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Gloria Allred, Los Angeles-based sexual harassment lawyer, today (Aug. 22) held a press conference in her Los Angeles office to urge the city council not to make a deal with embattled Mayor Bob Filner.

Virtually everybody following the case assumes that tomorrow afternoon, the city council will be asked to vote on some package that indemnifies Filner to some extent, or possibly completely, from financial obligations related to the case -- his legal fees, payment to Irene McCormack Jackson, or some combination.

The deal was hammered out in mediation meetings this week among Filner's attorneys and various city officials. Allred attended one day and then did not return, and did not sign off on the deal. It is possible that mediators did not think she had a strong case with McCormack Jackson, so there was a low or even no contingency for her getting the kind of money she and her client believe they deserve.

If she goes ahead with her suit, several things could happen. Possibly Filner would reject the deal that is being offered to the council. If the council sides with Allred and offers no indemnification, the drama could go forward to a recall, or drag on beyond that.

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Comments

dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 3:25 p.m.

Allred identifies herself on her website as a civil rights attorney, not a "sexual harassment lawyer." The former is more accurate, as she handles all kinds of civil rights cases, and has done so for many years. The description used by the reporter in the article seems like an attempt to denigrate what she does as a lawyer.

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monaghan Aug. 22, 2013 @ 4:31 p.m.

That's not the way I read it, Dweebat. Only a stringer would look at Don Bauder's report that way.

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 5:31 p.m.

Thanks for your comment, Frances Zimmerman (aka "monaghan"). But it doesn't matter how YOU read it. It's irrelevant.

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randydotinga Aug. 22, 2013 @ 5:35 p.m.

David, you are just a "stringer." You are not an anonymous online commenter. That's higher. Remember your place!

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:48 p.m.

Well, "monaghan" used to be anonymous--but no longer. ;-) Yes, you're right. The janitor and window washer at the Reader building have higher status than us old Reader stringers. So I must remain humble. But I rank slightly higher than people who place pizza shop doorknob hangers outside our homes (I think).

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Burwell Aug. 22, 2013 @ 9:38 p.m.

Disclosing another poster's identify is a TOS violation.

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 9:54 p.m.

Tell that to Bauder, who disclosed mine (when I used dwbat).

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Burwell Aug. 22, 2013 @ 10:30 p.m.

You disclosed your identity many times on this site before Bauder used your name. Your name is now Mudd.

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 11:07 p.m.

Are you the King of the Reader empire? I don't remember your coronation ceremony. I must have been out of town that week.

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Duhbya Aug. 23, 2013 @ 2:54 a.m.

As the queen searches desperately for a king, even intimating that Colorado might be on the itinerary.

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dwbat Aug. 23, 2013 @ 3:40 a.m.

Colorado? I do like travel, but I don't care for mountains (or shooting bears and coyotes).

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:23 p.m.

monaghan: I explain my position below: in a word, it's that dwbat is wrong. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:51 p.m.

Call Allred and ask her what kind of attorney she is [her description], because you need it for your blog. I'll be waiting to hear what she says. But you won't do it, of course. Because you'd have to admit a mistake (something you NEVER do).

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Psycholizard Aug. 22, 2013 @ 4:31 p.m.

An Attorney handling a sexual harassment case can properly be called a sexual harassment attorney without denigration.

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:54 p.m.

Pretend that I'm primarily a product liability attorney, and I take on a supermarket slip-and-fall case. Should a reporter (who dislikes me) refer to me as a slip-and-fall lawyer? It's subtle and sarcastic sniping. As I correctly stated, Allred is primarily a civil rights attorney. The reporter has previously made disparaging and belittling remarks about Allred in another blog, so his prejudice is showing.

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Ponzi Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:06 p.m.

Then you're a Tort Lawyer. The thing about Allred is that she is more than a lawyer: she;s a talented orator, skilled at public relations, excels at trying cases outside of a courtroom setting and a reality TV show actress. Her calling card is "women's rights advocate" but I would hardly consider her methods to settle cases what most lawyers do day-to-day. Lawyering seems to be her weakest skill. Maybe that explains why she was whining today about not being part of the deal going before the city council tomorrow?

Today she behaved like Lucy van Pelt, taking away the football from Charlie Brown and the gang in Peanuts. If she can't play, nobody can.

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:08 p.m.

David Batterson: Sorry, dwbat: In this case in San Diego -- and in the most publicized cases she handles -- she is a sexual harassment lawyer. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:31 p.m.

Nope, you are incorrect about her "most publicized cases." This is from her website: "Allred has devoted her career to fighting for civil rights across boundaries of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, and social class." Be a man, and admit it when you're wrong. It won't kill you to do so. And once again: your name does not have to be repeated on every posting. It's already at the top of each comment. You do NOT need it at the bottom, too. It makes you look dated, and pompous. We are in a 2013 digital forum, not a 1963 "Mad Men" typed-business-letters era. Catch up!

