What stimulated this post was the anticipation of lies to follow the AZ election ’audit’, but the reason for starting a fresh topic has to do with a construction contract legal dispute that I have been enjoying for three years now.
We had the arbitration hearing a week and a half ago and should get a decision in a few more weeks. I'm optimistic that we will prevail, but we've all seen too much in recent decades of clear justice that never gets served to call it a slam dunk. The lies can be very confusing to people who didn't experience the reality to judge.
I did have several fun moments with the opposing counsel, who had a very annoying strategy of asking compound leading questions, repeated time after time, apparently hoping to get me to say something that he could spin into the opposite of the truth. At one point after an especially verbose effort to put words in my mouth, he asked me, "Does that accurately represent your position?"
"What is it about what I have said that you don't agree with?"
"Everything... you just made all that up. I never said any of it."
Another time he was trying to get me to speculate on some what-iffery entwined with a questionable analogy, finishing with something like, "Don't you agree?"
"I don't agree."
"Feigning surprise, "What don't you agree with?"
"It's speculation. You had me take an oath swearing I had to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There is no truth in your speculation. Yet you are now asking me to violate that oath."
In another incident where he was trying to to cast doubt on the validity of our building contractor's license, the moron shifted his tone and demeanor to that of a state trooper who had just pulled me over for driving 100 mph in a school zone.
"In your deposition you stated thus and such and now you have changed your story... I must point out that perjury is a very serious offense!"
"Can you read me what I said in the deposition?" He read it. "Can you read me what your question was in the deposition?" He read it. "That's not the same question you just asked me, now is it?"
"Uhhhh... let's move on..."
Last one, and maybe the most fun. There is a section of the contract that describes the projected monthly progress of the job with an estimate of the amount of payment that would be due. It was in there because the bank asked for it to get an idea of the size and spacing of the draws so they would have sufficient cash on hand. It was possible to read it as conditions that had to be met before payment could be made, though due to many changes asked for by the client, using it as a real schedule would have been counterproductive to making progress on the job. But the opposition was desperate to spin it as a contract default (because we had done work that was listed in later phases 'out of order' as a way to keep progressing while waiting for the change orders to work through the process). So, to that purpose, the opposition was calling the phases "payment milestones" and "benchmarks for payment".
I had refused to allow Perry Mason to use those terms with objections perhaps 30 times during the depositions and the hearing, but he was determined to have one last go at it. He asked me why milestones and benchmarks weren't appropriate words. I said because they don't appear in the contract. He started to argue with me, so I stopped him and said, "Let's get out the contract and look at the actual words." There was a mountain of paper and it took him a full two minutes, in awkward silence, to find his copy. When I saw that he had it I asked him, "Do you have it in front of you?" (Lawyers do that over and over to the witnesses).
He said, "Yes."
"Can you look at page 2 and find the sentence prefacing the list of phases?"
"I see it."
"Are the words 'benchmarks' or 'milestones' written there?"
The arbitrator, barely hiding a smirk, said, "I'm ready to move on."