One Of These Defendants Is Not Like The Others, One Of These Defendants Doesn’t Belong!

Eggs racism

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Folk rock troubadour Donovan wrote a ballad about the fall of Atlantis that hits the bullseye of that late-1960s hallucinogenic whimsy. It suggests that the dying society sent 12 luminaries — named after their fields of expertise — departed before the fall. The names make sense in the context of that song. But for those of us who weren’t around in the 60s, we know Donovan’s work more from his guest spot on an episode of Futurama, adapting the piece for the sunken city of Atlanta.

Knowing their fate, the quality people ran away.
Ted Turner, Hank Aaron, Jeff Foxworthy,
the man who invented Coca-Cola,
the Magician,
and the other so-called gods of our legends.

The Magician was in the original song, but the joke here is that it’s zany in a list of otherwise real people.

That scene sprang to mind after reading a recent opinion by Judge Maryellen Noreika of the District of Delaware, which I discovered via a Tweet from James Levine.

The Judge begins:

Plaintiffs Kenneth R. Talley, Janice A. Talley, and Kristina Karen Talley, proceeding pro
se, filed this lawsuit against several family members…


…two private practice attorneys…

A little attenuated, but all right.

…a law firm…

Go for the deeper pocket.

…a legal aid organization…

Or the emptiest of pockets.

…two state court judges…

All right, the judges were — almost certainly — not engaged in conspiratorial competition with the rest of the parties, but it’s understandable how they get here.

…two state courts…


…and an electrician.

*Record scratch*

And she does not! No explanation at all. But digging into the complaint, it’s revealed that the electrician in question is the CEO of the local utility and he’s roped into this Bleak House litigation — which spans multiple cases — because the electric company turned off the juice after being directed to do so by the family member defendants who had prevailed in a prior action over the ownership of the property.

But the underlying dispute is a sad one. The elderly plaintiffs entered a deal that gave their daughter and son-in-law a stake in the property and, at this point, the younger generation feels the plaintiffs need to move into a nursing home. The plaintiffs allege that the young ones are trying to swipe the property and pocket the money. That the plaintiffs’ other adult daughter sides with her parents only accentuates the sharp divide at play in this family dispute.

Regardless, it’s not the fault of the electrician.

HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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