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Psycholizard Aug. 23, 2013 @ 12:11 a.m.

If you wrote, she dabbles in sexual harassment cases, I would call that denigrating. But DWB might have a point, she sometimes seems weak on the law.

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:13 p.m.

PrescottAuburn: I am saying that Filner is ready to step down if he can get the deal that was presented to him this week. But if the council won't go along, and/or Allred says she will proceed with her case, and it would be tried in San Diego, I don't know what Filner will do.

I am not convinced Allred has a case in the Irene McCormack Jackson matter. If the trial would be moved to Imperial County, she would not. But hysteria still suffuses San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:41 p.m.

There will be NO change of venue, as most likely there will be no trial. And nope, no hysteria in town. Just a huge sign of relief from most of us citizens who live here. Fly to San Diego tomorrow in your Lear Jet, take a cab to city hall, and see for yourself.

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:15 p.m.

Yankeedoodle: This could get chaotic. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard Aug. 22, 2013 @ 4:23 p.m.

I have assumed on this blog that Filner was guilty of something, because he apologized, and I thought the civil suit would be settled first. But if he is completely innocent, or believes himself so, he might be so enraged by the suit that he wants to fight it to the bitter end, to the point of counter suing for damages, and if McCormack's case is as weak as Peggy Shannon's, he might win. Certainly Peggy Shannon is the poster child for malicious and frivolous lawsuits. If Filner is innocent, and I don't mean Bill Clinton innocent, it wouldn't be wrong for him to resign to fight and clear his name. I would sue to stop the Sheriff's hot line also. In the future there perhaps should be a line in the City charter for temporary absences in this type of situation, as well as for illnesses. If he is innocent, the job of defending himself is first priority. If he could expose the political forces attacking him, he might do more good for this City than he could as mayor.

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:17 p.m.

Psycholizard: There was a story today -- I believe in the U-T -- that Filner might write a book. That would be eye-opening to those in San Diego who believe that their leaders have integrity. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 10 p.m.

I wonder who would be his ghostwriter?

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dwbat Aug. 23, 2013 @ 1:06 p.m.

I'll answer my own question: Don Bauder. Who better to scribble Filner's story than his chief apologist?

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politicalsanity Aug. 23, 2013 @ 9:45 a.m.

Those who believe that the leaders (political or otherwise) of San Diego have even an iota of integrity must still be in grade school. Certainly by middle school, once they learned the definition of the word, they would have realized that it is a trait that virtually nobody in a position of leadership has. Certainly not in politics, certainly not in the corporate world, and certainly not in the legal field.

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Brian_T_Peterson_DVM Aug. 22, 2013 @ 5:30 p.m.

Here is the official notice of tomorrow’s special closed session city council meeting:

"Conference with Legal Counsel - existing litigation, pursuant to California Government Code section 54956.9(d)(1): SCS-1 McCormack Jackson v. City of San Diego, et al. San Diego County Superior Court Case No. 37-2013-00058613-CU-OE-CTL Attorney Assigned: J. Goldsmith, City Attorney This case, including the City’s cross-complaint, arises from a claim by an employee against the City of San Diego and Mayor Filner alleging sexual harassment. The City Attorney will update the City Council on the status of the litigation and seek direction regarding settlement and other matters related to the case."

Note the title is “McCormack Jackson v. City of San Diego, et al.” The description of the item suggests they are meeting regarding settling this litigation. It does not say “settlement with Bob Filner, so he resigns as Mayor.” If this closed session is a vote to authorize a settlement with Filner, it should say so. And, assuming they decide to indemnify Filner or otherwise pay him off, that would have to be done in a properly noticed open meeting of the city council.

So, maybe if this whole thing does not result in a settlement with McCormack Jackson, Allred will have a Brown Act violation lawsuit, too.

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Yankeedoodle Aug. 22, 2013 @ 5:37 p.m.

Brian: I know I can google it, but can you give me a capsule idea of the Brown Act and why this would be a violation? Thanks.

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Brian_T_Peterson_DVM Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:13 p.m.

Well, what I remember from the “COW” (community orientation workshop) is special meetings need to be officially noticed within 24 hours, which I think this was. (I looked late this morning; I was surprised it wasn’t noticed yet. I next looked at about 3; it was noticed.) It should state if it is an action item or not, which this one does not. And so far, the description of the item says it is about settling McCormack Jackson’s lawsuit. All indications are that McCormack Jackson is not a party to a settlement. This suggests the closed session meeting is about something else, like settling with Filner. Given this is likely the subject of the meeting, it should say so. Closed session agendas often contain items which relate to employee/employer (City) issues, which are best done in private. Paying Filner would seem to fall under this umbrella. Of course, I am not an attorney, but I was cognizant of the Brown Act, when I was on a planning group.

