ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
RANEY V AWARE WOMAN
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
DEFENDANTS' REPORT ON JOINT PRETRIAL CONFERENCE
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR.,
AWARE WOMAN CENTER
FOR CHOICE, INC., a Florida corporation,
EDWARD W. WINDLE, JR., and
PATRICIA B. WINDLE
CASE NO.: 97-1197-CV-ORL-19B
DEFENDANTS' REPORT ON JOINT PRETRIAL CONFERENCE OF 12/15/1998 THAT DID NOT MATERIALIZE
AWCC counsel Lucas and Susan England appeared at 10:30 AM at the office of Ms England, with computer, files, and a 12-plus page working document, to go forward with the planned 1:30 PM Joint Pretrial Conference with Raney counsel Christopher Sapp. He was thought to be coming up from Lehigh Acres in the south west.
Mr Sapp did not show. Instead he telephoned from the far more distant Melbourne offices of prior [six months ago] counsel Mr Torpy, claiming that the Pretrial had to be held there. He further claimed insufficient notice, although counsel Lucas and England had been pursuing him via unreturned telephone, Fax, and letter for days. (Exhibits 1-5 attached). He alternatively wanted to conduct this apparent first federal Pretrial of his over the telephone in Mr Torpy's office, which was impossible in light of the complexity of work and documents involved, not to mention that Mr Sapp was not even an invitee in the office of prior counsel, where nothing has taken place since the Raney deposition which started last July.
No counsel for Third Party Insurance Defendants Sphere/Odyssey/Westco appeared as well.
The Joint Pretrial thus ended with these enigmas:
(1) Why had Mr Sapp driven an extra 100 miles to the office of prior counsel? Ms England even attempted to send him a map to her office.
(2) Why has Mr Sapp ignored and not replied to repeated communications reminding him that Mr Torpy was not in the picture and moving the Pretrial closer to Orlando, for his convenience? He did call a court reporter.
(3) Why has Mr Sapp kept his Fax closed and objected to use of his E-Mail for professional purposes?
(4) Why did Mr Sapp not respond to the Faxes that slipped through, the telephone message, AND letter of Mr Lucas reminding him of the Pretrial and emphasizing the location had to be Orlando since Mr Torpy has had no connection with the case for some six months or more? It is inherently incredible to suggest as Mr Sapp did that he gets his mail at night and had no notice. That disregards the attempted Fax and actual phone message last Friday, which someone attempted to cut off after the message had been delivered.
AWCC counsel Lucas and England do not want this case sidetracked into collateral disputes created by the refusal of Mr Sapp to communicate. We suggest another try Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, December 30 or 31st, 1998, same time 1:30 PM, at Ms England's easy-to-find office in Fern Park, considerably closer to Lehigh Acres.
If Mr Sapp absents himself again, counsel suggest a daily fine of $1,000 to the Court, and $1,000 daily to a shelter for abused women in central Florida. Otherwise, this bizarre pattern will continue. To illustrate, the exhibits include a letter from prior counsel in July concerning a similar situation orchestrated by Mr Sapp to obstruct Mr Raney's production and deposition.
OTHER PENDING COLLATERAL MATTER
In the last pleading, Mr Sapp also out of the blue attacked counsel Lucas, claiming a highly improper misrepresentation to AllState, Mr Raney's liability insurance carrier. At the time, Mr Sapp must have known his representation was false, because Allstate had told Mr Raney as much, and Raney told Mr Sapp all he knew about AllState.
Mr Sapp has still not withdrawn his false charge, even after an additional letter, explanation, and apology from AllState, attached as Exhibit 5. AllState made a careless mistake and apologized. Mr Sapp falsely fabricated a serious charge out of it. As a sanction he should be ordered to focus on the merits of this action, and to cease engaging in bizarre litigation "tactics."
c/o PO Box 1433
Melbourne, FL 32902-1433
2805 Lakeview Dr.
Fern Park, FL 32730
ATTORNEYS FOR AWCC et al.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE:
This "Report on Joint Pretrial Conference" has been served by mail this 16th day of December, 1998, sent to Mr Sapp, PO Box 1012, Lehigh Acres, FL 33970, and Mr Sift, PO Box 149022, Coral Gables, FL 33114-9022.
By: Roy Lucas
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