Thursday, April 06, 2017

Attorneys: Joplin R-8 owes us $200,000 plus in fees, expenses

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit over a May 2015 North Middle School field trip to Victory Ministries and Sports Complex received $1 apiece in Judge Douglas Harpool's final judgment.

The attorneys are wanting much, much more.

Documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, reveal four lawyers who represented Jane Doe and her children are asking for $207,815 in fees and $3,746.45 for a total of $211,281.45.

Harpool has the final say on the fees and expenses.

The fees breakdown is as follows:

Arthur Benson of Benson and Associates, Kansas City, the local firm representing Jane Doe, charged $500 an hour for a total of $31,550, and asked for $3,746.15, Benson took the leading in handling the depositions of former North Middle School and current Joplin High School Principal Brandon Eggleston, one of the defendants in the lawsuit. He also handled the depositions of representatives of Joplin R-8 School District and Victory Ministries and reviewed the briefs in support and in opposition to the district's cross-motion for summary judgment.

Jamie Kathryn Lansford of Benson and Associates charged $315 an hour for 57 hours for a total of $17,955.

David A. Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association Legal Center in Washington, D. C., an expert in establishment clause cases charged $425 an hour for a total of $19,550.

Monica Miller, senior counsel of the attorneys, charging $138,750.

The fees paid to Miller and Niose will not go to the attorneys, but to the AHA's non-profit legal center helping the organization to pursue other cases similar to the one in Joplin.

Harpool's final order is printed below:


The Court, having entered its March 9, 2017, Order (Doc. 58) granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment and overruling Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment now ORDERS that the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment, in accordance with the Court’s prior order in this matter, as follows:


It Is Hereby Ordered, Adjudged, And Decreed that the Court declares that the actions of Defendants in organizing, sponsoring, and conducting school trips to Victory Ministries and Sports Complex under the facts and circumstances herein presented violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.


It Is Further Ordered, Adjudged, And Decreed that Defendants are prohibited and permanently enjoined from organizing, sponsoring, or conducting any field trip, event or excursion (hereinafter “activity”), other than activities of student-run religious clubs as permitted by the Equal Access Act, to Victory Ministries and Sports Complex or any other religious venue, for which any of the following conditions exist:

1. Participation in the activity requires a student participant, or parents of a student participant, to consent to be, or actually be, subjected to messages, sermons, proselytization, evangelism, testimony, study or sermon advancing religion or any religious organization;

2. Participation in the activity requires a student participant, or parents of a student participant, to consent to the use of the participant’s image and/or name in the advertising, promotion, or informational materials advancing religion or any religious organization;

3. Participation in the activity is, or may be, limited, restricted, allowed, or denied based on the participant’s submission to, or agreement with, the views, beliefs, faith or teaching of any religion or any religious organization.


Anonymous said...

Time to tell the godbotherers to pass the plate and fill it up so the taxpayers don't have to pay this.

The first place to start the tithing could be the Victory Ministry Indoctrination Center.

Concerned citizen said...

The gift that keeps on "giving"...Huff's incompetent tenure...sponsored by Steele,Sharp,Landis,..and the elites like Wert,Good,O'Brian..The"Gift" will continue as R8 pays for bad construction of new buildings which were rushed to meet an ego inflated dictate.

Anonymous said...

2:04 AM Spot on and well said!!!!!

Anonymous said...

None of the three conditions existed in what happened with the field trips. Had the waiver been handled differently (using one specifically designed for schools using the facility instead of the normal one for random visitors), none of the three conditions would have even been questioned. The school agreed & apologized about the bad waiver, didn't they? The plaintiffs wanted to pwrmanently shut down the use of the facility, and the order doesn't do that. How can it be said that the plaintiffs won and are entitled to attorney fees? If the plaintiffs are really about keeping the schools away from Victory, they should appeal.

Sounds like it's always been about the money from attorney fees. That's how groups like the AHA keep on bringing these lawsuits that do nothing but make obscene amounts of money for attorneys, extorted from the tight budgets of public schools.

Anonymous said...

“He who prays the loudest sinned the most.”