In a general sense, the Brown Act is to ensure that legislative bodies do the public’s business in a transparent way and in a way the public may participate. My interactions with various incarnations of the city council lead me to believe that this is not one of their priorities.

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:28 p.m.

Brian: I am not sure there would be a Brown Act violation because of those hedge words "other matters related to the case." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:22 p.m.

Brian: That is an excellent point. It certainly appears that the discussion will mainly focus on the McCormack Jackson suit. However there is a definite hedge: "regarding settlement and other matters related to the case." Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:22 p.m.

What's interesting is that Gloria Allred was the only one on television still calling for Filner's resignation, everyone else assumes it is a done deal. Calling for his resignation 'without condition' might be a tell. If Filner was treated like an ordinary supervisor, he would be placed on administrative leave immediately when first formally accused, then be fired if a hearing determined that he sexually harassed. If this procedure is followed in this case, everyone gets something they want. Filner gets due process, Todd Gloria gets to be acting mayor for the longest time possible, Jan Goldsmith gets Filner's immediate departure, and since he believes Filner guilty, likely believes he would never return. The only one not helped would be the plaintiff and her attorney. No one really cares about the plaintiff anyway.

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Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:31 p.m.

Psycholizard: Interesting interpretation. We all wish we knew what was on the table. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:22 p.m.

There's something surreal in the City contesting Allred's claim yet forcing Filner to resign. I thought the resignation demand was based on their belief in McCormack's case, a belief so strong they intended to sue Filner for the shame and expense his actions caused the City. If they're fighting the case now, as Allred seems to imply, on what facts do they base their resignation demand? We know of course, that they just want him out of the way, but they really should accuse him of something.

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MeReader Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:39 p.m.

at the time, my guess when allred didn't return for the second day of mediation was that she saw that things would not go the way she would want. so she left it for the city and filner to work out how they would defend the sexual harrassment case where for their intertwined common related defense they had to get filner's resignation to move forward to limit the city's liability because the city was still going to pay something because filner was an employee of the city.

allred wants to split filner apart from the city to make each side somewhat weaker and therefore somehow make it easier to play each side against each other and to squeeze each side more. filner would be financially straved and that may open him up to admit more in order to milk more money out of the city. a definite complete separation divide-and-conquer type of strategy. looks like that may not happen if the settlement calls for the city to pay some/all of filner's attorney fees and to pay some/all of any settlement money to mccormick-jackson.

allred probably wants millions, but any offered settlement to allred may possibly be less. like maybe in six figures. filner may resign, but the sexual harassment case probably continues as a back page story in the local UT rag.

(oh, speaking of the UT rag, remember how under old management how roger hedgecock previously had a whipping-boy status where any mention of him in the paper under old management was always tagging him with a boilerplate couple of sentences that always always always mentioned his conviction, and oftentimes seemed to forget to mention it being subsequently overturned, and how now roger has ocassional featured columns in the current UT under papa doug manchester's new management with roger's radio show transplated to the UT TV channel. well, now filner is taking the whipping boy status in the UT currently and probably for all time in the future under current management. times sure have changed.)

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Ponzi Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:24 p.m.

As I said earlier here, today Allred behaved like Lucy van Pelt, taking away the football from Charlie Brown and the gang in Peanuts. If she can't play, nobody can.

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dwbat Aug. 22, 2013 @ 9:23 p.m.

But isn't a good lawyer supposed to be looking out for her (or his) client?

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Ponzi Aug. 22, 2013 @ 10:07 p.m.

You might be surprised at how many legal malpractice lawsuits Allred has settled.

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Psycholizard Aug. 23, 2013 @ 12:15 a.m.

I wonder what McCormack thought when Peggy Shannon came forward.

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patflannery Aug. 23, 2013 @ 6:19 a.m.

Don: what do you make of Aguirre’s belated entry into the Filner resignation controversy? He wrote the following letter to the U-T yesterday "commending" Jan Goldsmith:

“Goldsmith remained true to attorney post

When the San Diego city attorney discovered the mayor was engaged in wrongdoing, he sued the mayor and led the effort with a united City Council to force the mayor to resign.

The city attorney acted in conformity with his charter duty. In making the city attorney an elected position, voters in 1931 decided they wanted an independent city attorney who would act to protect the public good. They voted to create a city attorney to represent all of San Diego and not just the mayor and council.

The city attorney was empowered to enforce the law no matter if the violator be the mayor, City Council member or other city official.

Jan Goldsmith should be commended for the strength with which he acted to vindicate right and to restore the city attorney to its proper role at City Hall.

