First hearing on state fair case delayed

Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 1:10pm

Metro lawyers got a bit of a shock Wednesday afternoon.

Chancellor Carol McCoy called the city’s Law Department, asking if the city was prepared to contest the case in which state fair backers are seeking a writ of mandamus against Metro, requiring the city to continue allowing a state fair at the south Nashville fairgrounds.

With the hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday — and having heard nothing from the city — McCoy thought she’d check and make sure everyone was on the same page.

McCoy said Metro attorney Lora Fox “was surprised” to hear a court date had been set.

“I have been advised Metro was not aware of the hearing,” McCoy said Thursday morning.

The chancellor re-set the case for a 9 a.m. April 6 hearing.

Representing the defendants — a fair vendor and a neighbor of the fairgrounds — attorney Robert Rutherford indicated that, in the meantime, a temporary injunction preventing the state fair from shuttering might be in order, in light of recent news the fair board is working with contractors to keep the fair alive through 2010.

McCoy said she would not grant such an injunction and said the bigger issue — the future of the state fair past 2010 — would not be resolved by the fair board’s latest move.

“That does not resolve your petition,” she said. “The overriding question needs to be addressed.”

Preservationists maintain a 1923 act of the state legislature cancelling a state lease on the fairgrounds requires the fair board to host, in perpetuity, a state fair at least six days long.

8 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/4/10 at 12:19

so Mr. Rutherford tried to sneak one through?

By: Kosh III on 3/4/10 at 3:02

Isn't it the responsibility of the Metro lawyers to know the status of a case against Metro?
Shouldn't it be the Court which sets the time? Metro should pay attention.

If someone sues you, won't you do your best to know all about it so you can defend yourself properly?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/4/10 at 3:06

Mr. Rutherford was supposed to copy metro's attorney when he filed the paperwork.

By: 117_acres on 3/4/10 at 4:00

Kosh III

If you don't know what you are talking about why do you bother to write stupid comments.

Mr. Rutherford or Metro is suppose to notifiy the opposing parting regarding any hearing dates scheduled. If you properly notify the opposing party you can move the court for a default judgement or in this type of hearing ask the court to proceed without them if they fail to shall up. Clearly, if Metro did not know about the hearing then Mr. Rutherford is just trying to do some slick lawyering. He lost this round because now it gets delayed thirty (30) days and he gets to return the 15 or 20 phone calls a day he probably gets from LL.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/4/10 at 4:21

that was a pretty smarmy move on Mr. Rutherford's part.

By: tunicaqueen on 3/4/10 at 5:23

People should not always believe everything that Metro says. I work in the legal community and I know Robert Rutherford. He is a very good and a very ethical lawyer. He would not have tried to sneak anything through.

By: bfra on 3/5/10 at 4:42

I have known Robert Rutherford for several years. To question his honesty & integrity as opposed to karl and his hand picked task force farce or their attorneys, is beyond the realm of reality.

By: nvestnbna on 3/5/10 at 9:50

I know of at least one case, Metro waited until an hour before the 30 day window to appeal, to file their appeal - no notice to the opposing attorneys. This was during Karl Dean's reign at Metro legal, but characterized some of the sneakiness of Metro. Legal yes, sneaky assuredly so. Wonder if they would have let Bob Rutherford off the hook, if the shoe had been on the other foot - - I doubt it. Be vigilant out there, lots of sneaky people.