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Kelley Stresses Breen's Purported Amnesia in New Motion

Cartoonist Steve Kelley, whose suit against the Union-Tribune was thrown out by Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom in early November, has filed a motion of reconsideration with the judge. It will be heard Dec. 22. In the suit, Kelley charges that the U-T interfered with a contract that he had with Steve Breen, U-T cartoonist, to develop a comic strip. In the motion, Kelley's attorney, Bob Gaglione, emphasizes an aspect that Bloom mysteriously did not mention in tossing out the case: the sudden switch, under oath, of U-T cartoonist Steve Breen. Breen testified under oath that he had met with his editor, Bill Osborne; he remembered details of the meeting. A bit more than a month later, the U-T's law firm stated that Breen no longer remembered the communications with Osborne. Shortly, Breen signed a declaration -- again under oath -- that he really did not remember the communications with Osborne, despite all kinds of evidence that they were a critical part of his decision to back out of the strip. He also could not remember meeting with Karin Winner, even though he had testified about details of the meeting with her earlier.

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Cartoonist Steve Kelley, whose suit against the Union-Tribune was thrown out by Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom in early November, has filed a motion of reconsideration with the judge. It will be heard Dec. 22. In the suit, Kelley charges that the U-T interfered with a contract that he had with Steve Breen, U-T cartoonist, to develop a comic strip. In the motion, Kelley's attorney, Bob Gaglione, emphasizes an aspect that Bloom mysteriously did not mention in tossing out the case: the sudden switch, under oath, of U-T cartoonist Steve Breen. Breen testified under oath that he had met with his editor, Bill Osborne; he remembered details of the meeting. A bit more than a month later, the U-T's law firm stated that Breen no longer remembered the communications with Osborne. Shortly, Breen signed a declaration -- again under oath -- that he really did not remember the communications with Osborne, despite all kinds of evidence that they were a critical part of his decision to back out of the strip. He also could not remember meeting with Karin Winner, even though he had testified about details of the meeting with her earlier.

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Comments
10

Is this just stupid judgeship? Or is this judge doing the U-T's bidding? If there were nothing else, that utterly inconsistent testimony should have demanded some further digging.

Nov. 24, 2009

Response to post #1: Breen's assertion under oath that he really didn't remember what he had said under oath just a bit earlier certainly demands more investigation. But the judge does not want this one to go to a jury. If Kelley gets no satisfaction Dec. 22, he will go to the appeals court. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 24, 2009

Is this just stupid judgeship?

This case is in state court-where judges are elected without regard to competency.

I can vouch, after having been in hundreds of small cases, and a few big ones in state courts-most against gov, that state court judges play very fast and loose with the rules and can rule any way they want to with very little reciurse from the court of appeals-which is a whole new ball game, and a waste of time, money and lots of brain damage. This is why if you have the jurisdiction, always go with a federal court-just about everything in the federal system is light years ahead, and better, than state court.

Nov. 24, 2009

Response to post #3: It is very difficult, if not impossible, to go against the Union-Tribune in Superior Court. The judges are elected. The U-T makes recommendations. People carry those U-T ballots into the voting booths. No one would know any of the judges if it weren't for those recommendations. Comprehende? Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 24, 2009

"People carry those U-T ballots into the voting booths."

Yeah, well, that looks like it's going to change. The U-T is loosing tons of readership, and people don't tend to print out on-line versions of such voting recommendations. I would be surprised if, in three years, you see the U-T in print like it is today. They are basically imploding from very poor decision making, bad management, and poor writing.

Nov. 24, 2009

Response to post #5: Yes, the U-T is imploding, but poor decision-making, bad management, and poor writing are only part of the story. Perhaps 10% to 15% of the U-T's woes are attributable to its own bad management. The rest represents the industry's problems. In particular, metro dailies are in deep trouble. Total newspaper advertising (both print and online) was down 28% in the third quarter from a year ago. The first quarter was down 28.3% and the second down 29%, according to Media Daily News. Online advertising at newspapers was down 17% in the third quarter, according to the Newspaper Association of America. This is a secular decline, not a cyclical one. Newspapers have a business model that no longer works. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 25, 2009

Seems like the UT has both Judge Bloom & Steve Breen by the balls

Nov. 25, 2009

Response to post #7: The U-T's puissance has slipped tremendously, but, yes, It still has inordinate influence. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 25, 2009

On other news...

Karin Winner, editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune for 15 years, told staff Tuesday she will depart at the end of the year.

Ding Dong the witch is dead.

Dec. 2, 2009

Response to post #9: Winner's departure was no great surprise. Actually, it was surprising that Platinum held on to her as long as it did. It had cleaned out the other top U-T executives much earlier. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 2, 2009

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