Mike Aguirre”

First we learned through a Dorian Hargrove Reader report this week that Goldsmith had urged Briggs to file what his Deputies later described as a "sham" lawsuit against Bob Filner and the City, now we have Aguirre "commending" Goldsmith in the U-T. What is going on?

Where has all this Progressive Movement hatred of Bob come from? Why do Donna, Cory, Marco and now Aguirre (the old team) think Bob is the problem and that if he were out of the way the Progressive Movement could do a better job halting San Diego's endless corporate welfare giveaways?

To me Filner was the very essence of what the Progressive Movement was all about. He went at it with a will the very moment he took office and achieved a lot in a short time. Who knows what he could have achieved in a full four-year term.

There is something going on here that I do not understand. Perhaps you could shed some light into dark corners. I know you are trusted by the (old) Progressive team. Ask them how they are going to do a better job fighting San Diego's notorious culture of corporate giveaways by removing a person with a proven track record of doing exactly that.

Removing Bob, on unproven sexual harassment charges, makes no sense to me whatsoever. I really think the removers owe a better explanation than their late-blooming concerns about sexual harassment, to those of us who have spent a lifetime fighting the public giveaways to private business interests that has made this city notorious for political corruption right across America.

I hope you can help us out here Don. It really is a mystery.

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Yankeedoodle Aug. 23, 2013 @ 6:49 a.m.

Pat: I find that an interesting question and would also like to read Don's interpretation. To me, that sounds like two questions: what's up with Aguirre's letter and why are some Progressive being so weird? I know that when I went to volunteer for Aguirre, because of the ads against him on t.v., I was the only volunteer there.

Perhaps Aguirre believes in the separation of the City Attorney from the Council and Mayor when the city atty is an elected office, versus an appointed office. Maybe he is commending Goldsmith for acting out of character, for during Sanders' tenure, he was apparently acting like an appointed City Attorney.

In regard to the second, maybe it is because they are Progressives, and Filner is an uncouth outsider, who knows? I am not a progressive, I am a liberal, and I have noticed over the years that my friends who call themselves Progressives are mighty particular. Maybe they were used to the way things were, or had built alliances, or had become comfortable being the loyal opposition, I don't know. A mystery to me too. Then, there's the old Will Rogers saying...

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dwbat Aug. 23, 2013 @ 8:41 a.m.

pat and Yankee: Wouldn't It be better to instead ask those questions of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

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ImJustABill Aug. 23, 2013 @ 8:53 a.m.

Hey, I figure if you can't beat 'em, join 'em so I'm going to give this conspiracy thing a try.

We all know Bob Filner can't possibly be responsible for this crisis. Thus there must be some other explanation. Here's my new theories (well some of which might have admittedly been inspired by movies and/or TV)

  1. Did you notice the CIA officially acknowledged Area 51 and released it's location last week? While the Filner investigation is going on? Mighty suspicious I would say. I think alien abductions might have been involved. Maybe there were some UFO alien abductions of some of the acusers. Maybe Filner himself was abducted? Maybe Filner is really an alien? Maybe Gloria Allred?
  2. Everyone has been brainwashed by Communists to obey commands from Gloria Allred. Wait until you see Gloria Allred show them the Queen of Diamonds card!
  3. It's a consortium of Freemasons, Skull and Bones Society, and Illuminati. They are all controlling things and have coordinated and secretly planned all this.
  4. Leonardo di Capprio used some fancy dream machine conncted with electrodes to the accusers' heads. He went in the accusers' dreams and planted the ideas.
  5. Maybe all of this is not real. The entire last month has been someone's dream. We are actually all just part of the dream.
  6. Bob Filner is really Keyzer Soze.
  7. It's all a big publicity stunt for Anchorman Two. Filner is kind of a big deal.
  8. Filner was actually born in Kenya and forged his birth certificate - Oh wait a minute - I'm getting my nutty conspiracy theories confused. That's a different nutty conspiracy I'm thinking about.
  9. It's all Bush's fault.
  10. It's all Obama's fault.
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dwbat Aug. 23, 2013 @ 1:11 p.m.

Makes sense to me. And I've seen black helicopters flying low over City Hall in the last few weeks. Coincidence?--I don't THINK so! And don't forget the secret meetings pf the Odd Fellows? Haven't you always wondered what THEY were up to? I'm too scared to investigate this one. Sic Bauder on them.

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Psycholizard Aug. 23, 2013 @ 9:51 a.m.

Michael Aguirre proves the old saying, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean everyone isn't out to get me.". He works on the assumption that every City deal is crooked, and is right most of the time, but is a flawed lawyer, because the law isn't about crooked and straight, but about what can be proven illegal. And is a flawed politician, because he so often confronts when he must persuade.

But he's a good guy, just happens to be wrong this time. Another lost sheep to be brought back to the fold. They will come back in a flock, just as they left.

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