, and 4 rows of Yuppies I can only assume were the Junior Goldwater Squad, to my left was the City of Glendale lawyers, Lisa Halverstadt, a lawyer for Greg Jamison, and other people I did not recognize. Almost everyone in the room was wearing a shirt and tie, save for a few people who decided to dress more casual, and I saw at least 3 people in Coyotes attire. Just after 10:30 it was confirmed that everyone was ready for the case to start, and we all stood for Judge Fink came in.

To be continued . . .

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